Jesse Custer: What’s your story, Cassidy?
Cassidy: No, it’s pretty typical, really. I’m a 119-year-old vampire from Dublin City. And I’m currently on the run from a group of vampire-hunting religious vigilantes who keep tracking me down somehow.
Jesse Custer: What else?
Cassidy: I’m a right-handed Sagittarius. I love Chinese food. I’ve never seen the Pacific Ocean. And I think that The Big Lebowski’s overrated.
Jesse Custer, reformed preacher in Annville, a small Texas town. Has a shady past as a criminal. Gains a strange god-like power from a thing called Genesis that was confined in a coffee can. Custer thinks he’s God, for a while at least.
Tulip O’Hare, Custer’s old partner. Comes to Texas to persuade him to go back to their old life. Capable of building a bazooka using kiddie crafts and junk found around the house. All round badass.
Cassidy, an Irish vampire living in Custer’s small church.
Fiore and DeBlanc, an angel and a demon, were in charge of guarding Genesis (their baby…?). Are chasing Custer now before the higher ups know that Genesis has been set loose.
Tulip O’Hare: A woman needs to know how to be strong and stand on her own. Thanks for these, guys. Of course, boy or girl, if you’re lucky enough to fall in love, you have to be even stronger. Fight like a lion to keep it alive. So that… So that on the day your love is weak enough or selfish enough or frickin’ stupid enough to run away, you have the strength to track him down and eat him alive.
Kansas Girl: You’re funny.
Tulip O’Hare: I know. Anyway, this is how you make a bazooka.
Custer tries to be a “good person” and leave his life of villainy behind by being a preacher. Genesis gives him the power to control people, he thinks its god’s calling for him. Tries to get Odin and the rest of the townsfolk to come to church and believe, doesn’t work out that well and they end up shooting at each other. Figures out that preaching might not be his calling, after much persuasion on the part of Tulip. Using Fiore and DeBlanc, they contact heaven and Custer using Genesis forces the angels to put him on the line with god. Only to figure out he’s missing.
Okay so first off, if you’re a believer this is not for you. The thing is complete and total blasphemy. Heretical, blasphemous, sacrilege, irreverent, you name it. It is offensive in all sorts and forms. I felt queasy watching it even as a non-Christian, but I ended up watching the whole thing.
Chris Schenck: Pray for me, preacher.
Jesse Custer: Anyone were listen’, I would. Believe me. I’d pray.
Now if you put aside the whole sacrilegious storyline, the show is fantastic. You know when you’re in your early 20s, just starting to grow up and become disillusioned with life? When pessimism, cynicism, and all the isms really set in and your icons and idols are all destroyed? Yeah well this is the time to watch this show because it’s basically about religious disillusionment. It has that hopeless feel where life loses all meaning, you know? Okay maybe I’m sounding a bit morbid, but it is somewhat like that. Like a Kurt Vonnegut novel on steroids maybe. The fact that the show takes supernatural beings, whether they’re sacred or not, and makes them profane, I don’t mean that in an offensive sense but when you strip that divine or supernatural thing from all grandeur and enchantment and it becomes casual, that’s what the show does and there is something fascinating about that. They also don’t bat an eye when a vampire appears in the middle of Texas and chills at the church, or when people are butchered into pieces but then come back to life. Heck Tulip brings down a freaking helicopter using crafts and shit from a garage with the help of a bunch of kids. But it’s all chill. There’s something eerily funny about it. It’s strange but entertaining.
Cassidy: All right. Well, go on, then. Ask me.
Tulip O’Hare: Fangs?
Tulip O’Hare: Turn into a bat?
Tulip O’Hare: Sleep in a coffin?
Cassidy: Not if I can help it.
Tulip O’Hare: Afraid of the cross?
Cassidy: It’s a 2,000-year-old symbol of hypocrisy, slavery, and oppression. But it won’t burn me face off.
Tulip O’Hare: You kill people?
Cassidy: Not if they don’t deserve it.
Tulip O’Hare: But you drink blood?
Cassidy: Yeah. Helps me heal. All things bein’ equal, I’d rather have single malt.
The actors are fantastic, Ruth Nigga is just brilliant, I mean she is AMAZING. She was Reina in Agents of Shield and if you saw her there and then saw her in Preacher you’d be mindblown at how fantastic her acting is. And her chemistry with Dominic Cooper is spot on, their character dynamic brings this whole show together. Then there’s Joseph Gilgun who plays Cassidy who is one of the weirdest vampires in the history of TV vampires but also probably the greatest vamp of all. For once, a vampire is not a mopey lovesick lusty brooding idiot but a good old drunk who cracks jokes and then kills angels when they try to rob his friends. He has style.
DeBlanc: You left a telephone with a direct line to heaven’s throne under the bed?
Fiore: I thought it was clever. Who checks under a bed anymore?
The show is very violent, and I mean extremely violent in a way that you start to worry for the show’s creators, like are you okay buddy? Why all the bloodshed? Yes, we know human beings are despicable and capable of doing disgusting shit, we have history and the news, we got the point of the social commentary do you really need that much blood and dismemberment to prove your point?\ It’s almost as if the creators are trying to shock you with the amount of blood and gore to see how far you can stomach, like oh you thing Game of Thrones is bad wait until we butch each other in a motel room and disembowel one another and then come back to life and do it all over again and again until someone stops us. But the funny thing is the same excessive nature they’re trying to shock you with only evokes a “meh” response. It’s one of those more is less moments, where you know it’s exaggerated and ridiculous that it loses whatever power it had. Maybe the first scene in the airplane with Cassidy was freaky but after that it was absurd.
But going back to the whole idea of disillusionment, one of my favorite things about the show is Custer’s attempt at being a good person. You can see his inner conflict, you see him vacillating between giving in to his id and trying to become a better person. That when he finally gives up, because there is no higher power to prove himself to, it hits you really hard because it’s something that you can empathize with something you can understand in a deep human gut level.
If you take everything beautiful about the novel Gilead and subvert it you would get Preacher.
So here’s my recommendation, not for the faint of heart or faith, if you can handle heresy and bloodshed, go for it, it’s a fascinating show. If you can’t avoid it by all means because it can really make you feel like shit.