Good Omens Review: Neither Heaven nor Hell Can Save This Apocalyptic Nightmare

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Forget finding the doors to heaven or hell. Just look for the nearest exit.

It's a harsh statement for a series that has received major hype and is one the most anticipated shows of the summer season.

The Rock Star - Good Omens

But sometimes honesty is the best policy -- especially when you're dealing with things of a biblical nature.

Debuting at midnight on Friday, May 31st Good Omens is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett about an angel and a demon who partner up to try to stop the impending apocalypse.

Archangel Gabriel - Good Omens

The casting for this series is top notch.

David Tennett plays the rockstar-like bad boy demon, Crowley, while Michael Sheen plays the bookish and anxiety-ridden angel Aziraphale. 

The series also stars Frances McDormand as God and Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel.

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While Tennant and Sheen are incredibly engaging (and Tennant is always great in everything he does), their chemistry gets lost in a story that doesn't make much sense.

It's a simple enough premise but six episodes to drag out something that could have been told in two hours is a problem when the other four hours feel like unnecessary filler. 

Enjoying Earth - Good Omens

Good Omens is lighthearted which is the point, but the journey the angels take to find and convince the Antichrist to delay the end times is goofier than fun.

And more often than not, you're left scratching your head wondering why you're investing so much time watching this nonsensical tale.

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If Good Omens had focused on the unlikely friendship between Crowley and Aziraphale, their journey, and maybe thrown them in some other adventures, it could have been a good time.

It might not have followed the premise of the book necessarily (which I did not read) but there's nothing wrong with improvisation, and this seems like a missed opportunity -- especially when Tennant and Sheen are the only pluses on a long list of negatives.

The Nun - Good Omens

To be fair, the actual story itself isn't even the biggest problem with this series.

The biggest problem is the jarring narrative that erupts out of nowhere throughout the series.

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Having an opening narrative to set the scene is sometimes necessary, but the narrator's continuing interruption to fill in all the details of the hows and whys of what's happening or about to happen is a disservice to the viewer.

Eating Sushi - Good Omens

And a major distraction.

It's like someone sitting next to you at the movie theater who doesn't stop talking or doesn't close their mouth while eating popcorn.

It's annoying enough to make you leave and forget about the twelve bucks you just spent on a ticket

The Antichrist is Born - Good Omens

If a story needs to be told, tell it through the actors who would have been more capable of playing it out rather than someone (in this case Frances McDormand) reading lines off a page.

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And this is one of the main reasons why I couldn't get past three episodes of this nonsense even though the entire six episodes were provided for review by Amazon.

But for those of you who need to see to believe, here's a bit more insight into some of the things that went down from my very short dalliance with Good Omens.

The Antichrist - Good Omens

The cinematography and special effects deserve an A plus. 

The show is beautiful to watch and Tennant's yellow snake eyes really gives his character that extra oomph towards believability.

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I've already talked about how engaging Tennant and Sheen are, but out of the two, Tennant is the bigger standout.

Maybe it's just because I'm a fan.

Snake Eyes - Good Omens

More likely it's because even if you turn the volume off and watch his expressions and movements, he exudes everything you would think a demon named Crowley would exude and most of that is a suave sexiness.

How Crowley and Aziraphale started their quest to find the Antichrist is somewhat interesting. 

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It has to do with a major baby mixup because even in the world of angels and demons, things never go as planned.

And then there are side plots to do with witches and weird weather behavior that I didn't quite understand and probably other stories that started to fall through the cracks as I began to lose focus.

So am I giving Good Omens a fair shake?

I'll let you be the judge of that, but I wouldn't waste my time on this nightmare.

Review

Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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