Share this article

Open for business
Find out the latest updates from local businesses as our region reopens.
print logo

Hooked and confused to no end by ‘Preacher’

Not to worry. You’ll get another chance.

If you missed the premiere of the energetically wacked-out AMC series “Preacher” on Sunday, it will be repeated this Sunday.

And, as has become AMC’s savvy and helpful custom, you’ll see after the show the usual AMC post-mortem gabfest about the show so that the pump of fandom can be primed to flow freely and odd matters can be discussed by cast and creators so that AMC watchers never have to be in anything but perfect comprehension of what just took place.

It’s a good thing too. Because if you happened to watch “Preacher” almost cold on Sunday, knowing only that it’s a wacko new AMC series adapting a successful comic book, you could find the whole thing exhilarating and nuts and violent, semi-coherent fun.

I’m now a fan. And when you’re talking about new products in the Hollywood marketplace from the partnership of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, my fandom is no sure thing.

The new Rogen-Goldberg product is called “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” and I haven’t seen it. Nor will I. The last one from their factory that made a strong impression on me was “The Interview” which, depending on whom you believe, may or may not have caused the North Korean hack of SONY Pictures’ emails in retaliation. All “The Interview” creators had to do was fictionalize the movie’s dictator an eensy-weensy bit and there would have been no problem but, no, the boys wanted to prove that Hollywood is the most powerful force in the universe and nothing was going to stop them from mocking the North Korean premier by name in their movie.

I’m not a kneejerk Rogen and Goldberg basher. I thought “This is the End” was one of the nuttiest and most wildly imaginative slob comedies since all those stoners, jerks and doofuses starting filling American screens in “Animal House.”

Chalk up another triumph for them with “Preacher,” even though I had almost no idea what I was watching. I say that not in anger or disgust but cheerful appreciation.

The series is their baby and they directed the pilot together.

“Preacher” began with some interplanetary force coming from outer space, zapping Saturn’s rings and landing at a tiny church in Africa, inside the body of the preacher. When, as a result, he rises from the floor growling at his amazed congregation to be quiet and cease their prayers, he immediately exploded into blood and corpuscles all over the church walls and the assembled, unexpecting parishioners.

Later, a service in Russia was ended when its priest’s head inconveniently exploded.

But that’s not our story. Those are miscues from our cosmic force from elsewhere, looking for a preacher to live in. We’re following the fortunes of Jesse Custer, the preacher who has come back to take up the shabby, somewhat ruined pulpit of his father, a preacher who was murdered in front of Jesse when he was a boy.

Jesse’s parishioners are a small and afflicted lot. And Jesse is a very bad preacher in the bargain.

If you’d asked me while I was watching it what any of it had to do with the hard-drinking Irish brawler up in an airplane named Cassidy, I’d have had no idea. I’ve since read he’s a vampire. Nor did I know, at first, why we saw a tough chick to end all tough chicks named Tulip. I enjoyed her but I needed to keep watching to get why she was there. We learned eventually that she’s an old friend of Jesse’s from his wild and bad days (Dominic Cooper).

(If you’re part of the Spoiler Alert crowd, stop reading. What follows is a spoiler-fest.)

Per the website IMDB: “ ‘Preacher’ tells the story of Jesse Custer, a preacher in the small Texas town of Annville. Custer is accidentally possessed by a supernatural creature named Genesis in an incident which killed his entire congregation and flattened his church. Genesis, the product of the unauthorized, unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon, is an infant with no sense of individual will. However, as it is composed of both pure goodness and pure evil, it might have enough power to rival that of God himself. Jesse Custer, bonded to Genesis, may have become the most powerful creature in the universe.”

IMDB also tells us that Jesse Custer is an anagram of “Secret Jesus.”

My favorite part of the website telling us things we haven’t seen in the series yet was the use of the word “unauthorized” to describe the “unnatural” coupling of an angel and a demon.

Who knew that supernatural “couplings” needed authorization? Does God “authorize” one and the Devil “authorize” the other? A whole episode could be made out of who gets to “authorize” couplings, and how that “authority” came about.

I don’t think John Milton is available for screenwriting film work, though.

I’m hooked. Confused but hooked. I don’t know if I’ll watch Sunday’s episode again. But I know that when Rogen and Goldberg and their cast show up in the subsequent “Preacher Talk” gabfest, I’ll be there to hear what they have to say has been going on.

Theirs is the “authorized” view, you know.