Good Omens, Bad Execution

Sunday 3 November 2019

I loved Good Omens. The book that is. I thought it was a clever story that just so happened to be written by two legendary and prolific authors. When I heard the book was being developed into a short series and when I saw the cast they got, I couldn’t help but get excited. When it finally came out I sat down and watched it and couldn’t have been more disappointed. Here’s my review.
I don’t get it. I don’t get how this can be so popular. I don’t get how people who liked the book could like the show. I don’t get how people who have never read the book can like the show. It’s so boring and poorly paced. The acting is good but even the good cast can’t save what was poorly written. This was the perfect storm of bad.
This should have been the greatest show ever made! Okay. I’m being a bit dramatic. But I read the book and absolutely loved it. AND the show was picked up by Amazon. A giant company with money to throw around and we wouldn’t have to worry about Fox or NBC cancelling it before it even got off the ground. It even had Neil Gaiman, one of the original two writers of the book, as a writer and producer on the show. It got David Tennant and Michael Sheen for the starring roles. It was a six episode miniseries meaning it wouldn’t be butchered down to movie length. So it had all signs pointing to it being great. So it was great and I was just joking earlier, right?
Something went wrong. Something along the way went wrong and what should have been a blessedly accurate telling of a classic fantasy book fell so short that I almost walked away halfway through. I should never have even considered DNFing Good Omens. If the show was any more than 6 episodes, I may have walked off and never looked back. But Anne and I pushed through hoping it would all be worth it, but it never was. Good Omens was such a boring mess that I had to actively fight to not pull my phone out to distract myself from the mind numbing bore that presented itself on my TV.
The humor and charm of the book didn’t translate onto the screen as I had hoped it would. I had laughed out loud multiple points of the book but didn’t even crack a smile at the show. Every joke either fell flat or was ignored entirely. Characters felt two dimensional and a mere shadow of what they were in the book.
As an example, Adam’s dog was a wonderful side character showing the inherent good in living things and how who we become is nurture, not nature. But they all but left him out of the show. Anathema and Newton felt useless. If you removed them from the show it wouldn’t have been missed at all. You could have taken Shadwell and Madame Tracy out too for good measure and the show wouldn’t have suffered. But that shouldn’t be the case. They should be necessary characters, but the poor writing and pacing of the show rendered them all but useless.
The intricacies of the book were lost in transition from written word to moving picture and I wish I could have it all wiped from my mind so I can only keep the wonderful book in my memory.
Good acting by good actors can’t save what never had a chance. What should have been the prefect book to screen transition was so bad that I would warn even the biggest Good Omens book fan to stay away. The best thing this show can do is serve as a sleeping aide for those who have insomnia.
Good Omens the show gets a 3 out of 11

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