Critics Loved American Gods, But What Did Viewers Think?

Find out what fans thought of Bryan Fuller and Michael Green's TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's beloved novel.

by | April 30, 2017 | Comments

After more than 15 years, Neil Gaiman‘s epic fantasy book American Gods has made it on screen, and critics ate it up, awarding the new series 91% on the Tomatometer ahead of its debut. Starz’s adaptation of the novel premiered Sunday night to plenty of praise from fans — it seems they liked the faithful translation of the source material to TV, especially in the hands of creators Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Logan).

Here’s how fans on Twitter reacted to the biggest moments of the new series.

Spoilers ahead: stop here if you haven’t seen season 1, episode 1 of American Gods.

First, a Viking Story

Before we met our main players, we witnessed the bloody telling of a group of Vikings — centuries older than the ones we know of — who washed up on the shores of the land that would become America, but weren’t welcome. Without enough wind to sail home, they moved on to the next natural step: human sacrifice (first their eyes, then human lives). The rituals were violent, but eventually worked.

Meet Shadow

We met our hero, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) for the first time just as he was getting out of prison — three days early, even! Except his early release was because his wife died and he had to get to the funeral.

Don’t Mess With Airline Ladies

Though he tried to fly home, the airline customer service woman refused to help him out. Thanks to a lesson from his prison buddy, though, he realized that he should do everything in his power to contain his anger. Don’t mess with airline ladies. Ever.

Meet Mr. Wednesday

On the plane and finally on his way home, Shadow met a mysterious con man named Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), who tried to hire him to be his bodyguard/assistant/muscle.


Shadow refused, but after running into Wednesday again at a bar in the middle of nowhere, he relented. Then he got into a fist fight with a leprechaun named Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), who was very good at coin tricks and also goading Shadow into fighting him.

Bilquis Is a Maneater

Meanwhile, in Hollywood, a schlubby dude (Joel Murray) and a smokin’ hot goddess hooked up in a hotel after meeting on Tinder, because that’s just how things work in Los Angeles. Except it turns out the smokin’ hot lady, Bilquis (Yetide Badaki), is actually an actual goddess who consumed the dude’s life force as they banged. It was both awe-inspiring and unsettling for some fans.

Shadow and Audrey Mourn

After quite the adventure, Shadow made it to his wife’s funeral — only to find that the reason his wife, Laura (Emily Browning), and his BFF, Robbie, died on the same day is because they were having an affair. Robbie’s wife was not pleased, and tried to get revenge with Shadow in the graveyard. (He wasn’t into it.)

Technical Boy Has Arrived

The biggest change from the novel to the TV show is Technical Boy (Bruce Langley), who got a major tech upgrade thanks to the fact that it’s 2017 and technology has advanced a ton beyond where it was when Gaiman’s book came out in 2001.

Fans seemed pleased by the changes.

Shadow Fights Back

Though Technical Boy tried to delete Shadow, our hero was miraculously saved. By who? That’s a question to be answered another week.

The Verdict

Overall, viewers seem satisfied with the new series.

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