On Sunday night, Chris Hardwick posted the following trailer for Preacher on AMC.
So let’s break it down, shall we:
Both Sides of the Line
This song is an old 1960’s country song by Wanda Jackson. Here are the lyrics:
You just gotta walk on both sides of the line
You’ve thrilled at the thought of each stranger’s arms you find
Everything that’s yours to hold just can’t satisfy your mind
Cause you just gotta walk on both sides of the line
If you had me in a mansion filled with gold
If I lay at your feet my heart and my soul
You’d still crave the grapes on your next door neighbor’s vine
Cause you just gotta walk on both sides of the line
This definitely speaks to Jesse Custer. Someone who wants to be a peaceful moral preacher, but who also wants to use his fists to right injustice. Torn between the world of his father and that of his mother. And most likely in this AMC series, it speaks to him staying in Annville, Texas versus travelling with Tulip on the road.
First we have Tulip O’Hare, played by Ruth Negga. In the comic books, Jesse meets her on the road, and the two of them embark on criminal adventures. In this version of Preacher, Tulip is Jesse’s childhood friend. Obviously, Tulip is angry at something or someone, whether that is Jesse specifically, or the role he has to represent, who knows.
Tulip’s outfit is very interesting, in this scene, as it is very different from the bad ass outfits that we have seen in other trailers. The red is very striking. And it easily invokes the idea of fire/devil, but that may be waaay too easy.
I am assuming this is Emily Woodrow, played by Lucy Griffiths . She is supposedly someone who helps Jesse at the church. She appears to be holding very church like documents/pamphlets, dressed all in white/cream colors, blending into the background. Very stark contrast to Miss O’Dare.
The marquis behind is a mash up. the first line can come from several Bible verses. But I think the best one may come from Acts 18:9
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
And the second line is from the horror movie, The Fly (1986):
Be afraid, be very afraid.
Next we are introduced to Sherrif Hugo Root played by W. Earl Brown. My favorite line from the comic book about him is when Commander Meeker says, “Yeah, I know he looks like what happened when white met trash.” It’s pretty much the definition of Sherrif Root. The image here is more of a ‘good ol boy’ ignorant sherrif than some backwoods, power-hungry, bigoted, asshole.
Root doesn’t play too much of a part in the whole Preacher saga. He’s pretty much a very memorable minor part of the first story arc, “Gone to Texas”, but afterwards he doesn’t play too much of a part, except for being the father of one of the most memorable characters in Preacher.
At last we come to Eugene “Arseface” Root, played by Ian Colletti. I was surprised to learn that the original comic book series never gave Arseface a first name. Not even in his own special issue. So Eugene is just fine. In the comics, Arseface is named so by Cassidy at the end of “Gone to Texas.” .
In the comic books, Arseface is a teenage boy who was despised by his father by not being like him. He and his friend Pube loved Nirvana so much that when Kurt Cobain killed himself, they decided to form a suicide pact. Unfortunately, Root missed with the shotgun, and it just caved in his face. Although there is no indication that Arseface suffered any brain damage, he becomes transformed by the experience as being completely enthusiastic about everything. He is an embarrassment to his father both before and after the accident. Eventually it is shown that he really does have a heart of gold.
So, I don’t know who the person outside of the car is, but the person handing him the sausage links is most definitely Odin “The Meatman” Quincannon, who is being played by nerd favorite/character actor Jackie Earle Haley.
Okay, now this one is the biggest stretch of the Preacher mythos. In the comics, Jesse does not encounter the character of Odin “The Meatman” Quincannon was introduced to the Preacher story when Jesse was separated from Tulip and Cassidy and he became the Sherrif of a town called Salvation, Texas.
Odin was one of the most despicable and vile characters in Preacher. I can’t say that it’s a good idea that they’re bringing him into the early story arc, but it’s interesting.
Deblanc and Fiore
If you’re going by the comic book, these two are the angels who are charged with capturing and returning Genesis. I’m guessing the smaller one is Deblanc, played by Anatol Yusef, and the taller one is Fiore, played by Tom Brooke. They are here posing as human beings, which was not a ‘power’ that they had in the comic books. But angels and saints do descend to earth to interact with us mortals. Deblanc is the senior or leader of the two.
Their appearance is like a Texas version of the image below that they had when they were cast out of heaven by the Seraphi/Archangels.
This of course is Proinsias Cassidy the Irish vampire, played by Joe Gilgun who acts as the best friend to Jesse Custer, the devil on his shoulder, comic relief, and overall wise ass. In the comic book, Cassidy is typically the one who gets the trio in trouble, but also has the most contacts across the United States, even though some of them are not as fond of him as he likes to pretend.
This is the most “Cassidy” like that I have seen from Gilgun in any of the images or trailers. Cassidy is unlike any vampire I have seen in literature. He is not moping or grandiose or feels empowered or deals with the tragedy of it. He thinks that becoming a vampire is the best thing that ever happened to him, and enjoys the perks that it brings. As such, he wouldn’t think much of letting the sun set his finger on fire, and use it to light his cigarette.
Reverend Jesse Custer
At last we end up with the main protagonist of the story, the Reverend Jesse Custer., played by Dominic Cooper. In the comic books, Jesse has lived his life without a father for many years, so his ideals of manhood mostly come from John Wayne movies. As such, he lives by a strong moral code that includes taking care of your woman, saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and not backing down from someone, no matter who you are up against.
Jesse has had a life on the run in the past, involved in several crimes across the south, but he has turned his life around as the preacher of the small town of Anville, Texas. In the comic book, Jesse’s father was a soldier in the Vietnam War, but it turns out that in the television series, John Custer was the preacher of Anville, and Jesse is filling his father’s shoes.
Jesse is stubborn and likable. And the whole story works because of Jesse’s arrogance as well has his humility and strong moral values.
So that’s it, mot much more to say than that.