Thoughts, feelings and a mini review of Preacher up to Season 1 Episode 7
I admit I’ve never read Preacher, though I was told to multiple times the artwork isn’t my thing and put me off. So, a hands up disclaimer here, I have no idea about the comics and am coming at this purely from the standpoint of a viewer. I didn’t know much about it when the series came out, but was definitely intrigued, and by the trailers it looked like it would either be amazing or terrible. Luckily, it’s pretty damn good.
An image heavy and spoiler free review under the jump.
For me the stand out character is Tulip. She has awesome style, a terrific badass attitude, and words fail me for just how flat out cool she is. She looks completely different from the comics, a brave choice in casting and an inspired one. Ruth Negga was brilliant in Misfits and she’s just as brilliant here, she definitely has a real knack for playing both tough and sexy. It's refreshing that the sexiness is not achieved through skimpy mini dresses or an over abundance of cleavage but through sheer attitude and style. This clip is from our introduction to Tulip, and pretty much says it all.
I'm also loving Cassidy, played by Joseph Gilgun, another Misfits alumni. (I'll have to write a post about Misfits soon, definitely overdue.) Cassidy's 'going out in the sun' outfits are brilliant, and I love the fact that Jesse doesn't even comment on them, just accepts him as an oddball with weird dress sense. I get the impression that Cassidy is a well loved character in the comics, and he's definitely fantastic in the series. He can switch from being hilariously funny to genuinely scary, and the fact he's a little unhinged is definitely a bonus, it makes him completely unpredictable and incredibly entertaining.
For costuming Cassidy's outfits are as inspired as Tulip's. Grimy, slightly mismatched, like he's just wearing anything he found lying about that fits - genuine grunge rather than an aesthetic conceit. The chaotic mish-mash of tattoos also add to the offbeat and dangerous vibe.
The relationship between Cassidy and Jesse is another highlight of the show for me. From meeting mid bar brawl and talking in a jail cell they become firm friends. It's a quirky and offbeat friendship, with Jesse writing off Cassidy's stories as tall tales when all too often they turn out to be true. The ongoing fight with those 'English boys' for example. I love this little scene; the way it cuts from the hyper-violence of the previous scene, the low key banter, and yea, okay, I'm also a sucker for a couple of hot guys in their underwear.
I'm only up to episode 7 so far, so have no idea how their friendship develops after the heated revelations from that episode, but I'm hoping it gets back on track. I'm guessing it will.
Finally, Jesse. Can't write a review of Preacher without mentioning the titular character. I think they're being quite clever with the development of Jesse, the fact they're taking it slow so that you're always eager to see him snap. I really enjoy those little flashes of darkness he has, and the nuggets of his past that have been revealed so far. I’m hoping we see more of his tough side soon, but the wait and his efforts to stay 'good' will make it all the more satisfying then he does finally give in.
Clearly I'm really enjoying Preacher so far. It has a comic book feel without slipping into the territory of ham-fisted or campy, and is markedly different from the slew of other comic adaptations around right now. Preacher walks a fine line between being highly stylised and gritty, and manages the balancing act with aplomb. The real selling point is that the grit and hyper violence is offset with deadpan humour - too many adaptations fall into the trap of being overly dark, not balancing it with humour, and wind up sucking out all of the enjoyment. Something else to appreciate with Preacher is that it trusts the audience to be smart enough to get the joke, I can't stand it when a show feels the need to point out 'a funny' in neon lights. Frankly, Preacher is good enough that it simply doesn't need to.
One final thing, Kilcannon and those cows. It honestly, genuinely disturbs me every time I hear it. It's meant to be repulsive and horrific and really, truly is.