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“Preacher” is one of the most unique shows on television right now

We may just be in the Golden Age of television, ladies and gentlemen. I know people have said that for years, but as someone who mostly sticks to film and only occasionally goes in on a TV show, it takes a lot for me to notice things on the small screen. A new exception to that is Preacher, which has just launched on AMC and is looking like a special program. It’s unlike anything else on TV right now, which I can always appreciate. It’s gory, humorous, sad, and serious, all in equal measure, which I really respond to. In short, I think we have a show to really pay attention to as we head into the summer.

The show is an adaptation of the cult comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis. The premise is ridiculous, I grant you that, as it follows a preacher (Dominic West) who is a pretty poor man of the cloth, as he’s taken over by an unexplained supernatural event. It gives him powers, but also brings him into contact with an Irish vampire (Joseph Gilgun) and a woman from his past (Ruth Negga). From there, he’s essentially on a mission to literally find God. Yeah. It sounds bonkers, and it is, but it just works. I’ll just say that you have to see it to believe it. Seth Rogen shepherded this to AMC, along with Evan Goldberg, and they co-directed the pilot, with writing done by that pair, Sam Catlin, and Steve Dillon. Also in the cast we have Tom Brooke, W. Earl Brown, Ian Colletti, Lucy Griffiths, Jackie Earle Haley, Derek Wilson, Anatol Yusef, and more.

Frankly, I don’t think this series is for everyone, but if you did weird stuff like I do, it’s kind of fantastic. Case in point, while I won’t say exactly what happens, the opening scene of the pilot, as well as an event involving Tom Cruise will pretty much let you know if you’re in or out here. It’s a show that really can go in any direction it chooses to, and that’s really exciting. Sure, it can seem a little slow at times, but it’s more meditative than a poor directorial choice. I literally can’t wait to see where it goes.

Seth Rogen Visits New.Music.Live. at Bell Media Headquarters in Toronto on May 27 2013
Oddly enough, Preacher was once upon a time potentially going to be a film/film franchise, with Kevin Smith as well as his producer Scott Mosier having been initially approached by Ennis to make a movie adaptation, one they pitched to Miramax. Years later, Sam Mendes was going to take a crack at it, but that also fell through the cracks. Things pretty much stayed as is until a few years ago when Goldberg and Rogen came along to push it to the finish line. It’s really set up well to be a TV show, but I do think it could have been an awesome series of flicks as well. The material is just so strong, regardless.

Basically, Preacher is unlike anything else on television right now. The uniqueness of the premise and the boldness of the execution has me considering diving back in to appointment TV, which is saying something when you look at how I also see close to 350 movies a year. If any of you are looking for something new to watch, I highly recommend giving this one a shot. Maybe it won’t sustain the high it put me on with the pilot, but that’s always a risk. Kudos to Rogen and company for really going there with this. In the case of Preacher, I’m willing to follow it along on its deeply weird journey, and I hope you contemplate doing the same…

Be sure to check out Preacher on Sunday nights, only on AMC!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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