‘American Gods’ Review: 5 Reasons To Watch On STARZ

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Courtesy of American Gods Facebook

While the Old Gods and the New Gods are in the midst of a supernatural battle, the rest of humanity is caught in the hellish crossfire. From the award-winning novel by author Neil Gaiman, American Gods arrives as a must-see STARZ television event series, starring Ricky Whittle (The 100) and Ian McShane (Deadwood), starting on April 30th.

Released early from prison, ex-convict Shadow Moon (Whittle) unexpectedly heads to a funeral after discovering his wife has been killed in a terrible accident. As a violent storm rocks his plane, Shadow is approached by a mysterious stranger calling himself Mr. Wednesday (McShane). Together they embark on a journey that will lead them directly towards a battle between the gods.

Here are 5 reasons why The Writer Without Fear is excited to see American Gods:

5. The Showrunners

Ever since the charming Wonderfalls and entertaining Pushing Daisies, this critic has kept an eye on creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller. His thrilling adaptation, Hannibal, boasted a surreal and stylistic vision of the Thomas Harris novels, which include Red Dragon. To see Fuller team-up with fellow co-showrunner Michael Green, who’s responsible for Heroes and Everwood, audiences are definitely in for a roller-coaster ride of sex, graphic violence, and drama. Have you seen the trailers? I mean, come on, that’s a lot of blood!

4. Best Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Works

The author of Norse Mythology serves as executive producer of his own series, much like creator Robert Kirkman holds a prominent seat on The Walking Dead. It’s heartbreaking to hear that Gaiman’s seminal The Sandman comic book series always seems to fall apart, whether as a film or television project. But with showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green at the helm of American Gods, this adaptation will surely stay faithful to the pages while these two put their own creative spin. And having the show itself on STARZ means the creators involved can push the adult material towards an R-rating.

3. The Ensemble Cast

Known for his work on Game of Thrones and Deadwood, Ian McShane always delivers an incredible presence and charisma. Having only seen Ricky Whittle on The 100, I’m looking forward to his performance as a leading man. In the novel, Shadow is a contemplative character, who watches as the action takes place around him. Knowing that her role as Shadow’s wife has been extended, I’m interested in seeing how Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) becomes involved in the plot and what changes have been made for Laura Moon. Rounding out the star power, other names in the ensemble cast includes Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), Orlando Jones (Evolution), Crispin Glover (Back to the Future), and Dane Cook (Dan in Real Life).

2. The X-Files Connection

I have been a huge fan of Gillian Anderson ever since she portrayed the iconic Dana Scully in The X-Files. Always captivating audiences, Anderson then played the alluring and enigmatic Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier in Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal. Now she returns to collaborate with Fuller on American Gods, this time as the enchanting and seductive goddess Media. 

1. The Central Theme Remains Intact

In the novel, the old gods immigrated along with the humans to America. The new gods are done with the past and are steering away from tradition. In this turbulent political climate, society is divided, especially now with travel bans pushing to be enforced. Novels and television are at their best when they have something to say about human nature, and American Gods is already doing so.

American Gods premieres April 30th on STARZ.