It took me a full 24 hours to marinate on exactly what I wanted to include in this review. I could spend literal days unpacking each episode but I will try to keep it short and sweet.
American Gods is the story of Shadow Moon, an ex con, pulled into a war that is brewing between the old gods and the new gods. In a time where sci-fi/fantasy shows are churned out like butter (not all of them good), I can honestly say there has never been a show like this. This show was able to incorporate the values of America into the fantastical in such a magnificent way. American Gods hammers the point home that all of us came to America somehow, whether that was Viking travel in 813 CE or in a slave ship, or through indentured servitude or even crossing the border. I believe that this show is more relevant at this point in time than it intended to be. This show never pulled a punch and makes the viewer question the true power of belief.
I adored Shadow Moon. The entirety of the show is through Shadow’s eyes and I felt an instant kinship with him. He so desperately tries to piece together what is going on and as the viewer I was right there with him. On the other hand, Laura Moon, Shadow’s wife, I absolutely hated. In life she was a selfish, bored individual. Even when she tries to kill herself, it almost seems as if it’s more something to do than any sense of longing for death. Then she meets Shadow and becomes immediately interested because he poses as something new and interesting. They proceed to start their life together, and as to be expected, that overwhelming sense of boredom starts to creep back in. She initiates the robbery that gets Shadow put in prison in the first place because she was unhappy with the life she had with him. When Shadow gets caught, she explicitly told him that she would wait for him while he was in prison. That lasted for about 13 months, when Laura then decides to shack up with Shadow’s married best friend. Once she died and came back to life, Laura became even more pathetic. Following Shadow around like the puppy she thought he was. It truly stuck out to me when Laura was having a conversation with Mad Sweeney and he asked “is it love?” and she replied “it is now”. I really don’t think Laura was ever capable of being in love with anyone, but now with the lucky coin in her chest that was able to reanimate her, she sees Shadow as a big ball of light and is beginning to associate that with love.
I also enjoyed the modernization of old gods into new ones. What do you do as the god of fire and volcano’s when tribes are no longer sacrificing virgins to keep you sated? The natural progression would be guns. Become not just the god of fire but the god of firepower. Vulcan was a great addition and really thought provoking for me. How many gods have people prayed to that have since been forgotten? Which leads me directly into one of my very favorite characters from the show, Bilquis. I was completely entranced by her from the very first episode. And what a back story, told by the amazing Orlando Jones. An ancient goddess of sexual pleasures that used you and then sucked you up into her vagina. But what does a powerful woman attract? A less powerful man that wants to bring her down. Bilquis was completely forgotten and powerless, until Technology Boy (a new god) showed her dating sites. That was another powerful example of modernization I completely loved. An ancient sex goddess not being worshiped anymore, give her Tinder and she will rule again.
In an effort to not go crazy with this review, I will try to wrap it up. I loved this show. I loved everything about it from the acting, to the art like quality of every single scene, and of course, the ability to show the power in belief. I encourage all of you to watch and give me your opinions!