Over the summer, a streaming-only miniseries based on Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett’s novel “Good Omens” was released on Amazon Prime. The show, which shares the same name as its source novel, quickly gained a cult internet following. The show was written by Neil Gaiman himself, and stars big-name actors such as David Tennant, Michael Sheen, and John Hamm. The show was co-produced by Amazon Studios and BBC Studios.
“Good Omens” follows the story of the biblical demon Crowley (David Tennnant) and the angel Aziraphale (Micheal Sheen). The two have become friends over the years, defying the long-held rivalry between angels and demons. The two work together to try and prevent the oncoming rise of the Antichrist and impending Armageddon, the final battle between Heaven and Hell.
While Crowley and Aziraphale are the main focus, the show also follows a few other storylines. Among these are the story of a century-old rivalry between a witch family and a witch-hunter family, a book of prophecies that all come true in unexpected ways, and a young boy (who is unknowingly the antichrist) and his friends playing games in the English countryside.
Gaiman’s writing tells his story in an always-surprising and never-boring manner. The script is filled with lighthearted jokes followed by emotional plot points. There is the perfect amount of tension during climactic moments, just enough comic relief to hold the audience’s interest. The actors themselves have taken the characters off of the paper and brought them to life. Tennant and Sheen are especially notable, as they bring dimension to their characters and create a dynamic relationship between Crowley and Aziraphale. The only fault in the acting lies within some of the smaller roles. Characters with only a few lines sometimes deliver their lines in an awkward, jarring manner that pulls the audience from their immersion within the story and reminds the viewer that they are only watching a television series.
As for production, there are good and bad elements throughout the show. The costume and makeup designs are creative and further immerse the viewer into the world Gaiman is creating. The cinematography succeeds in creating an appropriate mood and adding dynamic storytelling to the series.
The special effects, on the other hand, are largely hit or miss. There are a few extremely realistic dazzling effects. However, there are even more laughable CGI moments that attempt to appear grandiose, but instead evoke a physical cringe from viewers. These outdated-looking CGI effects almost take away from the story being told, and almost would have been better if they were removed altogether in favor of basic practical effects.
Overall, the Amazon original series “Good Omens” earns itself four out of five stars. The laughable special effects and sometimes jarring acting does distract from the storytelling. However, the storytelling itself is strong, engaging, and definitely worth a watch.