In season 2, American Gods has fallen into a difficult period



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Spoiler warning: This review reveals the important points of the plot of season 1 American gods, and presents the scenarios of Season 2.

Neil Gaiman's novel in 2007 American gods tells the story of impressive magical beings, weakened by the loss of faith and the cold realities of the modern era. Now, the same tragic fate hit Starz American gods TV adaptation, which returned for season 2 on March 10. Conflicts over the series' budget and Gaiman's story-making caused playwrights Bryan Fuller and Michael Green to leave the theater after Season 1, which resulted in the loss of exceptional members of the cast. Gillian Anderson and Kristin Chenoweth. Gaiman chose Jesse Alexander to take the place of showrunner, but he was "exiled" from the series last fall and Starz has still not been named successor. "I'm no longer what I was," says the goddess Bilquis (played by Yetide Badaki) during season 1, and the same can be said of the American gods show.

The first three episodes of the series of eight episodes of season 2 try to pick up where season 1 stopped by navigating around the missing actors. Season 1 ends dramatically with Ostara of Chenoweth (aka Easter) who chooses to associate with Ian McShane's Mr. Wednesday (aka Odin) in his next war against the New Gods by provoking a plague aimed at force people to pray for the return of spring. Aside from a brief feature article, this action did not have a clear impact on the world and Easter apparently turned him around on Wednesday because he had crushed some of his rabbits.

Meanwhile, New God Media, with whom Anderson played with a superabundance of confidence as she threatened and cajoled heroes and villains, was apparently so upset by the influence of Wednesday's power that she hid to reinvent herself. New Media (Kahyun Kim) appears in the episode "Muninn", wishing each other a happy birthday with a Snapchat filter version of Anderson's sleight of hand in the role of Marilyn Monroe of Season 1. "How is this an upgrade?", Shouts his fellow New God Technical Boy (Bruce Langley). The obvious answer is that this is not the case.

Gaiman seems to have got his wish for a more direct adaptation. He co-wrote the premiere of Season 2, "House on the Rock," which includes a Wednesday monologue on creating roadside attractions, considered an act of religious devotion, which is almost a text transcript of a passage of the book. The "behind the scenes" journey, where the mortal agent hired on Wednesday, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) sees the gods in their true form, is also taken directly from the book. But the decision to represent them with the same superimposed distracting glow used on the Greek pantheon in 2010 Clash of the Titans does not help to produce the desired sense of wonder.


Season 2 derails as the writers continue their work of embellishing the story of Gaiman to extend it in a multi-season show. The episode "The Beguiling Man" is almost entirely devoted to a brief section of the book where Shadow is captured by the New Gods agent, Mr. Town (Dean Winters), without the humor he created. 30 rocks or Brooklyn Nine-Nine). The episode combines a seemingly useless torture with flashbacks that give Shadow an even more useless story, supplemented by the broader heroic clichés: he does not know who his father is, he is a victim of this. bullying, but he is determined to fight bullies. His mother is tragically dead from cancer. . Shadow worked in the novel and in the first season of the series as a rag, a substitute for the reader / viewer and, in a broad sense, for all humanity – an example of how a man can lose everything to find faith. By trying to add depth to the character, he really feels less deep.

This is not the only time the season 2 writers do not seem to understand this American gods is about, and making it a good narration. Season 1 delivered fierce political messages through powerful scenes such as the death of Mexican Jesus, trying to protect a group of illegal immigrants, or the rogue god of West Africa. , Anansi (aka Mr. Nancy, played by Orlando Jones) telling prisoners on a slave ship what lies ahead for them and generations of their descendants. Season 2 presents only a series of dry monologues about being black in America and about the mistreatment inflicted on Native Americans.


Season 2 is also sadly wasting good ideas, such as making Hera's multi-eyed servant, Argus, the god of surveillance. In a pale imitation of interludes "Coming to America" ​​which were among the best moments of season 1, Mr. Ibis (Demore Barnes) tells a version of the myth of Zeus and Io which ends with Hera which gives a new life to Argus in America. . This idea completely undermines the canon of the series, where gods and mythical creatures have all been brought into the New World in the hearts and minds of their people.

Even if dedicated viewers manage to overcome this deafening rewrite, the authors ignore the obvious links that could be established between religion and surveillance: people think that monitoring will not hurt them if they are good and are willing to sacrifice their privacy to protect the bad guy and the other. Instead, the show moves on to a totally unrelated story about the burning of the Alexandria Library, and a hentai scene meant to stir up the same excitement as Bilquis's men-eating vagina did during Season 1. The tale of Argus is both incoherent and powerless. at the first episode of the icy season "A Murder of Gods", which used Vulcan, now the god of firearms (Corbin Bernsen), to introduce the concept of the ancient gods regaining renewed purpose and power with l & # 39; help from the new gods.


Like a ruined temple, American gods in season 2 seems even more tragic because a large part of it remains visibly intact. Fuller and Green have assembled an awesome cast that desperately needs something better to do. Gathering Jones and McShane in a car and only enjoying the moment to tell a joke on Wednesday about insulting Nancy by bringing him fried chicken is a waste of talent and time from viewers. Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), the angry goblin, is one of the only bright spots to remain intact, as the writers seem to have countless fun ways to show how he lost his chance.

And that is not enough to save a show that alternates between not feeling aimless, and having the impression of going in the wrong direction. But the solid elements left by the first season give a little hope that the show could turn around if a firmer, more insightful hand led season 3. Like its eponymous characters, American gods fell on hard times. His destiny will probably depend on his ability to maintain enough true believers to survive.

American gods broadcast on Sunday on Starz. The first episode is free streaming on Starz website.

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