Opinion: Good Omens TV Show Review

Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett adapted their 1990 novel for Amazon Prime
One of the promotional images for season 1 of the show
One of the promotional images for season 1 of the show
Amazon Prime

Good Omens is a comedic fantasy TV show based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Since the show’s release in 2019, Douglas Mackinnon has directed the first two seasons, with a third season currently in the works. Michael Sheen plays the morally conscious and light hearted angel, Aziraphale. While David Tennant takes the role of the laid back and mischievous demon, Crowley. The atmospheric music is composed by David Arnold who has worked on Godzilla and The Chronicles of Narnia movies. Amazon Prime isn’t most people’s preferred streaming service, but Good Omens makes a worthy show to check out on a free trial.

Episode one has the present day set in 2018 London, and Armageddon is doomed to happen within six days. Aziraphale and Crowley, who have lived on Earth since its inception, form an unlikely duo to stop the impending destruction. There’s only one problem, they have no clues as to where the antichrist who will start Armageddon is.

Despite the main characters literally having the labels of angel and demon, they both have traits that humanize them. Aziraphale is very calm, collected, and polite to those around him. However he is quite a stickler for rules and is very inexperienced when it comes to street smarts. Between the two, Aziraphale is the straight man trope, acting as the tether to normalcy within the duo. Crowley on the other hand is very sporadic and lets his mouth run unfiltered. How others perceive him rarely ever concerns him. He’s here to do whatever and whenever he wants. This ironically makes him blend in better as he picks up on social cues quicker than Aziraphale.

Douglas Mackinnon may not be as well known as Michelle MacLaren, working mostly on TV dramas, but the cinematography throughout the show immerses you into the world. Despite the location being set in the real world. In one scene we see Azirphale’s bookshop catch fire as the shot starts with fire spilling out every window. Both the fire department and Crowley pull up to the scene of the crime. When Crowley rushes in despite warnings from the firefighters, nothing inside is spared from burning. He calls out for Aziraphale, as books and pieces of the roof crash down around him. It’s not until he is literally hit with the realization (courtesy of the water from the fire hose) something terrible happened to Aziraphale, does his rage consume his anxiety. His outburst of curses is heard only by the audience, as he salvages one book from the burning building. While we as the audience know what happened to Aziraphale from an earlier scene, Mackinnon showcases Crowley’s panic through his world being burnt into ashes.

I give this series a 4 out of 5 stars. It was an amazing watch with only a reduction in some of the visual aspects which are hurt by the use of the Computer-generated imagery (CGI). Compared to how angels and demons are portrayed in other media, Good Omens takes a spin on those concepts by making their characters more human. Both Aziraphale and Crowley are seen as different from other angels and demons because they aren’t inherently saintly or devilish. They take the phrase “not everything is black and white” directly and teach the audience that no person, angel, or demon, is truly good or bad, because at the end of the day, all those labels are determined by perspective.

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