Review of American Gods

Sundays, 8:00 PM ET on Starz

60 minutes

A war is brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs.
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by me2011
May 8, 2017 4:16PM EDT
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The pilot left me with mixed feelings about this show because although there was the good stuff to keep me wanting more (i.e. the acting was solid, cinematography was beautiful, and that shocking scene) there was also the bad stuff (i.e. if you haven't read the book like me, you have no idea what the eff is going on).
So because there were so many good things, given that the trailer didn't give any clarity I decided turn to Google and I read the premise and it makes sense.

Without giving any spoilers, this is a fight between the "new" gods and the "old" mythological gods we've seen in tons of films and movies. Who are the new gods? Well, just think about what society "worships" now: Internet, computers, money/power via stock markets and conspiracy theories... those are, sadly, the new gods, and they want the old gods to hand over their power to them. The flashbacks can be a bit confusing without this information because the flashback allude to times when people believed in and prayed to the old gods.

I'm definitely not keen on shows that do such a poor job of telling the viewer WTF is going on that I have to Google the premise because the trailer gave little clue and the writers assume everyone has heard of or read the book, but it was worth it for this show given that the good stuff far outweighs the bad.... at least so far as of episode 2!

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May 17, 2017 7:48AM EDT

The book is the same way. Eventually you know what's going on. But it takes a while.
You can think it's the problem of the TV series and the book. Or you can think the problem is that we are so used to easy stuff that we sometimes lack the patience to just enjoy the ride and wait for the story to unfold. To me the book was worth it and it looks like the TV series will also be worth it for those that are willing to enjoy the ride and see where it ends.

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May 17, 2017 3:27PM EDT

I agree completely that sometimes people lack patience to watch a story unfold, for example some people thought Breaking Bad was slow in the first season, but it was simply true paced storytelling and character development. I found American God's to be different in that I was confused about the characters at the end of the pilot episode. It also doesn't help that my work schedule is crazy and I may go weeks without watching TV even if I love the show (for example I'm 3 weeks behind on The Americans another show with "American" in the title) there's no way I would be able to watch American Gods sporadically because I'd need to re-watch the more recent episode to refresh my mind since the plot and characters weren't defined in the pilot.
I'd be fine with reading the book, because I'd probably get so hooked that I'd finish it in days. But if I'd let the book sit for a few weeks, I'd probably re-read a few pages to refresh when I finally pick it up again. I'm glad to hear that someone who has read the book thinks that the show is doing it justice, so many times shows screw up the interpretation.

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May 19, 2017 7:31AM EDT

Hum... that's another issue. Thinking chapter 1 is the pilot. I don't think it was ever intended to be a pilot... I think it's chapter 1 of many to come afterwards. As the series is unfolding it looks like it's going to follow the book and if that's the case you won't know all the characters until almost the end, and you won't understand what's with Shadow until the end of it....

For now, it looks like it's doing the book justice. I THINK it will continue to do so, but of course 3 chapters isn´t much to go on. I know It won't be identical, characters will be expanded, we will see more of them than in the books. And Fuller (one of the executive producers and scriptwriter) said he asked Neill Gaiman to give him all he had that hadn't made it into the final edition of the book. It will not be identical to the published book. But I think they are committed to be true to the author vision. Hopefully they will be able to pull it of.

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May 20, 2017 1:51AM EDT

I'm really liking it o far. When my work life gets less hectic I'd like to read the book.

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Sc1F1
Mar 18, 2019 2:27AM EDT

Haven't read the book and don't have an issue following the story.

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