American Gods - 101 - The Bone Orchard (No Book Spoilers)

DaveyMacDaveyMac Tokyo
edited May 2017 in Other TV
Dir. David Slade
Writ. Bryan Fuller and Michael Green


  • I was intrigued by the pilot, I'm going in fresh (haven't read the book(s) so this will be a TV watch only for now. While it seemed a little slow to start, the ending is what did it for me. The premise, of old vs new seems like an interesting one. All of this on top of the visually striking cinematography that Fuller uses. Looking forward to the rest of the season.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited May 2017
    Thanks for starting a thread, @DaveyMac

    I thought the premiere was gloriously bonkers and gorgeous -- pretty much what I expect from Bryan Fuller. This is my first experience of Ricky Whittle, and I'm impressed. He has an intelligent but pleasant gravitas to him, and he is beautiful, so there's that. Ian McShane is fantastic. Perhaps that surprises no one, but I was worried that he might be too McShaney, you know? But I felt he was more Mr. Wednesday than McShane. (I haven't read the novel, but I have a barely passing knowledge of it.)

    I wasn't super crazy about the prologue. The narration over the action made the narration hard to follow, so I just ignored it, and the bright red of the blood reminded me of Spartacus, and not in a good way. But I read that Bryan wanted it that bright and excessive to show that they were having fun with that sequence, and it was supposed to be a bit silly. I did enjoy the severed arm flying into the letterbox frame. That was unexpected.

    Like @KingKobra ;, the final sequence did it for me. I was supremely uncomfortable with the beating scene, but when they introduced the noose (which had been foreshadowed earlier), I got really upset seeing a group of white-clad men stringing up a black man. I'm sure that was intentional, even though the henchmen had a fascist Clockwork Orange vibe to them. I also got a distinct "Mizumono" (the Hannibal S2 finale) vibe from the stylized rain drops and the blood, which made me extra emotional.

    Overall, I'm digging it. I love the idea of exploring immigrant stories, and the clash of old gods vs. new in a Bryan Fuller sandbox should be a lot of fun.
  • @pavlovsbell yes, the hanging scene def sparked an edge for me. It will be interesting to see how other people respond to it. I also agree on Spartacus (although for the most part I enjoyed that series, which was excessive to the nth degree.
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Fuller wants to include a prologue or fictional religious history moment at the beginning of each episode.

    The Vikings gore was very Spartacus.

    The hanging moment and brawl violence was very disturbing but it kinda went with the story so I'm willing to see how it plays out.

    The Bilquis moment was crazy!!

    Bring on the maniacal egotistical gods.
  • This is my first Bryan Fuller joint, so I had no idea what to expect in terms of the show. Being a big fan of the source material, I was simultaneously excited and nervous for this premiere. I came away satisfied for the most part, and am really looking forward to where they take it. I did feel like it was a bit disjointed, but all in all, I thought it was a great start. Ricky Whittle is great as Shadow and Ian McShane really knocked it out of the park. I couldn't help but grin every time he was on the screen. Mad Sweeney was also a great bit of casting (Nicky Sobtka from the Wire). 

    I wasn't too keen on the prologue at first, but it grew on me once I realized what they were doing. And the ridiculous amount of arrows reminded me of something you would see in some old goofy cartoon or something.

    I'm just so happy that they are really going out there stylistically with with and just being bonkers at times. 

    And I agree that that ending was so good, and also very uncomfortable. I, too thought immediately of both the KKK and A Clockwork Orange.  
  • @pavlovsbell I like to think his perpetual scowl is not from prison or his wife dying, but from having to deal with "Shadow Moon" as his name for 30 odd years.
  • jomihajomiha Springfield IL
    Just watched it. I have no idea what I just watched. May tune in next week, but so far I'm not feeling it.
  • jomihajomiha Springfield IL
    I wish Jim and A. Ron were doing a full podcast on this. I'd love to hear them dissect it and perhaps increase my understanding and enjoyment of the show.
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    No Ship Network and Podcastica are covering it.
  • Elisa said:

    No Ship Network and Podcastica are covering it.

    And those "shat on TV" dudes. Aka Bald Move Light.

    Nobody researches their topic the way Bald Move does.
    I'm just astounded at all the prior season stuff they have on immediate recall for Leftovers, BCS and Fargo. I can barely remember what happened last week!!

  • Really enjoyed the episode.  I love the idea of gods coming into existence when enough people worship them.  Technical Boy was awesome.  And then people stop worshiping the gods, and they go away, but not really.  And as an immigrant country, people from all over the world have brought their god to America.  Absolutely brilliant, orginal idea by Gaiman.  
  • Great episode. 

    It was definitely disjointed, and I worry that it might turn off viewers who haven't read the book. Hopefully they will crystallize where the story is heading in the next episode or two.

    Either way, I'm super pumped for this series. I'm a little confused about the amount of gore. It's not a turn off, but it's strange. It's even worse than Spartacus. Maybe it's a Starz thing, who knows.

    McShane is killin it though, and I can't wait to see where the series heads next after this prologue episode.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    @darwinfeeshy  From what I've read (the first four episodes were provided to critics), the first three episodes are disjointed, then the fourth episode snaps things into place. Viewers will have to be patient and just go with it, but I understand that it's not for everyone.

    The gore is a Bryan Fuller thing. He's a massive horror buff, but his thing is make violence and gore hyperstylized and beautiful. Not to glamorize it -- he's more interested in the horror and consequences of psychological violence. I loved Spartacus, but it took me a while to get used to that style, and I wasn't expecting that bright cherry-red blood here because the blood on Hannibal was so far it was almost black.

    Technical Boy had a great entrance. So did Bilquis, although that scene had been the talk of the internet for months, so I wasn't particularly shocked. Yetide Badaki was great, though.

    Thanks for the podcast recommendations. I listened to some of The Dominant Paradigm podcast today -- so far it's pretty good.
  • The more hanging scenes I see on tv the more disturbed I get by them. It's annoying
  • wasiwasi Melbourne, AU
    edited May 2017
    .I'd love a weekly podcast on this - but only if Jim & A-Ron haven't read the book. The shatontv podcast is good, but 2 of the 3 have read the book and it takes away a bit of the magic
  • I just had a chance to re-watch the first episode again as my wife hadn't seen it yet and it really holds up to a second viewing. I liked it even better the second time around. It's crazy how much they were able to cram in.

    All the gods so far have had very memorable entrances. I can't wait to see what they do with some of the others that have been marketed on all the online posters. 
  • This slate article has me very interested, glad to see a Bald Mover started a thread. Article: ;
  • I saw a still photo of McShane and his right eye is brighter/milky looking.  He also makes the comment, "one good eye, anyway."  Is that part of his character in the books?
  • elgat0elgat0 Clearwater
    GredalBee said:

    I saw a still photo of McShane and his right eye is brighter/milky looking.  He also makes the comment, "one good eye, anyway."  Is that part of his character in the books?

  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited May 2017

  • aberry89aberry89 California
    edited May 2017
    Going in knowing NOTHING about this series, spent pretty much the entire episode like...image

    And not in a good way. I am a HUGE Bryan Fuller fan, but this looks and feels a bit subpar for him. Did this look like to anyone else that is was made in the mid 2000's? I mean, Bryan, man, I've seen Hannibal - I can see the aesthetics you can bring to a show. 

    From someone who went in blind this was a confusing mess - weird charachter introductions, jumbled storytelling, varying degrees of acting...yeah, just a whole lot of WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK AM I WATCHING???. They really need to establish the rules of this world soon because right now all this shit is just flaling in the wind I have no idea how to make sense of it. I will continue watching, half out of morbid fasination, half because i love mythology...I may not have read American Gods, but i am glad I am reading Norse Mthology by Neil Gaiman thoughj ;)
  • BourbonQueenBourbonQueen Dallas, TX
    @aberry89  We were doing the exact same thing.  WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON HERE???
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited May 2017
    lol they cast poor Freddy Rumsen as Bilquis' victim. At least he seemed happy getting sucked up inside of her.

    As a Fuller can and a fan of the books, I was pretty satisfied with the pilot. Looking forward to the season.
  • edited May 2017
    In the best of the week podcast, A. Ron criticized the Shadow Moon actor for being bland and "Jon Snowy".

    This is totally valid criticism, but I just want to let people know that that's exactly how Shadow's written in the book. He's just one big stoic muscly mountain of melancholy.
  • In the best of the week podcast, A. Ron criticized the Shadow Moon actor for being bland and "Jon Snowy".

    This is totally valid criticism, but I just want to let people know that that's exactly how Shadow's written in the book. He's just one big stoic muscly mountain of melancholy.
    He might actually be more boring in the book. It's a valid argument to maybe tweak the character a bit more for tv, but given the material I think the actor is actually doing fine. With all the other characters being batshit crazy (can't wait to meet Czernobog!) it's kindof nice to have a straight man to ground things.

  • I get that a lot of people find the character bland and uninteresting but for whatever reason I've always enjoyed Shadow. Part of it is that I always got the impression that there's a lot more going underneath. Wednesday even makes a comment to that effect in this episode. I think you could also make some narrative arguments for the way he is written being very purposeful. Of course I won't say any more here as I don't want to spoil anything from the book.
  • From my recollection you don't even necessarily know why Shadown wants to do the things he ends up doing in the book.
  • JohnnieDarkJohnnieDark South Florida
    FYI episode 2 dropped on StarzPlay

  • Is this worth watching past Episode 1? I like Ian McShane, but the rest seems like some limbo between Preacher and Banshee. I know it’s based on a book, but I’m not sure there’s enough in this pilot to hook me. Does it get better, or is this it?
  • I thought the first season was really good.  Preacher is a good comparison, although this show is less comedic.  I think there's enough mythology being played with, characters being introduced, and weird, trippy shit happening to hold someone's interest.  Just watch it if you like Ian McShane!  What else is he been in lately?
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