Disclaimer: I highly recommend you to stop reading if you have not got the chance to watch “The Bone Orchard” yet because this article will include multiple spoilers.
“Exotically toxic”, these are the main two adjectives that come to mind after watching American Gods premiere “The Bone Orchard”. I have always believed that Fuller is strong when it comes to great creations, and I was anxiously waiting for his latest creation to come to life, American Gods, and Gosh! He exceeded all my expectations and beyond.
The astounding novel by Neil Gaiman has always been my favorite, as it takes you to this whole new world and a journey with a series of peculiar and unusual events that transport you to the world of Gaiman, which was proven to be one heck of a world that cannot be missed. When I first read that Fuller was adapting the novel into a TV show, my heart skipped a beat as I knew there will be no better man to portray the brilliance of Gaiman than Fuller. Damn! I was right. Fuller promised us an epic production and we have got more than we have bargained for with AG premiere.
If you have read the book, do not worry about knowing what is going to happen in the show. Although the show is an adaptation of Gaiman’s novel, the way it started is different than the book – it had the writers’ unique touch and Bryan’s vision brilliantly added to the plot of the story. The show started by taking you on a journey where ancient Gods were explored with the usual extraordinary graphics and cinematography execution. Taking you into the brewing rivalry between modern and ancient Gods.
Then came the excellent performance of the devastatingly impressive cast – from Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon to the mouth dropping performance of Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday. I always get scared when I watch a TV/movie production that is an adaptation of a book, I set the bar high and I always say that the production never does the book any justice and once you put faces to the characters you have built in your head it ruins all the fun of imagination, but that was not the case with American Gods. On the contrary, seeing the characters in action and coming alive on the screen gave a whole new dimension to the story. And with the strong elements of visual effects, the story slowly started to unfold and come to life in that first episode.
I strongly liked the performance of the powerful and talented Yetide Badaki as Bilquis. Forget the fact that the Goddess just took a man inside her body in a very eccentric way (that I will not mention and leave you to figure it out yourself by watching the show!), that is not the only thing which drew me to her performance. Yetide gave Bilquis life, she embraced the character’s desires and strengths and embodied it in an erotic and breathtaking performance. She took you there! All the lines you have read in the book (if you have the book) suddenly came to life and Yetide gave it soul. For me, it was an excellent introduction to the character.
All the characters represented in the episode (see at the end of the article for the full list) were impressively represented in the episode. I had a feeling that the show will be one heck of a rollercoaster and the premiere was the perfect build up for the storm which is yet to come.
I have to mention the music; the new title sequence is just incredible. It comes from Elastic, “a studio that also designed stunning sequences for Westworld, The Crown, and several Pottermore shorts.” (Entertainment Weekly). I fell in love with it and the way it was represented, and to be honest I did get the familiar Hannibal vibes when I first tuned in, but you cannot blame me for that. The show holds the same legendary greatness Hannibal held, and still holds, with a score composed by Brian Reitzell.
The cinematography and direction of the show falls nothing short of epic. Graphic visualization of events is heavily present, but I would not expect anything less from Bryan – he is, proudly, known for his graphic and rather vicious visual adaptations on the screen. But, I have to let you know that the show is not made for the weak hearted nor is it made for the average mind. I must remind you to always keep your mind open and go beyond the obvious to be able to fully grasp the intensity of Bryan’s work and to dive in Gaiman’s world of peculiar events.
Did you catch the American Gods premiere yet? No? What are you waiting for? You can catch the premiere episode on the following websites:
Inside the USA: Starz
Outside the USA: Amazon Prime Video
Episode cast list included:
Ricky Whittle – Shadow Moon
Emily Browning – Laura Moon
Yetide Badaki – Bilquis
Pablo Schreiber – Mad Sweeney
Ian McShane – Mr. Wednesday
Johnathan Tucker – Low Key Lyesmith