TV-Adaptations of Comicbooks aren’t always great. Agents of Shield lost me during the second season, as did Arrow. On the other hand we have Netflix co-produced shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones that are quite good. There’s of course The Walking Dead, as series that is still pretty successful. So it’s hard to have realistic expectations when a new franchise is being adapted for TV. Especially when that franchise is Preacher, a somewhat niche comic from the 90’s.
I have only read about a dozen of issues back when the series was released in Germany and enjoyed it quite a bit, but I doubted it would translate all that well as a TV-show. Turns out, I was wrong. The story of Jesse Custer, a preacher who receives supernatural powers thanks to being possessed by a supernatural being, might be a perfect fit.
The first episode does a fine job at establishing all the characters: Jesse Custer, the aforementioned main character, is shown to be an unsuccessful priest in the small Texan town of Annville. Cassidy is introduced in an amazing fight scene that perfectly shows off what the Irish vampire is all about: kicking ass, cracking jokes and swearing. Same goes for Tulip, who redefines Arts and craft classes for all of us. Even arseface made the cut and adds some of the bizarre elements the comic is known for to the mix.
The action in this first episode is well done: It’s frantic, fast paced and has a lot of punch. The actors fit their roles well, especially Ruth Negga does a great job of bringing Tulip to live. I have mixed feeling about Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer; while he manages to portray him well enough most of the times, sometimes he comes across as being overly clueless. That might be intentional, but it threw me a bit off. Joe Gilgun as Cassidy is a perfect match however and I’m excited to find out where they go with him.
I liked the episode overall even though it has its hands quite full with trying to establish so many things in one go. At the same time, the slow pacing of many scenes sometimes hurts the tension, but I think this might improve in the next few episodes. If the quality of the acting and the fight scenes stays the same, this might be a great series. I’m certainly looking forward to the second episode.
8/10: The first episode is promising, but hasn’t really wowed me so far. It’s a great start though!