Directed by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, Michael Slovis, Sam Catlin, Kate Dennis, Michael Dennis, Guillermo Navarro, Sam Winant, Craig Zisk
Developed by Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Written by Steven Dillon, Garth Ennis, Mary Laws, Craig Rosenberg, Olivia Dufault, Sara Goodman, Chris Kelley, Nick Towne
Based on the American comic book series by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon with painted covers by Glenn Fabry.
Steve Dillon passed away at the age of 54 on 22 October 2016. 2016 gargled balls.
Here is a heads-up for everyone outside the U.S. — and those in the States who have missed it somehow — on a great series that doesn’t seem to have caught on as it deserves to have. How do I know this? Well, I was outside the stage door on the first night of previews for “The Libertine” as Dominic Cooper smouldered* out to sign and made the semi-circle of programs, photos, and tickets. When he got to me, the sole American, there was just the first volume of Preacher with my eyes peeking over the top. He flicked his eyes up and gave me a wry smile before he signed with a flourish in a metallic silver Sharpie.
No one else with Preacher stuff. That’s how I know. That and the fact that no one over there knew what the hell I was talking about. Who cares? I got my book signed. *smirk*
Preacher, the series, came from Preacher — the comic book series by writer Garth Ennis, artist Steve Dillion** and cover artist Glenn Fabry — a series Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been working to bring to a screen near you for over ten years. It was the classic case of, There’s no way you can do all that. It’s impossible and it was cost more than anyone will invest kind of reception. If you’ve read all the comic books you may have had the same reaction. Things start out pretty wild and just escalate from there until it gets pretty difficult to hold all inside your brain. Really? Then, how did they find actors that are dead ringers for Preacher and Cassidy. Too bad you missed the Twitter verse explode with the usual sado-sexual death threats that would make serial killers vomit when the fanboys found out hot blonde Tulip O’Hare was going to be played by much hotter Ethiopian/Irish actress Ruth Negga. What was that about her? Right. She just got nominated for an Oscar. Eat it, assholes.
Jesse Custer (Cooper) is not that great a preacher. Not really. So why this supernatural force that already killed one cleric and one, well, person, chose to slam into Jesse and decides to stay. Unfortunately, whatever the power is doesn’t tell him what do with it and Preacher is not thinking clearly, so someone responsible needs to make sure he doesn’t do something stupider with it than he already has. He definitely requires a bulletproof bodyguard and friend to have his back against the variety of baddies and goodies that are coming for him. And it.
Jesse’s partner-in-crime, literally, Tulip, can handle the responsible role, even if it’s not what she wanted. She can also more than handle herself or anyone crazy enough to try to fuck with her or Jesse. Our introduction to gorgeous Tulip in the first episode answers any questions Preacher fans might have had about her; she cashes, cancels, and direct-deposits any checks her mouth writes before the unfortunate skeptic has time to finish a smirk. Episode by episode, scene by scene, their past together is teased out. The nature of the relationship is… Until the end of the world.
Speaking of scenes, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun, doppelgänger) also shows up in Annville in the first episode and his arrival is epic. Once you’ve seen it, you won’t be able to stop talking about it, possibly to a professional. If you’re very lucky, you’ll be able find the show “Talking Preacher” hosted by Chris Hardwick (who else?), because you’ll get to see all the making-of scenes and hear the stories. It’s worth twice the price of admission, if you paid admission. You know what I mean…
To see what went into Cassidy’s introduction is unbelievable. Our own scrappy Irish, tattooed, chain-smoking (irresistible) vampire. Did I not mention that he is the vampire? Hold on. Did I mention that epic scene is only the second half of an even more gobsmacking one? Just wait. We’re not even out of the first episode and I’m not giving anything away. *No Spoilers*
Everything should be fine though, Jesse is on the side of the angels, Fiore (Tom Brooke, my absolute favourite character) and DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef). How could that be a bad thing? I don’t know. Ask Cassidy. These three get all the best lines. I will tell you that. And the townspeople are there to support their pastor, right? You might want to keep an eye out for town bully Donnie Schenck (Derek Wilson), playing white trash muscle like only someone from the South truly can.*** Surely the law are there for him? The town’s leaders? Well, shit. This whole bringing the people back to the church may not be the easy-peasy-mac-and-cheesy Preacher is telling his long-suffering secretary Emily (Lucy Griffiths) it’s going to be. In fact, all the classy people might want to think of leaving Annville. (Got you! It’s supposed to be in Texas. There are no classy people!)
So what’s it to be? Is the force inside Jesse pushing him to take His word into the world, or is it burning to use his words to take over the world? Is the dichotomy of Jesse’s personality truly holy versus unholy? What was the combination of Jesse and Tulip if you think of it in those terms? One to ponder: the supposedly evil vampire of legend is a one of the “good guys,” so where does that leave the other mythos in the story?
All good questions, says me. Hell of a show. And season two is getting ready to start sometime soon, so get bingeing!
*He can’t help it; that is just how he does everything, apparently.
**Steve Dillon passed away at the age of 54 on 22 October 2016, a year to be remembered for gargling balls.
***Right. Eight of the main cast are from England and Ireland.