Martin Carr reviews the third episode of Preacher…
Trying to categorise Preacher on Amazon Prime is difficult. There are moments of pure From Dusk Till Dawn and others that veer into Coen territory. It’s like someone took elements of both and decided to go dark with it, by which I mean pitch black of course.
What goes on inside Quincannon Meat and Power is a whole world of weird waiting to happen. Jackie Earle Haley’s figurehead stares out from behind bifocals with an aura of omnipotence. An air of southern fried seediness drips off him that is equal parts child molester, sexual deviant and sociopathic second hand car salesman. He is commander in chief of these corporate miscreants and seems tired of it. Whatever the images being projected inside that screening room and through his television, clearly qualifications are secondary to a strong stomach at Quincannon. However there is something darkly fascinating about the extremist nature of civilisation which Quincannon represents inside the Preacher universe.
That the light hearted flip side to that would be a layabout vampire, misguided holy man with daddy issues and lovelorn assassin for hire says a lot. Chuck in a facial disfigurement which is both heart breaking yet quietly amusing and we start to understand Preacher’s appeal. Because only in a world such as this would a band of losers be considered heroes. Now some might get upset when I refer to Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy like that but there is some truth to it. They have all lost something and need saving from themselves and others. Yet continue making a difference to the town and those around them, while archangels Fiore and DeBlanc add another dimension to an already packed character roster.
They are without doubt the strangest comedy team I have ever seen in a mainstream show. Now I know that what they do is not comedic in the least, but their approach, demeanour and chemistry makes it ludicrous. If anything they represent the theological part of a show which seems to wave the middle finger at any sense of organised religion. Whilst illustrating the consequences for those who should choose to stray from said path.
Beyond the juxtaposition of good and evil in Preacher there is a real sense of challenge throughout every episode. By which I mean these writers, actors and producers are set on progression. Whether that is visually through changing up the credit sequence to subliminally give new audiences time to catch up, or by throwing in curveballs and pushing boundaries. Oddly enough none of this feels out of place. There is an ease and comfort which makes ‘Possibilities’ as good as its title card. Preacher still feels fresh and planned, yet spontaneous and instinctive. Rogen, Goldberg, Catlin and writer Chris Kelley have struck the perfect balance between comic book adaptation and television entertainment. Clearly being funded outside of Nielsen ratings is more beneficial than anyone thought possible.