Critical Essay- Preacher Ep 1.

Preacher is a relatively new show that airs on AMC. The show is about a man named Jesse Custer, whose father was killed in front of him when he was young outside of their church. After this took place, Jesse joined up with girlfriend tulip and become outlaws. Convinced that the entire concept of god and religion is a sham. During their highly illegal rampage, the couple become the victims of a setup and both end up in prison. When Jesse gets out, he decides to leave his life of crime and fulfill his promise to his father. The first episode begins with Jesse’s return, and the following combination of the reaction of the town, and Jesse’s reaction to returning to his old stomping grounds lays the framework for the rest of the episode. There are deeply troubled people in Anvil, the desert town in Texas in which the show is set. There have been failed murders that have resulted in disfigurement for both involved, and pedophiles that stay within the town, hoping to blend in. After very unenthusiastic sermon, Jesse immediately begins to “remedy” these indecencies. As the new preacher of Anvil, he is given low esteem as the people in town seem to know of his past. Until he shows what he can do and uses this to his advantage.


The production value of this show is very high. With high end special effects and audio mastering, it deeply enthralls the viewer. Most of the framing inside of the small church (Which has nothing around it for miles) is symbolic, putting Jesse in front of Christian idols, looking bewildered.


Most shots have a dusty/beige look to them, every shot feels just a bit dirty, but no one in the town seems to care. The color has a monotonic look to it in most shots, and the scenes where color is accented are usually darker ones.

There is very little music in this show, unless it is coming directly from something like a radio in the room, which is usually then shut off. However, when the preacher uses his new power to convince a character to stand up to his mother, the audio changes entirely. Jesse’s voice becomes deeper and seems to fill the area, as if to consume his free will.

The story is told by masking the past of the characters entirely and letting it bleed out through their reactions to certain situations. You can tell that Jesses is trying to forget what he had done in the past and become a better person, but something about the way he reacts when he’s asked to hurt the father of a child that thinks he is beating his mom says he enjoyed being an outlaw. Sometime flashbacks are used, but it’s only once or twice in this episode, coming through as a few second long clips. There are extremely violent parts of the show that seem unwarranted, until you find out later that they were. Most parts that involve violence In this show are dark and not very well lit or defined. Though there is a scene in which a man on the plane (who is not identified) kills everyone onboard. The scene is well lit ad uncharacteristic as it also has background music.


When it comes to values, the show seems to have none. As soon as the viewer is lead to believe that one character or another is about to believe in god, do something charitable, or good, something happens to flip that completely. There is an immense amount of blood and violence in the show, punctuated by the same man who committed the violence standing in front of church-goers delivering a sermon. The show includes prostitution, a massive amount of vulgar language, and the idea that religion is really just a sham. This is brought on by the existence of other beings in the show such as a vampire (The guy on the plane) and others further in the season

Women are shown in two very different lights in this show. Tulip comes across as a hardened criminal who doesn’t take any back talk from anyone. She stands he ground every time her opinion is challenged and never backs down. On the other hand, there are wives who are portrayed as calm and subservient to their husbands. Whatever the husband does, they follow. There are also female characters who you would come off as innocent but flip like a switch in harder times later in the series.


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