Preacher Review by John Keegan

Preacher 1.01: Pilot

Preacher 1.01: Pilot

Written By:
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Sam Catlin
Directed By:
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

By all accounts, Preacher is a tale involving angels, demons, God, and some rather explicit and violent events, and one would have to wonder how this source material could be adapted without major concessions.  And of course, with Seth Rogen being involved, one would have to wonder if it would be a complete atonal disaster.  Apparently the solution was to take the overall conceptual ideas of the source material and apply them with altered scope, characters, and a new starting point.  Purists are likely to gnash their teeth in disapproval.   

 


 

Part of the problem for the series is that it’s almost impossible to explain to anyone who might be interested in it.  What is it about?  Well, there’s a preacher named Jesse Cutler, who is trying to atone for a lifetime of sin by following in his father’s footsteps as the head of a very small church in a very small Texas town.  His ex Tulip shows up and underscores all Jesse’s faults, of which there are many.  Jesse is not having a fun time of it.

 

Also in the cast?  An Irish vampire named Cassidy that likes to drink a lot, a waitress named Emily, and a teenager with massive facial deformities that have earned him the moniker Arseface.  It’s not entirely clear at this point how these characters factor into the larger story, because while there’s a lot of fighting against something vaguely demonic, not a lot of time is spent on useful exposition.  Things happen, but why they happen is still unclear.



 

And even better, this episode was an extended premiere, so it felt like a prologue that went on for far too long.  I kept waiting for some measure of clarification as to the nature of the story and where things were likely to progress.  Not to mention, I was left wondering how a pilot episode that didn’t actually tell you much about the series it was meant to spawn was successful in getting said series put to order.  I suspect a lot of potential viewers are going to be turned away by the apparent lack of direction.

 

While Tulip and Cassidy are both introduced in ways that tell us what kind of “people” they are, the episode itself doesn’t tell us a whole lot about what kind of story they are in and why they are important.  Jesse is reserved to the extreme and constantly looks haunted by his past, which doesn’t exactly make him the most compelling lead.  That he’s given some special power that might help him find meaning (I think?) is a nice enough hook, but this feels like something designed for the already-initiated, at best.



 

What this series does have going for it, besides a solid cast behind these characters, is a quirky commentary on small-town religion and personalities.  How much of that factors into the story, as opposed to being “window dressing”, is still entirely unclear.  But for now, it may be the one thing that brings a casual viewer back for more.


Our Grade:
B-
The Good:
  • Quirky characters populate this remote Texas town
  • The producers have certainly pulled together a solid cast
The Bad:
  • The pilot doesn’t actually tell you much about what the series is going to be like
  • The lead character is reserved and haunted to a degree that may be off-putting

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Preacher by - 6/1/2016 9:09 AM143 views

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Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse
6/5/2016 9:23 PM

1 0

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I was one of those that was completely confused by what was going on in the pilot (knowing nothing about the source material), but I really enjoyed its kinetic energy. And those fight scenes coupled with Tulip's introduction were awesome! I'm sticking with it for now.
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