That was the shortest 8 episodes and season of any show I can think of. It was way too short and I'm sad it's over.
I started with the first episode primarily because of Ian McShane and moderately because I knew a little about Neil Gaiman. Ian McShane is one of those actors that you pay attention to when he's on screen and you also trust his working judgment. If he's involved with a project, it's probably pretty good.
After the first episode, I knew this was going to be an awesome show and immediately bought the book. The idea of following the gods of the people that came to America and were forgotten as these now Americans found new gods was incredible. Everything about this show is spectacular and I love when an adaptation of a book includes the author in the process of creating the show.
There are differences between the book and the show, but the show expands and enhances certain characters stories in ways that give them more breadth and make the overall story richer. Unfortunately, the season was too short but there is always the book and unlike Game of Thrones, there's only one book to read.
I knew who Neil Gaiman was, primarily because of Dr. Who and graphic novels but never before read any of his books. I was drawn to the story because of the diversity of the cast and reading and watching interviews, he was very intentional in his inclusion in the books and demanded that the cast in the show mirror that inclusivity. It amazes me when shows or movies throw in a token brown character instead of just telling a real story with real people. I appreciate Neil Gaiman for recognizing a story of America and telling a story that reflects all Americans and their stories. Not just the ones that are palatable.
I'm still reading the book. With a year until the next season, and one book, I'm in no rush to finish, especially since it's sooooo good. I'm taking my time with this one.