TV Review: Preacher (Season 2, 2017)

Please note: there are a handful of minor comic book spoilers here, such as character introductions or plot references (that may not happen, yet or at all, or even the same way they do in the comic). I promise there’s nothing here which will ruin your enjoyment of this season.

Following the destruction of Annville at the end of the previous season, season two of Preacher picks up right where we left off as the titular preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), along with his former girlfriend, the hitman Tulip O’Hare (academy award nominee Ruth Negga) and the immortal, Irish vampire Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) are searching for God – literally. The trio find themselves pursued by the deadly Saint of Killers (Graham MacTavish), and monitored by the mysterious organisation known as The Grail, headed by the ruthless Herr Starr (Pip Torrens). At the same time, Eugene “Arseface” Root (Ian Colletti) finds himself literally in hell, with his cell being directly next to that of Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor). Preacher is a loose adaption of the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

+ all of the show’s acting was good to great, with Tulip (Negga), Starr (Torrens), and Featherstone (Emery) being the standouts. The scenes between Tulip and Featherstone were among my favourites, and Pip Torrens joins JK Simmons as Jonah Jameson and Ron Perlman as Hellboy in the group of PERFECT casting for a comic book character
+ other new additions to the cast are Denis (Ronald Gutman), an acquaintance of Cassidy’s who lives in New Orleans, where the trio stay, and Amy Hill as one of Hell’s prison wardens. Both add a new layer to the story, for different reasons, but each have several moments where they effect others in big ways
+ the Eugene/Hitler in hell story had its ups and downs, but for the most part was a welcome break from the main New Orleans story. Noah Taylor’s take on Hitler was super enjoyable, as he played the repentent, ‘wants to do good’ character
+ a few fantastic segments, such as Herr Starr’s incredible origin flashbacks, a completely silent, first-person shot from a soldier and an earlier episode set in Vegas are the standouts. It is the times that the series embraces it’s black comedy side that it reaches its peak
+ Jesse’s past is given a bit of the spotlight, mostly in the cold openings for a few episodes, and I look forward to seeing these details fleshed out more in the next season. His past is detailed before the introduction of The Grail in the comics, so I’m interested as to how one story is resolved (if it gets resolved) before his past is revealed

preacher_s2_2.png
Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) and Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) on their literal search for God.

– the season was basically divided into two smaller half seasons; the first had the trio avoiding and finding a way to deal with the Saint of Killers, while the second half introduced The Grail and Herr Starr. Splitting this into ~6 episode mini-seasons only made the impact both the Saint and The Grail had feel even less important
– the location of New Orleans felt tiny. After arriving in the third episode, where the trio wandered through the streets of the city, I don’t think Tulip or Cassidy left Denis’ apartment much at all, though at least Tulip was given a bit of a side story for an episode or two. It was disappointing to see the best actor (Negga as Tulip) and best character (Gilgun’s Cassidy) based around the apartment itself. I understand the show is called ‘Preacher’, not ‘Preacher, Vampire and Contract Killer’, but it was still a bit upsetting

> Tyrus (fka WWE’s Brodus Clay, now working in GFW) was one of the enforcers in Hell. He recently appeared in a minor role in G.L.O.W, too, so it seems he might have a budding TV career coming. I always liked him, so I am happy for him
> dang that opening theme music is catchy

Should you watch this show: This season was so far removed from the first that it almost felt like an entirely new series, and both seasons have been such loose adaptions of the comic that it is almost as if they are original side stories compared tot he comics. I think we all now know we aren’t getting a straight adaption, and in that regard this show is a very enjoyable take on the story of the comics. Much like Game of Thrones this year, I couldn’t help but feel episode quality went up and down almost weekly, but overall this was very different to, but a large improvement over, the first season.

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