TV has long held viewers’ attention with programming that finds a central hook and then aggressively overuses that hook into oblivion. But the incredible new drama American Gods, Starz’s take on Neil Gaiman’s stellar novel, will likely never become tiresome viewing, as it is an unpredictable and constantly morphing kaleidoscope of drama and mysticism and abyss-black humor. CinemaBlend recently spoke with co-creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green about Season 1, and it turns out the show’s anti-lucid format was the core worry the duo had in adapting the book for TV. Here’s what Green told me.
The show jumps time, place, subject so many times as the episodes continue, much as they did in the first two, that we’re always wondering if we pushed the audiences’ patience for willingness to play along too far.
Simple addition is harder to understand than Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s innate concern that general audiences might be overwhelmed with this weblike tale of vengeful elder gods, deadly checkers games, dream forests, and alcohol-infused coin tricks. From the opening prologue introducing the concept of America’s true origins, American Gods unapologetically gives viewers the ultimatum of “Pay very close attention or fall behind with the foolish mortals.” And even though Fuller and Green are closer to and more familiar with the material than anyone else, they can still objectively see how certain sections of the TV demographics would change the channel out of confused frustration. (Do people really do that?)
I know this kind of stuff doesn’t work for all of humanity, but how can anyone avoid watching a show where Orlando Jones turns into a spider and TV legend Cloris Leachman plays a Salvic god who can put down booze like a champ?
Even though the first two episodes have been released and widely adored by critics and viewers alike, the numbers could always be better, and hopefully they’ll get that way as the weeks go by. To that end, Bryan Fuller jokingly (perhaps) said the concerns they shared are not a temporary kind of thing.
I think the worries are alive and well and will be kicking around in our heads until long after the last episode of the season airs.
And while I wouldn’t want to wish worries on anyone, I’m definitely hoping that we’ll have many more seasons of Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane’s epic road trip to be flabbergasted by. With so many more sights and sounds to show viewers, American Gods airs Sunday nights on Starz at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else is hitting the small screen in the near future, head to our summer TV guide.