Good Omens Review
A devilishly fun time with godly performances and writing (puns intended)
This review (which combines a first and second watch review together) comes from my Letterboxd profile, where I write reviews on the movies and limited series I watch.
You know what I love about this? I get to review the complete season of Good Omens at once instead of just individual episodes (like I used to with Stardust, so let's talk about what I loved about this show. David Tennant and Michael Sheen's performances and chemistry are fantastic in this show. They are the heart and soul of this show, and they work really well together as a dynamic duo. I will say, despite the fact that Tennant is actually my personal favorite actor, I'm starting to notice there's been a pattern in a lot of his recent roles. My favorite show of all time is Broadchurch, and Tennant felt like a completely different person in that show. In most of the other shows I've seen him in, even though he is absolutely fantastic, there is an air of The Doctor still in some of his performances and he's played very similar roles. Again, though, that doesn't mean he's any less spectacular as the demon Crowley.
Oh, special note actually needs to be made to Jon Hamm, who I thought was actually a revelation in this show, particularly in the final episode. Frances McDormand plays the voice of God, and while she does a really good job in this show, she more often than not feels like unnecessary exposition. She has some funny moments in the show, but more often than not, they just feel like they could have been cut out completely or they're telling us something that the writer should have let us as the audience figure out or realize on our own. In terms of flaws, I also think the dialogue of the children in this show didn't always feel that natural, and they make some decisions and change their minds about certain people quicker than I think they probably should have given the situation.
Other than those minor problems with the script and some pacing issues in the fourth and maybe fifth episode, this show is absolutely phenomenal, particularly Neil Gaiman's script. I've never read the book that this series is based off of and had never even heard of it before this show was announced, but I have a pretty good feeling that Gaiman at the very least stuck to the original tone of the book very well. The subversive sense of humor, the comedic timing, the complete and utter craziness of this show, the tightness of the continuity, build-up, and twists-- the script is just phenomenal and does a fantastic job of creating a believable world with the concepts of Heaven and Hell while also making fun of some of the major transgressions of the Bible. Michael Sheen's awkward delivery is perfect for the overly nice Aziraphale, David Tennant's snakey delivery is great as the true devil Crowley, the kid who plays Adam the Antichrist (don't worry, that's revealed within the first episode, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened with the script and the characters if it wasn't), the quirky humor lands 90% of the time, there's an unexpected performance in episode five from an actress that has to embody two characters at once that was really surprising-- this show is a super fun laugh-riot.
I would say my favorite episodes were episode 3, which serves as a great introduction to the character's friendship and a fantastic subversion of typical episode structure (the intro doesn't play until half an hour into the episode) and episode 6, which serves as an exciting, fun, intense conclusion to a show that was already incredibly fun to begin with. If you loved the original book by Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman and you haven't seen this show, or if you haven't but really want to see this show, I have a really good feeling you're going to have a blast.
After re-watching this show, I personally feel that it might actually be closer to 4 stars objectively. There are a lot of plot points in the latter half that feel either serendipitous or unexplained, and some of the editing choices were really weird. Along with that, the pacing of the first episode was a little slow in terms of writing. However, in general, this show still makes me smile too much to not keep it at 4.5 stars. All of the acting is great (sure, Tennant and Sheen are great and their chemistry is the heart and soul of the show, but can we please give some props to Jon Hamm and Miranda Richardson for their incredible performances as well?), the character development is on-point, and the writing in this show is both in-depth and hilarious. I freaking love this show.
Letter Grade: A