Neil Gaiman's American Gods


Television

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Trailer and release date.


Shadow looks good but Wednesday looks too...southern European, I guess.

Silver Crusade

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Fukkin SWEET!


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Excited Freehold is excited


My only quibble is I still think Orlando Jones is too young to play Mr. Nancy. I'd much rather have seen Franklyn Ajaye as Nancy, which has the added bonus of reuniting him with McShane from Deadwood.


Loved the book. are they just gonna rehash the book or try to make more stories based on the book?


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I dunno. I remember reading that Gaiman wanted to flesh out a few things more, but I don't remember the specifics. I know he and Fuller have said that if they have enough seasons, they are also going to adapt Anansi Boys and both the post-AG Shadow Moon short stories.


That is cool Yeah if they expand on whats already in the book they could definitely handle the first few seasons. I kind of wonder if they will do some of the uh lets say weird scenes from the book.


Damn, episode 1 was fantastic. Anyone else catch it?

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Don't have STARZ -_-


Me either...

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;_;


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Over here in Germany it's on Amazon Prime. Just watched the first episode, and, wow, they did a great job. And it's a feast for the eyes, too, very cinematic.


On the whole, very good. Visually great. They cast Shadow excellently. Sure he's more chatty now than he was in the book but I can understand they need to do that for the sake of television so we don't spend too long looking at a guy who doesn't talk.
Mad Sweeney was even more brilliantly cast, so I'm sad we won't be seeing much more of him.

I'm torn on Wednesday; on the one hand he is written and played damn well, on the other he does not look the part to such a degree it is jarring.
Low Key is...a bit too greasy and too little slick, if you get my meaning.

A pointless changes that irked me: Audrey not spitting Laura in the face kind of lessened the impact of the scene.

Scarab Sages

I thought it was a good start, with some pretty faithful adaptation going on. With the exception of....

Spoiler:
The funeral parts, esepcially Audrey and Shadow at the grave site. It was different, but I thought very well done. Almost an improvement from the book.

The final scene with Tech Boy and his goons. Technical Boy looked different than described in the book. Also, in the book they just let him out, didn't try to kill him, then get torn apart.

All in all, I look forward to the rest of this first season.


Have watched first 2 now I am sold. The imagery is amazing.

Scarab Sages

Last night's episode was another good one....

Spoiler:
So many lines pulled directly from the book. Great adaptation.

I was blown away by Gillian Anderson as Media/Lucille Ball. I don't recall that scene from the book, however. Although, it has been some years since I first read it, and I'm currently (slowly) working through the 10th Anniversary edition.

Once again, I loved the Bilquis scenes, but they still felt out of place.

The scene with undead Laura was too short.

The stuff with Czernobog and the sisters was great. Loved seeing Cloris Leachman.

Orlando Jones as Anansi was.......interesting. Certainly not disappointing, but I expected nothing less from Mr. Jones. I think his talent is vastly underrated. Here's hoping they move forward with Anansi Boys as either its own serparate series, or incorporating it into this one.


Aberzombie wrote:

Last night's episode was another good one....

** spoiler omitted **

It was in a motel room in the book if i'm remembering correctly but it totes happened.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:


Mad Sweeney was even more brilliantly cast, so I'm sad we won't be seeing much more of him.

More than you might think. I watched an interview that said we'll be getting more of a lot of the characters in the books that only appear once or twice, sort of a behind-the-scenes sort of deal, and Mad Sweeney was one of the characters mentioned that gets that treatment.


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Aberzombie wrote:

I thought it was a good start, with some pretty faithful adaptation going on. With the exception of....

** spoiler omitted **

All in all, I look forward to the rest of this first season.

I heard a Neil Gaiman interview that mentioned they updated the technical boy so he was less "basement dwelling troll" and more youtube celebrity, as he felt that represented more the techboy aspect of today rather than when the book came out.


So last episode was first part to add something that wasn't really in the book. what do you guys think?


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Are you referring to Laura Moon's backstory?

I liked that. That scene in the bathroom post resurrection with her former best friend was AMAZING.


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Am I the only one to think that the show has taken a turn for the worse now that it is deviating from the book?
I seriously dislike Laura in the show. I wasn't fond of her in the book but she was at least somewhat sympathetic. Now I just want her to re-die.


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I like ShowLaura much better than BookLaura. ShowLaura's arc fleshes out her motivations and backstory; I find her actions are better grounded and realistic. ShowLaura and ShowShadow's relationship, as un-level and screwed-up as it is, makes sense; the book relationship just was and the readers were expected to just accept it. And Laura and Audrey together were hilarious, relatable, and believable as best friends after a f!cked-up betrayal.

Mad Sweeney's misadventures and bad luck are hilarious.

I think the big deviation in tonight's episode (ep. #5) had to happen as structural setup for the remainder of the events likely to come in this shortened season (only 8 episodes).

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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Am I the only one to think that the show has taken a turn for the worse now that it is deviating from the book?

I seriously dislike Laura in the show. I wasn't fond of her in the book but she was at least somewhat sympathetic. Now I just want her to re-die.

I get what you mean. In the book we are given very little information into Laura and her backstory. We just know her focus the entire time in the book is SHADOW. In the show she is much more of a full character because we have all this more information ... but that just makes you hate her even more. It's easy to say Shadow is a naive putz, and Laura is a cheating slut. But those labels don't define who they are or what journey they are choosing to take now that tragedy has struck their lives. In the end it is sometimes our shortcomings that makes us human. We make mistakes, hurt ourselves and the ones we love. Then the next day, after the passion is gone, we see what we have done. It's what you choose at that point, that should define you. It's easy to walk away, it's much harder to try to fix yourself.


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I don't want to excuse ShowLaura's actions, but I'm sympathetic to her because of the roots of her problems.

Spoiler:
She was so clearly clinically depressed and self-loathing before meeting Shadow. She was just going though the motions, almost completely numb inside. Meeting Shadow and starting a relationship with him wasn't going to somehow magically fix her, or even necessarily start her on the path toward fixing herself. Being in The Rut sucks, but there is comfort in knowing the terrain; Laura has been stuck for so long that new opportunities and possibilities can be very unsettling, especially if they are good and hopeful. The irrational urge to self-sabotage can be very difficult to fight.

Now that she's dead, Laura probably feels more alive than she has in years.


Yeah I was Ok with it i figure at this rate ill get the whole book story and more so i'm cool with that. If it ended to quickly It would of been sad.

Scarab Sages

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Daniel_Clark wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Am I the only one to think that the show has taken a turn for the worse now that it is deviating from the book?

I seriously dislike Laura in the show. I wasn't fond of her in the book but she was at least somewhat sympathetic. Now I just want her to re-die.

I get what you mean. In the book we are given very little information into Laura and her backstory. We just know her focus the entire time in the book is SHADOW. In the show she is much more of a full character because we have all this more information ... but that just makes you hate her even more. It's easy to say Shadow is a naive putz, and Laura is a cheating slut. But those labels don't define who they are or what journey they are choosing to take now that tragedy has struck their lives. In the end it is sometimes our shortcomings that makes us human. We make mistakes, hurt ourselves and the ones we love. Then the next day, after the passion is gone, we see what we have done. It's what you choose at that point, that should define you. It's easy to walk away, it's much harder to try to fix yourself.

My brother gets the show from his Amazon account, and told me they have a behind the scenes piece after each episode. Apparently, the one following the Laura backstory episode said most of the episode was developed by the show-runners. So, I have to wonder how much influence, if any, Gaiman provided them.

Either way, I thought that episode sucked balls. For me, it just sort of needlessly disrupted the flow of Shadow's story. I get why they did it, though. They needed more filler material, and figured this would be an easy way to do it.

Scarab Sages

I loved Crispin Glover's appearance and performance last night. Gillian Anderson was hit and miss for me. I thought her appearance in the limo (kind of Bowie-esque) was weirdly cool. The Monroe appearance, however, just came across as kind of creepy to me. Except when she blew the kiss at Tech Boy. That was f+##ing cool.


Anderson has been brilliant in all her personas so far, and I'm sure creepy is what they were going for. She's up there with Stormare for best casting (not sold on Anansi, Anubis or Thoth yet. I suspect I don't like them)


Disliking ananasi? You have got to be kidding me.


Freehold DM wrote:
Disliking ananasi? You have got to be kidding me.

Who dislikes Anansi? If this is about my comment above, I made that before I saw Jones in the role. He's significantly different than I pictured from the book and I couldn't place the accent, but I love Jones' performance, especially his passion and fire. I'm still cautious about Fuller's (white American) and Gaiman's (white Brit) take on race relations and racism in America, but I have faith that Jones will help steer them through it.

Anderson was great as Lucy and now Bowie, but something seemed deliberately "off" about her Monroe. With the plot thread about how the New Gods control the public narrative, I thought Media might be deliberately playing up the conspiracy angle, knowingly planting another seed of doubt in Shadow's trust in history. I also thought Media was playing a shallow Monroe because that is what the public perception of her is. Maybe also Media is working a subtle good(ish) cop angle, trying to subtly undermine Mr. World's intense sales pitch in order to leave aan opening to bring Shadow to her side, which isn't necessarily Mr. World's side. I dunno. Monroe was a deliberate choice by Fuller & the writers, and Anderson played it that way for a reason.

Glover was wonderfully intense, creepy, and intimidating. Langley is likewise an instantly hateble little punk with punchable face. He is just a tool to Media and World, and it was great to see both of them in turn put him his place.


Freehold is talking about me. His initial appearance just put me off. It remains to be seen if that was just a bad first impression of if it is a continuing problem.


I really enjoyed last night's episode, both the Coming to America tale and the Sweeney/Dead Wife road trip. The added backstory for both of them and their interactions are really quite enjoyable.


I'm liking it less and less the farther from the book they go. The latest episode was pretty boring and pointless.

Scarab Sages

I think when they've stuck to the book, it's been pretty spot on and awesome.

Some of the stuff they've added in, like the extra Laura and Mad Sweeny stuff that wasn't in the book, I can kind of understand. Those are two characters whose appearances were spread out enough, and some background hinted at, it was easy to use them to drag things out.

Problem with that, I think, is the showrunners have it in their heads they NEED to drag things out as much as possible. That's old-school, crap TV thinking. The kind of thinking which eventually leads to a jump the shark moment.

There's other stuff they added in that just sucks balls, doesn't fit with the story being told, and only disrupts the flow of what should be told.

I'm dreading next weeks episode, since it looks like they're bringing Easter in out of place in the story.


I don't look at it that way. This is additional material Gaiman wrote. It's a further part of the story. It's character development. It's also in keeping with the theme of the original story. It's a story about America, as told from a road trip. It's about the journey, not the destination. Sit back and enjoy the ride, and let the story do its work.

Scarab Sages

I've been reading the expanded version of the book. None of the Laura/Mad Sweeny/cab driver road trip stuff is in there. And so far, neither has been the illegal immigrant scene, nor the part with Vulcan, nor the extended grave site scene with Robbie's widow (Audrey, if I recall correctly).

Not that all changes are bad. I've loved seeing more of Mad Sweeny. And I thought the reworking of the grave yard stuff was pretty damned clever. That being said, I've always been one of those folks who thinks if you're going to adapt a book (or books), try to be as accurate as possible to the published story.


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Right, I'm talking material that Gaiman wrote for the show that deviates from the book.

Neil Gaiman on the American Gods script.


I've never understood the concept of "this book is great, so let's adapt it to film/TV but make lots of pointless changes to make it 'better' but still pretend it's the same thing". The Hobbit movies are a great (read: f&+%ing atrocious) example of this.

Note that I can understand the need for some changes. In the case of AG, book Shadow would be a very dull character to watch on-screen. In the case of LOTR changes and excisions were made to get the movies into something you can actually watch in one sitting.

Scarab Sages

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See, I love Gaiman, but that kind of stuff drives me crazy. It's like George Lucas' endless tinkering with Star Wars. Still, it's his story. He can do with it what he wants. And at least he's expanding on stuff that was already in the novel - like the background of Laura and Shadow.

From what I've heard though, the showrunners are also adding some of their own stuff in. Apaprently, they have a special about each episode after it's aired if you go through Amazon (that's what my brother's doing).


They also post them the next day on the American Gods Facebook page. Fuller had some...interesting things to say regarding Mexican Jesus from the Vulcan episode.

Scarab Sages

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Ye gods, there's a Facebook Page?!? So much for my vow to try and reduce the amount of stuff cluttering my FB feed.


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I would like to point out that every Facebook post only makes technology-boy stronger.


And G@%~*&n, this show makes me want to play scion so badly...

Scarab Sages

Overall, I thought the season finale was pretty well done. I wasn't crazy about the out of sequence introduction of Easter, but there was a lot of excellence to make up for it.


Still not liking Laura. Confirmed that I'm not a fan of Anansi here either. Shame, because he was fun in the book.
McShane really didn't seem on the ball with his big name reveal. It seemed stilted and clumsy, which is strange because he's been so good otherwise.

The best bit was all the Jesuses. Basically a bunch of self-absorbed parasites. I always assumed book-Jesus just sat around somewhere, fat and lazy on the excessive worship sent his way, smiling patronizingly at the lesser gods eking a meager living on scraps.


There is some irony that we are watching this on Television. Also seems like they are making some big departures from the book but nothing that can't be tied in.


For season 2, Gillian Anderson (Media) and Kristin Chenoweth (Easter) left, season 1 showrunners Michael Fuller and Michael Green are gone, and apparently Neil Gaiman and Jesse Alexander are the new showrunners.

That said, here's the new trailer for American Gods season 2, which premieres March 10th on Starz.

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Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left, ostensibly due to scheduling issues, though there was also talk of them not getting the budget they wanted. Anderson and Chenoweth followed, not wanting to do it without Fuller's vision (although Chenoweth IIRC also partly cited scheduling problems). A lot of talent gone. In particular, Anderson as Media was possibly just one of the greatest performances of my lifetime ever. So that is a huge loss.

OTOH, I love the idea that, having had to adjust with this, they're effectively updating the plot by replacing Media with New Media (to be played by Kahyun Kim), i.e., internet and social media. And it makes total sense that New Media would clash with and possibly overtake the old.

And of course Gaiman having closer reins on the story is not a bad thing at all. On the other hand, Jesse Alexander was not fired but sidelined, so it's worrying there have not been tight reins on the show from an experienced producer.

But the trailer looks good, and Shadow was well cast and well played and I assume will continue to be, so I am looking forward to at least sampling it a bit and seeing how good it is. I am hopeful.

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