There is definitely something missing on TV since True Blood went off the air last year: an adult supernatural drama that is both sexy and fun. And over the top crazy. Also twisted as hell. While on the quest of their next big hit after Breaking Bad and Mad Men ended, with only The Walking Dead (and soon its spin-off) still standing, AMC might have stumbled across it. Preacher is full of potential, not as depraved as the HBO show was -at least for now- but whacky and offbeat nonetheless. I bet it’s gonna get a huge fanbase pretty soon if ordered to series and it seems like the comics it’s based on (from DC) makes it already a project of great interest for many people all around the world. The franchise is highly popular since it debuted on 1996. I’m not sure why AMC didn’t pull a direct-to-series order, like they did with kung-fu drama Into the Badlands, starting next november, a riskier project in my opinion. Maybe because they wanted to make sure it was true to the comics. Or maybe because, like HBO which developed its own adaptation a few years ago or the movie projects that came even before that, they’re a little bit afraid of its controversial content about religion. AMC, be brave and just go for it! You may be rewarded with huge ratings and lots of passionate social media discussions. Isn’t it the whole point nowadays?
Even though Preacher is very dark and graphic -the first scene ends with splashing blood and guts all over the place- what may be different with this adaptation from the previous ones is the emphasis on comedy. It’s a lot of fun all along and that’s why it stands out as something we’re not that used to, at least in this genre and format. With Seth Rogen producing and directing the pilot, AMC made it pretty clear: they want it entertaining and fucked up. So it is. I don’t want to go too far in comparisons but let me tell you there’s a Tarantino-esque vibe to it. It requires a great sense of humor, that’s for sure. And it doesn’t need to be taken too seriously. Secondary characters who populate the small town where Jesse Custer lives are all very strange, devious, the same way as the people of Bon Temps were. They offer great laughs and some kind of astonishment. Vampire Cassidy is well… outrageous! I totally picture Joseph Gilgun in the role. Tulip could be compared to Michonne from The Walking Dead, but crazier.
That being said, Preacher may surprise you along the way: between the lines, it’s a really deep story about faith and America. Our hero may not be the flashiest character of the pilot but he delivers some great moments on an emotional level, which I found surprising and promising. We need to care about him. We almost do in the end. And the writer makes sure -a little too hard maybe with too many details for an introduction to this mad mad world- that we understand there is a complex mythology behind it all, multiple lawyers. A lot happens. Violent things. Weird things. Ridiculous things. Like a crossbow-fighting… on a plane! I wish we’d spend a little more time with Jesse, and a little less time with the craziness. Hints of craziness and supernatural elements would have been enough. It’s one of those pilots that want to show its full potential right away… Budget-wise, AMC will have to show us the money. And we know it’s not their strongest suit…
Preacher is the biggest chance for AMC to deliver another phenomenon to TV after The Walking Dead. It has “HIT” written all over it with its crop of weird characters, its atypical tone, its graphic violence, its mythology, its controversial topic… but of course, it’s not for everyone. AMC needs it as much as fans of the property need closure for this never-ending project. So, say a little prayer and everything should be fine!