American Gods creators and cast. Picture:Supplied
We live in an era monopolised by TV shows. Hollywood is pushing boundaries like never before. And American Gods will go down as one of the shows that’s been instrumental in shaping this history.

There are no-holds-barred in this series, which boasts the most explicit gay sex scene on mainstream TV. The scenes ingeniously blur the lines between reality and fiction.

Honestly speaking, it’s a TV show unlike any I’ve seen in a long time - Twin Peaks included.

The creators invite the viewer into a world populated by mythological deities who walk among us. As such, fans become privy to a brewing battle.

It could be argued that a lot hinges on how the narrative is consumed, especially with all this talk about faith.

At the heart of the story is Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-convict who is released early so that he may attend the funeral of his wife.

However, paying his final respects to his wife becomes an interesting journey when he crosses paths with Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) at the airport. At first, he admires his underhandedness in getting himself upgraded on the flight, especially with a battleaxe of a check-in person. This admiration slowly fades into unadulterated frustration.

Shadow can’t seem to shake this person. And it grates him that, aside from Mr. Wednesday taking liberties with him, he is unashamedly manipulative.

In learning a few crushing home truths about his wife and best friend, he agrees to Mr. Wednesday’s terms and conditions of employment.

Shadow is a man wrestling with many emotions. He’s not blind to certain realities where Mr. Wednesday is concerned but, at the same time, there’s an underlying curiosity.

This alliance is fraught with nasty encounters. The first one being with Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) and his army of Men-in-Black-esque bodyguards. Then there is Mr World and Media. Both have their own agendas and try to seduce our protagonist into a state of submission.

This series is populated by engaging characters, some dark and others good. And the writers straddle this fine line with commendable finesse.

The story is overrun with death, vanity, obsession and materialistic needs. Sex and temptation also feeds into the premise where mythology and reality converge.

Every character has a hypnotic effect on the viewer.

To some extent, the writers have a bit of fun holding a mirror to life as we now know it to be, even making a thinly-veiled political statement.

There’s a fair amount of nudity and explicit sex scenes but there is nothing gratuitous about how they are executed.

American Gods deserves all the hero-worship it’s been getting. The characters are fabulously flawed, irrespective of stature, and, in being so consumed by personal desires and agendas, contribute to making this a truly mesmerising tale. It’s dark and deliciously addictive viewing!

IOL