Pros: Beautifully done. It's not on Twin Peaks' level when comes to the sheer beauty of the program, but it is damn nice to look at. This is especially true when we follow around the gods. Storyline is sick. Has some great source material. Has some noice kills.
Cons: Sometimes lags. Some of the stuff with the wife is not good.
Rotten Tomato Consensus: American Gods opens with a series of wildly ambitious gambits -- and rewards viewers' faith with a promising first season whose visual riches are matched by its narrative impact.
Then I hit the fourth episode, "Git Gone," that follows Shadow's dead wife's life from the time when she meets her hubby to the time of her death. None of this stuff was in the book, or at least wasn't memorable, and provides a lot of unnecessary backstory. Throughout most of this episode I was checking the time left to see how much more I had to endure. Not a great sign. Though this was a whatever episode, there was a portion with some just amazing kills. Shadow is getting attacked and hanged by Technical Boy's goons when she comes to his aid with her super strength which she got from a coin that was accidentally given to her after her death, long story, that includes fucking buckets of blood. She fucking kicks a dude in the crotch causing his spine and skull to explode out the top of his body, shooting upward. It was sick.
At that point I hadn't really made up my mind on whether I liked the show or not, I was really unimpressed with that episode four. But then that episode "Lemon Scented You" rocked my shit and then it was fucking on like Michele Kwon. Here we get this amazing animated opening about a forgotten ice age god. The people who worship said god we see get killed off. This sets up this big meeting between old god Wednesday along with Shadow and the new--Media in the form of Marilyn Monroe, Technical Boy, and Mr. World, the god of globalization (his power is vast and cool). The meeting is powerful and sick. Mr. World has some cool shit going on. The group offer Wednesday a new life in the form of a North Korean nuke named in his honor to get the dude some serious zealots over seas and out of their hair. He declines.
In the episode "A Murder of Gods" we see what it is like to for a god to take such a deal. Vulcan, portrayed by Corbin Bernsen, the Roman god of fire, has gathered a group of loyal, gun-toting followers who are sort of Nazis. Life in the Virginia town where he has made residence revolves around the local bullet manufacturing plant. These sick bastards are REALLY into the Second Amendment. So Vulcan has adapted and has a little power but he's a dick. Agrees to make Wednesday a sword but then sells him out to the new gods. Having already made the sword, a total dipshit move, Wednesday uses it lop off his head. He then kicks his body into the molten metal that they make bullets out of which curses his worshipers, apparently.
On the whole, the show is a stunning visual work of art with a solid story-ark that moves along nicely. It explores themes of religion, meaning, the past, the future, and the other. It is a show that requires some active viewing, i.e. the best kind of show, that should be rewatched and discussed. Stoked about seeing the rest of this piece.