Not Preaching to the Choir: Thoughts on AMC’s Preacher from a Person Who’s Never Read the Comic

Father, I have a confession. Apart from the free reprint of issue one that recently hit comic shops, I’ve never read Preacher.

I know this is sacrilege in the comic’s world, with the Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon classic considered by many to be the greatest series ever. But to me, it’s always been that thing that came out during my break from comics, that I planned on reading and never got around to.

Before watching the pilot episode or reading the promo copy of issue one, my basic understanding of Preacher was this: A Texas preacher with a past thinks God has left us, so he goes on an epic road trip to find him. Along the way, Preacher Jesse Custer meets up with his ex Tulip, an Irish vampire named Cassidy, and a deformed guy called Arseface. The story is said to be violent, thought provoking, and engrossing, so I thought the show would be along those lines.

After watching the pilot, I feel like my expectations were way off the mark. While the cartoonishly violent fight scenes and charmingly strange characters made for great moments, the story dragged more often than not, and it seemed pretty cozy in this one town for a supposed road trip romp.

I waited until after episode two aired to write this, thinking it might pick up where issue one of the comic starts. But after watching the latest episode, it still seems like a promising, though different story.

While Tulip keeps trying to recruit Jesse for a treasure hunt of sorts, it doesn’t look like they are going to take to the road any time soon. Though there are hints of God being gone, it hasn’t seemed to inspire Jesse to search for him yet. While the choice to delay the traveling makes sense from a budgetary perspective, it dramatically changes the show from what I thought it would be.

Overall, I enjoyed the shows, and I will be back for episode three. Though it may pan out considerably different from what I think was in the comics that I didn’t read, Preacher still has the possibility to be its own entertaining TV series.

If you haven’t seen it already, check out episode one on AMC.com. Then, let us know what you though about it in the comments section.

About George Aslanian

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