Spoiler alert: American Gods was this summer’s new hit show. Not only is it binge-worthy, it will leave you wanting more. It weaves together the tales of so many different and eccentric characters who all seem to have a mysterious background and a story to unravel. The season has officially ended but it has already been picked up for a season two.
So why is American Gods everyone’s new guilty pleasure? Well for starters it combines some of the most intense characters on TV. We’re only scratching the surface; here are 15 reasons why you are missing out if you don’t jump on the American Gods bandwagon.
15. The Scenes Are Beautifully Shot
Besides the amazing dialogue and the great acting, there is one more thing about this show that is surprising: the set. The show is beautifully shot there are so many scenes that could be spoken about but the best are during Shadow and Mr. Wednesday’s car rides. Second to that would be the scenes that depict the afterlife.
Who would have thought that watching death could be so peaceful? Everything from the weather at the time, what the sky looks like, and how the conversation is going makes you feel at ease. It makes you wonder what’s coming next. Besides the clues within the scenes, they are mostly just so beautiful to look at.
14. Death is Beautifully Captured
Death is something that is inevitable within this show. While violent, deadly scenes make most people squirm, to some people a beautifully show death scene can make the show. It’s beautiful to watch how they display death in that aspect, especially when the goddess Bilquis does the killing. They are just so beautiful.
The way she literally absorbs a man after having sex is shocking yet, fascinating. It’s like she is coming alive at that very moment. The blood red color that shades her is intoxicating to look at and truly sets the tone.
13. It Has Little To No Restrictions
Because American Gods was picked up by Starz, it has basically no restrictions. Meaning it can tell the story the way it deserves to be told. First of all, there are a lot of things that take place that may upset the masses but the show wouldn’t be what it is without it.
The fact that it is so free with love, sex, relationships, prejudice and so many more topics is what makes it beautiful. There is no way it would be able to survive the way it is now if it was forced on a family friendly channel like CBS, NBC or even Fox.
12. The Writing Is Great
The dialogue in American Gods is great. Some of the lines are so relatable and fitting for our society today. The main character Mr. Wednesday says, “The only thing that scares me, is being forgotten.” How many times have you worried about dying or leaving this earth without doing something that at least one person would remember you for?
How about Anansi’s speech on the slave ship? “One hundred years later, you’re f*cked! One hundred years after that, f*cked; One hundred years after you get free you’re still getting fucked…” It’s a powerful speech that leaves you questioning when is it our time? When will we get a fair shot? It’s uncanny how well the dialogue can be related to dialogues in our personal lives.
11. Immigrants Get A Fair Shake
A few of the smaller storylines throughout the season revolve around immigrants. It involves people coming to America, trying to survive. All the while, gods play changing roles in their lives. One entire episode focuses on a young woman played by Laura Moon who is playing another character (confusing, right?).
She plays a young woman who eventually immigrates from Ireland but follows tradition, praying to leprechauns (a younger Mad Sweeney). It’s beautifully told and gives the viewer a sense of what these gods mean to a different culture. Showing us how and why they worship particular deities.
10. What/Who You Worship Is Questioned
American Gods has a way of making you question what or who you are worshipping. With all the gods they introduce and watching the old gods pit themselves against the new, you have to wonder, “which god is right for me?”. “Have I been worshipping the wrong god?” “Should I look into what other gods have to offer?”
You also begin to see what a hold the new gods have on society like media or Mr. World. Look how obsessed our culture is with media currently. There seems to be no boundaries and people almost seem to lack the morals that people used to value so diligently.
Everyone is plugged into social media, dragging you into their BS, filming you without permission. The world is changing and American Gods nails that shift.
9. It’s So Crazy
Some of the things that happen in American Gods is so absurd and unheard of. Yet, it manages to make a lot of sense through the use of folklore. Fight scenes and animal slaughter seriously makes you gasp.
When Laura gains superhuman strength and saves Shadow, you are shocked to see this tiny girl punch right through someone’s skin and rip their body apart.
But the craziest earned an entire episode: Vulcan the god of fire and forge finds a new place in the world, working at a plant that builds modern-day weapons. Weapons that he sometimes uses to slaughter animals. We won’t tell you more. The scene is surprising but it’s pulled off so darn beautifully.
8. Dare We Say It’s Better Than The Books?
It’s a very rare case when a live-action adaption is better than the reading material it is based on. That being said, it is still a struggle to say that it is better; let’s say it is different. The creators chose to take a few different routes for the sake of TV and pushing the plot forward.
They also took a little bit of a creative license in order to make things more interesting. So, it’s not better per say, it’s just different mainly in the order of sequence.
The book is a great read and offers way more detail. It clears up a few of the scenes that seem to have come out of nowhere. While the show is on hiatus you could use the time to catch up and gain clarity — if need be.
7. It’s Only Just Scratched The Surface
For those who have not read the books you are in for a sweet but long treat. The first season has only just lightly scratched the surface. There is so much more to come if the TV creators decide that they want to follow the books.
The stories of Shadow, Anansi, Media, Mr. World, Laura and everyone else eventually cross paths. If you think you’ve seen the better parts of their encounters then you’re sadly mistaken. Not only is the book thick AF but some of the characters have their own stories in companion books. This is probably a great summer read before season two.
6. Not Every Scene Comes From The Books
The opening scene of the second episode where Anansi appears on a boat full of slaves and give the best speech in the entire season was actually not part of the book. It was made specifically for the series and it couldn’t speak more truthfully to our current time.
Sometimes when a producer takes someone else’s creation and puts their own spin on it, it doesn’t always turn out the best. However, the scenes that are made specifically for this show hit the mark every time. They actually add something to the story but even more they are more relatable than most people would think.
5. Orlando Jones Like You’ve Never Seen
Keeping on the topic, Orlando Jones’ performance was brilliant. He brings so much to the character and his scenes are always full of tidbits of information that make you ponder about your current position in life. One would not expect a sketch comedy actor to be able to pull off such a serious and clever role.
Now that Jones has embodied the character of Anansi, could you see anyone else playing that role? He brings life to it. He truly seems as though he enjoys being able to play around with the trickster god.
4. The Dead Wife
The storyline of the dead wife, Laura Moon, is an intriguing one. She dies in the most embarrassing way possible. But she then has an opportunity to come back to life and make things right with her husband. She is fiercely loyal to Shadow now that she has had the unique opportunity to see the repercussions of her actions.
However, if you look between the lines — and ignore the fact that she is trying to find a way not to literally fall apart — her journey is really about her getting her crap together. Also, helping out the people she bulldozed in her selfish life.
3. It’s So Relevant To Today… It Hurts
The topics covered in American Gods are ones that — believe it or not — many people can relate to today. The topics of racism, media and a narcissistic society are just some of the stuff that it broaches. The idea of media as a god that has taken the place of many gods is fantastic. A god that people worship casting out age-old religions. I
f the scene where Anansi appears on a slave ship to warm the slaves had really happened, maybe society for African-Americans would be different today. The way people value death over life is a topic spoken about throughout the show. Death is so prevalent; we live in a society that is consumed with the fear of dying.
2. Pablo Schreiber
If you still doubt Pablo Schreiber’s acting skills after watching him play Mad Sweeny then you’re just a hater. First, this isn’t even his best role — it’s a great one no doubt. But he has played so many underrated characters.
Let’s talk about his role as Nick Sobotka in The Wire season two: not only was he a badass he gained a whole host of fans after only one season. He has gone on to play key roles in films and TV shows like Pornstache in Orange Is The New Black and Dimitri Ravitch on Weeds.
So if his face looks familiar it’s probably because you have seen him in either a small or big role on TV and even a few random films.
1. It’s Just So Different
American Gods covers just that the topic of different gods. It’s a controversial topic that truthfully not many people want to cover for fear of stepping on toes and, of course, offending a highly-sensitive society.
By bringing up the topic of gods, it’s opening a forum for people to learn about different cultures and beliefs in a realm that is probably the least offensive and the most universal. When you think about it, what else brings society together and accepting than television? Maybe Gaiman is right: media is taking over. Bow down to the new gods!