American Gods: House on the Rock   Show Only 
March 11, 2019 6:38 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Following the epic showdown at Easter's party, Mr. Wednesday continues his quest to pitch the case for war to the Old Gods. Meanwhile, Mr. World plans revenge and Technical Boy goes on the hunt for Media. [Starz]

Season 2 Trailer (US only, apparently)

The Verge, Samantha Nelson: [Between S1 and 2,] "Conflicts about the show’s budget and adherence to Gaiman’s story led showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green to leave after season 1, which led to the loss of standout cast members Gillian Anderson and Kristin Chenoweth. Gaiman chose Jesse Alexander to take over as showrunner, but he was 'exiled' from the show last fall, and Starz still hasn’t named a successor."

I won't be posting more American Gods (this is an act of penance), so the next person can decide whether Books Included or Show Only is more appropriate for those who are participating. I've posted both for E1.
posted by sylvanshine (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Utter crap without Fuller's visual literacy. This series lost its charm. I am very disappointed.
posted by bfranklin at 7:54 PM on March 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I recently read the book for the first time and tried to watch the show but bounced off pretty hard after the first couple of episodes. I didn't realize until reading this synopsis that the show so drastically drifts off the course of the book and doesn't even come close to resolving the conflict of the book.

It's a shame, I think American Gods is an interesting setting for a series but it seems like they've really bungled it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:40 PM on March 11, 2019

I'm going to be unpopular here and say I thought that Season One suffered from uneven pacing and clangingly awful music. This episode was markedly better in both and also had terrific visuals.

I've long since given up the ghost on Bryan Fuller sticking with things. I'm willing to see what comes next.

Also, Ian McShane was looking kinda great for his craggy self, wasn't he?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:36 PM on March 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

I concur with DOT here, I thought it was very pretty and it was wonderful to see the House on the Rock location footage.

I hadn't followed the production turmoil and will miss Gillian's occasional and amusing appearances.

We have a houseguest who has never read the book and had not seen the prior season - I found that I could not coherently describe the plot of the show to this point to him.
posted by mwhybark at 5:30 AM on March 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

I found that I could not coherently describe the plot of the show to this point to him.

Yeah, the "Previously on American Gods" intro was pretty much "a bunch of stuff happened, don't worry about trying to understand it".

I'm somewhat in the it's-gone-off-the-boil camp; yeah, this episode was pretty, but it was also kinda boring? The Fuller episodes were wildly variable but they did always feel like they had a consistent vision behind them; this felt like it was imitating his style without really understanding it.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

Getting upset when Bryan Fuller quits a show is a bit like being shocked that Lucy moved the football at the last second. Anyone paying even casual attention should expect that to happen, not be surprised by it. He's a tremendous talent, but he's left so many shows by now... There's definitely a set of explanations for each of those in which he is the wronged party, but the preponderance of them makes it harder and harder.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:05 AM on March 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

I really feasted off of the scenery that is the House on the Rock; when I first read the books I had assumed that it was made up - and I certainly never heard of it while I was living in Iowa in the late 90s, otherwise, that'd have been a Must Go roadtrip.
posted by porpoise at 10:46 AM on March 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've been to the House on the Rock, but only once, when I was pretty young. I also went to Disney World around the same time.

The House on the Rock left more of an impression on me.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:06 PM on March 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

My partner and I took mushrooms and went to House on the Rock last summer, we were so excited to see it in all its glory here/jealous they got to ride the carousel.

We were extra excited to see the Don Q Inn (a fantasy suites hotel with an old airplane [inexplicably signed by Farah Fawcett] parker out front) as they approached the House.

I read the book between season 1 and 2 and I'm intrigued to see what directions they take the show.
posted by elr at 12:36 AM on March 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I didn't _mind_ the first season, but it was pretty hard to draw a narrative out of it at times. It was pretty, it was trippy, it was confusing as frig. The wife and I both went "wait, I totally don't remember that" multiple times during the "Previously on".

On the other hand, and I don't know if it's just the Wisco boosterism talking, but damn that was fun. I actually sort of feel like I understand what's happening, even if I don't fully understand the stakes or the sides, I get where this story began and ended, unlike a lot of the first season episodes.

Also, if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend the House on the Rock, it is just as wild and all encompassing and hard to believe as it seemed on the show. I don't think any of the shots were tarted up for the show at all, it's like that in reality.

That said, if you do intend to go, try to not investigate it too deeply. There's some legitimate magic that could be lost if you read too much about it. I went basically completely cold, I'd only known about it from merch other kids wore in grade school, and I still think it was one of the weirdest things that I've ever experienced.
posted by Kyol at 7:08 AM on March 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

Utter crap without Fuller's visual literacy. This series lost its charm. I am very disappointed.

Huh. Really? That's a lot to hang on the first episode, I think. Watched it last night with my partner, she doesn't really follow comings and goings of showrunners. She kept commenting on how cinematic it was and how much she loved the visuals. And no complaints about the show's "charm" either.

My main complaint with the show, and it's minor, is that at times it does feel slow. Take the sequence of getting cards out of the fortune machine. Pretty, but seemed a bit unnecessary and slowed things down quite a bit. Season one dragged at times too, not so much that I didn't enjoy the show but I definitely felt they were padding in some places.

I hadn't realized that Chenoweth and Anderson were out. Pity, I like both of them. I don't think that's fatal for the show, but Chenoweth is one of those actors who could read a phone book and I'd be happy to watch.

Years ago, American Gods was the sort of show I'd have re-watched almost immediately after a season wrapped. These days there's so much good new stuff coming out that I don't have time to re-watch much at all. Which is too bad, because I feel like this is a show that would reward multiple viewings.
posted by jzb at 6:32 AM on March 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

I definitely feel the loss of Anderson and Chenoweth. I think they could recast Ostara, but Anderson? There's just no way.

This episode did not inspire much hope for me this season, but I'll stick with it for Orlando Jones.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:03 PM on March 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I definitely feel the loss of Anderson and Chenoweth. I think they could recast Ostara, but Anderson? There's just no way.

I feel the exact opposite. Ostara was pretty inextricably tied to Chenoweth. Anderson was fantastic, but she was also playing a character who was inherently a shapeshifter.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:28 PM on March 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

My thoughts on recasting were Chenoweth only appears are Ostara in one ep and it's very pointed that she is the goddess of REBIRTH. So you could probably spin her being a different actor/different appearance post Easter cataclysm. Anderson takes on the appearance of different icons, but very clearly the character underneath is the same. It's not many actors who could so what she did as Media.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:08 PM on March 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

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