Good Omens is Amazon Prime’s six episode miniseries adaptation of the 1990 novel of the same name by renowned fantasy authors Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Hilarious and wonderfully charming, Good Omens was long considered unadaptable, until Amazon Prime accepted the challenge to translate it to screen at last. Under a posthumous request from Pratchett, his co-author Gaiman helped supervise its translation to screen.
The plot revolves around the unlikeliest of partners — an angel and a demon, trying to stop the literal Biblical Apocalypse from taking place. But as serious as it sounds, it’s told through the wackiest of lenses. Sir Terry and Neil Gaiman created a story about the grimmest of topics, yet they manage to keep it lighthearted and make it more so a story of friendship and love. This being preserved in the TV series is what makes it succeed.
The casting of Michael Sheen and David Tennant as the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley is the best thing about this show. Every scene where they interact plays out like a great mix of unlikely friendship and an odd romcom couple. The heart of the show lies in their relationship and how it develops over the course of all of human history, and how it ends up being central to their fight against Heaven and Hell for stopping the end of the world.
The show does tackle some of these heavy-handed questions of morality and how well defined the binaries of good and evil really are, and it does it best through the viewpoints of Aziraphale and Crowley. It’s safe to say Michael Sheen and David Tennant’s incredibly chemistry carry this show. Jon Hamm as Archangel Gabriel is another inspired choice of casting, playing an over-the-top bureaucrat from Heaven.
Neil Gaiman does a great job of adapting the original source to script, and it’s very apparent having known his co-author well enough that he’s able to keep Terry Pratchett’s charm alive in the adaptation. Sometimes the script does too good a job of adapting the novel, and it’s most apparent in the narration by God (voiced here by Frances McDormand). While Frances McDormand is great and at times the narration really plays off well by keeping some of the monologues from the book, sometimes it just beats you over the head with what’s already happened on screen or unneeded information that could’ve been served better visually. A bit of a waste of Frances McDormand really. The sub-plot revolving around Adam and the Them, the kids around whom the end of the world’s starting revolves, is also a bit repetitive. Most times you’ll see a scene about them that’s basically repeated in another episode, and the child actors can be a little cheesy at times. Jack Whitehall’s subplot isn’t that great either, and it’s far more one-dimensional than the kids.
None of this is enough to really diminish the fact that Good Omens is great adaptation nonetheless, that still keeps the core of what made the novel good in its televised form. Go watch it now, if only just for the angel-demon buddy duo that makes this show as good as it is.
Nuhan’s back after realising the philosophical significance of that painting with the dogs playing cards, and decided to channel out his existential dread caused by it by writing. Send him mildly morally questionable food choices at firstname.lastname@example.org