With a weighty premiere, AMC’s ‘Preacher’ starts its inaugural season off right with character building, pertinent plotting, and setting the series’ tone early, resulting in one bad ass hour of television.
The following review contains slight spoilers. You’ll be fine to attend this review before the church of ‘Preacher’ starts. Hail Marys for everyone.
We are who we are Jesse Custer-Tulip O’Hare
In an episode written by Sam Catlin, who’s most known for working on another AMC show, Breaking Bad, Preacher really knows how to introduce character, build the worlds in which those characters live, and does it with ease with its premiere outing.
Three action scenes, each involving one of our main three players here, really helps build character through high-octane moments of spectacle and suspense. While the series doesn’t truly set up the villain in the pilot episode, which could be looked at as troublesome by a troubled some, the character and world building is enough reason to give Preacher’s pilot at least a once over.
After the episode’s running time, which goes just a bit over an hour, we know these characters and where they come from. It’s this that the show runners, as well as staff writers, can work off of.
The tone of Preacher is also refreshing. The southern series is so many parts, from so many sources, that the results are delightfully welcomed. It’s an action show, a rustic western, a southern drama, and a comic farce; Each not overwhelming the other like tray items in an Alabama buffet. Each in its spot but fusing together in our cinematic stomachs.
Furthermore, the acting in Preacher is top notch stuff and continues AMC’s trend of being one of the highest performed outlets in terms of original content on the market.
Dominic Cooper and Derek Wilson in ‘Preacher’ -Courtesy of AMC
Dominic Cooper shines as Jesse Custer, or also known simply as Preacher. The actor, which has gone underrated up until this point (hopefully that changes when Preacher become a hit), really had his work cut out for him here. From the subtle way Cooper plays Jesse, we know the man has seen and done some crazy things. Things, mind you, that have been weighing heavy on his soul for quite sometime. The tales of the man he now runs from interfering with the man he’s trying to become will be a blast to watch going forward.
Ruth Negga is also great in Preacher. Playing Tulip O’Hare, Negga give so much life to a girl who has probably taken her far share. Much like Custer, Tulip furthers Preacher’s idealistic notion of what exactly is that fine line between the “good” guys and the “bad guys”. Negga particularly does great work in the scene, and montage, involving the two farm kids. I loved every minutes Tulip was onscreen.
Joseph Gilgun was amazing in Preacher’s opening as well. Playing the devilishly mad Cassidy, Gilgun really brings a sadistically playful nature to the role. So much so, in fact, I thought Cassidy was going to be Preacher’s main villain. That not being the case, I can’t wait to see how he plays out on the side of Jesse. Look to the airplane scene as one of Gilgun’s best moments of the premiere.
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The directions in Preacher’s pilot is also beyond serviceable. Directed by Rogen and Goldberg, Preacher keeps the camera moving, and through this, really helps the shows darkly gleeful tone. Those three action scenes alone are worth giving Preacher’s pilot a nod for direction.
Among many instances, these are a few reasons why the pilot featured great camera work: Two half revolution shots ( in the first 20 minutes of the show), a nice low-medium when preacher enters a house from his vehicle, a shot when Russian title card hits (one complete shot starting from the back of the car and continues to door. All in one shot).
Also, the title cards really help the episode tell its story and the inclusion of title cards themselves says a lot about its otherwise sophomore directors.
So, will Preacher stay with his religious duties or leave his town behind? Will Tulip convince Jesse to join her in one last job? Will Cassidy help the ole preacher once the bible hits the fan? You’ll have to pray your way over to AMC to find out you Blood Bandits.
Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg’s Preacher opener has a lot of things going for it. Its a genre-melting, high-octane, thrill ride that answers questions as fast as it can ask them. Preacher features standout performances, a swift-moving camera, and carries a tone that’s downright addictive. Preacher looks to be a great diversion from the standard TV fare and one I can only hope will build on this great pilot. Now go read some verses..you might have a run-in with a certain preacher before you know it.
THE GRADE: A-
Check out a preview of June 5th’s episode, courtesy of AMC:
Love Preacher? Thought the premiere was worth the wait? We want to hear all your gossip on the gospel that is AMC’s Preacher. Preach in the comment section below and don’t forget to tune into Preacher Sundays 9/8c, only on AMC.