Chances are you had dropped ‘American Gods’ by the end of season 2. The last season of the show has been marred by tepid reactions from critics and the audiences alike. However, it’s in season 3 where the arc finally comes together. With raving reviews and a story that carefully explores the lore, this season of ‘American Gods’ is going into uncharted waters.
There’s blood in the water in ‘American Gods’. The show borrows its name from Neil Gaiman’s book from which it is adapted but lacks the book’s popularity. Season 2 reviews leave the show bereft of much popularity. However, season 3 changes all that. What changed? Why is ‘American Gods’ so much better now?
- ‘American Gods’ Season 2 and response to it
- What makes season 3 stand out?
- What makes ‘American Gods’ so unique?
Who are ‘American Gods’?
When Neil Gaiman wrote ‘American Gods’, he went back into literature to find fairytales and godly beings. The novel created a neo culture that grouped pagan religions and a faction of new gods. The idea of gods in fiction, warring against each other, is rather omnipresent. As far back as the epics, we have had long battles involving gods.
Thus, the novelty of ‘American Gods’ doesn’t lie in its plot, but the characters. So, of course, people were sceptical when the show went into production. Not only are the gods incredibly difficult to capture on-screen, but the budgetary requirements for the VFX would also be huge. It makes sense for Amazon to pick it up. With the novel’s pan-American scope and the amount of work and budget you need, no other platform could pump that much money in.
However, the collection of Native American, Hindu, Greek, Norse, and other pantheons together requires a lot of critical judgment.
One of the reasons critics poorly reviewed the book was Shadow Moon’s main character not being that impressive. In ‘American Gods’ tie-in vs. the original, the problems persist, making season 2 seem like a drag even in its best moments.
Look into the new season 3 trailer here.
How do you realize the multiple pantheons?
Shadow Moon is a recurring problem even in season 3. While the brooding dark heroic figure would fit right into place in a noir film, it seems out of place in a show dealing with the miraculous.
This ‘American Gods’ enhanced edition makes the story compelling by looking into the different gods’ motivations. What is the story of the Irish god travelling through the seas? What makes the Navajo tribe’s god so compelling? How do you connect Ishtar with Easter? ‘American Gods’ works because it delves deeper into these gods and goddesses’ roles and tries to explain their character motivations.
This is not easy, and season 3 has places that would be treated with criticism. However, focusing on culture allows the show to create a compelling narrative. One of the best ways to make the story perform outside of time is to create an account related to any universe.
‘American Gods’ does not pretend to play into the real world ideals but instead creates the conflicts in its universe. Dealing with the history of the world using its version of the story becomes more straightforward.
Season 3 does this by dealing with the idea of sexual goddesses through dating apps and by creating the new gods of technology and media. The entire story shapes around the new lore and works out well. This is why season 3 works so well.
‘American Gods’ is gaining traction again, and people are looking at it with new eyes. So, it means that there might be more adaptations of books like this in the toe. However, mainly we get the idea that larger production budgets going into rich book adaptations would be a more regular thing.
‘Bridgerton’, the upcoming ‘Sandman’ adaptation, and other series means that this will soon become a reality. With novel series exploring these worlds’ lore, we can expect more series like ‘American Gods’ soon. And if the show keeps going down the same road, we can bet on ‘American Gods’ to get better as time goes past.
‘American Gods’ has turned around from a tepid season 2 to hit back at us with an excellent season 3. With more exploration of lore and Gods to look forward to, you might be treated with shows exploring the new mythologies soon.