PREACHER: Season 1 Laid The Groundwork For Season 2, But Are You Still Watching?
Spoilers ahead for Preacher season 1.
AMC's Preacher wrapped up its first season this past Sunday night. I wrote a little about the show as it was airing, notably about how Jesse sending Eugene/Arseface to hell was its first true "holy sh*t" moment. Since then, the show picked up a little bit of steam by having Emily feed the mayor to Cassidy and finally having the Saint of Killers appear in the modern world, but the show certainly hasn't been the massive hit I'm sure AMC hoped it would be. Yes, it's been renewed for a second season, and season one had a handful of standout moments, but my biggest takeaway from so far is simply that it's taken its sweet time getting to this point (I'm just now realizing that's something of a common thread for many AMC shows — Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and even Breaking Bad had a somewhat slow start).
Let's get right to it: for me, the best thing about the season one finale was the town of Annville blowing up with no human survivors left behind just after Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy set out on their road trip. Odin Quincannon, Sheriff Root, even Emily and her kids are all dead. That explosion was a mission statement from showrunner Sam Catlin and executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg: they had to know fans were frustrated with the slow pacing and being tied to the location of Annville as we learned about these characters, so they literally blew the whole thing up as a way of saying, "That part of the story is done. Now let's get on to what you really care about."
But is it too little too late? I'll admit, the only reason I stuck with the show was in case they imparted any relevant information about the characters that might be referenced again in upcoming seasons. I was not a fan of the way this season unfolded, and I think if I hadn't have read the comics, I would have bailed after two or three episodes. It may sound harsh, but there are too many great things to watch these days to devote hours to mediocre television. The good news is I think Preacher has the potential to become a truly great TV show in its second season and beyond.
Dominic Cooper's Jesse Custer is fine, but Ruth Negga's Tulip and Joseph Gilgun's Cassidy are the true bright spots of the show, perfectly capturing the essence of their characters from the comic series. The show finally got to the heart of everything, its whole reason for being, at the end of Sunday's finale. Jesse calls God in front of his church, only to realize it isn't actually God at all, but an imposter; God is missing, and Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy set out to find him.
“In the end, we had to clear the deck, there’s so many great characters from the comic to come,” Catlin said in an interview with Deadline. He promised that season 2 will introduce characters from the comics, including serial killer Reaver Cleaver and Jesse's redneck family, including his grandmother and her bodyguard (readers of the comics will know these characters well). Also playing a larger role will be Herr Starr, one of the show's big villains who was introduced as the mysterious man in the white suit in the third episode of season one, and obviously the Saint of Killers, who is hot on Jesse's trail.
I want to hear from you. Does the promise of the show sticking closer to its comic roots in the future make you more likely to watch it? Did you give up at some point during the first season, but might tune in to see how things go in season two? What did you think of season one as a whole? Anything and everything Preacher-related is fair game, so leave your comments below.