American Gods: Season Three
The epic story of a war building between the Old Gods of mythology and the New Gods of technology, American Gods presented a promising first season before going on to test the faith of its loyal following with a disjointed and lacklustre second. Now back for a third act, can the show work miracles to resurrect its past glory?
Ex-con Shadow Moon, skilfully played by Ricky Whittle, takes the wheel in Season Three, which places more emphasis on character-driven narrative than viewers might be used to. Fighting against his apparent destiny, Shadow settles in the quaint and sleepy town of Lakeside, but it isn’t long before his true calling catches up with him.
Aside from the big budget effects and striking locations, it is the acting that elevates the show. Whittle is gifted a compelling character and the actor clearly relishes exploring each of his many layers. Seeing his attempts to inhabit himself with mortals provides numerous rich interactions and Lakeside itself, oozing with small-town prejudice and racist undertones, becomes an absorbing world to watch. Whittle’s best scenes, though, are often shared with on-screen father Mr Wednesday, portrayed perfectly by the mischievous Ian McShane, who never ceases to capture the right balance between light and shade in his performance.
Bruce Langley continues his reign as the intensely psychotic Technical Boy, and there are some intriguing new additions. Julia Sweeney’s nosy neighbour Ann-Marie, who could be the nicer sister of Misery’s Annie Wilkes, is well cast. Dominique Jackson as new god Ms World also makes quite the entrance and promises to be a formidable presence.
Orlando Jones, who experienced an abrupt and messy departure, is undoubtedly missed, however, both the new setting for the show and its modified tone allow it to feel like a much-needed reinvention of itself. Season Three offers some reassurance that the various narrative strands and pre-planted seeds are going to finally come to fruition, and long-term viewers will be rewarded for their commitment and patience. There are a number of notable changes here, but that can only be a positive for a show in need of transformation.
American Gods: Season Three is released digitally on demand on 11th January 2021.
Watch the trailer for American Gods: Season Three here: