From AMC, executive producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and showrunner Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad) comes the TV adaptation of Garth Ennis’ and Steve Dillon’s iconic DC: Vertigo comic series Preacher. Starring Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Graham McTavish, Pip Torrens, Ian Colletti, Graham McTavish and Noah Taylor – season three has just concluded with no announcement at this time for a fourth.
After merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Texan preacher Jesse Custer has become completely disillusioned with the beliefs to which he had dedicated his entire life. Now possessing the power of “the word,” an ability to make people do whatever he utters, Custer begins a violent and riotous journey across the country. Joined by his gun-toting girlfriend Tulip and the hard-drinking Irish vampire Cassidy, Custer loses faith in both God and man as he witnesses dark atrocities and improbable calamities during his exploration of America.
After a hugely successful second season, AMC’s Preacher decided to give the fans even MORE of what they craved for round 3 and what the fans want – is more of that sweet comic brought to life. As a massive fan of the comic series and in particular the ‘Until The End of The World’ story arc which comprises much of season 3, I’m here to tell you that Sam Catlin and his crew have delivered the comic in spades. You wanted the comic? You got the comic bitch – Preacher Season 3 is everything I wanted and I still can’t believe they adapted some of this stuff, especially after such a subtle entrance in season one, where they had to dance around the show’s subject matter so hard. The leash is off and Satan is now on the show, the grotesque leader of The Grail – The mighty Allfather is also here and Jesse Custer’s “family” is also most definitely here – including picture perfect cast additions for Granma, TC and the pony-tailed monster redneck killing machine – Jody.
After season two wrapped up, Tulip was dead, so we kick off season three with her resurrection at the hands of Jesse’s soul-sucking demonic batshit crazy Grandmother. Because she apparently has that kind of power and even though Jesse hates her, he’s left with no choice. Because Cassidy loves Tulip, he gets into some nasty fights with Jesse this season and at one point he even leaves the group to embark on a little side-quest where he joins a group of vampire wannabes, led by another actual vampire who begins to show Cass the potential of going full bloodsucking monster. This was a lovely little comic storyline I wasn’t sure we’d get to see adapted and I’m happy they managed to squeeze it in this season, even with only 10 episodes total. Season 2 had more, but I’d imagine that due to lower ratings, AMC scaled the show back a little which is a shame, because Preacher is a show that can handle more time to breathe considering all the gory, over-the-top mayhem.
The Saint of Killers meets Satan at one point and his mission this season is to wrangle an escaped Arseface and Hitler in order to return them to Hell. This shit was beautiful to see unfold, especially in the finale where comic fans get to see some of the very best moments in Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s series come to life. Not everything is a panel for panel adaptation, because the scenarios have been flipped to fit the TV’s story, but the end results are the same and we even get to hear Ennis’ dialog – word for word brought to life by these actors. When I heard Jody say “Prouda you boy” I almost shed a tear. It was incredible to see my favourite comic of all time brought to life in such a satisfying and faithful way. We even get to see Herr Starr try on a plethora of wacky hats this season after an unfortunate injury leaves his head very “penis”-y in appearance… It was one of several Herr Starr moments I craved, and the Preacher team once again delivered. If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it and the comic sure as shit ain’t broke so I’m happy that they included these fan favourite moments. JOHN WAYNE EVEN GUYS – JOHN WAYNE FINALLY SHOWS UP TOO.
If I had any sort of criticism, it would be that the flashback’s to Jesse’s horrible childhood weren’t quite as shocking or heart-breaking because they decided to focus on a teenage Jesse as opposed to more scenes when he was little and suffering at the hands of Granma, TC and Jody. Because of this, the horrifying results in the finale aren’t quite as impactful as they were in the comic, especially for TC, who somehow wound up becoming a likeable character as opposed to a despicable animal-humping villain. Also – the story is almost TOO INSANE at times and feels manic with less episodes to showcase complex subplots involving cloning, angelic prisoners, God dressed in a dog costume, Hitler working at Subway, vampires, whatever… With only 10 episodes, cramming THIS MUCH Garth Ennis into one season can be overwhelming for people who are new to this sort of thing. Preacher is a full fledged fantasy series now. Deal with it.
The performances were all brilliant from Dominic Cooper (who really gave his best Jesse Custer yet), Joseph Gilgun (who probably drove some people wild after making out with another dude this season – I didn’t see that one coming!) and Ruth Negga who truly embraced her full Tulip potential and at one point even calls God a dick – to his face. The action and violence were ramped up considerable measures as well, to the point where Jesse and Starr actually wrestle around in a pile of guts, complete with an intestine choke hold for good measure. That sequence was probably the most ENNIS moment of the season and it wasn’t even in the comic. When stuff like that happens I just sit back and smile knowing they made the right choice, for better or worse. I noticed ratings were down this season, which pisses me off to no end. I really hope AMC renews Preacher – honestly they probably only need two more seasons to adapt the major points of the comic so I really hope they get that chance. Preacher has embraced the source material and have went ALL IN to ensure that fans get what they want. I applaud them for their efforts because season three was a fucking riot.