Preacher debuted in fine style on AMC this Sunday night and since by now the whole world’s had a chance to stream it, here’s 5 of my favourite (and one least favourite) aspects.
“Be brave, Tell her the truth, Open Your Heart”
When our titular Preacher, Jesse Custer, tells a needy, mother-obsessed parishioner to ‘Be brave, tell her the truth and open your heart’ to his overbearing mother, anyone familiar with the comic series knew immediately what the outcome of this command was going to be.
The Word (as Jesse’s mysterious power is referred to in the comic series) causes those who hear it to follow its commands in a literal sense. Tell someone to go fuck themselves and the next thing they’re performing a phallectomy and inserting in like a suppository (spoiler alert. Maybe. If it follows the source material!) So when Mr Needy performs manual open heart surgery it’s especially satisfying.
Perennially optimist Eugene Root, aka Arseface (or in his words, ‘Uhfuh)’, was always going to be a tough one. In the comics, Eugene is a bullied, Nirvana-loving loser, who attempts to copycat Kurt Cobain’s suicide by shooting himself in the face with a shotgun. He survives but is left hideously disfigured by the event.
This origin story will obviously have to be update for this modern retelling, but so far suh gud. Actor Ian Colletti accurately conveys Arseface’s vulnerability and endearing optimism. He is given his unfortunate, though fitting, moniker by Cassidy.
How’d Ya Like These Tulips?
I prefer TV Tulip to comic Tulip. There I said it. I never felt that Tulip’s alleged ass-kickery ever really came across in the comic; she was only ass-kicking until she hooks up with Jesse and then becomes a shambolic wreck.
TV Tulip channels her dismay and bitterness at her failed relationship with Jesse into becoming a one-woman, moonshine-powered, bazooka-rigging A Team. Also, Ruth Negga’s performance was great. Her Tulip is self contained and a more than a little crazy. Ass kickery incarnate!
Jesse is very black and white, both literally and figuratively. Thus, a wife-beater who threatens his own child while dressed as Confederate general must be pummelled unmercifully before having his arm snapped. No Hail Marys required.
The beating itself was all thick, quick punches and jagged camera angles. The scene was cartoonish in its simplicity but Jesse is NOT one for nuance. There’s a reason John Wayne is his idol, after all.
Lots of it here: The booze bottles all carry a logo which bears an uncanny similarity to the Saint of Killers; a reoccurring flashback appears to include Jesse’s dad as a preacher – this is quite a divergence from the source material; we catch a glimpse of Quincannon Meat and Power, run by Odin Quincannon (to be played by Jackie Earle Haley!), reportedly season one’s ‘big bad’. When will we get to see Ms Oatlash, and more importantly, the meat locker?
However, there was one thing that was notably not awesome…
Let’s talk about accents for a moment, shall we? Dominic Cooper is no Andrew Lincoln in the ‘convincing accent’ department. No amount of quiet talking can disguise his inconsistencies. Let’s hope he gets better with practice, but he probably won’t and since Americans never seem to notice these things, it’s unlikely to matter.
And while we’re on the subject, Cassidy’s accent is downright bizarre. Whereabouts in Ireland is he supposed to be from exactly? I’ve never heard an accent like his outside of ‘Travellers and Tiaras’ and I’ve lived here FOREVER. Still, Joe Gilgun is a fantastic actor capable of perfectly balancing pathos and psychosis so perhaps that will help take the edge of that awful Oirish accent, boyo.