Always be wary of adaptations. They are a snake in the garden, teasing you with quality only your brain can really imagine. But imagine my delight when Amazon went ahead and cast Michael Sheen and David Tennant as Aziraphale and Crowley, an angel and demon respectively. Delightful it was. Delightful it shall ever be. But even they can’t carry an entire show on their backs.
The end is nigh. At least that’s what Hell thinks. But Crowley rather likes living on Earth, he’d rather the Antichrist not destroy everything. But orders are orders and he must deliver the baby to an unsuspecting couple. Maybe, maybe there’s a chance to avert the inevitable if he lets his longtime frenemy Aziraphale in on the secret. Then perhaps Azriaphale can attempt to make the boy good instead of growing up evil! Then the world would be saved and Crowley could continue listening to Queen. If only he hadn’t misplaced the Antichrist. With Armageddon only days away, Aziraphale and Crowley must put aside their differences to track down the Antichrist and avert a disaster. Even if both heaven and hell want this war.
Good Omens is a lot like Hitchhiker’s. Both properties are exceedingly British, almost painfully so. The books are beloved and will be read for many years to come. Their most famous adaptions were cast extremely well (for lead roles). But as for both, you can’t help but realize that your enjoyment of the visuals are mostly informed by your enjoyment of the book. Beyond that, there’s a lot lost in the translation.
Tennant and Sheen are perfect. Absolute perfection. They inhabit their roles like no one else could. They are the best part of the show hands down and the show knows that. They are the best part of the book as well. Unfortunately, the worst part of the book is even worse in the show: namely the kids. I couldn’t care two licks about the Antichrist and his gang of Stranger Things rejects. If any one of them has ever taken an acting class in their lives I will eat some poison ivy, because they are horrible. Wooden line reading that fills a lot of the show because the book made sure they were too important to be dropped from any adaptation.
Chris, aren’t you being a little hard on child actors? Maybe. But I did mention Stranger Things. Those kids can act and have much better direction. I wasn’t surprised that my least favorite parts of the book were my least favorite parts of the show, but I am disappointed.
Coupled with some godawful Doctor Who level graphics, you wonder if the budget went entirely towards casting Jon Hamm (who was a wonderful decision).
But sheer force of chemistry wins the day. If you don’t like Michael Sheen or David Tennant, well, you’re wrong. And this isn’t the show for you. Don’t expect your new favorite though. Also, god forbid they make more seasons. Without Terry Pratchett, I’m afraid this whole idea would go down in flames.
2.5 out of 4 stars