Good Omens, Series 2 TV Review
Good Omens, Series 2 TV Review Metabox
Season 2 of the Prime Video series based on the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett novel Good Omens (Gollancz/Workman/Orion, 1990), shouldn’t really exist. Season 1 (2019), saw the Angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the Demon Crowley (David Tennant) race against the Hosts of Heaven and Hell to prevent the coming Apocalypse, not to save mankind, but because the end of the world would mean doing actual work. Having accomplished that (spoilers), it would seem that the world is safe and everything can go back to normal.
Amazon Studios and BBC Studios had other plans, and so Series (season) 2 was born. Aziraphale and Crowley have more or less returned to their workaday existence, mostly avoiding actual jobs and skimming just beneath the radar of Celestials. When the Archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) shows up in Aziraphale’s bookshop naked, holding an empty box and devoid of any sense of self, the fastidious angel and shiftless demon decide to hide him while they try to figure out what nonsense is going down now. As neither are particularly good at their jobs, actually getting information feels like effort so they scheme with favors and misdirection, further muddling what’s to come.
Driven solely by the chemistry of Michael Sheen and David Tenant, two actors whose everyday antics kept fans amused during the pandemic, Series Two tiptoes around that blush of unrequited admiration. Aziraphale plays matchmaker to fellow independent shopkeepers, Maggie and Nina. Maggie (Maggie Service) runs a record shop that only Aziraphale frequents, and Nina (Nina Sosanya) is a barista in a crumbling relationship. There is the usual comedy of errors and miscommunication as Aziraphale works out his feelings for Crowley by meddling and getting in the way, and for a story arc that encompasses nearly a third of every episode, it’s easily the least developed. It all promises to make some sense as the series comes to an end after the usual six episodes, but Prime Video only gave me five episodes to preview, so the ending will be a surprise for all of us.
Where Series 1 was too busy trying to save the world, Good Omens Series 2 examines the backstory of Aziraphale and Crowley. Two eternal beings drawn to the other by the sheer determination to stay out of the way, their relationship develops over eons of misadventure and ducking responsibilities. Contained within each episode is a “mini-sode” which takes place in the past over various time periods and has no hard bearing on the current story. These serve as practical backstory and exposition without muddling an already thin present. If there is a Series 3, likely Series 2 will only be parted out for canon as a bridge to Series 1, but I don’t think it will get that far.
Good Omens Series 2 just doesn’t have the punch and every adventure seems to draw further away from the central mystery, and even that takes a few episodes to really get humming. Lacking focus, it meanders. It works best when skewering dogma and theology, and absolutely sings when Aziraphale and Crowley get on each other’s nerves, but this season doesn’t have nearly enough to sustain six hours. It’s worth watching for Sheen and Tennant, but you may come away feeling wanting just a little more
Good Omens, Series 2 (2023), premieres exclusively on Prime Video July 28, 2023 and is rated TV-MA for graverobbing, goat-smiting, dwelling destruction, demons, zombies, and Jon Hamm’s butt.