Title: Preacher “Pilot”
Air Date: May 22nd, 2016
Genre: Drama, Black Comedy, Horror
Jesus…What kind of Preacher are you? What’s important to know about AMC’s Preacher, is that this story is derived from a comic book. Therefore, you have to open your mind to that style genre and not expect something completely grounded in “reality.” If you can do that, Preacher is a whole hell of a lot of fun. It’s been quite some time since I browsed through the Preacher comics so I remembered very little when it came to viewing this Pilot episode. It slowly began to come back as the episode unfolded and I went from lying down in bed to a seated position by the halfway point of the episode. That’s how I know an episode begins to grab my attention and Preacher succeeded in doing this. Dominic Cooper is fantastic as the Preacher and he’s an actor I have really come to enjoy. Mr. Cooper has been in a number of roles all the way back to 2001 but his first role that caught my attention was in The Devil’s Double when he played two characters on opposite sides of the spectrum. One character was a generally good man and the other was an absolute lunatic. Showrunner Sam Caitlin has equally said that Cooper’s performance in the Devil’s Double is what basically landed him the part.
Dominic Cooper plays the role of Jesse Custer, a man with a troubled past. He had left home a number of years ago but returned on a promise, one that he mentions that he frequently breaks. Flashbacks of Jesse’s father give a glimpse into the motivation of Jesse. “Be a good guy because the world already has too many bad ones.” This is what Jesse is trying to do throughout the episode. He is trying to be a good guy and tends to the problems of others as a Preacher now. Very early on a little boy asks Jesse for help with his mother’s boyfriend, who is beaten behind closed doors. This boy doesn’t want Jesse to talk to him, he wants him to hurt him because that little boy heard about the things Jesse did before coming back to Texas. The following dialogue is what really helps to form a picture of just who Jesse is trying to be here. Yes, he could really hurt this guy but then things would escalate and a whole lot more people would have to be hurt.
The episode does jump around some so you may initially be a little lost in the shuffle but hang in there because it does begin to come together. Everything will not be neatly tied up in a little bow here in terms of story and that’s not a bad thing. It will take time for things to unfold over several episodes so for those that aren’t familiar with the comics…hang in there. Dark humor is certainly present here with pranksters rearranging the letters on the church sign and in more subtle ways with the TV headline about Tom Cruise. The opening of the episode shows a mysterious force enter another Preacher somewhere in Africa and… it doesn’t go well. Since that time, this force continues to travel the globe seemingly in an attempt to find someone who can handle it. Someone or something also appears to be on its trail.
Preacher introduces a number of characters from the comic and the casting choices here are excellent. Cassidy is a fast talking, hard drinking Irishman who gets an incredibly interesting, action-packed entrance, as does Tulip. Cassidy is played by Joe Gilgun, who in the comics will eventually accompany Jesse on his quest to find God and he himself has his own secret which will become apparent to viewers during his entrance. Tulip is played by Ruth Negga which some may recognize from Agents of Shield and is a former love interest of Jesse. I don’t want to give away the entrance she makes in this Pilot episode but a homemade bazooka and some metal army men are involved. Another character from the comic shows up here as well and I couldn’t help but chuckle, mainly because I already know his name from the comics. Ian Coletti plays Arseface and well… as soon as you see him, you’ll understand why he gets the nickname.
Preacher’s first outing is terrific and it’s an over the top gory mess of fun. This first episode was actually directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, who also worked together on This is the End. If you have seen that movie then you’ll get a pretty good idea of what is to come here with Preacher. If you’d like to read up more on the plot of the comic you can check out it out here. As with the Walking Dead, you can expect the show will differ from the comic story line in a number of ways to avoid being a straight carbon copy. While I do not have the power to speak the “Word of God” I will tell you that Preacher is worth your time. Give it a watch… I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
- Characters: A great cast of characters make their premiere in this debut episode.
- Story: Jumps around a little bit but comes together nicely by the close of the episode
- Cinematography: Gory and fun
- Acting: Dominic Cooper is fantastic, along with Ruth Negga and Joe Gilgun
- Over the top fun
- Jumping around may irk some