American Gods is a show unlike anything I’ve seen before. It questions the concept of traditional religion and beliefs and brings mythical legends to life. In season one of this new series on STARZ, ex-con Shadow Moon, (Ricky Whittle) is set to be released from prison after serving time for assault after a would be heist of a casino takes a turn for the worst. Moon feels like “the weather is constipated with a storm” and things aren’t exactly what they seem. Moon receives news a day before his release that his wife, Laura, (Emily Browning) has been killed in a car wreck with his best friend, Robbie (Dane Cook), who she was having an affair with. Moon is over come with grief and is uncertain of his future. As he makes his way home to the funeral of his wife, a mysterious character known as Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) introduces himself to Moon and offers him a job. Reluctantly, Moon accepts and soon realizes that this isn’t just an ordinary job.
A mysterious, flamboyant character that has futuristic technology and a gang of faceless men to do his biding takes Moon in for interrogation. He wants the scoop on Mr. Wednesday and what he is up too, but Moon doesn’t have the answers. Moon is later beaten and hanged by the faceless men, only to be rescued by a mysterious, powerful being. After a series of meeting with strange people, Moon begins questioning who Mr. Wednesday truly is. Moon is put in sketchy situations for Mr. Wednesday such as scamming people for money in Chicago, playing a man in checkers for his life, and recruiting men for the inevitable war that is coming. All these events seem microscopic once Moon and Mr. Wednesday decide to lay low in a run down motel and Moon opens his room to find Laura, his recently deceased wife, sitting on the bed as if nothing ever happened.
This revelation that Laura somehow is alive makes Moon questions everything that he’s ever believed in. Mr. Wednesday manipulates Moon in doing his work and continues to prove that there is more than meets the eye with his character. The war that Mr. Wednesday is recruiting for isn’t a war of the people, but a war of the gods. Mr. Wednesday believes that gods only exists because people believe in them, like in the old times where sacrifices in the name of the gods empowers them and makes them stronger. These “new” gods believe that the technology they have makes them powerful and provides the ultimate platform to influence people in today’s age. This war is ultimately going to determine the fate of the people and decides whom with rule: the old gods, or the new.
American Gods is quite fascinating. The show is combined with ancient myths and legends along with modern beliefs to make for an interesting narrative. The show centers on the idea of religion and the part it plays in society. It is dark in parts, from the sacrificing of people to please the gods, to the devouring of people in sex acts, (yes, you read that correct, the Queen of Sheba has some interesting powers.) But it also has certain positive aspects too, such as the lady of Easter, who has the power to change the landscape and provide light to the world. As a whole, American Gods is quite entertaining with some very complex characters.
Mr. Wednesday is by far the most mysterious character that seems to have the most too lose if the new gods are able to seize control. Throughout his recruitment, you realize that his motives for the recruitment of people with, “unnatural” abilities, and his manipulation of Moon may not be for the good of the people. Those in power typically don’t want to give up their power, and I believe that Mr. Wednesday knows that if he doesn’t recruit these people with these abilities then he will be doomed and the new gods will take control. It comes to no shock that American Gods was picked up by STARZ for an additional season and will continue the story of Shadow Moon and his adventures with Mr. Wednesday.
I viewed American Gods season one on Blu-Ray. It was exceptional quality, which made for an easy watch. It was great watching this show on Blu-Ray, especially during some of the animated scenes. In the show, various parts of the story telling are animated and a little trippy at times. The buffalo with the flaming eyes and the children from the dawn of time are the main scenes I’m talking about. The quality that Blu-Ray provides allowed for these details to stand out and made these scenes that much better.