With Preacher‘s first season sadly over, it’s time to start pontificating about Season 2. In order to do so, we have enlisted the help of Bob Aquavia -who joined in on the mid-season discussion – and the administrator of the Preacher wiki, Marcus Yap a.k.a. TimeShade.
DREW DIETSCH: So, Preacher ended with one hell of a finale. Overall, how would you rate this season and why? I think I made my feelings pretty clear in my review, but how do you guys feel about this inaugural season?
BOB AQUAVIA: I really liked it. It was a bit uneven with some of the subplots but overall it accomplished what it set out to do and finished strong. All the characters are now where they need to be and we’re ready for the next step in the story.
MARCUS YAP: I loved it! For an inaugural season, it did pretty well. The pacing throughout was at times inconsistent, but I was able to bear through it. As Bob said, the season finished on a strong note. Hopefully, now a lot of unhappy comic fans will jump back on the wagon.
DREW: Speaking of the comic, Preacher‘s first season set a precedent when it comes to deviating from the source material. With Season 2 ending almost exactly where the comic begins, do we want to see more fealty to the original story? Or have the changes made Preacher‘s unpredictability more enjoyable? Since Bob is unfamiliar with the comic, I’m interested to see how someone coming at this with fresh eyes feels about the over-the-top material and zany plotting. Is it better not knowing what lies ahead?
BOB: You need to strike a balance. You want to stay true to the main themes/arc of the comic, but sometimes things won’t translate well to another medium. I haven’t read the comic, but I have read other works by Garth Ennis so I know that he can go VERY over-the-top. The last 20 minutes of the finale was exactly out of his comics. It was an almost gleeful nihilism when Annville’s residents broke down; I couldn’t help but laugh at what was happening because it was so chaotic. Plus, the music was spot-on.
It’s a lot better to remain unpredictable. Otherwise, you fall into what was happening with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. “Oh it’s Season 3, therefore XYZ will be happening.” That doesn’t mean it still can’t be great or impactful, but with the internet and social media today, a lot of the surprise can be taken away very easily.
MARCUS: Having it too much like the comic would make the story less enjoyable for many comic fans. They should write the second season in a way that would please both comic and non-comic fans. The first season proved the story can stand on its own. It would be preferred if they had more comic moments, as many hardcore comic fans weren’t pleased with the majority of the season.
As Bob said, it’s all about balance and not everything will translate onto the screen. There are twists that could work, they just need to be necessary for the plot advancement. Outcast, for example, already had a few major deviations from Robert Kirkman’s comic but they were necessary.
DREW: What necessary elements do you think Preacher‘s second season needs to tackle right out of the gate? Personally, I think we need to get Jesse‘s past out of the way as soon as possible. Not only for the sake of pacing but because it’s one of the most enjoyable arcs of the Preacher comic. What specific scenarios do you feel Season 2 needs to focus on?
MARCUS: I would love if, throughout the season, they had flashbacks of Jesse’s childhood. Near the midway point, perhaps have a flashback-centric episode like Arrow has done in multiple seasons. By the conclusion of the season, perhaps bring characters from Jesse’s flashbacks into the present.
BOB: The way they started setting up Jesse’s past this season, I imagine they’ll carry it through next. Whether it’s a major focus or flashbacks, we’ll have to see. For the show-specific stuff, I want to see what happens with Fiore now. The look on his face when the Saint shot DeBlanc and when he was dropped back off on Earth was pretty heartbreaking. I want to see if he’ll go back to Heaven or wander around, either helping or hindering Jesse.
DREW: On that point, are there any characters you’re going to miss? How crazy is it that all of Annville has been completely wiped out? Anyone you hoped might have survived?
BOB: Very crazy, especially with how everyone went out. I’m serious, that montage was NUTS: the mascots, the girls running off the bus after what they did, Odin holding his meat child, etc.
MARCUS: I certainly will miss almost everyone. Donnie was redeemed in the final episode, would’ve loved to see more of him. We also learned in the penultimate episode that Emily was a psycho, sacrificing the mayor. Just look at her face when the town went nuts in the church and she began playing the piano.
Odin’s company was behind the methane. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a bunker ready for a worst case scenario. Perhaps Odin will later rebuild Annville into Salvation?
BOB: I agree with Marcus: the turnaround with Donnie and his wife was not expected but actually made a lot of sense when they explained it out. And yeah, Emily was more unhinged than we thought, but man… just literally wiping the slate clean like that. I liked Odin as an adversary to Jesse and his faith, so whoever they have up next will have to keep that going. It’ll be interesting to see if they actually have anyone survive, but I’m not sure how they could carry them over to the next season organically.
DREW: What do you feel is something the show needs to avoid? Either permanently or at least in the second season? Are there arcs from the comic that should stay off the screen? Atypical storylines you don’t want to see on such a wildly unique show? My vote is to keep the Jesse/Tulip/Cassidy love triangle aspect tampered down for a while. There’s only so much to mine from that — at least initially — and there are far more intriguing places the show can go.
BOB: I’m not as familiar with the arcs as you guys, so my take is they just have to avoid dragging things out. The comics had a beginning, middle, and end; pace it out appropriately, and keep it moving forward. And I agree with Drew. You can mine drama/tension from the love triangle, but it doesn’t need to be happening right away. They did do a good job starting to lay the foundation for that this season, but they can take their time with it.
MARCUS: The love triangle should definitely be tampered down. It quite shocking when Cassidy and Tulip did that thing in the car. However, it was relieving that they didn’t turn that plot into a big love triangle story. It needs to be saved for a later point in the story. I’m mixed if they should tackle a certain main character’s deaths on the show. It may seem to on the nose for a main character to be killed only to come back to life, at least on screen. That is one thing I dislike about comic stories: having a character killed only to come back all the time.
DREW: Last question: which character are you most excited to see in Season 2 and why? For obvious reasons, my vote has to go with the Saint of Killers.
MARCUS: The Saint of Killers is definitely one to be excited for. I believe it was confirmed that Herr Starr and the Grail will have a large role. We already saw him with the hat, but I hope we get a flashback of Herr Starr trying on the wigs.
BOB: Same, at this point I’m really excited to see The Saint of Killers back out in the world. I know Herr Starr is a major upcoming villain so I’m excited to see how he’ll be portrayed in the series as well. Finally, I’m hoping we get that background on Jesse so we see who that man was with the same tattoo that Jesse now has; I know you guys know, but I’m hoping they dive into it (at least a little bit).
DREW: Thanks for joining in on this discussion! If you would like to chat about the insanity that was Preacher‘s first season and where the show could go, tweet @DrewDietsch and make sure to tag #fandom! And pick up Preacher Season 1 on Blu-ray/DVD when it comes out on Oct. 4!