American Gods: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Episodes: 8
Duration: 55 min (per episode)

American Gods: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Series Review

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

American Gods, a novel that came out in 2001 received many awards that could not even come to describe the great and original story it was telling. Just like a fine wine or whisky, the story matured over the years into something moldable to start weaving a series around, to expand further upon the universe of Neil Gaiman, highlighting certain sequences from the book, elaborating on those that didn’t get their time to shine in the paper version of the story, or simply add new elements that would suit the story. We’ve seen trailers of American Gods before, claiming it would become the next best thing, and we simply have to agree, even though this series isn’t getting the same amount of attention as many others out there.

American Gods Banner

While the series tries to tell many stories, the main story will revolve around Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), who has spent the last three years in prison, but gets released a few days earlier because of the passing of his wife Laura (Emily Browning), who died in a car accident. Shadow, desperately trying to get home before the funeral, is out of luck as he needs extra money to reroute his plane ticket, and thus he has to spend a night in the airport. The next day he sees a peculiar ‘older’ man acting as if he is helpless, who gets upgraded to first class. When a bit of luck comes Shadow’s way, he also ends up in first class, where he discovers the man, who calls himself Wednesday (Ian McShane), is no helpless old fool after all. He even goes as far as to offer Shadow a ‘lucrative’ job.  Shadow declines, as his best friend already offered him a job, and while he can’t get in touch with him now, he is sure the offer is still waiting for him.

After the plane has to make an emergency landing, Shadow rents a car to continue his journey home, and once again he finds himself bumping into Mr. Wednesday, who again offers him the same job. Shadow is slowly getting annoyed, but when Wednesday tells him nothing is waiting for him at home, acting like an all-knowing being, Shadow soon learns that his best friend also died in the same car accident. He then accepts the business proposal, without properly knowing whatever he will have to do, before he heads home to pay his respects to his late wife. Upon arrival he learns that his wife and best friend had an affair, and they died in the car while doing something frisky. Enraged, but also grieving, Shadow packs his things and heads out with Wednesday. Before Shadow knows it, he finds himself in a surreal world, where there’s a very thin line between reality and fiction, soberness and fantasy, and last but not least, humanity and divinity.

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The flow of these first eight episodes is hard to describe, as sometimes the series is all over the place, while at other times it follows a more tranquil schedule. Almost in all of the episodes, you’ll get treated to a short story revolving around a forgotten god, characters in a long forgotten past, or simply certain psychedelic trips into the mind of one of the characters, often involving themes like life and death. American Gods is in many ways a creative piece of art when it comes to how things are presented, to how things are filmed and simply how the story is one big heap of chaos, that ends up becoming one giant harmonic piece that all revolves around love, be it human love, or a type of love for the many different gods, the latter often forgotten by the current society.

Acting performances are extremely solid, especially when it comes to the leading roles. Nonetheless, the series introduces a lot of new characters each episode, many being played by grade A actors, which make this production a rather overwhelming piece to plow through. In many ways the quality and feel of this production are very much akin to those of actual Hollywood movies, rather than a ‘simple series’.

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We get treated to a fair amount of special features on the Blu-ray edition of American Gods, where we can wade through many different interviews, the San Diego Comic-Con panel, a short explanation of what American Gods truly is, but also snippets about the book in comparison with the series, explanations about the old, as well as the new gods, and a fun little 360 tour through the Crocodile bar, which gets shown several times in the series. Overall these extras are a bit along the lines of a standard making of, or commentaries, they are still fun to watch if you want to prolong your American Gods experience.


American Gods is godly in what it tries to do, and what it eventually achieves. The series is a masterpiece in terms of cinematography, it is not only visually pleasing by throwing a hefty amount of details, it’s original in what it’s trying to tell and it’s simply enthralling to watch. If you’re looking for the next big thing, this one should not pass under anyone’s radar if they have an affinity for legendary tales.

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American Gods: Season 1 (Blu-ray) - Series Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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