Let me start by saying I liked the Preacher debut. Let me add, however, that I had to take a second shot at watching it to get to that conclusion. The problem is that it started slow, and very spastic in its story-telling approach. It’s been some time since I’ve read the comics (on which the series is based), so I may not be a great judge, but I don’t think having read the comics would’ve done much to make the first part of the pilot episode sit right. The series is starting off at a different point, and not really giving us much of an intro to the characters, so it’s jarring for anyone who doesn’t know the source material, and just sort of disengaging for viewers who do.
I will say the story finds traction in the back half. Preacher definitely has a sense of humor to it. There’s a huge element of parody that’s present in the comics, but I can’t help but feel the show needs to balance its tone a little better. The funny moments, such as the news report about Tom Cruise exploding, sort of come out of nowhere, and it makes them hard to land.
The episode doesn’t do much to dive into the overarching story of Preacher, but it sets the scene. If you’re a fan of the comics, give the show a chance. It won’t be a one-for-one translation, but if you don’t expect it to be, I think you’ll be reasonably happy with the result. If you aren’t familiar with the comics, go in expecting something bloody and irreverent, and I think you’ll be entertained.