Time of the Preacher.
With Game of Thrones setting up their final shot, and caustic shows like Breaking Bad falling into classic cult status, we’re left with few originals to sift through and stockpile on our DVRs.
Better Call Saul has been a nice call-back to the world of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, and Walking Dead may be peaking with Negan (but should well outlast Fear the Walking Dead if the characters on the left coast don’t become more interesting than the zombies chasing them). But nothing new has had the far-reaching impact of a comic book coming to cable TV that Preacher has brought in its first season.
The ten-episode first season wrapped up with a season finale that left you stunned and with an overwhelming feeling of “I just watched that” that we haven’t seen on the big or small screen since perhaps the first season of Game of Thrones.
For those not familiar with the book, it starts off with Jesse Custer, a small-church Texas Preacher with a complicated past, Cassidy the Irish Vampire, and Tulip the girlfriend/hit-person, driving across the dirtiest parts of Texas desert-dust culture in search of God, who seems to have gone missing. For the television version, Seth Rogan (director and developer with Sam Catlin and Evan Goldberg) explains that the story needed more of lead-in for the audience it was going to catch, and it goes back to Annville, Texas to start that story. For the comic fans, we got a Preacher prelude with a perfect cast that included the main three lost souls along with Arseface, the two angels, Fiore and DeBlanc, and the laugh-a-minute Saint of Killers.
The writing on this comes together like Breaking Bad while the show itself proselytizes all of Garth Ennis’ original concepts of religion gone amok, the sometimes very real need for senseless violence, and Odin Quincannon’s (Watchmen’s Rorschach, Jackie Earle Haley) love of meat.
Yes, when rural Texas meets old Southern religion meets violent dark comedy, you get a cast of characters that can’t agree on the merits of the Big Lebowski, aka, Preacher. They took their time in getting this to the screen but the payoff we’re gonna get in the years to come will make this well worth the wait. Really good for the first nine episodes, then it gets better. The book then picks up where the first season ends. Check it out on AMC on demand, or start watching the stockpile left in your DVR.
–Brendan (not from Texas)