Sunday, April 30, 2017

American Gods and Perfected Chaos

If you say the name Neil Gaiman to me, it instantly conjures images of androgynous, lanky humans who might lash out like an angry demi-god without hesitation or fear of internal moral fallout, leaving those standing near with jaws agape as there was previously no indication this being possessed so much power...or capacity for remorseless bloodshed. I'm not certain if this is an actual moment from a Neil Gaiman work, as, truth be told, I've not read a lot of this writings, but it is what pops into my head when you speak the mans name. Skinny human most likely ripping another human in half. My brains are a scary place. Oddly, this mental image turned out to be a perfect jumping off point for me when plunging into the world of STARZ American Gods.

As we fall into the world of American Gods, we are quickly introduced to a rather large man with the inexplicable name Shadow Moon. Shadow is just getting out of jail with turmoil still hanging over his head and a strange man with a gift for getting people to do what he wants pseudo-stalking him. Shadow reluctantly falls in with the man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday and very gently, his world begins to go insane. Shadow is a fairly no-nonsense man with a gift for finding trouble and a rational, sensible mind. Now employed by Mr. Wednesday, he'll begin to question what exactly reality has meant all his life.

I'm reluctant to go into further story details and deny you the sheer pleasure of experiencing every nuance for yourself, so I'll shut up about story specifics and probably just gush for the remainder of this review. The viewer will be struck by the level of detail put into every shot in this eerily immersive world populated by a string of characters so compelling it's fairly insane. I or two characters being awesome is understandable, but every character introduced in this lush universe is so enigmatic I can't wait to learn more. In the four episodes we've been allowed to view, we've witnessed an expert level world building with beautiful/terrifying side fairytales from the past or present which will, no doubt, come crashing into our main story line with our two "heroes" driving toward an unknown task of biblical proportions. Introduction of each character is flawless and, as we can expect from Mr. Gaiman, will not be short on controversy and trigger lengthy discussion after they air. By the fourth episode, you'll have experienced scenes of gore so jarring you won't help but laugh...or maybe run out of the room, love between all God's creatures, capers, cons, visuals so cool it will leave you speechless and a fist fight you'll feel in your back teeth.

American Gods is a show so rich with forethought, it's as if every new destination is a painting lovingly rendered for years until each figure is placed just right. It's an amazing achievement, and one actors, film makers and film fans alike will be discussing for years to come. Episode ONE hits STARZ at 9pm eastern this very night, so be sure to catch it and after you've watched, please keep your lips sealed. This is absolutely one show we should let everyone enjoy fully and spoiler free!

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