Preacher just kicked off season 3 and creators Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Sam Catlin think that the show’s boundary-pushing reputation is part of its appeal. An adaptation of the comic book by Garth Ennis and the late Steve Dillon, Preacher was in and out of development for years, as it seemed various talented people found it difficult to bring the violent, darkly funny, often-controversial story to life. Leave it to Rogen and Goldberg to find a way to finally make it happen, and for Catlin to have shepherded the series into what its now it’s third season.
Sustaining a show for that long means the creators are doing something right, and although the series has been met with some angry fans upset about how the show is handling one controversial plotline or another (with a show like Preacher, if one storyline doesn’t provoke outrage, another certainly will), the writers have learned standing out and being different, even when that means pushing boundaries, is part of making a memorable TV show.
In a recent conference call ahead of the new season, Rogen spoke about the show’s reputation and tendency to attract the ire of certain groups. As he sees it, there’s plenty of TV for people to watch, so for someone to be outraged by Preacher it’s almost as though they’re looking to be outraged. Rogen said:
“I think there’s so many shows on television now that, to us, being different is a good thing. And if you don’t like that, guess what, there’s a hundred million other shows that you have the opportunity to watch. And I think part of it came from the fact that our show kept getting protested, which was hilarious because it’s not an easy show to watch even. [Laughs] It’s not on a lot of streaming services that are intuitive to use. You kind of have to go to AMC and watch it when it airs or use the app, which not as many people use as one might hope. So what we also found was people were seeking out the show to complain about it which was kind of a funny dynamic that we saw playing out.”
In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Catlin addressed the show’s wild tone and what the series can and can’t get away with in terms of humor, violence, or anything else that’s going to earn it a TV-MA rating. As far as he sees it, playing around with tone and pushing boundaries are all part of the fun of making the show.
“It’s difficult. It’s getting easier and easier for us to figure out the tones of the show. We’re learning what we can get away with now, which is a lot more than we thought we could in season 1 and in even in season 2. The tone of it just f**king goes from one thing to the next. And it doesn’t slow down and when it does it only stops for a second and then it just goes crazy again. That’s the fun and challenge of the show: the tone and all those different genres that we get to do that none of us will get to do on any other show after this, so that’s the fun of it.”
Series star, Dominic Cooper echoed Catlin’s statements in a separate interview, saying calibrating the tone can be tricky, but its become part of why audiences are tuning in for the show season after season.
“I think that’s what we were always frightened of not achieving, so therefore we’ve paid close attention to it, because in the comics, one minute you’re busting out laughing and the next is completely opposite. And it’s more so when you put it on film. But it needs to be as funny as it is violent as it is shocking and heart wrenching. That’s down to the temperature of it, the tone, how our showrunners drive the story and how we as actors are able to achieve something funny and also very serious in the same breath, sort of. I think that that is what makes it different and I hope that audiences are getting that. And they seem to be reacting and responding to it, which is what makes it so unusual and what I think the people who are watching it are enjoying it.”
Since season 3 just started, it’s anyone guess as to how the envelope will be pushed this time around. With Allfather D’Arononique in the offing and Jesse stuck with his estranged family in Angelville, it’s a good bet Preacher is going to forge ahead and continue to earn that reputation.
Preacher continues next Sunday with ‘Sonsabitches’ @10pm on AMC.
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