It’s kind of ironic that the only show that I’ve bothered to stay caught up with during finals week and moving back home is the one show I haven’t said a word about on here.
American Gods. One of my favorite books by my favorite author, turned into a phenomenal show by one of my favorite showrunners. I really couldn’t have asked for a better team to adapt this wonderful novel than Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Logan, Alien: Covenant), and of course Neil Gaiman himself (the author of the novel). These guys have done an incredible job adapting page to screen, as well as modernizing things (Technical Boy), and expanding on roles (Laura Moon, Salim, the Jinn/Ifrit).
I was, of course, wary of AG being adapted in any way, shape, or form, but Bryan and Michael (not to be confused with Bryan and Michael of Avatar: The Last Airbender haha) have done it good. I’ve joked to my family and friends that this show is “the only thing I care about anymore” and I really feel like it’s barely an exaggeration. Never have I seen a show so respectfully diverse, a show that uses sex in a positive and characterizing manner rather than for shock value or as an excuse to sexualize female cast members/characters (I’m looking at you Game of Thrones), or a show that is about so many things at once: fantasy, sci-fi, road trips, Americana, romance, immigration, life/death, political commentary.
I’ve made my friends watch the first three episodes before our semester ended and we all went home, and I think they’re all at least somewhat intrigued, none of them having ever read the book before. (I even changed my icon on tumblr to my favorite character, and the title of my blog to my favorite line from the book!) I’ve told just about everyone I know and love to watch the show, so I’d say I’m sufficiently obsessed. I’m, of course, even rereading the book, which I’m now almost done with.
I remember after I first read the book, I went around telling just about everyone I knew and loved then that they should all read it. They would ask me why, and back then little 9th grade me couldn’t put into words why I loved it so much (I chalked it up to my obsession with mythologies, but in reality it really was so much more). Now I know why I love it so much; AG is a story about so much more than it seems. Though it has plenty mature themes, it ultimately boils down to a man finding that he’s more than he thinks he is, that there’s a bigger picture, that things don’t have to be seen to be believed, that sometimes useless detours in life aren’t so useless after all. AG is a book I read when I was young (I mean, I guess I still am) and it truly shaped me into the young woman I am today.
So… thanks Neil, for all of That. And thank you Bryan Fuller and Michael Green for bringing it back up again, this time with an all too fresh relevance.