As the Ladies’ resident expert in shows with blood splatter, AMC’s Preacher was almost certainly on my watch list this summer.
I was first introduced to the Preacher comic by The Goog in our early stages of dating (now almost some 15 years ago). Many of our early dates involved me swinging by his place, grabbing a Preacher trade paperback, and proceeding to ignore him for an hour (sorry fellas, I’m taken). So, when I heard about the AMC series I was cautiously optimistic, though also mentally preparing for heartbreak – I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead. Preacher is now 7 episodes in and I am still enjoying it. Here’s why:
Twitter version of a story summary…Preacher Jesse Custer searches for God with the sort of help of his friend and ex Tulip (a hitwoman), and Cassidy (an Irish Vampire). There is a lot more going on but I am going to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible.
Commitment to the characters
One of the reasons I stopped watching The Walking Dead oh so long ago is that I didn’t like the changes made to the characters, particularly when a character who was so well formed in the comic was reduced to a harpy of a plot device…but I digress. Thus far with Preacher I am not having that problem at all. The TV characters remain true to their literary counterparts often in appearance and always in spirit. Yes, Tulip looks different, she’s no longer white and blonde, but who cares! Ruth Negga is absolutely killing it! Seriously, I dare you not to crack a smile as she portrays a psychopath with a heart of gold. I actually I think I am enjoying her portrayal of Tulip more than I did comic Tulip.
Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy looks like he walked off the page, which is frankly a terrifying prospect. I think the only complaint around House New Googington is that he should wear his sunglasses more, but that’s really only if I feel I need to complain. Cassidy is a complex character, as anyone who has read the comics knows. As a reader/viewer your relationship with him is bound to get complicated, never mind how complicated it can get for Jesse and Tulip.
And then of course Jesse. He’s your quintessential not so good guy trying to be a mostly good guy. His moral compass is guided by John Wayne and his daddy (who was also a preacher). Dominic Cooper is able to go from caring small town preacher to destructive force of nature in the literal blink of an eye. It’s part of what makes Jesse so unsettling and unpredictable.
The Spirit of the Story
The story itself is a bit different but for me, the tone remains the same. In the comic Preacher is very much a road trip story. But in this first season of the show we have seen Jesse stationary, desperately trying to put down roots, and save his flock. But as we learn more about him, we find that Jesse is probably the most lost. Episode 6 starts to really hone in on actions that are going to push him out of the town and onto the road as the gravity of his situation becomes more apparent to him
Preacher does not shy away from the ridiculous
I don’t think me saying “chainsaw fight in a church” is much of a spoiler, plus I never thought I would get to say/type such a thing so give me my moment here. Additionally there is scene in the beginning of episode 6…a fight scene that is just sublimely ridiculous. In many ways part of what made the Preacher comic so great was how extreme it was. If you have read it, or anything else by Garth Ennis, you know what I am saying here. It’s not for the faint of heart, and be sure to warn anyone who tells you they want to start reading it because they heard about the show. Let’s not have a repeat of that Deadpool incident, ok?
So…have you read? Are you watching? What do you think?