American Gods Review: The Bone Orchard (Season 1 Episode 1)

Even though this show is based off a well-known novel, I’m coming into this show with a completely blind perspective. I had to do a little light research just to figure out who the more focused on characters were, but that was the extent of it. I’m a sucker for anything mythology related, and just the premise alone was enough to get me hyped. Thankfully, American Gods Season 1 Episode 1, “The Bone Orchard,” didn’t disappoint.

What Kind Of Name Is ‘Shadow Moon’?

For any story, whether literary or otherwise, to be considered ‘good,’ you have to have a compelling main character. You can’t just throw something against the wall and hope it sticks.

Shadow Moon, which I legitimately thought was simply just a nickname, is certainly interesting and likable enough to get me on his side and rooting for him after about an hour of airtime.

I love characters that grow and develop positively and, though it hasn’t happened on screen, you can tell that the man he is coming out of jail is far different than the man he was when he went in. I know probably couldn’t sit down and read over 800 books like that.

I was right along with him during everything. I could feel what he was feeling and understand where he was coming from. There’s nothing worse than basing emotion off of something that logically doesn’t make sense.

I have no clue what his dreams/visions could mean, but I’m sure that’ll come to light sooner or later. You don’t just get confronted by a strange creature with flames shooting from his eyes for no reason.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Even though Mr. Wednesday was presenting himself one way, I don’t trust him in the least bit. He came into the show scamming, and that’s never a good note.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s revealed that he set up the car crash that killed Shadow’s wife and best friend. I know that had happened before they met but the man said it himself. He always gets what he wants at some point or another. He wanted Shadow, and he got him.

Bilquis is certainly one of the more interesting characters I’ve seen in a long while. She doesn’t need blood, simple worship, pure faith, or anything to keep herself looking young. She has to shove her partners inside her and consume them entirely.

I thought she was gonna out and out kill him, but the show took it to a whole other level. I’m gonna have to wait and see more of her to see if I like her or not. 

As far as Mad Sweeney’s concerned, I’m leaning more toward neutral to dislike. I don’t get much enjoyment out of fight scenes, and his character seems to be coming off as more obnoxious than anything else.

Maybe he was simply drunk, I don’t know. For now, though, I’m not too impressed. 

I had to look up what Technical Boy’s name was. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t stated in the show. He’s clearly a villainous character that’s out to get Wednesday and exterminate him.

The whole ‘old gods have to be put out to pasture’ aspect of him is interesting, but nothing else about him makes me want to root for him. 

Other Thoughts:

  • The sheer amount of violence and graphic imagery was staggering. I had to look away a good amount of times.
  • I’ve always wanted American Horror Story to cover mythology in some sense, and this is probably the closest I’ll get.
  • I’m gonna have to take another couple looks at the title sequence. I love a good title sequence, and I’m sure there’s a whole lot to digest and dissect.
  • I’m gonna need an explanation for the difference between simply killing someone and ‘deleting’ them.
  • Even though I can see the potential for it, I don’t want the show to go overboard with the social commentary aspect. 

Favorite Quote: “I’m not gonna hurt anyone for fun or profit.”

Overall Grade: A- (I didn’t have the slightest idea what to expect, and I was more than pleasantly surprised. I’m officially hooked on the show, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store. Though, if we could not do the whole lynching thing anymore, I’d gladly appreciate it.)

What did you think about this episode of American Gods? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

American Gods airs on Sundays at 9/8c on Starz.

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