"American Gods," an adaptation of British author Neil
Gaiman's 2001 novel of the same name, is reimagined as a
stylized gritty saga. It debuted on U.S. premium cable network
Starz this week.
With gruesome killings and explicit sex scenes, the show has
been compared to HBO's hit medieval fantasy series "Game of
Thrones," but it explores underlying themes of how religion
became a part of the fabric of America through its immigrants.
"The use of the gods was ... to talk about the way people come
to America and abandon culture, abandon places they came from
and what they brought with them, and what happens to the things
they've forgotten," Gaiman told Reuters.
"American Gods" follows Shadow Moon, who has been released from
prison to the news that his wife, Laura, was killed along with
his best friend. On his journey home to bury her, he meets Mr.
Wednesday, once known as the powerful Norse god Odin, but now a
grifter hustling on the strength of his charm.
Shadow, hired as Mr. Wednesday's bodyguard, is thrown into a
surreal world where magic and power lurk just behind the fabric
of reality. Tension brews among the old gods, which include
those drawn from Norse, African, Arabian and Indian mythology,
and new gods such as Technical Boy and Media.
"One clear thematic from the book is religious equality and
tolerance, and that was something that Michael and I wanted to
portray," said Bryan Fuller, who created the show with Michael
The TV adaptation features a racially diverse cast, and its
exploration of race and immigration collides with present day
tensions in America.
Fuller said "American Gods" was written and filmed before the
November election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sought
to crack down on illegal immigration and act more aggressively
to deport illegal immigrants living in the United States.
But, he added, it reflects the changes within the nation. The
show depicts stories of immigrants coming to America over the
course of history and adding their traditions to the melting pot
"We always look at immigration in a positive light because it
represents the best of what America is made of," Fuller said.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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