American Gods

Starz, Sundays at 9 PM

Apr 28, 2017 Web Exclusive
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It's the Old Gods versus New Gods in Starz's latest series. Adapted from Neil Gaiman's 2001 fantasy novel (and also recently introduced in comic book format by Dark Horse Comics), American Gods is a surefire hit-mysterious, bloody, and completely engrossing. Ricky Whittle stars as Shadow Moon, an ex-con released from prison on the day his wife dies. After a chance encounter on a plane, and with few other prospects, he begins working for the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday (devilishly played by Ian McShane). What Wednesday is after is anyone's guess, but two things are very clear: there's something exceedingly mystical about Wednesday and the world in which he operates, and Shadow better be prepared to do anything and everything that's asked of him, even if it could cost him his life.

Creators Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) and Michael Green (Logan screenwriter) realize Gaiman's unique vision in a way that only they might have been capable of. Rife with intrigue, violence, and occasionally graphic (deity) sex, the mythological material is not easily adapted to the small screen. Yet, Fuller and Green deliver an instant hit, a series immediately absorbing and unforgettable. Fuller's Hannibal aesthetic lends itself perfectly to American Gods-from well-curated slow motion shots, to pointed jabs in fight scenes, to slow waterfalls of thick red blood and other dream-like imagery, he captures the paranormal realities of the gods' realms brilliantly. Much praise is also owed to the stellar cast. Joining McShane and Whittle, such stars as Cloris Leachman, Peter Stormare, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, and others contribute their immeasurable talents. They play their roles expertly, carrying the show's allure and mystery while humanizing their otherworldly characters.

On crowded Sunday nights-which have emerged as one of the week's top for paid-cable subscribers-American Gods might just prove one of the best new shows on television. (www.starz.com/series/americangods)

Author rating: 8/10

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