AMC's 'Preacher' Pilot Is Everything You're Not Supposed To Do On TV


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May 13, 2004
AMC's 'Preacher' Pilot Is Everything You're Not Supposed To Do On TV
With its mix of dark humor, profanity, blasphemy, gore and general weirdness, Garth Ennis’ Preacher comic was long thought unadaptable to film, as Rachel Talalay struggled to make a movie version for many years. Now it’s finally being made…and it’s coming to basic cable. That fact, plus stoner comedian Seth Rogen attached as a producer, and a trailer that de-emphasized any supernatural elements, have all combined to make fans a little wary of what’s coming. Now, however, fan screenings of the pilot, such as the one last night at L.A.’s WonderCon, have spread the good word – the unfilmable has been televised, and so far it’s everything it needs to be.And yet it probably couldn’t have been done until now. Daredevil and Jessica Jones first had to prove there was an appetite for shows based on legitimately darker (not just more violent) characters. The Walking Dead had to so saturate us with blood and guts that Preacher‘s moments of bone-breaking and heart-ripping, while intense, could feel restrained by comparison. Adult Swim shows like Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! needed to establish that a jarring mix of tones can be, in and of itself, an overall tonal choice. Oh, and South Park had to blaze a trail making “clear” that making fun of Tom Cruise’s peculiar religion doesn’t necessarily lead to terrifying lawsuits.The one tradition Preacher follows that I’m not so happy about is AMC’s apparent aversion to authentic Southern accents. English lead actor Dominic Cooper and principal female protagonist Ruth Negga (who’s Ethiopian-Irish), make The Walking Dead‘s Rick Grimes sound like Billy Bob Thornton, and are ripe for their own “CORAL!”-style memes down the line.

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