The second season of Good Omens is a love story.
More accurately, it’s a romcom – a genre that has lately shifted base from movie halls to streaming services. The genre shift (though some may argue it’s not so much a shift as a gentle stumble) didn’t really catch me off guard; after all, the first season of Good Omens had built up quite a fanbase around two of its major characters: the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant).
In the first season, Armageddon (the war between Heaven and Hell) approaches and old friends Crowley and Aziraphale have to find a way to navigate the water (metaphorical), figure out a plan (ineffable) and manage not to get Earth destroyed in the first place. Accompanying them in this mad romp of a journey is Adam, also known as The Antichrist, his friends (also known as the Them), a few witch hunters, a few witches and a book of extremely accurate prophecies.
The second season of Good Omens is a love story.
If it sounds strange and eccentric, welcome to the wonderful world of Good Omens! Created by the wonderful minds behind Discworld and American Gods, Good Omens is written by authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. And if you know anything about writing, you know that this was pretty much a dream duo. The first season, as a faithful adaptation of the book coupled with some inspired casting, was a delight to watch and by the last episode, I found myself quite pleased with my experience and also, as I thought, finished with it.
And then Good Omens Season 2 was announced.
Season 2 doesn’t have any pre-existing written material to pick up from but it is apparently based off notes discussed between Pratchett and Gaiman when they were initially pitching the show – way back in the noughts. It is also, according to Neil Gaiman, something of a bridging season – between Season 1 and the yet-to-be-confirmed Season 3. This contributes to some of the season’s stranger and more truncated moments and its clear cliffhanger ending.
Created by the wonderful minds behind Discworld and American Gods, Good Omens is written by authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. And if you know anything about writing, you know that this was pretty much a dream duo.
Good Omens Season 2 is a hit and miss; more of a hit than a miss, if we are judging by pure numbers since it debuted as one of the biggest comedies of the year on Amazon Prime. And if you’re invested in the relationship between Azariphale and Crowley, it’s a definite and unmistakable hit. But if that does not interest you and you were more looking forward to the larger world of Good Omens, you’re going to be disappointed because there’s very little of that.
First, the awkward bits: you would think with a show like this, the first season might hang heavy over the second. Not at all. In fact, it’s down right surprising how little (beyond Aziraphale and Crowley) the first season impacts the second. Only a handful of characters return, and many of them are not even referenced which was a little disappointing to me. At times, I found my attention straying unless our main leads were on screen because everything else was so inconsequential: everything was clearly being built to prioritise them which sometimes meant that other things fell very rapidly into the sidelines. But it also meant that the focus of season 2 was very clear: it was about the romance between Aziraphale and Crowley.
…if you’re invested in the relationship between Azariphale and Crowley, it’s a definite and unmistakable hit.
Not just them surprisingly enough; the overall theme of season 2 has been romance in general. Apart from Aziraphale and Crowley, there are two other couples who gain the occasional spotlight to mixed success. The first, Nina and Maggie, fell completely flat for me: both as a concept and as a romantic couple. I felt like the actors had little to no chemistry, that the plot was so overtly focused on them being a foil for Aziraphale and Crowley (down to their dressing sense!) that it was hard to see them as characters in their own right. On the other hand [SPOILER ALERT], I connected better with the third couple: Archangel Michael and, of all people, Beelzebub who have somehow managed to not only develop a sincere connection over a couple of drinks but also be a much better foil to our main duo in the process. Both Jon Hamm and Shelley Conn did a lovely job and at the end, I just thought they were adorable.
Not as adorable as Michael Sheen and David Tennant who simply acted their hearts out. While the rest of Good Omens Season 2 may have beēn set dressing, these two were the heart of it. From awkward flirting to being millenia old best buddies to the heartbroken kiss, there was everything. Sheen and Tennant brought their A-game to the show and their interaction, as always, were a delight to watch. Since the first season, Sheen in particular has been a favourite of mine (and the fandom at large if the Internet is anything to go by) and watching him go through the well-trodden route of a man/angel in love has been wonderful. The man can do heartbroken love so well.
Sheen and Tennant brought their A-game to the show and their interaction, as always, were a delight to watch.
And there is nothing to be said about acting maverick David Tennant that has not been said already. I knew that Crowley and Aziraphale’s kiss was coming (thanks social media) and even then the intensity of how David Tennant initiated it caught me off guard. Crowley’s angst-laden “You idiot, we could have been an us!” has already sunk its claws into fandom’s collective consciousness and is unlikely to shake itself free any time soon.
The season ends on a clear clarion call for a Season 3 and I can say that, despite the flaws and the uneven writing, I’m on board. Or, as the young ‘uns say, I am hyped.