Disclaimer: This review covers the first four characters we were provided prior to season three’s premiere on Starz

American Gods is one of the shows that seem to have a lot of drama in-between seasons. Many Bryan Fuller loyalists were upset due to his departure after season one. This made fans already skeptical of season two. This, on top of the fact that season two’s showrunner dropped out midway in between the season, made people want to dislike it even more. Frankly, I enjoyed season two, but I did feel a bit like this in between season two and three. The show got rid of a lot of beloved characters and brought in many who weren’t in Neil Gaiman’s original book. Which, the show is based on.

Tonal Shifts In Season Three

Season three has a much different feel than previous seasons. Part of this is because a majority of it takes place in Lakeside – a sort of small-town paradise that is a pause from the god wars. There are new characters in the mix and new dynamics that were never explored in the book. Of course, with new showrunners, a show is going to feel different. Many felt season two didn’t feel like season one. I have to tell you, I am not minding the tonal shift in season three.

Welcome to Lakeside

In fact, I think I like it. I understand why everyone really enjoys the Lakeside portion of the book. I feel like Ricky Whittle’s Shadow Moon has never been better. He’s no longer the bumbling, naive outsider. He knows what he wants and doesn’t want and he is truly tired of Mr. Wednesday’s bullshit. He feels like his own person. Before, I had thought of Shadow as a weak protagonist, but season three is really making me like him.

While Shadow is trying to forget the god war he’s been pulled into, the war is indeed still raging on. Except, it’s a bit of a pause. It’s been a few months since season two. Both sides seem to have taken time to regroup. Strategize. The tactics before weren’t working, so what will now?

Developing Characters

The first four episodes also really develop some longstanding characters in the show. Characters like Technical Boy and Bilquis. I’m loving how both Yetide Bakadi and Bruce Langley are given opportunities to morph out of the threat of one-dimensionality and flex their acting chops. We’re all sad that certain characters like the Jinn, Mr. Nancy, and Mad Sweeney won’t return this season. But, it is good to see the show give them new storylines. There are some points from the book that make their way into the show, though; they take new form in the episodes.

Dominique Jackson Is Great

As far as the new actors, Dominique Jackson really stands out. Ms. World is going to become a favorite of mine and while that World aura still lives within Jackson’s take on the character, she makes the character completely her own. You can’t help, but be captivated by Jackson. She’s a great addition to the series.

The Retcons

There are a few things season three retcons from season two. Some characters are simply not mentioned or explained away quickly. It’s how season two quickly explained why Easter and Media weren’t around anymore. You don’t get too hung up on the fact that things are a little different.

Laura Moon’s Journey

The last thing I’ll comment on is Laura Moon’s journey. Which, takes an unexpected twist. The first four episodes really peel back Laura and she herself finds new information that shakes who she always thought she was. Mad Sweeney’s spirit is very much within the first four episodes. I don’t know how it will play in the rest of the season, but I think as far as the live-action sense, you cannot talk Laura Moon without talking about Mad Sweeney. I’m excited for Emily Browning’s journey for the rest of the episodes.

Rating: 4.5/5

American Gods season 3 may look a little different from the first two seasons, but I think it has a lot of promise. Perhaps it’s not as stylistically as weird as season one was, but it’s story-driven. That’s the most important thing to me. And it’s setting up one hell of a story that I’m excited to be privy to.

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