How many shows start with an exploding Preacher? Luckily, it is not the title character, but one in Africa who is seemingly hit by a force and shortly bursts into pieces! While this part of the storyline is what we get into first, we also get a fantastic introduction to our main characters. First off, we see Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) as he gives his sermon from his church. We see that he has a reputation around his small town Annville, Texas. When you see a young boy asking a man of god to “hurt” his Dad as he beats him and his Mum, the moral line is very much thin. When he later comes face to face with the man, his fists and wits are enough to take down five men with ease…with the help of a chair from a Vampire (but more on the fantastic Joseph Gilgun later). He isn’t a complete downer, but he clearly does care a lot for the people in his community, then you get to meet the other more “positive” in the show!
First, there is Irish vampire Cassidy. When we first meet him, he kills a plane full of men while in mid-air and then jumps out to form his own crater with his scattered body pieces. No worries though, he finds a cow to feast upon to regain his self (A cow!!). The wit is certainly strong in Cassidy, and Joe Gilgun has proven many times before that he can pull off some impressive comic chops when needed. Then we have another former Misfits cast member, Ruth Negga is thrown straight in (or driven in) as the wildcard Tulip (her actual name was very long and compl…just keep it to Tulip). We first see her as she fights two guys in a moving car and then brings down a helicopter with a makeshift bazooka. Then we also got Arseface/Eugene. He isn’t the easiest character to look at, but he may be the most righteous of the cast. He may have in his past been less than pure, but from the minimal time we get with Eugene, we know he will become a fan-favourite (if a little uncomfortable to actually look at).
Remember I said about the exploding preacher? Well, he isn’t the only one. And it strictly isn’t only Christians that are going to pieces. A satanic leader in Russia also ends up with the same fate and apparently so does a main figure in scientology (a certain actor known for Mission Impossible, Top Gun, Days Of Thunder and lots more). The same incident happens to good ol’ Jesse, he is attacked but seems to recover well and have certain powers. Ones which may need some fine tuning, after a comment seems to really go to heart! (you know so well what part I mean if you have seen this). Overall, this is probably one of the best pilot episodes I have seen. Some great tunes pad the episode, and it’s great to hear Carly Simon in an action scene or Johnny Cash in a point of deep thought. We get a great mix of comedy and drama thanks to the stamp of Sam Catlin (Writer for Breaking Bad) and the almighty partnership of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Yes, there is plenty of blood and some creepy scenes and it never seems too much, not yet anyway. As for the acting, Joseph Gilgun for me gives the best performance of the show. Instantly establishing Cassidy as the most fun character, he throws himself into the action quite literally and makes himself a powerful ally of the title character. I don’t see many weak parts so far, the show has done well to create a strong cast and a gripping story which will need plenty of time to really expand. Can’t wait for episode 2 and to see what supernatural mayhem is to come!
Final Rating: 9/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove
You can see Preacher every Sunday on AMC in the US and every Monday on Amazon Prime in the UK