Preacher: Weird Is The Word

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AMC
AMC

OK, so what do we know about AMC’s Preacher so far? Well, it’s based on a popular cult comic that executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg bonded over while in Bar Mitzvah class. Huh?!? You read right, the duo cemented their friendship thanks to this insane little book and had been trying to acquire the rights for a screen adaptation ever since. Several versions failed to catch fire, until it finally landed in the right hands at AMC.

Here’s the thing, while diehard fans will no doubt be giddy to see their favorite comic fleshed out on the small screen, the rest of us losers will feel ridiculously lost for a while. That’s right, though the Preacher pilot is entertaining and beautifully shot, I felt like I was missing out on an inside joke. Rogen was mocking me with that famous laugh of his.

Then of course, the big media outlets began praising the show in their early reviews for sticking to the source material. Again, I thought to myself… am I missing something? Did I watch a different cut of the pilot? Am I just not one of the cool kids? Well, I guess the joke’s on me because I plan to keep watching this perfectly bizarre work of art.

Since Preacher is a dark supernatural tale, the writers can get away with all kinds of nonsense. I’m sure that will prove fun in time. That said, I do remember the first time I watched The Walking Dead and could follow the story perfectly having zero knowledge of the comic book it was based on. Yeah Preacher, not so much. I will say that Dominic Cooper was brilliantly cast as Jesse Custer, because it’s his charisma that keeps you riveted to the goings-on.

Without giving too much away, our titular Preacher (Dominic Cooper) returns to Texas to lead his father’s church. Our protagonist is about to give up the cloth, when a mysterious entity takes him over gifting him with an unusual power. Tune in to find out what that power is *wink wink*. So far pretty straight forward, right?

Well, throw in an Irish Vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), the Preacher’s criminal ex-girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) and a character who looks like… yup, an Arseface (Ian Colletti) and you’ve got the makings of one weirdly freakish television series. Hey, at least it’s not a boring procedural. Hallelujah!

Preacher - Arseface
AMC

Though the story was no clearer to me by the end of the first hour, I think the writers did a decent job of setting the tone and introducing us to all the main players. The actors all work hard to make us buy into the twisted world they inhabit. Again, Cooper is phenomenal and only gets more interesting in the installments that follow. Though he is not given as much to do in the pilot as his sidekicks (Cassidy and Tulip), Jesse Custer is the character I’m most curious about. Good thing too, the series is called Preacher after all.

Ruth Negga was always a favorite of mine on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Tulip could not be more different from Raina (The girl in the flower dress). We quickly learn a bit about her history with Jesse, but it appears this is more than just some love affair. The woman is mysterious and finding out what makes her tick is going to be fun.

I’m not sure I can say the same about Joseph Gilgun’s character. Many critics have been singing his praises, but his over the top acting has irritated me since he appeared on the British sci-fi series Misfits. When Rudy came on the scene in Season 3, I found myself tuning out more and more each week. Needless to say, I never managed to make it through Season 4. Not to bash Gilgun, if folks say he was born to play this role I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

There are so many colorful characters and odd twists, it makes it hard to get bored. I have faith that as the season unfolds, things will begin to make more sense and the puzzle pieces will begin fitting together. The writers have 10 hours to tell their story. Perhaps I’ll even figure out exactly what Rogen and Goldberg bonded over all those years ago. Can’t say I get it right now.

Personally, I don’t judge any show based on its pilot. Preacher is one of those slow burns that may just pay off, if you’ve got the patience to stick with it. Will the series become the next Walking Dead for AMC? That remains to be seen, but I’m sure it will find its audience. Should you give it a go? Hellz yeah, what have you got to lose?

 

Do you plan to check out Preacher this weekend? Come back and share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

Curious about the series? Then you’ve got to watch the explosive first four minutes now.

Preacher premieres Sunday, May 22nd at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.

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