Starz’s Amer­i­can Gods ends its first sea­son by arriv­ing at the begin­ning of the real sto­ry in a promis­ing, some­times con­found­ing sea­son finale. Thanks to HBO’s The Left­overs , Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale , and now Starz’s Amer­i­can Gods , there has been plen­ty to dis­cuss this year when it comes to the fea­si­bil­i­ty of expand­ing the fixed sto­ry of a nov­el for tele­vi­sion with the express pur­pose of doing what tele­vi­sion does best: avoid­ing con­clu­sion and let­ting a sto­ry run for as long as pos­si­ble. There are plen­ty of oth­er exam­ples to choose from to be sure, but 2017 has seen some excel­lent tele­vi­sion come from the expan­sion of – or the promise to expand upon – sto­ries first brought to life in book form. Giv­en the kinds of sto­ries being told – from misog­y­nis­tic dystopi­an night­mares to nuanced med­i­ta­tions on grief and the inscrutable nature of the uni­verse – there’s real­ly no clear for­mu­la for what kind of book is going to make the best series, espe­cial­ly when it exhausts the source mate­r­i­al from which it was derived. The Left­overs worked large­ly because leav­ing the con­fines of the nov­el allowed the series to be rein­vent­ed in sea­son […]