When AMC announced it was going to make Preacher into a TV show, I had a normal comic book fan reaction: excitement followed by dread that it would either suck or be completely different than what I remembered reading. But with a solid cast, AMC’s track record and Seth Rogen as a creative influence, I thought Preacher had a great chance to be at least a solid show. I was not disappointed.
Rogen’s influence is felt immediately, when the show opens on awful/awesome retro shot of something shooting through space. It – whatever it is – crash lands inside a preacher in Africa, who claims to be the Chosen One before exploding all over his congregation. It’s a very strange sequence, especially for kicking off a hyped-up show. It’s clear AMC is willing to get weird, which is a necessity for Preacher to be good.
If that scene description confuses you, you’re probably right in line with the majority of people who have never read the comic. At the risk of being one of those “the book is better” people, Preacher is going to be a very confusing show to non-readers and intriguing to those familiar with the comics.
There were at least a dozen things that made no sense at all to the uninitiated, including a vampire (spoiler?) jumping out a plane after killing a bunch of people, a chick using a homemade rocket to take down a helicopter and the aforementioned thing flying through space. Rogen and the other creative heads have a very tight rope to walk by making sure they stay true enough to the comics while not alienating millions of viewers who don’t care about that.
The pilot, which aired after a devastating Game of Thrones episode, was a good introduction to what viewers should expect from Preacher. I was particularly impressed by the camera work and editing, which gave the show a fast-paced feel. There are a lot of moving parts, so it’s nice to know the show is able and willing to skillfully juggle an above-average amount of plot lines.
Overall it was a good debut for a show that comic fans have been looking forward to for a long time. I don’t think it will ever reach the lofty heights of AMC’s most popular shows, but I’ll definitely keep tuning in.