Everyone is losing their collective minds over American Gods, the beyond-buzzy new show from Starz which—when it comes to sex, violence, and pure entertainment value—gives Game of Thrones a major run for its money.
For all you TL;DR-ers out there, the show rests on the premise that Gods walk among us. The story itself revolves around an ex-con named Shadow Moon who unenthusiastically starts working for a God named Mr. Wednesday, and finds himself in the middle of a battle between the Old Gods and the New Gods. But now that we've gotten the plot out of the way, here's what else you can expect from this neon-tinted feat of weirdness.
It's Heavy on the Gore.
This show is a blood bath. As in, characters are literally bathed with splashing blood. The good news is the gore is almost cartoonish in its intensity, and you become used to it pretty quickly.
It's Also Heavy on the Sex. In Fact, in the First Episode a Woman's Vagina Swallows a Man.
Or maybe the proper word is engulfs. Either way, one moment they're having intense sex, the next moment he's gone, girl. Take this as a sign that the show is prepared to cross every line and break every boundary when it comes to pure insanity—and you'll be surprised by how here for it you are.
The Aesthetic Is on Point.
Proof: these incredibly gorgeous posters. If you, like me, think these are a work of artistic genius, get excited because the show is pretty much this come to life. Yeah, there's a plethora of guts and gore, but American Gods is also big on magical realism, so think of it as a gorgeous combination of Lynchian, Guillermo Del Toro-ian (not a thing, but should be), and Odysseus mythology the likes of which you haven't seen since, well, you had to read The Odyssey in high school.
There's Equal Opportunity Nudity.
One of the most frustrating things about cable TV is that women's bodies are showcased and—some might argue—exploited, while we rarely, if ever, see men naked. Things have been slowly changing (most recently, Alexander Skarsgard was nude in HBO's Big Little Lies), and you can definitely expect equal-opportunity nudity on American Gods.
The First Six Minutes are *Pure Insanity*.
As a precursor to the modern-day events of the show, we're greeted to six minutes of warring Vikings. Long story short, they arrive on an island, get attacked by locals, and—in an effort to appease their god—spill a *whole* lot of blood. Let's just say if you can get through the first moments of American Gods in one piece, you can do anything.
It Is Socially and Politically Relevant.
This show is not just a gore fest marketed towards men. Sure, the bros lurking on Reddit are probably making fandom threads as we speak, but American Gods has some strong, badass females whose stories won't go unnoticed. It also tackles racism in a pretty overt way during the second episode, and deals with themes of immigration—both of which are topics we can all agree are hugely relevant at the moment.
It's Based on an Extremely Cult-y Science Fiction Book.
Neil Gaiman's novel serves as source material for American Gods, and book fans will be pleased to know that the show adheres pretty closely to its predecessor. But, there are said to be a few new characters at play—and, as with any adaptation, minor changes have been made (this is a spoiler-free zone, so that's all we'll say on the topic).
It's Only Eight Episodes Long.
So savor every single second. American Gods airs April 30 on Starz.