Trippy Sex And Violence - Here's Why You Should Be Watching 'American Gods'
You’ve probably heard about American Gods. If not the book, then definitely the new TV series based on it. Perhaps you’ve heard about how Ricky Whittle from Hollyoaks is starring as the main character, or maybe you’ve heard about all the really graphic (and trippy) sex scenes. Either way – you’ve probably heard about it, which is great. That’s the first step …
Now, let’s get into the reasons why you should be watching it.
1. Their sex scenes tend to break the internet.
The first episode of American Gods broke the internet. Why? Because, in a live depiction of one of the most famous scenes from Neil Gaiman’s novel, Bilquis, the goddess of love, swallows a man into her vagina during intercourse.
Yes, you read that correctly. In order to get the power that she so desperately needs to survive, the goddess of love lures men into hotel rooms and literally inhales their entire bodies into her vagina as they worship her.
In another scene, referred to as “the most explicit gay sex scene that mainstream TV has ever seen“, two middle-eastern men have an extremely steamy session in a hotel, with one of them turning out to be a fire spirit (who says that he doesn’t grant wishes, but totally does).
Of course, it isn’t only the Gods who have sex – the humans do the deed too. For example, Shadow Moon has a pretty wild session with his wife in one scene – but that’s all before she eventually dies, then comes back to life, then has to walk around holding her bloody arm because it fell off when she practically sliced a man in two for lynching the love of her life.
In a nutshell, ‘American Gods’ doesn’t exactly do normal.
2. No other TV show has told such a trippy story, with stunning visuals to match.
The story of American Gods is a simple one, really. An ordinary man named Shadow Moon is released from jail after discovering that his wife has died, and, in his grief, accepts a strange job offer from an equally as strange man named Mr. Wednesday.
Of course, Shadow Moon has no idea that Mr.Wednesday is actually an old Norse God who has recruited him as his bodyguard because he needs protection whilst he drives around the US, recruiting all his powerful God friends to join him in the ultimate fight against the News Gods.
Quite obviously, if you’re in the midst of Gods, a lot of weird things are going to happen – and what’s great about American Gods is that the viewers are put in the same position as Shadow Moon, in the sense that we have no idea what the hell is going on. When Shadow Moon fights a Leprechaun in a bar and sees him pluck gold coins from thin air, we’re as shocked as he is. The show definitely delivers when it comes to the strange and wonderful (both of which there is truly plenty).
3. The story symbolically focuses on current social issues, such as immigration.
Ultimately, American Gods is a tale about immigration. It centres on the loss of identity, and the struggle to be accepted in a new land. It speaks about culture, and how those cultures can be forgotten in the face of a new ‘Western‘ one. The Gods in the show hail from all over the world, brought through the cultures of those who immigrated to the US.
As their people forget about them, the Gods realise that they’re being replaced by New Gods.
These New Gods take the form of ‘Media‘, ‘Technology‘ and ‘Mr.World‘. They represent social media, TV and material things that occupy all of our time and attention – eg. how many likes you get on Instagram and who released a video on YouTube.
This is why they have become the New Gods.
4. All the violence.
This show does not hold back when it comes to depictions of violence, which, in some ways, could be both a pro and a con. The one thing about the inclusion of violence on TV is that it either adheres to the story, or is just mindlessly chucked in for shock value.
It could be said that the scenes in American Gods lean more towards the latter of those two cases. The scenes of extreme violence serve a purpose of proving how powerful the Gods are, and how that power defines their personalities. For example, in a recent episode, The God of Media knocks another God’s teeth out by blowing him a kiss (whilst dressed as Marilyn Monroe). Also, in one of the first episodes, whilst depicting the origin of Odin, the Norse God of War – viewers are granted some pretty brutal scenes of – well – war. Which is completely understandable.
5. An impressive, diverse and star-studded cast
Gillian Anderson (Hannibal, The Fall, X-Files) plays the Media God, which means that viewers get to see her play several iconic media personalities – from David Bowie to Marilyn Monroe. Emily Browning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sucker Punch) plays Shadow Moon’s dead but very much alive wife, Laura, whilst the iconic Ian McShane (Deadwood, Lovejoy) plays Mr.Wednesday.
As mentioned previously, Hollyoaks alumni Ricky Whittle (The 100) plays the main character, Shadow Moon, whilst Crispin Glover (Back to the Future, Alice in Wonderland) takes on Mr.World. Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow, Drumline), Dane Cook (Good Luck Chuck), Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black) and Peter Stormare (Prison Break) also star – as well, as Kristin Chenoweth (Glee, Pushing Daisies).
Thankfully, you can watch season one of American Gods on Amazon Prime in the UK. There many be less than ten episodes in this season (perfect for a weekend binge) but, don’t worry – the series has already been renewed for season two. Here’s a quick look at the trailer:
Will you be watching American Gods? Let us know in the comments!
Images via Starz/Amazon Prime/Giphy