American Gods Series Premiere Synopsis: The Bone Orchard


The final countdown to American Gods is on. Find out what to expect from the most anticipated–and perhaps the most important–TV event of the millennium.

At long last, Neil Gaiman’s seminal novel American Gods is coming to our screens, starting Sunday night. This epic story is hard to sum up. On the one hand, it’s about an ex-convict named Shadow Moon who is coming to terms with life after prison and the death of his wife. On the other hand, it’s about everything. American Gods explores the roots of American culture, and the directions in which it grows, in all its cultivated and wild glory.

What is America?

America is weird. Our identity is such a mash of cultures and influences, because this is a nation of immigrants. We brought with us different ideas, languages, food, and, yes, gods. But our fore-bearers came here wanting something else, trying to find something new. So in America, we have layers upon layers of old tradition, myth and belief, topped off by an ever-changing veneer that we think of as our identity.

The first episode of American Gods is called The Bone Orchard.  Via Starz:

"When Shadow Moon is released from prison early after the death of his wife, he meets Mr. Wednesday and is recruited as his bodyguard. Shadow discovers that this may be more than he bargained for."

Well that certainly is succinct, but it leaves out an important point: The gods are real. All of them. And Mr. Wednesday wants Shadow to meet them. Why? The old man needs help. As Shadow Moon actor Ricky Whittle says in this trailer, “There’s a storm brewing between the new gods and the old.”

Immigrant Song

The most important point missing from the official synopsis is that this is a story about immigrants. American history all tends to get wrapped up in a white, Western European narrative, but Gaiman breaks through that facade with thoughtful glee, compassion, wonder, and a large dose of cynicism.

Because no one is really from America; everyone moved here at some point in history. Even Native Americans are from somewhere else if you go back far enough. They walked here millennia ago, bringing with them fire and flint. Then, perhaps 1000 years ago, the Norse arrived in boats, looking for fish, which they found.  And that’s where our story really begins.

Related Story: American Gods Character Posters from Starz

American Gods premieres Sunday, April 30, at 9 p.m. EST on Starz. Keep your eye on Culturess for American Gods synopses, recaps, reviews, and other thoughts in the weeks to come.