Preacher: Season 2 created by Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen (AMC, Short Drive Entertainment, Point Grey Pictures, Original Film)

Starring Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Graham McTavish, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery, Tom Brooke, and Ronald Guttman.

*Spoilers for Previous Seasons*

Beauty and Meaning

Style and substance = nirvana. You need them both for perfection. Thinking about plotting, it seems so easy to see how writers picture an ending and organize story toward that end. Problematically, if someone isn’t involved in the main storyline, acting contracts and financial arrangements demand involvement. So, key characters enter side quests to keep them busy and more importantly for the actor, on the screen. Only until the traps are ready. Then everything comes together like symphony’s grand finale.

This issue emerges from problems in plot structure. It seems many popular shows fall into the trap. On one end, Game of Thrones clumsily backed into their planned set pieces, logic be damned. On the other, The Walking Dead attempts (emphasis on attempts) to ponder the philosophical foundations of life’s meaning for three quarters of the season before a bloody finale. It all can feel a little pointless.

Setting Up to Fail

For this reason, the set up for Season 2 of Preacher held promise. Suffering the same criticisms lodged above, Season 1 concludes with a massive reset. Removing all the excess, Season 2 teases a travelogue-style show.

Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) have hit the road in search of God. Spoilers for those yet to see Season 1, but God is missing; heaven and hell are experiencing a power vacuum. And Jesse wants answers.

On their heels, the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) mows down all living organisms in search of Jesse and his all-powerful voice. Possessing motivations that will become clear, the Saint needs to kill Jesse.

Such plotting announces urgency, bullets fly and action packs to the brim of each early episode.

From Urgency to Placidity

Unfortunately, the travelogue quickly reverts to stasis when the search for God points to New Orleans. Forced conflict and stunted dialogue saps Preacher of its energy while the discovery of an all-powerful religious order holds occasional intrigue at most.

And so, despite Preacher‘s unique style—the aesthetics remain a hallmark of the series, the substance just isn’t working. I refuse to quit the show at the moment, but Preacher lost the luxury of a longer leash.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

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