Adventure Drama

'Preacher: Season One' DVD Review: No rest for the wicked

October 12, 2016Ben MK

When you think of the names Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, you might think of raucous comedies like This is the End, The Interview and The Night Before. What doesn't come to mind, probably, is a show like Preacher, a gritty series that blends horror with drama and dark humor, not to mention a slightly offbeat tone.

Based on the cult comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, Preacher stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a man who's left behind a life of crime and violence to return to his hometown of Annville, Texas. Serving as a preacher at his late father's church, All Saints' Congregational, Jesse finds his will to set his life on a righteous path tested by the injustice he sees all around him. However, Jesse finds himself invigorated with new purpose when he's inhabited by a powerful, supernatural entity — the spawn of an angel and a demon.

Imbued with the ability to command people to do his bidding, Jesse embarks on a mission to bring Annville to God. But he soon discovers that with great power comes big trouble, as he becomes the target of a pair of renegade angels (Tom Brooke and Anatol Yusef) who won't rest until they've extracted the entity from Jesse's body. Meanwhile, Jesse also finds himself drawn back to his old life by his girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga), while at the same time receiving help from an unlikely ally, an unconventional, Irish vampire by the name of Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).

Developed by Rogen, Goldberg and Sam Catlin, Preacher is a show that starts out grim and gritty, but which becomes progressively more fun and humorous as the season progresses. Suffice to say, its overall tone skews closer to that of a show like Ash vs. Evil Dead more than it does to, say, The Walking Dead; but fans of gory, supernaturally-themed dramas in general — not to mention, fans of the original comics — should find plenty to love about Preacher's demented storyline, especially how season one's apocalyptic finale teases what's to come in season two.

As for the actual episodes, here's what you'll find on Sony's season one DVD set:

  • Pilot - Jesse (Dominic Cooper) struggles to escape a past that is slowly catching up to him. A mysterious entity comes to Earth, leaving a wave of destruction in its wake.
  • See - Jesse tries to be a "good preacher," unaware that a mysterious duo is after him. Meanwhile, we meet the enigmatic Cowboy (Graham McTavish).
  • The Possibilities - Jesse explores his newfound power with help from Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun). Armed with new information, Tulip (Ruth Negga) tries to convince Jesse to set out for revenge.
  • Monster Swamp - Jesse makes Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) a bet he can't refuse, Cassidy works to fend off the angels, and Tulip tries to bring justice to Annville.
  • South Will Rise Again - After his stunt with Quincannon, Jesse is Annville's newest rock star. Tulip and Cassidy connect, and The Cowboy makes a tragic decision.
  • Sundowner - Jesse finally comes face to face with DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke), and learns about the mysterious entity that has taken over his body.
  • He Gone - Jesse takes actions that alienate and endanger those closest to him, as we glimpse into his past and finally learn the root of all of his guilt.
  • El Valero - In a fierce gun battle, Jesse faces off against Quincannon and the Meat Men to protect his church, while Tulip tries to save a friend.
  • Finish the Song - Jesse is on the run while those around him face life-altering decisions. The Cowboy returns to Ratwater to exact his revenge.
  • Call and Response - God is coming to town.

Season one of Preacher debuts on DVD with a transfer that looks perfectly fine for standard definition. Picture quality is respectably clear, black levels and contrast are quite good, and there are no noticeable image defects to speak of. Hues are also nicely saturated; and even though a good portion of the series' initial episodes feature a parched, sun-scorched color palette, the visuals become a bit more varied as the season continues, even mixing in a handful of sepia-toned 1881 flashbacks along the way. As for the discs' Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix, it's an easy match for the show's sound design, which focuses on dialogue and a horror-inspired score, mixed in with a variety of alternative rock and Johnny Cash songs, as well as your standard array of fistfights, gunshots and chainsaws.

Sony's four-disc DVD release includes the following extras.

  • The Unfilmable Pilot (7:36) - A piece about the long road to bringing the world of Preacher to television screens, the characters of Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy, and the show's tone and production design.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (16:49) - Fifteen scenes ("Jesse's Dream Fight Sequence," "All They Can Do is Scream," "Jesse's Sermon," "Murderer," "Black Pudding," "Wait Here," "Three Possible Explanations," "Imagine the Possibilities Padre," "Hide and Go Seek," "Be Nice," "Do You Hear That?," "Dishes Don't Do Themselves," "I Worry About Eugene," "Your Tax Dollars at Work" and "God, God").
  • The Stunts of Preacher (7:58) - A look at stunt and fight choreographer John Koyama's work on the show.

Preacher: Season One is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of October 4th, 2016. Episode synopses above provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The DVD features English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH and French subtitles. The total runtime is 7 Hrs. 51 Min.

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