Good Omens (a review)

Day 60. 64 pages, 30,172 words.

I subscribed to Amazon Prime Video specifically to see this show, because the book was so damn good. It’s not every day you get two of your favourite authors, with such individual yet complementary voices, to collaborate on a piece of writing. And when Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman get together to write a book about the End of Days, and then there’s a TV show made of it, you’d better believe there’s very little that could stop me from watching it as soon as possible.

So, I mean, well. There’s nothing much to review here. They fucking nailed it. To an extent I’m not sure a book adaptation has ever been nailed. To an extent that, if there is any remotely valid criticism that can be levelled at the show (and I don’t think there is), it is that it follows the book so very faithfully that the plotting and pacing of the television series as we understand the concept suffers a little warping.

But that – and keep in mind this is coming from someone who would happily watch ten hours of documentary infodump about Alpha – is hardly something I think Good Omens “suffers” from. If anything, like attempts to capture The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the screen, it has enriched the medium with its own set of storytelling rules.

Yes, it … yeah, it was pretty great.


The show, of course, was stolen by Aziraphale and Crowley, in perhaps the most charming and wittily handled representation of pure friendship between two polar opposites I have ever seen. It was even more impactful on the screen, I thought, than it was in the book (although it’s been some time since I read it). And I remember despairing, in a good way, when I read the book. Despairing of ever creating characters so compelling and charismatic and easy to read.

Like the work of Scott Lynch, Pratchett and Gaiman’s writings have always made me glow with pride to even share a modest corner of the artform with them, rather than making me envious or bitter of their talent and success. Bless them for existing.

I could rave and gush at embarrassing length, but there’s really not much more to say. The show hit every beat and was a pleasure to watch even with the appalling user interface Amazon Prime Video forced me to use. I will definitely be buying the blu-ray and enjoying it again and again.

You humans. Magnificent Idiots.

I can’t get enough of David Tennant as Crowley, and of course his was a very easy character to declare The Best One, because Crowley is objectively the coolest and most interesting character in the book, so there was no hope of it not being the case with Tennant in the role. But the rest of the casting was also absolutely flawless. I may not have envisioned the Four Horsemen / Bikers in quite that way, and of course Death will always be Pratchett’s Death as far as I’m concerned, but I’m fine with this interpretation and I get that they wanted to separate them a bit.

Just … squeee, everything about this. What a time to be alive.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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8 Responses to Good Omens (a review)

  1. Free on Amazon Prime? Because I have a book club here at work, no time to re-read (or even get), and this is the next book. I do have Amazon Prime though.

  2. Pingback: The TV adaptation formerly known as Night Watch | Hatboy's Hatstand

  3. Pingback: Team Space Lasagna | Hatboy's Hatstand

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