Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, a seemingly impossible work to adapt for TV has finally arrived on our screens with the first episode entitled The Bone Orchard. This first episode roughly covered the first couple of chapters of the novel, which seems like a good pace as The Bone Orchard felt like it was flowing along at a comfortable speed, not covering too much ground but not lingering too long either.
By Jove, this show looks damn beautiful! It’s clear to see that the brains behind this show were also behind Hannibal which is one of my all-time favourite shows as there are many similar elements (slo-mo, distinguishable colour palettes, so much blood, disturbing dreams etc) which I am so happy about. From the epic Viking prologue to the iconic crocodile bar everything has been perfectly realised on screen which is a dream come true for anyone who loved the book. Another parallel that can be found between Hannibal and American Gods is composer Brian Reitzell, and suffice to say it’s another thing that proves to be what makes both shows so awesome. There is a creepy and uneasy undertone to compositions that just flow so well with what is happening on screen.
Like I mentioned earlier, in this first epsiode we are only 2 or 3 chapters into the book yet some fucked up shit has already gone down. Yes you know what I’m talking about. Bilquis. When I read her small excerpt in the book I had to pause for a moment before continung to read so that I could fully come to terms with the craziness that had just happened. On screen I think it’s a little more disturbing that on page which says something really. And the Bilquis of the show seems more dangerous somehow, more of a predator as in the book the man she consumes is an arsehole whereas in the show the man is somewhat sympathetic as he is kind to her and found her through an online dating site.
The main players of the show Shadow Moon and Mr Wednesday are bought to life by Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane respectively. And right from their initial meeting on the airplane you can tell that there is a undeniable connection which is pretty much essential to the backbone of the American Gods story. And while I have read the book I am still intruiged to see where this relationship will go as it is possible that some things will be changed from the book. But for the moment I will say that I love the way in which these two characters are being portrayed which is a relief, but I kind of knew that they would be awesome especially Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday.
In conclusion, American Gods is off to a great start with The Bone Orchard. And if the episodes to come follow on in a similar fashion then American Gods could well be the best tv show of 2017.