Bizarre, gory, fuzzy and intoxicating, “Preacher” could be a huge hit for AMC — if audiences are willing to wait around to find out what the heck is going on.
Here’s what’s given: In a small dusty, Texas town filled with offbeat characters, a preacher (Dominic Cooper) tries to atone for his ex-bad boy ways. In outer space — we know it’s outer space because giant white letters tell us it’s OUTER SPACE — some force is hurtling about, eventually coming to earth.
After a bit, force and preacher meet, creating — what? That’s the question that hovers over the show for quite a while, which is also what makes it interesting.
And then there’s the vampire. There’s always a vampire. This one’s Irish, his name is Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) and, after a hugely bloody introduction, he just happens to end up in the preacher’s dusty Texas town. He becomes Robin to the preacher’s Batman.
Wait: There’s still one more major character, Tulip (Ruth Negga), a hard-hitting criminal type who shares a murky past with the preacher and wants to pull him back to the dark side which, as she practices it, looks like a lot of fun.
“Preacher,” which is plainly based on a comic book, has elements of other shows — “The Leftovers,” “The Walking Dead” — but tonally most resembles “True Blood” in its mix of violence and humor.
It comes from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who combined those elements to good effect in “Pineapple Express.” There are few serious undertones, but lots of lively excitement, despite all the lingering questions, which will assumedly be answered. Have faith.
Tom Long is a longtime culture critic.
9 p.m. Sunday