To all those out there who are praising this show: think, please.
‘American Gods’ is a new show based on a novel by Neil Geiman. It’s six episodes in and its getting a lot of hype, both from people who have previously read the book and from those, such as myself, who haven’t.
I wrote an article a while back on the pros and cons of the first episode of ‘American Gods’. Back then, I hadn’t seen much of the show and I still found a lot of things about it fascinating. Now that more than half a season has aired, I can say, with a clear mind, that this is not a good production. Here is why.
It’s too cryptic.
This is the main reason as to why the show simply doesn’t work. Every movie, book, TV show, etc., is meant to tell a story. Even if it isn’t coherent and well-structured, a story should exist. The viewer must know what they are watching or reading. Some productions are often cryptic in their story, they pose many questions and answer them later on, so that the viewer is confused, but intrigued. ‘American Gods’ does nothing of the sorts.
It’s not that it doesn’t pose questions. It’s that it asks too many and answers none. Listen, I’m all for slow revelation and development, as long I know what I’m watching. With ‘American Gods’, I honestly have no idea. Six episodes in and they have answered no questions, only posed hundreds more. Again, I like mystical shows, I love slow development, but not to this extent. This gets boring and unwatchable. I know many will disagree, but if you look at it objectively, you will realize that I’m right. ‘American Gods’ is not a story. It’s a pretentious mess.
Again, this simply isn’t good storytelling. It doesn’t even come close to that. It does not flow, it is not structured as a story. The scenes are random, the frames are chaotic, everything is really one big mess. This show is the definition of ‘pretentious’. It’s trying to be original in its storytelling, its trying to do something no one else has done before, but it is failing. Perhaps this is because what they are attempting to do is a ridiculous idea. Perhaps it is because what they are attempting to do shouldn’t be done because its neither necessary nor wanted. Or its perhaps because they are failing to do it properly.
Any of those three reasons suit me. It doesn’t really matter. The fact remains: the show doesn’t tell a story. It wants to appeal to a very closed group of people, but is forgetting about the rest of us. And I hate that. The single most important things any production should do is tell a freaking story. To have some kind of freaking plot. Everything beyond that is simply a bonus. And when ‘American Gods’ fails to deliver on the one thing that is truly necessary, it becomes unwatchable.
The differences from the book.
Believe me, I’m all in for adapted scrips differing from the original source. Many, many shows and movies have done it and it has turned out amazing. Unfortunately, yet again, this isn’t the case with ‘American Gods’. After about one or two episodes, I was intrigued by ‘American Gods’ and decided to buy the book. I’m currently reading it. And I’m pissed.
The book is actually good. Quite good, to be honest. It has none of the problems I’ve mentioned in this article. It’s not too cryptic, it tells a story, and engages and excites the reader. So, my question is, when you have something that is already good, why take it, change it, and ruin it?! Because that is exactly what the producers and writers of the TV show have done. I understand, they want creative freedom, but many have shown that it is still possible to have that while maintaining to create a good story. It really pisses me off because they easily could have done something good, but they have, in their right minds, ruined it.
‘American Gods’ sucks because it doesn’t tell a story. It’s a chaotic, random, pretentious mess. Is there some good in it? Yes, actually. The acting, the cinematography, and the general idea. But when it comes to the whole picture, ‘American Gods’ is truly unwatchable. Even if you like mysteries, I would recommend it. It will just mess with your brain and not in a good way. Read the book instead. You are guaranteed to have a far better time.
Did you enjoy this article? Do you like ‘American Gods’ or do you’ hate it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, please! Don’t forget to LIKE and share this article if you enjoyed it!
Thanks for reading,