Though well-received by critics, AMC's TV adaptation of graphic novel series Preacher wasn't the runaway hit many had hoped for. Season 1 garnered a generally positive but lukewarm reaction from fans of the original comics and left viewers wondering if there was more to Dominic Cooper's Jesse Custer and his hunt for God than meets the eye.
Preacher Is No Longer Dixie Fried
Earlier this month #AMC gave critics the chance to see the first three episodes of Preacher's new season. The response was generally positive, with many believing it to be a marked improvement on the first season.
Praise was also heaped on the story, which was seen as a more accurate telling of the source material, and on the cast of returning characters, especially Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).
Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter:
It feels like a TV series, which isn't always how the show felt last year.
Preacher also feels visually smoother.
Steve Greene, IndieWire:
this newest season of “Preacher” benefits from his sense of singular purpose. Having an overarching goal and a shortened list of distractions has left the humans and immortal beings in his inner circle with the perfect antidote to a world where God is missing and an honest mistake can trap a teenager in Hell.
Allison Keene, Collider:
Interested viewers — especially those who were burned out or disappointed by Preacher’s first season — should feel heartened by the show’s return this year. ... Despite its narrative issues, it’s too stylish and unique to write off, and its cast is incredibly strong across the board.
Going Back To The Source
A major complaint with the first season was that it was a prequel to the events of the graphic novel, with some embellishments added from future arcs, such as the inclusion of Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley).
While a creative and compelling narrative decision, this slowed the series' pace due to the necessary process of world building that felt like it was too busy justifying the supernatural setting of Preacher instead of enjoying the madness. As Jesse Schedeen of IGN recalled of the first season in his review for Season 2's pilot episode:
The show took an entire season to establish a framework that the comic managed to build within a couple issues.
Welcome To Salvation, Preacher
The Preacher comics are beloved for their irreverent nature and it's good to know that the adaptation's second season embraces this essence. Kevin Yeoman of Screen Rant compared Season 2's opening to the over-the-top violence of '70s-era grindhouse movies, and this bodes well for fans of Garth Ennis's equally unapologetic works.
Given its themes, complex character interactions, religiously blasphemous and satirical overtones, adapting Ennis and Steve Dillon's Preacher was always going to be a challenge, despite the source material's deceptively simple presentation. In this regard, some consider the first season to be an experiment that tested what Preacher can and can't do as a TV show, instead of a faithful adaptation.
Based on the early reviews, it seems as if the show's creators stopped taking this particular mission for God too seriously, deciding to revel in the schlock. From the unstoppable Saint of Killers, the arrival of Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) and the Grail, Noah Taylor as Hitler and some guy in a dog costume, Season 2 looks as rightfully crazy and gleefully violent as any Preacher adaptation should be.
Catch Preacher, Season 2 on AMC. What do you think of the season so far? Sound off in the comments below.