TV and Radio

Published on May 9th, 2016 | by Lauren Bycroft

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AMC Preacher Preview And Director Commentary

AMC is currently, by and large, the zombie network. Their most popular shows are The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and the post episode discussion show, Talking Dead. Following the end of iconic and acclaimed shows Breaking Bad and Mad Men, I wouldn’t say the network is struggling, but they find themselves in need of some new shows to keep them on the map. The dead can’t walk forever after all. They have Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul currently hitting its stride but it’s hard not to notice that AMC has little else going on in terms of new, must see programming. They’re hoping to change that this summer with Preacher, an adaptation of the dark, very adult DC comic series.

The comic and now the show, is the story of a Texas preacher named Jesse Custer who finds himself bound to a supernatural being made of pure good and evil named Genesis. This being is the result of the unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon. Once bound to this being Custer becomes incredibly powerful; so powerful in fact that he may rival God himself. The series follows the titular Preacher’s search for God, who abandons heaven upon Genesis’ creation. Custer is joined on this journey by ex-girlfriend Tulip O’Hare as well as an Irish vampire named Cassidy. As he adjusts to and learns about his powers Jesse discovers that he can command the obedience of those around them through the power of his words. The series draws heavily on Western themes and styles which should definitely set it apart from AMC’s current offerings.

Led by Dominic Cooper as the titular preacher, probably best known for playing young Howard Stark in Marvel properties like Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter, the cast is a who’s who of strong, underrated UK actors and equally talented American character actors like Jackie Earle Haley and W. Earl Brown. I am particular excited to see Cooper get the lead in such a meaty property. His talents continue to go highly underrated and though he’s wonderfully charming as Stark in the MCU, he’s woefully underused. Similarly, Custer’s ex Tulip is played by the understated and magnetic Ethiopian/Irish actress, Ruth Negga. I was previously unfamiliar with Negga but became acquainted with her talents during my recent Marvel watching spree. She has been a huge part of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series and has quite a magic, unknowable quality about her. The main trio is rounded out by another UK export in Joseph Gilgun playing Cassidy.

Produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, known mostly for raunchy, stoner comedies, Preacher promises to be something different and bold while still appealing to the demographic that tunes into AMC for shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. The story employs fantasy elements without delving hard into the world of wizards, swords, and dragons as most incarnations of the genre do. AMC has definitely proved that they are not afraid to throw money and support behind things that most networks would not so it’s more than likely that Preacher will push the envelope, doing the comic justice and pleasing its fans while also attracting a new adult audience who is unfamiliar with the character and the series. On paper Preacher certainly has all the elements needed to be a tremendous series. We have to wait until the 10 episode inaugural season premieres on May 22 to see if it lives up to expectations.

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