American Gods: A Review, in Parts

I recently read American Gods for the third time, and you can read my review of the book here. I’ve also just signed up for Starz so that I can watch the TV adaption of the book, and rather than wait to review the show all at once at the end, I’m going to review it here, episode by episode. Since I’ll be doing all the episodes, these reviews will be short, rather than substantial.

Episode 1: The Bone Orchard Okay, first the Not Likes: the blood was dumb and the floating arm with a sword killing someone was laugh-out-loud ridiculous. Shadow, though, is perfect and Ricky Whittle is absolutely gorgeous. So far, the show is capturing the spirit of the book, and I like the characters and their relationships. Other notables from the show: Yetide Badaki as Bilquis is perfect casting. I think she’s the only one who could’ve made THAT scene hot. I didn’t recognize Pablo Schreiber from OITNB, which is probably good since I didn’t like his character. The Internet god was pretty good, but I’m not sure the first episode really explained who/what was going on in that scene.

Episode 2: The Secret of Spoons  Neverwhere is my favorite NG book, and Anansi Boys is a good contender for second place. You can imagine my excitement when Anansi appeared on the screen, though that scene was absolutely haunting. Other than that, this episode was somewhat of a sleeper, though a necessary one. I sometimes forget that folks watching the show who haven’t read the book don’t know all the background, so episodes like this one help provide some much-needed exposition.

Episode 3: Head Full of Snow Um, if episode 2 was a bit expository, this one was pretty much all exclamatory. From the sex scene to Shadow finding his groove with Czernobog, it was just all around exciting. I read that Neil Gaiman says this first season only gets the story to the House on the Rock, and I’m so glad that they’re not rushing the narrative to fit it into ten episodes so that we can see all of these beautiful scenes and really understand how these characters relate to each other.  Fave episode so far.

Episode 4: Git Gone When I re-read AG recently, I noticed more that we didn’t really understand Laura and Shadow’s relationship, and that Laura functioned almost as a deux ex machina in the (dead, rotting) flesh than an actual character. Because of that, I’m glad that the TV show gave her character an entire episode and, um, fleshed out her motivations a bit more. I also appreciated the dark comedy of this episode, and it’s the only one so far in which the spraying blood wasn’t annoying to me so far.