The Brian Fuller-fronted adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s neo-fantasy epic AMERICAN GODS for me is a great take on this material. It vividly recreates many of the weird and wonderful moments from the first stretch of the book, but the series’ greatest strengths come from deviations it takes from the text. Contemporary political and religious commentary comes via African god Anansi (Orlando Jones) and a whole load of Jesuses. But it is with Laura Moon (Emily Browning) and Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) that the show plays its strongest hand. They were both interesting but under-utilised characters on the page, but they become a fascinating reluctant double-act on screen: the giant leprechaun and the dead-wife. Their origins are tweaked, their backstories greatly fleshed out and focus shifted and humour or pathos added to their every scene. Browning is undoubtedly the series MVP and the two episodes she leads are definite highlights. Here’s hoping future seasons will bring the other characters such depth to go with the striking visuals and mad ideas. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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