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Series Review: Good Omens

Written by tha - bang from the blog Movies and Things with Thabang on 28 Jun 2019
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Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman were already established powerhouses in fantasy fiction when they collaborated on writing Good Omens.

Terry had been scribbling fantasy books since the 1970s, whilst Gaiman had dabbled as book and comic book writer and fantasy writer from the 80s.

It's fitting that when his other fantasy book - American Gods - is pushing boundaries on TV, that Gaiman should write and produce Good Omens, which he wrote with Pratchett long before his death in the mid naughties.

But is it good? Let's dig in.

The short answer to "is Good Omens good?" is: if you liked Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you will like this. If you didn't, stay away.

It's the same kind of existential dry Brit humour that jabs at questions of nature vs nurture, good vs evil, the existence of God vs the plan of salvation, just to mention a few.

It's all covered with humour but it has bit of bite to it. Gaiman has the two perfect foils to deliver the tongue in cheekiness of the series.

David Tennant, of Doctor Who and Jessica Jones fame, is the demon Crawley. Crawley is devilishly funny and Tennant is able to give him that bad boy urge that he needs.

Crawley's counterpart, the angel Aziraphale, is played by Michael Sheen as the total antithesis of Crawley. He's a bit chubby, mild mannered and Sheen contains his body and hand mannerisms unlike Tennant, who seems to be unleashed. They are like good cop / bad cop versions of heaven and hell.

They are well supported by the cast of newcomer kids who are good at spewing the dialogue that is too witty for their age.

The cool thing about having the book adapted by one of the writers is that Gaiman finds clever ways to minimize certain story beats and elements from the book that would have needed a longer series to pay off.

The series is short and long enough to leave us not feeling cheated.

So do you need to have read the book to appreciate how the series turns the whole anti-Christ narrative on its head? No. That's a credit to Gaiman.

Will your bible thumping mom be able to watch this without crying HERESY!!? That's open to debate.

The series is laugh out loud - most of the jokes are a tad bit cerebral but they work if you get the context or have some knowledge of Christianity.

It must be said though - for series about the apocalypse and the anti-Christ, it's actually quite affirming of life and exudes a lot of positivity.

What did it feel like? Like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets Waiting for Godot with a dash of Highlander set to Queen's Greatest Hits album.

Trivia: Most of the principal photography was shot in the Republic of Cape Town.

* crap ** ja nee ***ya zamanyana **** almost perfect ***** Instant Classic

Actors in this post: David Tennant, Michael Sheen


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