MOST people love a good superhero movie, but superhero adaptations have been churned out so fast since over the years that Bruce Wayne’s parents would be turning in their graves.
However, more recently what I can only call ‘non-superhero’ comics are being adapted for the big and small screens – including the dark yet droll Preacher.
Preacher is the TV adaptation of a comic book series created by Garth Dennis and Steve Dillon. Adapted by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, and Sam Catlin, Dominic Cooper stars as small town preacher Jesse Custer as he struggles to keep his town interested and believing in God and Christianity. Jesse then finds himself sort of possessed by a half-angel-half-demon entity which gives him the power to control people’s minds. I guess that would make him a super-preacher.
The story of the first season is nice and simple; Jesse wants to make his late father’s church a success again while trying to stop Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) from taking his land to build a mall – but it’s the cast themselves that really carry the show. Cooper gives Jesse this southern cowboy charm that just makes you fall in love with his character even when he makes stupid decisions, one after another. He also has to be the most attractive preacher I have ever seen – just saying.
Tulip (Ruth Negga) is a no-nonsense lady who will shove your sorry arse out a three-story window if she doesn’t like the look of you. Basically, you’d want to be her friend. This golden trio of acting talent is completed by Irish party-boy Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) who likes nothing more than booze, sex, and drugs. Oh, and he’s a one-hundred-year-old vampire but that’s not important.
Fun fact – the four main cast members are all Brits. Lucy Griffiths plays the church organist and is best known for her role as Maid Marion in the BBC adaption of Robin Hood and Gilgun a former Emmerdale cast member. Moving up the television hierarchy from humble British soap to big-shot US drama, some of these guys have come a long way.
Episode 6, titled ‘Sundowner’, is particular worthy of a mention for a certain sequence that is just glorious to watch. It involves Custer and two angels fighting a bad angel, but whenever an angel dies the body stays where it is and a new one appears randomly. Therefore, as the three angels and the preacher are going at it the body count is constantly rising – literally. The angels just keep dying and coming back A LOT, but leaving a body behind each time. Since this is all going on in a tiny motel room, you can only imagine the health hazard that would cause. It might sound like a rather macabre scene, but it was very cleverly shot and put together. So I do appreciate it both for its artistry and sick hilarity.
The finishing moments of the final episode are the reasons for my high scoring in shock factor because those few final minutes completely changed the dynamic of the show. Most cast members will definitely not be returning and the second season of the show will follow a drastically different path to that of the first.
Although I think the shock ending of the final episode is great for completely changing up the dynamic for the second season, I also feel a little cheated. Some of the characters had great personalities and there were some relationships that would have been interesting to see develop more. So ultimately, I do think it was a teeny tiny mistake to write off the entire cast sans Gilgun, Negga, and Cooper.
With it’s Southern US setting, supernatural elements, and witty script, Preacher is perfect for fans of True Blood and Supernatural- so go forth and binge.
Preacher is currently available to watch in its entirety on Amazon Prime.