By Dave B.
The apocalypse is nigh! In Good Omens (Amazon) the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and demon Crowley (David Tennant) have a forbidden friendship that’s been developing since the dawn of time. When the end of the world draws near with the birth of the antichrist, the duo must confront the powers of both heaven and hell to protect the Earth that they’ve both grown to love.
In six, hour long episodes, Good Omens manages an impressive amount of worldbuilding, accompanied by a humorous take on human history and courtesy clever writing, filled with fairly dry British humor and narration by God (Frances McDormand). At its core, Good Omens is less about the world’s impending doom and more about the relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley. Sheen is good in his role as the wayward, hedonistic, but good-hearted angel, but it’s Tennant who really steals the show (not a surprise, at all). He perfectly portrays Crowley as evil and full of avarice, but ultimately redeemable and lovable. The dynamic between the two main character definitely carries the show.
And that’s a good thing because some aspects of Good Omens are…less than ideal. For a show about the apocalypse, Good Omens does a rather poor job at conveying a sense of impending doom to the audience. Instead of dread, the end of the world feels abstract and surreal, which is a bit off-putting. There’s nothing wrong with setting a buddy-comedy at the end of the world, but it never feels as if the end is especially relevant and that deprives a lot of the actions and decisions that take place in the show from having a sense of importance and contributes to the problem that although none of the episodes feel egregiously long, the show isn’t the easiest binge-watch, as there is little urgency to find out what happens next.
Overall, Good Omens is a good show that is well short of greatness. It’s nearly unitary focus on Aziraphale and Crowley is both a strength and a weakness, as it highlights talented actors who benefit from having good chemistry together and good writing, while diminishing the importance of the show’s overall setting and plot. I’m glad I watched Good Omens and I do recommend it. But it doesn’t live up to its potential. In short, watch it for Tennant (and Sheen). Most of the rest is just window dressing.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.