Review: Preacher S1E1

Review: Preacher - "Pilot"

By: Johnny Wellens

I was skeptical when it was announced that Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen were creating a TV series based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s beloved comic book series. Rogen attempted a reboot to the Green Hornet via a film in 2011 that was not well received. I think the biggest issue that movie faced was that it was turned into a comedy and we as an audience weren’t ready for it. So when news broke about a Preacher series with Goldberg and Rogen involved there was an outcry. Fear for the worst and hope for the best is the approach I took and I think we got the best.

I never read the comic myself, I am familiar with it, I have ‘Wikipedia’d’ it several times and I have friends that adore it. So while I am always a stickler for staying faithful to the source material, I am judging this show only on quality and not adherence to the comic. As far as quality goes, I am impressed. 

The introduction of what I assume is “The Voice” hurtling across Outer Space on its way to Earth displayed as an old vintage TV program was enjoyable. Very Twilight Zone looking. The Voice inhabits the body of a preacher in Africa who, after using the power to silence his congregation, promptly explodes. I know this clip was released online already, but I hadn’t seen it and I was taken by surprise and the show was off to a bloody start. Throughout the episode there are others who are inhabited by The Voice and explode. The Tom Cruise scientologist jokes don’t land like they used to, but I did enjoy the news footage of him exploding appearing in the background at the bar.

We are introduced to Jesse Custer played very somberly by Dominic Cooper. I really enjoy Cooper and was excited about him being involved in the show since his appearances as Howard Stark on Agent Carter are at an end. (I loved Agent Carter, even the somewhat poorly received 2nd season, I wish it was being given another chance.) Jesse is a very sad and troubled man. He was a little boring at first but I’m sure that’s by design. Hopefully that changes soon because as of right now I enjoyed the scenes with Cassidy and Tulip a lot more.

The story shifts to the Irish vampire Cassidy, played by Joe Gilgun. Man I enjoyed him immensely. Right off the bat the tension builds. Rarely do introduction scenes that start off with a bunch of random people laughing and having a good time end well. The action was great and Cassidy pouring the pilot’s blood into the bottle before jumping out of the plane was hilarious. Cassidy seems to be able to recover from pretty serious injuries, I can see this being used to comic effect in future episodes. And his scenes with Cooper were engaging, I am looking forward to their friendship developing.

The stand out for me was Ruth Negga as Tulip. Her scene in the car was done very well. I was frustrated by the fact that they were still in the cornfield while the fight in the backseat was happening, so I appreciated when the camera moved out to see that the car was zigzagging hence the length of time. It’s the little things. And then she pulls a MacGyver and craps out a bazooka! With a couple of kids! I am glad that Tulip is a character I can root for. I half expected her to talk to the kids like garbage when she first showed up. Trash talking kids hurts my heart, good for her. I am really looking forward to more scenes with Tulip.

It appears that Jesse is going to need to watch what he says now that he has the voice. After telling a man that he needs to open his heart to his mother the guy immediately flies to the nursing home and quite literally cuts open his chest and pull out his heart. Jesse obviously isn’t aware of the power yet and even then doesn’t know how literal his words are taken. It will be interesting to see when he discovers it and how many more terrible things will happen before then.

Overall I really enjoyed the episode and am looking forward to the rest of the season. Praise be to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg!

Final Grade: A-

Random Notes:

  • Arseface/Eugene does not look nearly as bad as he does in the comics and he is the sweetest kid ever. I care about him already!
  • Emily definitely seems to have a thing for Jesse, which is sad because he's most likely ending up back with Tulip which is sad for her because she seems like a good person.
  • I liked the compound break. Shouldn't have threatened to beat your kid, pal.
  • Those two guys who are following The Voice seem...odd. Dude ate a teabag so he's either a weirdo or not human.