Something has arrived on Earth. An uncontrollable force has been unleashed and landed in the small sleepy Texas town of Annville in the body of local preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper). Custer has a new gift. People do what he says…literally. As Jesse tries to control this new powers, agents known as DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke) are trying to get the power back. An Irish vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) and Jesse’s former criminal girlfriend Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) both want Jesse to move on…but Jesse is out to save Annville from itself and now he has the power!
Preacher—Season 1 ran on AMC from May 22, 2016 to July 31, 2016. The series adapts the DC/Vertigo series which ran from 1995 to 2000. It was relatively well received by critics.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Preacher comic by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. It was original, some ideas were lifted from The Sandman, but for the most part it was original, but it was also rather childish. It felt like a good idea executed poorly with irritating characters. The TV series carries over some of the same ideas of the comics which some alterations, updates, and changes. Due to the content of the review some ******spoiler alerts****** are in effect.
The whole first season is essentially the first issue of the comic book. With seventy-five issues of comics to adapt, this series could have a long run. In addition to just adapting the first issue (with some expansion), the series gave off an entirely different vibe. The first half of the series felt like an episode of Twin Peaks with a town full of secrets and deviants doing things behind closed doors…this gets tossed to the side the second half of the season and the series gets really odd.
The second half of the season involves more of the Adephi, Arseface, Genesis, and the Saint of Killer and kind of stalls. It also has the characters acting extremely out of character for no explanation. You get the Emily character sacrificing the mayor for a guy that she doesn’t even like, a trip to Hell with as a death sentence for DeBlanc with not enough reaction for his lover Fiore (despite the reason they were going to Hell to avoid being separated), and Tulip turning angry to nice way too easily. The characters just don’t seem to jive with their characters earlier in the season.
The series does a good job adapting the look of the comic. It is dirty and dry and barren in the look, and the characters look like the characters that they are adapting. They changed Tulip’s ethnicity for the series, but it is a nice diversity and it also serves to make her more of an outsider in an isolated Texas town…something that makes her character and her actions make more sense.
Preacher is a tough show to nail down. It feels like this season was a preamble for the real series. The series (intentionally) is more of a comedy than many would suspect but the humor is not standard humor for many (like Odin holding the guts of a cow and his daughter comparing them). The series is allowed to go farther on AMC but I don’t know if it would be able to go as far as it should. With limited language and visuals, the series could have some struggles down the line…it will be interesting to see where it goes.
Preacher—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:
1.1 Pilot Airdate: 05/22/16
Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) has returned to his hometown in Texas to become his church’s preacher. Leaving his old life behind is harder than Jesse expected, and the arrival of his old girlfriend Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) and rumors about his sordid past haunt the local preacher. Unfortunately for Jesse and the town, something has come to Earth. An entity is attempting to possess holy men all over the globe and is searching for a host. The arrival of strange hunters and a vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) might be the least of Jesse’s problems when the entity finds Jesse.
1.2 See Airdate: 06/05/16
The Quincannon Meat & Power Plant work to expand their control. Tulip continues to pressure Jesse to return to his old life of crime. DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke) hunt Jesse but find that crossing Cassidy might be a mistake. Jesse discovers his new ability while dealing with a pedophile congregational member and wonders if he can use it for good. Meanwhile, a strange cowboy (Graham McTavish) searches for medicine for his daughter in 1881.
1.3 The Possibilities Airdate: 06/12/16
Jesse begins to explore his new powers and searches for a reason. Tulip discovers the location of the man who ruined her relationship with Jesse and tries to convince Jesse to join her in retribution. Jesse’s actions with Donnie Schenck (Derek Wilson) leads Donnie to seek revenge. Cassidy finds DeBlanc and Fiore alive and learns why they have come to town.
1.4 Monster Swamp Airdate: 06/19/16
The death of a girl in his waste system puts pressure on Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) of Quincannon Meat & Power Plant and makes him a target for Jesse’s quest for redemption. Cassidy agrees to work with DeBlanc and Fiore who try to hide their actions from Heaven. When Tulip lets her anger get the best of her, she learns Cassidy’s secret.
1.5 South Will Rise Again Airdate: 06/26/16
The man in 1881 finds having a moral compass could cost his family their lives. Jesse adjusts more and more to his power and finds that it is attracting new attention to the church. Tulip and Cassidy form a new partnership as Tulip continues to try to extract Jesse from the church. Jesse’s attempts to mend the rift in the life of Sheriff Hugo Root (W. Earl Brown) by forcing his son Eugene “Arseface” Root (Ian Colletti) and the mother of his victim to mend their differences. Jesse’s interference with Odin leads Mayor Miles Person (Ricky Mabe) to set up a meeting with a special interest group…but serving God might have a different meaning for Odin. DeBlanc and Fiore have a sit-down with Jesse.
1.6 Sundowner Airdate: 07/03/16
Jesse learns the thing inhabiting him is called Genesis and finds himself the target of a Seraphim assassin (Juliana Potter) who wants Genesis destroyed. Eugene finds new popularity with Jesse’s involvement but realizes that the price of forgiveness might be too much. Tulip and Emily Woodrow (Lucy Griffiths) form a strange bond over their interest in Jesse. Mayor Person must cover-up Odin’s actions with the special interest group. Jesse prepares for his biggest sermon ever as he intends to save the town…unless Eugene interferes.
1.7 He Gone Airdate: 07/10/16
Jesse deals with the ramifications of sending Eugene to Hell and learns that Cassidy isn’t a fan of his actions. Tulip and Jesse’s past is recalled and Jesse remembers the death of his father (Nathan Darrow). Despite the Sunday confession, Jesse learns that Odin intends to challenge him on offering up his church.
1.8 El Valero Airdate: 07/17/16
Jesse is at a standoff with Odin’s men as he makes a desperate attempt to resurrect Eugene. Tulip finds due to Jesse’s actions that she has her own mission. The attempts to recapture Genesis could be in jeopardy, and Jesse learns Odin’s motivation for the destruction of the church. With time running out, Jesse has a plan that could be explosive!
1.9 Finish the Song Airdate: 07/24/16
Emily must help fix up Cassidy and makes a big decision about her own personal life. Odin prepares to take control of the church and awaits to make Jesse suffer by renouncing God. Jesse finds himself on the run and tries to mend his differences with Cassidy. With no other options, DeBlanc and Fiore make an unplanned trip to Hell…and the object of their quest is the Saint of Killers.
1.10 Call and Respond Airdate: 07/31/16
Jesse is going to summon God but first he has to make it to Sunday. With unlikely help from Donny and his wife Betsy (Jamie Anne Allman), Jesse is planning for the biggest church callout in years. God might answer the call…but will he be forced to answer the questions that Jesse and his followers pose to him?