Friday, June 28, 2019

Good Omens (2019) - Reivew

The TLDR review of Good Omens mini-series: zany comedy, bromance, biblical!

It is rare in Hollywood when the writer of a book gets to adapt it to screen. Neil Gaiman, who co-wrote Good Omens with Terry Pratchett, is continuing his conquest of the small screen (after the fantastic American Gods) with another societal commentary with dark comedy undertones in the mini-series co-produced by Amazon and BBC.

The story starts at the Garden of Eden when Crowley, in his snake form, tempts Eve to take a bite from the forbidden fruit. We all know that the fruit of knowledge came with a hefty price, which was exile from heaven. To help them survive on vicious earth, Aziraphale, the guardian of Eden's east gate, gives Adam and Eve his flaming sword for protection. The show sets its tone when Crowley the demon and Aziraphale the angel (masterfully played by David Tennant and Michael Sheen) stand by the walls of Heaven and debate whether they acted according or against their nature; that is, did the demon actually perform a good deed for Adam and Eve by offering them the fruit of knowledge? Did the angel actually doom humanity by giving them the flaming sword?... These moral questions continue on throughout the rest of the show, particularly in the fantastic episode three, where we see how the angel and demon became best friends during the 6000 year biblical history.

Aziraphale and Crowley are merely ambassadors of their respective head offices on earth. Heaven and Hell are of course at constant battle, which may come to an end soon with the birth of Satan's son, the Anti-Christ. Aziraphale and Crowley have grown fond of life on earth, hence, want to prevent armageddon at all costs. They keep a close eye on Anti-Christ -- ironically named Adam -- and constantly ask us whether there is such a thing as absolute good or absolute evil? What is the role of nature versus nurture? Are we supposed to understand every plan or should we accept "ineffability" of the Almighty's plans? As I mentioned, the show is strongly rooted in biblical mythology, but does not take a religious stance with regards to its underlying message.

While the show sets up a possible sequel, it is still a self-contained story with fantastic acting by the leads and a phenomenal soundtrack (well, all Queen's songs). My only gripe is with some of the computer-generated images that look outdated for 2019, but the story is interesting enough that the CGI does not distract at all.

Good Omens is a solid 9/10!

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