Monday, March 15, 2021

American Gods

      The TV series is based on a Neil Gaiman book of the same title, and it's not exactly family fare.  Gaiman's work doesn't pass anyone's political "purity test," either.  --But thus forewarned, it's excellent stuff.  He's a good writer and delights in using (and sometimes subverting) archetypes, so a tale that pits American incarnations of the pagan gods and goddesses of the past against a pantheon uniquely home-grown ones is exactly his sort of thing.

      The casting is pitch-perfect, the effects are first-rate, and the frequent use of historical vignettes to open each episode is a nice touch.  The soundtrack is stunning as well, generally unexpectedly-right choices for setting and tone.

      The story follows an orphaned ex-con, who gets hired by a con artist with a glass eye who turns out to be none other than Odin.  Plot complications soon follow, unfolding as we -- and the lead character -- learn more and more about what's going on.

      The production has not been without conflict and controversy, and here's a little inside tip: when a book or shorter tale gets turned into a film or TV series, the author's generally on the outside, waving a nice check and looking in.  Sometimes he or she joins the "writer's room" (and gets a bit more money!) but in visual media, the writer doesn't have the last word about plot, casting, or anything else.

      It's good entertainment.  Or at least we've found it to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having lived in Chicagoland and being familiar with the town/areas featured I found myself revisiting those places in my mind as I watched the series. I wondered who was/what really peering out from the window as the sun set or of the character I passed in old town who smelled oddly of incense who locked eyes momentarily. Excessive at times but entertaining nonetheless. Cheers, vekim.