The first episode of STARZ adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was everything I expected it to be; stunningly beautiful and chuck full of great characters pulling no punches. It delivered the best season opener of any show out to date. What Fuller and Green have done to bring Gaiman’s visuals to life is nothing short of amazing.

american godsI can go on and on about the amazing work Fuller and Green have done, so let me get back on track and get on with the review.

The episode opens with a group of Vikings coming to America. Not finding it to be what they expected, they go through some trails. They finally decide to go back home but can’t because there’s no wind, leaving them stranded. They resort to a number of rituals ranging from prayer to sacrifice to get off the island, but nothing works. Finally, after the most gorgeous and brutal Viking battle we’ve seen (since season one of Vikings), they finally get some wind and run off the island.

Fast forward to the present, we find our hero Shadow in prison serving out the last couple of days of his sentence. He gets horrible news about his wife’s death and is released early so he can attend the funeral. Shadow arrives at the airport and this is where things get interesting. He meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and his life moving forward will forever be changed.

It is important to note this because the premise of the show is Shadow and Wednesday together. So, it was very important for Ian Mcshane and Ricky Whittle to develop chemistry early on, which they did. It was awesome and looked very believable and organic. Mr. Wednesday brings Shadow some good news (or is it) on a day where he (Shadow) has been receiving nothing but bad news. The chemistry between McShane and Whittle is amazing because in the scenes that follow their character’s initial meeting they shine and compliment each other.

Before I go any further, I have to talk about in my mind the most powerful scene(s) of the first episode of American Gods, the introduction of Bilquis. We are introduced to the Goddess of Love in a bar where it seems that she’s meeting a man for a date through a dating app. She looks to be a shadow of herself as she herself mentions “I’m not what I used to be.” They abscond to her room for a night cap and this is where the magic happens and the visuals take over. Bilquis herself is a beautiful woman to any mortal man (Yetidi Badaki HEART EYES). But she feels weak and insecure because she doesn’t feel worshiped anymore. During the course of intercourse, she asks her date to worship her. This scene is powerful because, at the end of it, we get to see her true form, and it is AMAZING. What also makes this scene important is the fact that it eludes to the plight of the old Gods. So while on one hand, we see Bilquis’s final form, we also get an insight into her pain.american gods

Close to the end of the episode, we get to meet our final God, Technical Boy, the vapey God of Technology. He has kidnapped Shadow in an attempt to find out what Mr. Wednesday’s plan is while divulging some of his, and the new Gods’ plans.  The scene ends with a would be “deletion” of Shadow by Technical Boy’s children. But, when it seems like it’s almost over for our boy, he is rescued by a mysterious force. And that’s the point where Shadow starts to realize what he’s really gotten himself into.

The episode just doesn’t beat you up with great acting and a wonderful story but mixes itself with great music and visuals. It works well and keeps you invested in what happens. All in all American Gods doesn’t pull any punches with its series premiere, delivering a powerful and visually stunning first episode.

I will be tuned in next week for episode 2, as you should too. Check out my video review of the show on my YouTube channel.

American Gods airs Sundays on STARZ at 9 pm eastern time.



Mukhtar Ahmad covers Entertainment for MFST, you can follow him on twitter @MoeCrosby AhmadEntertainmentRecent PostsTV ShowsAmerican Gods,American Gods STARZ,Bilquis,Brian Fuller,Ian McShane,Laura Moon,Mad Sweeney,Michael Green,Mr. Wednesday,Neil Gaiman,Ricky Whittle,Shadow Moon,Technical Boy,Yetidi BadakiThe first episode of STARZ adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods was everything I expected it to be; stunningly beautiful and chuck full of great characters pulling no punches. It delivered the best season opener of any show out to date. What Fuller and Green have done to bring Gaiman's...