Good Omens has it all: Armageddon, biblical blasphemy, and a possible love story between an angel and a demon. So naturally, Good Omens is an absolute blessing and more.
The adaptation of the 1990 Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett novel was released on Amazon Prime Series on May 31, 2019. The series follows the bickering duo of the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) as they try to thwart the world’s end. Heaven and Hell gather their troops for war, the soon-to-be 11-year-old Antichrist (Sam Taylor Buck) is rising, and the cogs of ancient prophecies written by witch Agnes Nutter (Josie Lawrence) whir into motion. Altogether, these storylines make for an uproariously entertaining show of biblical shenanigans gone awry, telling a complex tale of what it means to live on Earth.
The heart of the show is a love letter to humanity and its many moral complexities. Reflecting this theme perfectly are Aziraphale and Crowley. These two divine beings, who have both spent 6,000 years on Earth, are nothing like their fellow colleagues in Heaven and Hell. They are more like the humans they’ve lived amongst and come to care for, and the two are neither inherently evil nor good. Rather, they encapsulate the moral complexity and nuance of humanity.
Aziraphale and Crowley’s story is one of tenderness and love, towards both humanity and one another. It is the slowest of burns as the audience sees the course of their relationship from the Garden of Eden to the 21st century. We get to see the complex kinship the two share, bound neither by Heaven nor Hell but to each other. Sheen’s Aziraphale makes for a warmhearted but indulgent angel, whose chemistry with Tennant’s whiny but surprisingly soft Crowley makes for the most compelling relationship, romantic or not.
With one of the original authors, Neil Gaiman, as the series’ showrunner, much of the original dialogue appears on screen. It’s clear that writing dialogue is one of Gaiman’s strengths. The lines are clever and quick-witted (see: the demon Crowley mentioning he didn’t fall from Heaven but rather “sauntered vaguely downwards”). This reliance on dialogue, and at times narration, leaves more to be desired for the visual storytelling. Visually, the series is bright and imaginative but can get reliant on medium grade CGI in its many, many computer-generated sequences.
As for the casting, Good Omens pulls in all the stops. Frances McDormand’s voice makes for the best matter-of-fact narrator and voice of God while Jon Hamm’s Archangel Gabriel makes for a intimidatingly tight-collared angelic colleague. Meanwhile, Nina Sosonya makes for a laughably clueless and bumbling nun of the satanic sisterhood of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl and Adria Arjona shines as the defiant last descendant of Agnes Nutter.
Simultaneously blasphemous and utterly divine, Good Omens stands as the most loving and uplifting apocalyptic series you may ever watch. I highly recommend this first season for your next summer binge; it might just restore some of your faith in humanity after all.