Written by Ryan DeMarco
I know a good amount of readers who were excited hearing of the newly adapted series Preacher coming to AMC. I was given plenty of time to prepare for the series premier and study up on the source material, which is the popular comic series of the same name, written by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. However, I went against my urges and held off. I went into the pilot episode blind, and came out excited.
Directed impressively by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the duo that brought us This Is the End, we are introduced to this chaotic dark fantasy world with a hefty mix of drama, horror, ultra-violent gore and the layer of black comedy that successfully establishes what this series is all about. While the pilot deals greatly with establishing its characters and tone, the first half of the episode felt a little more bogged down with finding a rhythm, especially during establishing scenes, but quickly gets rolling during the second half after the story is more set.
Much of the appeal for this story is figuring out all of the moving pieces, so I will not reveal too much. Truth be told, I’d recommend going in blind as I did. In a small Texan town lives a preacher named Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper). Taking after his father’s work, he is conflicted as well as haunted from his mysterious past. We’re quickly introduced to a couple new characters such as Harriet O’Hare, or Tulip (Ruth Negga), who appears to be Jesse’s old flame. She comes to Jesse with a job, to which he quickly denies, however she’s not convinced. Then there’s Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), who is just an ultra violent Irishman with a rather interesting supernatural talent. All three characters begin to come together during a mysterious worldwide phenomenal.
One thing is for certain, all three characters are perfectly casted. Especially Cooper and Negga. Cooper, who most will recognize as Howard Stark in the Marvel films and television show, plays a perfect balance of charismatic and nuanced as he constantly deals with his demons while always trying to do the right thing. Cooper successfully brings the right amount of vulnerability to Jesse Custer. He will have no trouble carrying the series. Negga brings an amazing amount of energy as well as charm to her role of Tulip, who also has the best character introduction scenes in recent memory that involves a bazooka made of cans (bazookan?) and an ear of corn.
Overall, Preacher debuts as a series that offers a unique world of sin, redemption, as well as just out of this world craziness. If the opening scene comes off as just silly than Preacher is not for you, otherwise you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into. Rogen and Goldberg do an outstanding job successfully introducing all of the pieces to the story, with some slight flaws, but nothing that diminishes the overall product.