Having had a Preacher adaptation talked about for years, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin finally brought the iconic work of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon to life for AMC last year. Despite us wanting to absolutely adore it, in all honesty the first season was a bit of a mixed bag when all was said and done. With the second season having aired earlier this year and now available on Blu-ray and DVD, let’s see if the Dominic Cooper-starrer has managed to right the wrongs of its first year.
If we’re being fair, one of the big problems of the first season for longtime fans of the Preacher comic book series is that said first year almost served as a precursor, a prequel of the real meat of the story. Here, Season Two gets off to an explosive start as we see our lead trio of Cooper’s Jesse Custer, Ruth Negga’s Tulip O’Hare and Joseph Gilgun’s Cassidy on the mission to end all missions: to find God, hold him accountable and punch him square in the face. And with that as the launching point for this road trip-driven second year, we get a Preacher that is far more in tune to what fans of the source material were expecting originally, and we also get a much-needed kick up the arse for some of the more problematic characters who were lagging in the show’s debut year.
Sadly, two of the characters who often bogged Preacher’s first season down were two of its main players, Jesse and Tulip. Being a bit too much of a dick for most fans to deal with, Jesse of Season One just felt, well, off, often falling back far too easily on his powers to get the job done while similarly not giving all that much of a shit about how his actions may affect others. As for Tulip, despite being an all-out badass in the funny books – and at times in Season One – she was more often than not depicted as a clingy, needy damsel in distress, when in reality she should be arguably the strongest-minded, most independent character of the bunch. Luckily, both Jesse and Tulip are tweaked in the right direction for the most part in Season Two, and Cassidy is still just as enjoyably twisted as he was previously. With a triumvirate of key players who are now all in sync from a writing standpoint, the action of Preacher flows much, much smoother. And what action it is! From the moment a Come On Eileen-fuelled car chase opens the first episode of this second season, Preacher ups the ante and takes its audience on an intense, erratic thrillride through its beefed-up thirteen-episode second year.
On the other side of the fence, Graham McTavish’s Saint of Killers is back and still on the trail of Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy, and he proves himself to once again be an unrelenting killing machine of which Das Arnold’s T-800 would be proud of. Then there’s Pip Torrens as Herr Starr, a member of the uber-powerful (and totally evil!) Grail organisation, devouring scenery at any given opportunity. While the Preacher man is himself on the hunt, he also just so happens to be the hunted, too.
As a show, Preacher feels more vibrant, more energetic, more intense and, frankly, more enjoyable this time out, with the up-and-down nature of the central story dragging you through the wringer just as much as any of its key players. If you thought that the show’s debut year was so-so, you’ll find this second season to be an entirely different, far better animal. If you enjoyed that first year, then you’ll undoubtedly absolutely love Season Two. More action, more brutality, more character development, and some truly mind-bending set pieces, Preacher has kicked it up a gear, and we cannot wait to see what lies ahead for the series.
In addition to the second season’s thirteen episodes, this home release also has a few basic extras thrown in for good measure. While the gag reel is pretty standard fodder, the featurette included is pretty swanky as it puts the spotlight on the riotous fight scene from the season’s third episode, the excellent Damsels.
Special Features: Featurette / Gag reel
PREACHER: SEASON TWO / CERT: 18 / SHOWRUNNER: SAM CATLIN / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: DOMINIC COOPER, RUTH NEGGA, JOSEPH GILGUN, IAN COLLETTI, GRAHAM MCTAVISH, PIP TORRENS, NOAH TAYLOR / RELEASE DATE OUT NOW