It has been said time and time again, but I think it is important to re-assert the soundbite that is so often aired by critics and consumers alike; we live in the golden age of television.
Less, shall we say, “bankable” shows are increasingly being green-lit by television studios; with the stratospheric success of shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, studios have been more willing to produce shows that might be seen as “risky” by the people that provide the financial backing. We have become accustomed to excellent pieces of entertainment being pumped out by the bucket-load. This has both negatives and positives for everyone involved. On the plus-side; we, the consumers, are able to find fantastic entertainment with very little effort. On the down-side, the sheer volume of quality television presents us with a look at our own fragile existence, and how little time we have on Earth — how are we meant to be able to watch everything?
“We have become accustomed to excellent pieces of entertainment being pumped out by the bucket-load.”
There are so many shows from the past couple of years that I have loved and found to be some of the highest caliber of work ever produced for our television screens; Hannibal, True Detective (season 1), Fargo, and the recently-returned Mr Robot. Yet, the discussion around and about these shows was so severely lacking that I could only conclude that it was because everyone was spending their precious time re-watching Game of Thrones, or that other shows simply got in the way.
With all that in mind, I want it known that if you are not currently watching Preacher, then it is about time you started.
Preacher is undoubtedly a show that illustrates a perfect example of how online streaming services have allowed us to experience shows that simply would not exist if these services did not exist. Preacher had been in development limbo for years, and it is clear from the get-go to see why; Preacher is, frankly, baffling.
“Preacher really drops you in the middle of it.”
The show itself is wrapped in so much mystery and intrigue that I feel as though it is important to not give too much away. It is set in modern-day Texas, it features supernatural and religious elements; with just the right amount of dark, tongue-in-cheek humour to keep you from losing patience with this utterly ludicrous world.
The characters are easy to get along with, although oftentimes their motivations become murky and it is difficult to empathise with some of them. Your disbelief must be suspended, and you must go in with an open mind; Preacher really drops you in the middle of it. Currently, eight episodes have been premiered on Amazon, and there remains a bit of a mystery concerning what, exactly, the overarching plot is. And that is one of the reasons why I love it. It is the promise of more that keeps me coming back — every week we have great writing and enough pay-offs to feel as though you aren’t being conned into watching; as is so often the case with TV (I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead).
“I have never seen a show like it, and I bet you haven’t either.”
The performances are excellent; the chemistry between Dominic Cooper’s Jesse Custer and Joseph Gilgun’s Cassidy is great (although, at times, Gilgun’s Irish accent leaves a little to be desired). The action sequences stand out as some of the best I’ve seen on TV; particularly the plane scene in the first episode, and much of episode 6’s motel room set-piece. I cannot praise this show enough.
It is the uniqueness of Preacher that I think really sells it; I have never seen a show like it, and I bet you haven’t either. There’s only two episodes left in this first season — I urge you to catch up so that I’m not the only one left pining for more come the 1st of August.