Friday, 19 August 2016

So I Watched.... Preacher.

It appears that these days, the best place to find the most interesting tv shows to watch are often found on the pay monthly services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Netflix has Dare Devil and forthcoming Punisher (no, I'm not mentioning Jessica Jones... shit, I just did) and Amazon has Bosch and now Preacher. I loved Dare Devil and Bosch, my feelings on Jessica Jones speak for themselves I should imagine, but Preacher was something I thought I should check out. I read the graphic novels many moons ago and it was a great read, I loved Ennis' story telling (whom I met at a convention a few years ago) and Dillon's art is in a league of its own so I was keen to see how it was translated onto the small screen.

Normally right at this point, I would be summing up the story of the series for this piece but even thinking about what was done to it for the sake of adaptation makes me want to grind my teeth. Apparently, the series serves as a prologue of sorts to the story but it was a combination of dark, moody, boring and seemingly dragged out story telling that I had a job to get through. The creators of the show tell a tale which involves some of the most unlikable and loathsome characters that I have ever seen in a TV show, Dominic Cooper is well cast as Jessie, Joseph Gilgun is the show's high point as Cassidy and his entrance in the show is amusing and Jackie Earle Haley is even more amusing as Odin Quinncannon. That for me were the only things that I liked about the show, I wanted to like it, I really did but the rest of the characters really just killed it for me. In particular, it was Ruth Negga as Tulip that annoyed me the most.

Apparently, the casting is supposed to be one to be celebrated as "positive" and so on, but I am always will be someone who believes that the source material should not be altered to suit a different audience and will remain as such. Tulip's character was changed from a very damaged white woman who is looking for her own answers for the pain she has been through in life to a badass black hitwoman, who tells some children at the beginning that a woman "needs to know how to be strong, to stand on her own" but then spends almost the whole series plotting a revenge mission she constantly bugs Jessie to join her on and hangs around like a delinquent teenager in the mean time because he won't.

I would go into more detail but in a nutshell: I won't be watching season two and I feel some relief as I write that. As was with the case before with Jessica Jones, the series suffers because who was involved in bringing it to the small screen and it doesn't take long to point my finger in the right direction. Seth Rogen, a man who plays the same character in almost all of his films and now a born again feminist it seems, was a cause for concern by many I have spoken to and it looks like they have been proven right. A lot of us remember that advertisment he took part in with Amy Schumer and the stories of allowing "feminist consultants" on Neighbors 2 and the signs of trouble were clearly there but hind sight is a wonderful thing I guess.

But why am I writing this when really I should be avoiding giving it more attention than what this series deserves? Well, as I said previously, I met Garth Ennis at a convention and sat in on a question and answer session with him, Jamie Delano, Peter Hogan and Phil Winslade, you can even see me sitting in the front row with my son. I asked the panel a question about comics being adapted into films and so on, quite badly I might add, but I remembered what he said about Preacher being adapted and it made me wonder. The video is on Youtube and I invite all to fast forward to 27:00 on the counter listen to me ask and fluff the question right at the end (when I mention Constantine) and then listen to what Ennis says about Preacher when it is optioned:

"The options on Preacher and The Boys sell regularly but nothing ever happens. This works great."

I watch the video and cringe at my younger self and smile at my son in his younger days but when I listen to Ennis say that quote over and over again, I am left with the burning question:

What happened?

It is most likely that we the viewers will never know so the best way I can wrap this up is to simply advise that you avoid this show because it may have Preacher's name, it may wear it's skin, but it sure as hell isn't Preacher.


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