American Gods is not out until the last week of April, but the first episode of Neil Gaiman's book adaptation premiered at the SXSW festival in Austin over the weekend. The premiere was then followed by a round of discussion with creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green.
The special screening was attended by TV critics and American Gods season 1 episode 1 review has already released. While the reviews highlight different aspects of the show, there is one common thread among all the reviews, everyone loved the first episode and wait for the series to kickoff.
The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society's modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and travelling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman, but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
Attendees of the special screening feel that the show has the capability to become a huge success and call it the "real deal." Here's a review roundup of American Gods episode 1 (this includes tweet reviews):
Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson writes that the first episode hints at a political message. "Art and entertainment are, after all, the great unifiers. If Gaiman, Fuller, and Green can use the full measure of their considerable creative powers to uncover secret corners of the country and the traditions that unite as much they divide, then American Gods can transcend every-day storytelling to become the stuff of myths and legends. (No pressure.) The moral of Gaiman's story, after all, is that no matter what Odin may say, there's room enough in this wide country for everyone—whether they're old world or fresh off the boat."
If you haven't watched the trailer yet, watch it here:
American Gods premiere on April 30 on STARZ.