'American Gods' Technical Boy is Updated as a Modern Tech Hipster

Saturday, 18 March 2017 - 3:23PM
American Gods
Saturday, 18 March 2017 - 3:23PM
'American Gods' Technical Boy is Updated as a Modern Tech Hipster
Starz
When American Gods was first written back in 2004 by Neil Gaiman, fans of the book should remember the Technical Boy, one of the villainous New Gods that Mr. Wednesday and Shadow were going to war against. He was the modern god of tech and the Internet, something that is very, very different nowadays than back in 2004.

Which is why the God of the Internet is revamped for the Starz show premiering this April. The book version took the form of a fat kid covered in acne, a "lives in his mother's basement" stereotype in action, which doesn't work in an age where everyone lives online. So executive producers Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, and Gaiman are turning the Technical Boy into a flashy, tech startup hipster who's constantly changing how he looks, a living representation of Instagram hits and YouTube celebrities. He also vapes, because he's a bad guy and you're not supposed to like him.

The actor, Bruce Langley, spoke to SyFyWire about the new Technical Boy, and his relationship to the Old Gods like Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane):
Opening quote
"Everything in how he dresses, and how he presents himself and the costume changes, he updates constantly. What he considers old, he gets rid of it. There is nothing in his life that isn't now, now, now! Then there's this concept of a gaggle of ancient beings clinging onto these old traditions, trying to establish old beliefs in a world that he has never had a tangible connection with."
Closing quote




Langley goes on to say that despite all the flashiness, the Technical Boy is a sort of pariah among even his fellow New Gods, like Mr. World (Crispin Glover) and Media (Gillian Anderson of The X-Files). He can think faster than any human since his brain runs at Internet speeds, but just like the Internet makes us all disconnected from what's around us, he's very much the same and nobody likes him too much.

It sounds like Langley had a blast filming the role though, saying he was constantly in and out of wardrobe to update his appearance. He continues about said ever-changing appearance:
Opening quote
"Pretty much everything is constantly in flux. That said though, interestingly enough one thing I noticed is the vape pen he has - lovingly named Toby for the shoot - remained the whole time. I don't know whether that's intentional. I made a decision for the character about why it was there. I thought it was interesting that this literal invasion into someone else's nostrils and personal space was a relative constant."
Closing quote


From how Langley describes his role, it makes sense. In American Gods, the god characters are shaped and given power by how many people believe in and worship them, and since so many more people "worship" technology nowadays, the Technical Boy should look flashier. Keeping a character outdated just for the sake of not changing anything would be a bad decision; if the show wants to be relevant, there's nothing wrong with updating. 

American Gods will begin April 20, 2017 on Starz.

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American Gods