After just two episodes of Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel, Starz has summoned American Gods Season 2.
The pilot had a hell of a lot to do – depicting how Mr Wednesday made it to The New World, telling Shadow Moon’s tragic tale, him winning Leprechaun’s loyalty and introducing the first of the New Gods – Technology Boy and it did it with aplomb.
The second episode could not better its opening scene – African Trickster God Anansi duping a boat-load of 17th Century slaves to cut the throats of their Dutch captors and sacrificing themselves by setting fire to their ship. With Mr Nancy’s time-traveling depiction of the black experience in America over the next four-hundred years, it’s clear that this adaptation is going to encapsulate the modern horror of the American black experience.
S01E02, which introduced Media as Lucille Ball (Gillian Anderson) and ancient Slavic god Czernobog (who you’ll recognize from Disney’s Fantasia but here played by Peter Stormare) had less emotional impact, less mind-blowing visuals and more labored, on-the-nose dialogue and ideas than the pilot but, like all the best shows, I think its just taking time to find its feet.
There’s no word on how many episodes American Gods Season 2 will consist of, but it seems season one’s eight hour-longs will tell roughly the first third of Gaiman’s novel, so couchpotato.buzz is hoping for three, eight-episode seasons spanning twenty four episodes in total.
These delectable two hours of television have proved without a shadow of a doubt that this study of America – a country more deep in the midst of identity crisis than when the novel was written at the turn of the century – has more up its sleeve than a coin-tossing Leprechaun and will pull less punches than Shadow Moon.
My only reservation is Gaiman’s terrible character names – While Media works brilliantly well for the modern god of… media, Technology Boy and Mr Wednesday and Mr Nancy for Wodin and Anansi are too Dickensian-ly on-the-nose for my liking; the kinda idea I’d have been proud to have thought up as a pre-pubescent writer.
Then scrapped when I came to my senses in the cold light of morning.
We expect American Gods Season 2 to drop in Summer, 2018