In Texas—a seemingly mythical land where a man can still find a moment of peace (when he isn’t worrying about the assault weapons being flouted by nearby open-carry advocates) and every month is Texas Truck Month—they like their stories epic. Preferably to the point where the Lone Star State functions as a microcosm of the entire American experience—and it oughta, considering that Texas accounts for 7 percent of the United States’ landmass and 8 percent of its population. At least that’s the aim of The Son, a Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted novel by Guggenheim fellow Philipp Meyer (not that anyone in Texas is impressed with your fancy prizes or fellowships) that traces the history of the so-called “American Century” through the rise and fall of one Texan oil dynasty. You know, like Dallas or The Spoils Of Babylon or, heck, Dynasty—if the last of those three was set in Texas instead of Denver, that godforsaken mountain town with its purple-mountain baseball team and completely legalized, ever-present halo of reefer smoke.
No, the people that make television still prefer their decades-spanning oil stories to take place in a land where a baseball team wraps itself in the colors of Old Glory (or, more specifically, the state flag), thank you very much. Which is why The Son is due to become an TV series for AMC, shepherded by Lee Shipman, Brian McGreevy, and Michael Connolly, who know all about telling stories of multigenerational tension in larger-than-life settings thanks to their work on Hemlock Grove. Will the trio find a way to shoehorn some gruesome werewolf transformations into the 200-year-long tale of Armstrong McCullough (of the Texas McCulloughs) and clan? Well, what is the story of America—and, by the transitive property of literary metaphors, the story of Texas—if not one protracted, gruesome werewolf transformation? The end of which, naturally, sees the wolf climb into a Ford F-150, kick up some dust into the camera, and drive into the perfect sunset.