I admit that I watched the pilot of Preacher without knowing ANYTHING about it apart from that it was set in Texas and starred Dominic Cooper… that’s it. So that would mean that there’s absolutely no point in me mentioning the graphic comics that the story is based on, although if I make it to the end of the first series, I will seriously consider reading them. (Very likely)
Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) is the preacher with a past trying his utmost best to follow in his father’s footsteps in the, everyone knows everyone, bleak and wild town of Annville in Texas. I don’t want to give away too much but you’re in store for black humour, the supernatural, explosive and exaggerated character intros and some pretty convincing violence and gore!
I’m not overly familiar with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldbergs’ work but the black, sick humour that we got in Rogen’s The Interview, definitely pops up again in this show. Dominic Cooper is perfect for the lead. His charismatic and mysterious character leads us to wonder what it is he’s capable of but his vulnerability shines through allowing us to warm to him and feel empathy for his melancholy attitude. I’m excited to see where his character leads and what his back story is. Can’t forget the rest of the brilliant cast. Did think it was a bit of a strange mix at first but it works so well. For example, we have yet to learn about Emily’s character but Lucy Griffiths’s has sure got that deep south accent down. After watching her in Robin Hood when I was a youngun and then True Blood when I was a teen, it’s great to see her playing a different role and doing it so well. Then we have Joseph Gilgun. What can I say about Joseph Gilgun… his character is one of the things I’m most excited to watch develop over the course of the programme. Not many American’s will probably recognise him because most of his past work has been in the UK and I know him from Misfits. Anyone that watched that show will understand when I say that we all thought it was over when Nathan was killed off and then thank god to our relief, Joseph Gilgun replaces him, playing the comic sick minded buffoon of the group and he saved the show. His comedic timing along with Ruth Negga’s is spot on. Ruth plays Tulip, the preacher’s old sidekick who’s trying to persuade him to join her on a ‘job’ like ‘old times’ that we have yet to learn more about.
Refreshing that although the main setting Annville, makes you feel isolated, the episode dips in and out of places all over the world like Africa and Russia, which gives me heaps of confidence and excitement in believing that the plot will thicken and won’t be restricted by the small town it’s set in. The action and violence is exaggerated but not to the point where you don’t take it seriously. This episode is over an hour-long and yet it didn’t feel that way. By the end you’re left with just enough information to the point where you have to watch the next episode even if you didn’t enjoy it that much. My only worry is that the plot becomes so weird and wacky to the point where I’m sitting there thinking, what the f*** is going on and wishing that they tone it down a bit. But at the moment, it seems so different from anything I’ve ever watched before that I’m very intrigued to see where they take it. This is certainly NOT going to appeal to a mainstream audience and that’s something you’ll realise in the first 10 minutes. It is not everyone’s cup of tea.
If you’re after something different, you don’t mind crazy plot twists, you want something that’s going to leave you wanting more and you understand and enjoy a character or characters in this case, that have dark sense of humours, then this is definitely something you should try. Even if you come to the conclusion that it’s not your cup of tea, you still won’t be able to not appreciate the quality of the acting and weird and wonderful ways in which it stands out from any other programme you’ve ever seen.
I’d give the pilot a star rating of 8/10. You can watch it now on Amazon video and episode 2 is out 6th June.