It has been almost a week since the end of the first season of Preacher. I have been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what to think. Of course, when one reads the comic Preacher, one feels the same way. The issue, for comic nerds is that it is not quite the same as the comic. The issue for normals is that this show is nothing like anything else in the history of ever. Vampires, angels, Arseface, a rogue demon/angel baby, a weaselly little bald freak show of a man, an assassin who likes fast cars and an alcoholic, chain-smoking, ass-kicking preacher. Sure, let’s put that on TV.
The cast is the greatest thing about this show.
Ruth Negga as Tulip is a brilliant choice. She looks nothing like Tulip from the comics, but she owns this character. Many folks saw Negga in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD where her turn as Raina was good, but not great. That show went off the rails and Negga’s character went right along with it. In this series, Negga picks things up and does something spectacular just when the episode starts to drag. I would not want to face her version of Tulip O’Hare in a dark alley or in the bright sunlight.
Speaking of sunlight, Cassidy’s sunglasses are filled by British actor Joseph Gilgun. To me, his version of Cassidy is the most true to the comic version. While we have not seen his origin story (we do not see that for a while in the comic either), we get the idea that he is loyal to a fault while being full of faults. He is the funniest part of the entire show. When he walks into frame, you never know what to expect and that makes for great television.
British actor and human chameleon, Dominic Cooper, slips on Jesse Custer’s boots and metal tipped collars. I feel that if Ennis and Dillion willed Custer to life, he would look like Dominic Cooper. He walks around comfortably in this role. If you did not know he was a Brit, you would think he was born and raised in west Texas. His accent, his demeanor and his fighting style are all spot on.
The supporting cast is excellent as well. Some of the best work is done by actors who are not technically part of the cast, but “guest stars” like Jackie Earle Haley’s role as the Meat Man, Odin Quincannon. Yes, this is a point of contention for nerds. Quincannon does not show up in Annville, he is in Salvation. What is going on? The world is falling down.
This is the only real negative about the show: The story is “made up.” Sure, this does not follow the story of the comic exactly, but producers and creators of the show are looking at the long game. They want this series to last. How do you do that? Build a back story. There is no such thing as a perfect adaptation. People will be mad that Jesse’s dad is totally different than he is in the comic or that Tulip has a different skin tone, or that Sheriff Root has a soul. Television is just different. That is the way it is. Different does not always mean bad. In this case, different is different.
The camera work and cinematography alone should make everyone tune in. If that does not work, how does excellent writing, acting, directing and storytelling grab you? Seriously, if you have not watched this yet, AMC is streaming it all summer. Do not be the person who missed out because you though “the comic is better.” Of course, the comic is better. The book is always better. Right. That is true. That does not mean this is not good. It is really, really good.