Good Omens Season two review: The Sheen/Tennant bromance elevates a fun—but thin—plot

Good Omens Season 2
Good Omens Season 2 /

Good Omens is back on Prime for season two and let me make just one thing perfectly clear: Michael Sheen and David Tennant are an absolute delight!

Much like their UK series via Zoom screens, the hilarious Staged (seasons one and two), it was amazing to watch these two celebrated actors bounce off each other’s energy is an exercise in wit, craft, friendship, charm, but above all, spellbinding entertainment. It’s a good thing that Good Omens season two features so many scenes between these two because there are no other  actors that I can think of who I would want to share the end of days with.

This angel and demon bromance was brilliantly conceived by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett, and I’d like to think that the enchanting odd couple of angel Aziraphale (Sheen) and the demon Crowley (Tennant) encapsulate a bit of Gaiman’s and Pratchett’s personas. How much fun it must have been while these two incredible novelists worked together.

It was a great decision to cast Sheen and Tennant as the beloved characters as their on-screen chemistry illustrated that they are a match made in heaven while giving us what I considered the best show of 2019. Really, I consider that first season among the best television shows within  the past five years. The fact that Good Omens debuted right before the world descended into chaos thanks to the COVID pandemic, Good Omens season one really represents the very best before things went to sh** in the world.

The first season had the fleshed out plot from the book to drive its action, which that season executed flawlessly. Each episode of season one was tight and brimming with entertainment. There simply was no fat as Sheen and Tennant were magnificent.

There is no book to pull from in season two of Good Omens, and perhaps a bit of the magic is gone, or rather, the story isn’t brimming with genius. Though, every scene between Sheen and Tennant brightens the horizon, including several flashbacks that charmingly inform their relationship. We don’t really get the outrageously amusing Aziraphale and Crowley traveling through historical milestones montage like in the previous season, but each historical flashback is still fun to view. This includes a tantalizing throwback showcasing the duo as they resided in heaven together, with Crowley starting to question God’s directive after creating the celestial galaxy. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

The B-grade plot

Season two of Good Omens is centered around Archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) turning up at Aziraphale’s bookshop fully naked and without a clue as to how he got there. Gabriel represented the very worst of heaven’s mismanagement so it’s no wonder that the appearance of an amnesiac Gabriel is a huge shock. Here, Hamm is just a lot of fun and even better than he was last season.

Of course, Aziraphale sees the best in everyone and feels compelled to help, which in turn brings about his friend Crowley. The two of them are outcasts from their respective heaven and hell infrastructures—both hilariously envisioned as inept bureaucracies—and must avoid drawing any suspicion from the incompetent management of either. One bit where heaven’s enforcers, including Hamm’s Gabriel, are trying to recall Eve’s birth (and what birth is like for women in general) is particularly amusing.

Miranda Richardson also shows up this season, but in a new role, as the demon Shax. Richardson hams it up effectively as the new Crowley replacement. The actress has a twinkle in her eye as she plays this unredeemable character which makes her even more fun to watch. One standout plot in the show involves a trio of zombie Nazis who appear in episode four. This episode ties in Aziraphale’s and Crowley’s friendship during the Blitz in London and the development of a magic act between the two in present times. The biblical story of Job gets a fun treatment as well (hence, the nod to childbirth I talked about above) with Tennant’s father-in-law (and fellow Doctor Who incarnation) Peter Davison in the role of Job, alongside Tennant’s son, Ty Tennant, as Job’s son.

The other subplot that is featured prominently is the developing romance between two neighboring shopkeepers to Aziraphale’s bookshop, played by Nina Sosanya and Maggie Service, which just doesn’t really catch on. Both actors do well enough with the material, but their romance storyline is thinly laid out and by episode four—when Aziraphale is hosting a Jane Austen-style ball in the hopes of getting them to declare their feelings for each other—it just all feels forced. Sosanya and Service are fine in their roles, but their story lacks any kind of real urgency.

As the forces of heaven and hell are on the hunt for Gabriel, which has something to do with the end of the world, the whimsical rapport between Aziraphale and Crowley are the saving grace that makes the second season full of life. I could watch these two read the IKEA directions of a piece of furniture and they would make it hilariously charming. Aziraphale and Crowley are simply wonderful and among the best ever written.

Hope for Season 3

There is plenty to entertain you in Good Omen’s season two. There is also great hope for the next installment—and let’s pray there is one—which Gaiman says he’s already laid the groundwork for. Gaimen revealed that he will pull from notes for a book sequel between himself and Pratchett for the third installment. Personally, if we are blessed to get another season, I would like to see where the two novelists were thinking of taking Aziraphale and Crowley next and pray that Prime allows these two to open up another great chapter in their journey together.

The first five episodes of Good Omens season two were screened for this review. Season two episodes ofGood Omens are available to stream on Prime beginning July 28.

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