• Phil

Noob Reviews: American Gods (Seasons 01 & 02)

Updated: Jan 16

Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included to help explain certain points.

What is American Gods?

American Gods is an ongoing modern day fantasy adventure in which an ex convict (Shadow Moon) is released from prison only days after his wife (Laura Moon) is killed in a car accident.

Whilst returning home to attend her funeral, Shadow crosses paths with the mysterious Mr Wednesday (who unbeknown to Shadow is the god Odin) who has a plan to have the Old Gods conquer America and displace the New Gods; not only to defend their waning existence but to also acquire the levels of worship and influence they once had in the years past.

Unfortunately none of the ‘grand plan’ is explained to Shadow when he decides to work for Mr Wednesday. That is until the New Gods take an interest in him...

How can you tell who is an Old God and who is a New God?

The Old Gods are essentially gods who have come to America from other countries over history, brought to the shores of America by slaves, raiders, explorers and colonists. They used to have people worship them regularly but over the years have found their followers to be waning and have had to integrate themselves into American society. Some may work in slaughterhouses whilst other may be serving you coffee in a roadside diner.

The New Gods are few and yet powerful. Coming in such forms as Media, Technology or say Argus the God of Surveillance. These new gods are fuelled and brought about by industrialisation and progression. Because of the nature of their 'religions' and 'followers,' many becoming ever more powerful on a daily basis as their influence grows. Imagine Skynet if it had a god complex. Instead of Terminators though, they use the faceless. Faceless meat puppets who carry out the New Gods' nefarious schemes.

Do you have the trailers to show us?



When did it come out?

  • Season 01 originally aired in 2017.

  • Season 02 originally aired in 2019.

How many episodes are there?

To date there are 16 episodes (8 per season), however, although quite a few story arcs have concluded. The ending of season two has allowed more than enough material for a third season.

Can you give us an example of some story lines?

Although there are many trials and tribulations for our protagonists, some of the ongoing and most juicy story lines are:

  • The actual preparations for war between the Old Gods (led by Mr Wednesday) and the New Gods (led by Mr World).

  • The relationship between Laura and Shadow is also a large part of the story with many revelations, twists and turns that will keep you hooked from episode one all the way through to episode sixteen and beyond.

  • One of my personal favourites is the storyline of Mad Sweeney, a leprechaun forced from his home and stripped of anything he ever held dear by the coming of Christianity and ‘modern’ religions. A grumpy brawler with a bad attitude and deeply hidden softer side, his search for redemption and the perfect battle in which he will hopefully die and be able to re unite with his family. Is one of the best.

Who is in American Gods?

Although there is a large cast for American Gods there are some key characters that drive the main stories. These are...

  • Ricky Whittle who plays Shadow Moon, Mr Wednesday’s bodyguard and right-hand man.

  • Ian McShane who plays the Old God Mr. Wednesday aka Odin. Ian has been in a lot of films and series, but you may know him from Babylon 5: River of Souls, John Wick and the classic series Lovejoy.

  • Emily Browning who plays Laura Moon, Shadow’s wife.

  • Crispin Glover who plays the New God Mr. World. He has also appeared in many other programs and films such as Hot Tub Time Machine and Alice in Wonderland.

  • Bruce Langley who plays the New God Technical Boy.

  • Yetide Badaki who plays the Old God Bilquis aka the Egyptian goddess of love.

  • Pablo Schreiber who plays the leprechaun Mad Sweeney. Pablo has been in many other films too, such as Den of Thieves, Skyscraper and 13 Hours.

  • Orlando Jones who plays the Old God Mr. Nancy aka Anansi. Orlando has been in many other programs and films such as Evolution, The Time Machine and From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter.

  • Mousa Kraish who plays the Jinn.

  • Omid Abtahi who plays Salim the taxi driver. Omid has been in such films as Argo, Space Chimps and Hide.

  • Demore Barnes who plays the Old God Mr. Ibis aka Thoth. Demore was also in the fantastic The Unit (bring back The Unit!) and Blackout amongst other things.

Check out the full list of cast members here.

How were the first two seasons?

So straight off the bat I just want to confirm that American Gods has already been renewed for a third season by Starz. According to many, within a week of season two going to air!

To be honest I found season one to be slow to start, it took a few episodes to really get into it but from there it sets a fast pace that is full of revelations, new story lines, fantastic characters and awe-inspiring scenes. Whether it be out in the wilds of America or ‘behind the scenes’ as the Old Gods call the realm in which they hold their war council.

Admittedly not everyone will be into American Gods as it does at times lean quite sex scene heavy with a mix of heterosexual and same sex; sex scenes. However, they are tastefully done and do lend to the actual relationship development of characters as opposed to simple flings to fill time.

Personally, I also found the story engaging, the action scenes well choreographed and the episodes were easy to binge watch as I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next.

What overall rating would you give this?

🍌 🍌 🍌 🍌

Overall I would rate American Gods season one and two a solid 4 bananas out of 5. I have rated them together as the stories between the two seasons effortlessly flow from season one into season two.

Although American Gods is one of the better fantasy stories out there at the moment, I felt some episodes were a bit weak and certain story arcs could have been explained better. But who knows… Season three, may answer some of those lingering questions… Not going to lie. I am excited to see what happens in season three.

Thank you very much for checking out the review and if you are interested, but not a member of Amazon Prime. Check out their free 30 day trial below.


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