Okay, American Gods. Let's do this. So first - never fear, the series was renewed for a second season before the first even aired. The bummer? Season two isn't coming until Spring 2018.
Now, some thoughts:
1. I haven't read American Gods in over a decade, so some of what I remember from the book maybe incorrect. I read Anansi Boys much more recently, so I definitely think I have some overlap in my memory.
2. Speaking of Anansi Boys - there was a lot of complaint about Mr. Nancy online, how he was too flashy, too modern, not at all how an old god should act. BUT. If you read Anansi Boys, you will understand that the way Orlando Jones portrayed Mr. Nancy literally COULD NOT be any other way - Nancy is trickster, thrives on chaos, and I think Orlando Jones' did a PHENOMENAL job. (Also, if you haven't - read Anansi Boys. It's more entertaining and less confusing than American Gods, and you don't have to read AG to understand and enjoy AB.)
3. Shadow Moon - Ricky Whittle did an amazing job portraying Shadow, and it's too bad that the episodes covered the parts of the book where Shadow is at his most vulnerable and confused. I hope in season two, now that Shadow knows Mr. Wednesday's true identity, that he will start becoming more and more aware of the situation he was (inadvertently) placed in, and we can see him going beyond sad, confused, and angry in the emotional spectrum.
4. Mr. Wednesday - Ian McShane did a fantastic job and his talents were vastly underused. You really only get to see Wednesday's genius in three or four of the episodes, which is not nearly enough, imo.
5. Laura Moon - Emily Browning KILLED IT. SHE KILLED DEAD WIFE DEAD AND BACK AGAIN. I already loved her as an actress, but this just confirmed that the child actress I remember has grown up and is amazing.
6. Mad Sweeney - Honestly, at this point I can't have Mad Sweeney without Laura Moon. I want them to have a spin-off series. I want them to travel American forever trading snarky one-liners, and Laura being the only person Sweeney can't get one up on. Pablo Schrieber is again, amazing in the role. Friends tell me he also plays in OINTB but I don't watch that, so AG is all I have to go on. BUT SERIOUSLY. Hoping that the show deviates from the books and lets Laura and Sweeney just kick it, forever and ever amen.
7. Media - I never, ever realized that Gillian Anderson was so versatile an actress. She killed it as media, her impersonations were so spot on I wouldn't have guessed it was the same actress if I didn't already know.
8. Bilquis - CAN WE RAISE OUT HANDS IN PRAISE TO THIS GODDESS???? A beautiful, natural BLACK woman, who is strong, powerful, sexy, desirable and a literally QUEEN. YES, YES, YES. Bilquis has a very small role in the book, and I think by expanding it for the show, the showrunners made something that could have been very whitewashed now relevant to viewers of all race and religion.
9. Speaking of race and religion - Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jaquel, the Jinn, Salim, Easter, Jesus, there are so many races and religions that the show touches on, and although it is sometimes tongue in cheek (the many forms of Jesus, for example) not once does the show ever belittle anyone or make it seem as if any religion is less desirable than the others. In today's super volatile religious and political climate I found that so refreshing and important.
What about you guys? Who else watched? Did you like the show (yes for me) or the book better?
ETA: I also LOVED the intro. I don't know why, it was so sexy and haunting, like, I got excited just watching them make that totem of gods.