Showing posts with label American Gods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Gods. Show all posts

Saturday, June 24, 2017

American (F)arts

Can I complain about something? I know some people will think I'm mad. I don't particularly care. Also, I am going to be graphic, disgusting, and fixated on the Freudian anal stage. Be warned.

Have you ever had a friend who offered to get you on a date with someone they know? Naturally, you're reluctant, so they show you a photo of that person, and he or she is drop-dead gorgeous. And hey, from what your friend says, you have similar interests! So you give your consent and your friend arranges a date. The suspense is killing you, you count the days backwards, you are happy. Finally the day of your dream date comes, they arrive at the restaurant and they look just like their photo. You can't believe how lucky you are. You sit down, giddy with anticipation, and timidly engage in conversation. For the first few minutes it goes remarkably well. Then as you open the menu to order and glance at your dream date, you notice with pure horror that they are digging inside their nose. You stare because you can't believe you are seeing that. You are still staring while they pull out a ginormous booger, give it a perfunctory once-over and eat it.

I've just described my relationship with American Gods.

I read the book years ago. It's not my favourite from Gaiman's arsenal, but Gaiman is my favourite writer, so naturally I was very excited American Gods would become a TV series. I had also watched and loved two seasons of Hannibal, so Fuller seemed a good choice. Alas.

Before AG started, I made an attempt to watch the 3rd season of Hannibal. I managed to watch two episodes. They were painfully slow, boring, and pointlessly gross. Bodies forming out of blood, becoming blood, Will wandering around aimlessly while being up to his eyeballs on hard drugs, blah de blah. I may try to finish the season... or not.

Then American Gods started. And in the first minutes of the first episode I saw a chopped arm flying in the air. And I shuddered, because this is not Gaiman's style, and hoped I was wrong. 

But I was right.

To do the series justice, there are some brilliant scenes, and the actors are doing their best. But the rest of it is that dream date of yours eating boogers while you watch in fascinated horror.

"Artistic" slow mo with flies and candles, lots of sex, pointless mostly, bodies forming out of some liquid dark material and being re-absorbed... Wait, am I watching the 3rd season of Hannibal again? 
-No you dummy, that's American Gods. 
-Oh, silly me. But why is it so slow?
-They use slow mo to make every episode last for three hours, so that you think you got more time for the same money. It's a marketing trick. You wouldn't understand.
-You are right. I don't understand.

-Oh, these two guys are having sex... That's sweet. But why are they suddenly depicted in the desert and they change colour, as if they are the negatives of a photo?
-It's esthetics. You wouldn't understand.
-But...
-Stop asking questions. It's a Fuller/Gaiman show. That alone should have made you fall on your knees and pray. Why aren't you impressed?
-Because it doesn't make sense. It's like Galadriel turning black in LOTR... But she had the One Ring.
-Shut up and let me watch the show.
-Okay.

Let's talk about women... All the attractive female characters we've come across so far are unavailable virgins, neurotic wrecks, or man-devouring insane bitches who use everyone around them on a whim and destroy their lives. Poor, poor Laura Moon. In the book you are not the despicable, ego-centered bipolar bimbo of the series. It takes effort to make a female character so loathsome, but they spared no effort. And they succeeded spectacularly. If she was on fire, I'd douche her with gasoline to put her out. Of her misery, I mean.

The esthetics of the book are fucked six ways to Sunday. The book may be slow at parts, but it captures perfectly the atmosphere of a growing storm. It lets the reader steal momentary glimpses of those dangerous beings and situations looming at the edge of one's perception, at the edge of normal and every-day. Those glimpses come to slowly replace the normal until they are Shadow's every day. But it is subtle, smart, delicate. And then you have the series, which replaces the melancholy and restlessness with grunge, gore, dirt, filth, kitsch and blood. It sounds good... if we're talking about The Walking Dead. Or maybe the streets of a large medieval city where sheep, cows and beggars with leprosy are happily stepping on their own shit next to a marriage taking place. Everyone is fondling everyone else's tit and other parts of interest with fingers covered in sour wine and grease, someone is vomiting in their plate, and the rest are hailing the groom and the bride. But is this the book I read, even remotely? No fucking way. 

The music of AG can be divided in two categories. The songs are incredibly bland. The creators of the show seemed to have picked the top 40 of pointless songs which cause mild irritation while they are being played, and get immediately erased from one's memory as soon as they stop. The rest of the soundtrack is a dream sonnet written by a renown proctologist. Every time something creepy/otherworldly happens, the music is literally from another world. Imagine three or four people with various wind instruments inserted in their anus. One has a saxophone, another a trumpet, one has a flute, and so on. Imagine whatever you like. These poor people are tied up and gagged and some psychos are torturing them. One of the psycho torturers repeatedly inserts a needle in the flesh of the guy with the saxophone in his butt. He can't scream, can't move or fight, hence those bleating, desperate little noises coming out of his other end. Something's gotta give. On the other side of the room, another psycho torturer is stepping on the gout of the person who has the trumpet in his butt, steadily increasing pressure. And so you get that deep, insistent, ominous wail that shudders, ululates and changes in tone. It really is a thing of beauty, if you have a poster with Tomás de Torquemada on your bedroom wall. And you masturbate to it morning and night.

Honestly, I know I am going to be part of the minority who hates the show, and I can understand why someone may be impressed by it. But I don't care. This show sucks. It sucks so much that it could easily have been the vacuum cleaner the Almighty used on the Sixth Day, to clean the mess before He rested. If you ask me, He's still asleep, and the creators of American Gods stole the bleeding thing and turned it into a TV show. That's how much it sucks.

Rant over. Watch the Handmaid's Tale. It's amazing. 
Off to bed.

PS: If anyone, absolutely anyone, dares say that the reason I don't like the series is that I can't take it, I'd like to inform them that horror is my favourite genre. Also, if they think I dislike it because I am a prude, I'll make them a part of that anal quartet I described above, and have demons gang-rape their mouths while I record the musical achievements of their butt for the next season of the show. I may even become rich, who knows? So don't even think about it.