Mark Antony

American Gods on Starz

345 posts in this topic

Decent finale. Loved Kristin Chenoweth as Easter. I appreciated them answering some of the questions for non book readers.

As a book reader, and this goes for the entire season,

Spoiler

I appreciated the show filling in some of the blanks from the book and expanding on the story. Namely, Wednesday and Mad Sweeney's role in and reason for Laura's death. And expanding on Laura's motives for wanting to thwart Wednesday's plans. She came across as a bit of a plot convenience in the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the season, but felt it was a bit heavy on style over substance and the narrative structure was a bit disjointed. I found myself enjoying scenes and episodes more than the season and story as a whole. The Coming to America stories were my favorite part of the season.

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That was good and it feels like the finale was a good representation of the show so far. It is good but it also doesn't feel like it is in a hurry to get anywhere. Sure a few things where answered and the war finally started, but it took its sweet time getting there.

I like American Gods and when the it is good it is great and it is especially well cast, Ian McShane, Pablo Schreiber, Emily Browning, Gillian Anderson and Crispin Glover have all been fantastic, and the rest of the cast are very good as well. And it is a great looking show. But sometimes it feels a lot more like style over substance and the pace is really slow.  I wonder how I would feel about the show if I hadn't already read the book.

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As a non-reader, I was enthralled the whole season. It makes sense story-wise to have the war only start at the end of season 1.

I don't really get the criticism of style over substance, and never understood it. Maybe because knowing that it's a book adaptation makes it clear that the show is going somewhere (and the premise alone of war between new and old gods helps the viewer keep  confidence in that).

About the finale, the only issue I have is how they make Odin's revelation a big epic twist. I mean, come on, they were calling him Woden in the first few episodes...

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1 hour ago, Pliskin said:

As a non-reader, I was enthralled the whole season. It makes sense story-wise to have the war only start at the end of season 1.

I don't really get the criticism of style over substance, and never understood it. Maybe because knowing that it's a book adaptation makes it clear that the show is going somewhere (and the premise alone of war between new and old gods helps the viewer keep  confidence in that).

About the finale, the only issue I have is how they make Odin's revelation a big epic twist. I mean, come on, they were calling him Woden in the first few episodes...

I think it's only a revelation to Shadow, who is pretty blinkered and dense this season. They've referenced Wednesday as Odin several times already and talk about it outside of the episode too. So I hint at bit was 'the big reveal' for Shadow rather than the audience..

Nice finale, and I like some of the book deviations too, especially Bilquis. I guess seeing her using Tindr to get her worship should have clued us in. Will be interesting to see where they go next season and whether her conclusion ends up being the same/similar as it is in the book. Tech Boy obviously sent her to, um, get some worship among the Old Gods (probably Shadow specifically) but I'm curious to see how much she would go through with.

Chenoweth was great as Easter, loved the little slip ups she kept having talking to Wednesday as she tried to keep her cool. Yet another solid choice casting-wise.

Confrontation between Laura and Wednesday wouldn't be an...interesting choice. Nice way to end the season.

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, GallowKnight said:

That was good and it feels like the finale was a good representation of the show so far. It is good but it also doesn't feel like it is in a hurry to get anywhere. Sure a few things where answered and the war finally started, but it took its sweet time getting there...

Agreed! One of the things I love about this show is that the plot is secondary to the stories about the gods. In a show with lesser characters, actors, or writers this plot meandering would be frustrating to me. Fortunately, there's nothing lesser at all about this series. Well, except for some of that green screen work at Easter's home in the finale. Yeesh.

17 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I think it's only a revelation to Shadow, who is pretty blinkered and dense this season. They've referenced Wednesday as Odin several times already and talk about it outside of the episode too. So I hint at bit was 'the big reveal' for Shadow rather than the audience..

Nice finale, and I like some of the book deviations too, especially Bilquis. I guess seeing her using Tindr to get her worship should have clued us in. Will be interesting to see where they go next season and whether her conclusion ends up being the same/similar as it is in the book. Tech Boy obviously sent her to, um, get some worship among the Old Gods (probably Shadow specifically) but I'm curious to see how much she would go through with.

Yeah, I also took that showy name reveal in the finale as mostly a reveal for Shadow. The whole "Odin ICBM" missile shpiel Media & Mr. World gave back in the police station should've been the real "reveal" for any non-book fan who didn't bother to google the origins of the name Wednesday after watching episode one.

I like the Bilquis scenes in the finale, too. Chenoweth as Easter was also perfect casting. I liked how the multiple Jesus' were elaborated on. Mr. Nancy narrating her story was a nice twist. Even more so, I liked how the mingling of paganism and christianity was elaborated on by Gillian Anderson crushing it yet again as Media. However, the real gold for me in this season is the expansion of Laura and her partnering up with Mad Sweeney. "Prayer for Mad Sweeney" is one of my Top 10 favorite episodes of TV this year and the S1 finale was a nice little epilogue to that episode.

Edited by PetyrPunkinhead

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That final was a encapsulation of the season as a whole for me. 

It combined some fun moments of excellence, some great interactions between characters, acted by high quality professionals. It had visual treats in it like no other series (except maybe Hannibal), real creativity and oddness in some scenes which felt very much on point in regards to the book. 

But it also featured over long scenes which dragged massively, a sense of a director too in love with his own visual style and unable to make cuts in order to tell a story. The plot feels like its taking its sweet time to get anywhere and doesn't have a whole lot going on most of the time. The prelude this episode clocked in at about 15-20 mins and yet you could easily have told that story in 5. I had to skip ahead a bit because I was bored.. there was only so much Matrix Zion style orgy I could take. 

I do now very much like the show, having all those Jesus' in the one room was genius (pretty sure thats not in the book?), and I can forgive its lack of plot because I remember the book as having the same problem. 

 

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I thought the Bliquis stuff at the beginning dragged on too long as well. I almost skipped ahead myself. The rest of the episode was good though, and last week's was amazing. I'm all in on this series. Looking forward to S2.

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well friends...i have not been a regular poster in the entertainment forum but have been lurking for yrs...and this show has drug me out of the shadows...but i needed to watch the whole season because i have limited will power against spoilers...

i agree with most of the 306 posts i just read...and i need to tell this story...i got the book as a secret santa gift from @Fragile Bird christmas 2015...i also got 15 dogs and the hedge knight trilogy...so i read those two first  during spring of 2016and when i started AG i did not get sucked in those first few pages so i put it down and got wrapped up in US election...earlier this yr i saw trailer for starz production and decided i should read it first..so i did, and man oh man did it get going after first few pages and never stopped for me...and neither did the show...

i am not one who follows directors or producers much so did not realize Hannibal and AG were done by same dude...now that i know i guess i do see it, but i dug show anyway...

i am sorry that i waited til now because some of these comments have made me ready to sit down tomorrow and rewatch series...and re-read book...i am sure then i will have enlightened comments like y'alls to share...

but gotta say the thread reads well...cheers to those i know on the board, those i know on facebook, and those i wish i knew better

 

On 5/5/2017 at 3:44 PM, Dolorous Gabe said:

Just watched Ep1. Really enjoyed it. Not keen on some of the over-stylised violence, as others alluded to it could have been more restrained or realistic (although I gasped in awe at the shot of Shadow strung up to hang in the heavy rain), but enjoyed the acting and dialogue massively, especially the marvellous McShane. As soon as Mr. Wednesday entered the story I was hooked. Then the Bilquis sequence  :eek:

I haven't read the book but I have a feeling watching this will put it on my list.

Gabe, my Brother, you need to read this...i wasn't too gung ho in the beginning but got on board when i knew it was coming and ...i liked it...i think you will too

On 6/5/2017 at 0:11 PM, The King in Black said:

It seems pretty heavily hinted at. Also with the timeline  of the book being altered for the show I wouldn't be surprised.

I have to say I find all of the shows deviations so far in Gaiman's spirit. So it does not seem so jarring, the changes they're making. Though it does make me wonder how certain things will be handled now

  Hide contents

(Shadow and Laura's talk in the woods, Sweeney's death)

 

Spoiler

i was hoping they would take sweeney further...and they did so props for that

On 6/12/2017 at 8:22 PM, The BlackBear said:

I liked them tying the Essie Tregowan/McGowan to Laura and Sweeney in the show. She's from Cornwall in the book and it's piskies not Leprechauns. Sweeney's expanded role is working for me.

Book Spoilers:

  Reveal hidden contents

I've just passed Sweeney's death, poor bugger he didn't get much to do in the book. It's remarkable to me how much of an adaptation this is, they really are reshaping (and expanding) it for screen in a big way.

They tied a coming to America vignette that was ultimately a sideshow, and made it about two of our main cast, a job well done.

i agree it was my favorite 'coming to america' bit

 

 

:smoking:

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, rocksniffer said:

 

Gabe, my Brother, you need to read this...i wasn't too gung ho in the beginning but got on board when i knew it was coming and ...i liked it...i think you will

 

It's definitely on my list, sniffer. I'll let you know when I get round to it. My list is growing faster than my reading!

I enjoyed the series. I don't mind slow moving plots as long as I can see it's going somewhere interesting. I felt like it got better after the first episode; the stylisation was less annoying, the characters were lots of fun, the dialogue was well written and the cast were mostly excellent.

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yeah i get it had slow to creep a few times...to stretch it out for multiple seasons, i assume. but like you, over all i liked it. cast was excellent...and some of the changes have added to the story not hurt it...nazi vulcan town was kinda overdone, as some have said, but it was reasonable to make that statement here in gun toting 'Merica...and i had no fuckin clue it was corbin bernsen...it was on of the things the book lacked, in my not so humble opinion, a solid cross over god who found a way not too far from his original way to survive, and who would be a turncloak in the struggle.

love me some wednesday, and mad fucking sweeney...

:smoking:

 

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Posted (edited)

My favorite departure from the books as the whole Laura/Mad Sweeney odd couple, Jamie and Brienne road trip thing.. TV Laura --IMO-- is a better character than book Laura... 

"I wan' me coin, dead wife."

 

Edited by Martini Sigil

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9 hours ago, Martini Sigil said:

My favorite departure from the books as the whole Laura/Mad Sweeney odd couple, Jamie and Brienne road trip thing.. TV Laura --IMO-- is a better character than book Laura... 

"I wan' me coin, dead wife."

 

Yeah, their scenes have been my favorite part of the series: Her toying with him by first beating the crap out of him for info ("Use your words") to her lying dead in the bathtub so he'd get arrested ("Oh you asshole") were hilarious. 

I think they've both gotten some great dialogue from the writers ("I'm going to ask you some questions and I'd like you to answer me honestly. However, if I feel like you're not being honest, I'm going to kick you in the nuts. And I want you to know that the last time I kicked a guy in the nuts, my foot didn't stop until it reached his throat.") but they also do seem to have great chemistry. 

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I started out loving this show and ended up not quite hating it, but did not love.  This is what Neil Gaiman does. He world builds, he comments, he's so fucking smart at reexamining culture and people and myths.  And like his comic Sandman, NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS. Its a meandering travelogue of interesting moments and oddball characters.

I should just accept this is his storytelling, weak to no plot, no escalation, just a picaresque meandering through ideas, worlds, characters.

There's a place for this in the art of television, but its not great storytelling. 

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I get that criticism of this show (for now), but nothing happens in Sandman? Sandman is bad storytelling? No.

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Finding it a real effort to even bother to finish the series. But then I didn't think the book was the great either.

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On 29/06/2017 at 3:29 AM, generalzod said:

I started out loving this show and ended up not quite hating it, but did not love.  This is what Neil Gaiman does. He world builds, he comments, he's so fucking smart at reexamining culture and people and myths.  And like his comic Sandman, NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS. Its a meandering travelogue of interesting moments and oddball characters.

I should just accept this is his storytelling, weak to no plot, no escalation, just a picaresque meandering through ideas, worlds, characters.

There's a place for this in the art of television, but its not great storytelling. 

You'd maybe be better checking out his short story collections we he never has time to outstay his ideas.

On 29/06/2017 at 5:37 AM, polishgenius said:

I get that criticism of this show (for now), but nothing happens in Sandman? Sandman is bad storytelling? No.

Sandman could go off on tangents but it always felt like part of a bigger story. Not so much with American Gods.

57 minutes ago, Isis said:

Finding it a real effort to even bother to finish the series. But then I didn't think the book was the great either.

And it hasn't even reached the hard stretch of the book yet. I've yet to see episodes 4+ although I've been told it flows better from that point. But I agree I haven't felt a great urge to return after episodes 2 and 3.

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There are bits that just D R A G  to the point where last night, watching eps, I went to the kitchen and made tea instead. 

The bits with Wednesday and Shadow are generally fine/watchable, I guess because it feels like the story is unfolding. 

I've always said I thought his novels were far weaker than his short stories. This just confirms that. 

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49 minutes ago, Isis said:

There are bits that just D R A G  to the point where last night, watching eps, I went to the kitchen and made tea instead. 

The bits with Wednesday and Shadow are generally fine/watchable, I guess because it feels like the story is unfolding. 

I've always said I thought his novels were far weaker than his short stories. This just confirms that. 

It's my issue with it too. It's like a sketch show where 30% of the sketches aren't that engaging. It's also why I think episodes would benefit from being a bit more cohesive. I can see why they are doing things the way they are - if trying to impress us with the scope of the show is their goal. I do need to watch episode 4 though as people have told me it's essentially one narrative and does tie a lot of the loose elements together. Thing is TV is so good these days, a show has to impress me pretty consistently because as soon as I start watching something else (usually in binge format) it's hard to come back to the ones I've put on hiatus.

I assume they must be coming up with extra material to keep the show ticking over for multiple seasons. It's so long since I've read the book I'm hazy on the details especially the middle of it which I just recall as being hard work and uneventful. It doesn't sound like a recipe for a good season of TV.

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I thought the explicit reveal of Odin's name, and the revelation of Easters power in response to his dedication, made sense as the climax to the season. If you look at the arc of the first (for Wednesday and Shadow) as "getting Shadow to believe in him" then at that point he's teteering on the brink of belief already after watching a storm and lightning summoned into clear sky and used as a weapon, he needed to be told who it was he believed in. And there are always people who haven't figured things out and it's better to clue them in at some point.

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