We’d not be in Annville anymore—nobody is—however Preacher nonetheless kicks off its second season in an analogous spot as its first. When Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s adaptation of the Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon comedian premiered final 12 months, it confirmed the appropriate mixture of deference and deviation from the supply materials, and was poised to be a raucous good time. However retaining the motion in that small Texas city, the place Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) was doing his damnedest to steer his flock, squandered plenty of that good will. It’s not that the season one villain Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) was a dud—he wasn’t—and even that there wasn’t a necessity for some basis work early on. However season one ended up principally simply laying a basis, which appeared all of the extra wasteful when the finale flat-out razed it.
That methane cloud looms within the first three episodes of season two, each within the characters’ minds and the viewers’, however season two in any other case will get off to a rollicking begin. We soar proper into the automobile with Jesse, Tulip (Ruth Negga), and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), who’re in sizzling pursuit of a deity. There’s pressure from the love triangle that retains making an attempt to say itself, in addition to the added suspense of none of them figuring out precisely what they’ll do after they discover God. Jesse’s talked of bringing him to account with the Phrase Of God, an influence he bought from the union of an angel and a demon. And whereas that is probably not as easy a premise as slumming it within the coronary heart of Texas, it’s what followers of Ennis and Dillon’s comedian have been ready for, and actually, anybody who watched Jesse bungle in deploying the Phrase Of God within the first season.
By now, Rogen and Goldberg, who directed the premiere, have a deal with on balancing the humor and horror, as they fill the primary hour with a automobile chase, a “Come On, Eileen” sing-along—although not with out the requisite refrain of “this music sucks” first—and evisceration. It’s a hilarious, bombastic begin to the season-long street journey, and is paying homage to the sequence premiere. In actual fact, as the primary three episodes unfold, it turns into more and more clear that the showrunners, together with govt producer Sam Catlin, are treating them as a second likelihood to make a primary impression. This time, they’re extra environment friendly with introductions, exhibiting off Tulip’s coolness below stress, Jesse’s conceitedness, and Cassidy’s literal blood thirst within the first 10 minutes or so. Whilst our bodies and autos are shattered by a plodding stranger’s (Graham McTavish) bullets, the trio’s dynamic is established and their mission made clear.
The primary third of the season is virtually a reset, which gained’t show to be an issue for Preacher readers, however there’s additionally some exposition to assist the novices play catch-up. It’s built-in rather more seamlessly, although, wafting out and in of what would simply be a Technicolored dream on a distinct form of present. However right here, the avenging saints and wayward divine beings are grounded in the identical actuality as gun nuts, gasoline station attendants, and one actually thirsty resort visitor. Regardless of setting an undead 19th-century cowboy on Jesse’s path, Preacher by no means dips into the gritty pitfalls that are likely to journey up comedian ebook film administrators. There are very actual penalties to all the pieces, however the tone and solid stay so exuberant that it by no means comes near being dour.
For higher or worse, Annville stays on their minds, however nonetheless solely will get a cursory remedy from the script. It’s too quickly to inform if there’s something left to that story, however Preacher appears able to do its penitence and transfer on. If you happen to’re nonetheless irritated with the primary season’s finale, season two works laborious to earn your forgiveness, relating the comics’ New Orleans arc, in addition to presenting the primary correct have a look at the Grail. Prior information will assist you to select an Easter egg or two, but it surely’s not crucial to understand the bawdy new setting or perceive the brand new menace.
For all of the enjoyable available within the first a part of the season, Rogen et al. additionally lay some groundwork, as a result of there are, in any case, 10 episodes left (season two bought an prolonged order), and we haven’t even seen God but—although we do be taught he’s an even bigger fan of jazz than gospel. There are some extra revisions to the comics, together with the connection between Jesse and Tulip. It’s extra of an replace, actually—whereas within the comics, she wished to be handled as an equal, there’s no query of that right here. So as an alternative, they debate the character of consent every time Jesse makes use of the Phrase. That change works barely higher than the one to Eugene “Arseface” Root’s (Ian Colletti) backstory, although, which has extra of a Superbad really feel to it than the darker unique.
These are comparatively small gripes; general, Preacher recovers plenty of floor from the primary season, thanks partly to improved pacing. And it’s actually simply wanting higher than ever, from the costuming to the sun-washed cinematography and lovely saturated colours. That vibrant coloration palette pairs completely with the heightened focus of the season, which can hopefully stay simply as sharp as the remainder of it unfolds. A hunt for god(s) has lately performed out on the small display, however the focus and dynamic of this hell-bound street journey (sure, the underworld pops up, too) is totally different. There is a swindle occurring in Preacher, however the viewers is now not the one being taken for a trip.
Developed for tv by: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Sam Catlin (based mostly on the comedian ebook sequence by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon)
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Colletti
Debuts: Sunday, June 25 at 10 p.m. Jap on AMC (strikes to Mondays at 9 p.m. Jap on June 26)
Format: Hour-long supernatural, darkish comedy
Three episodes watched for assessment