Good Omens by Neil Gaiman | Review


Published on May 31, 2019


After that start, Good Omens, in a sense, it also ends.

Two angels – one from Heaven, one to Hell – if they are at the top of the wall that surrounds the Garden, and together they watch two human beings leaves clothes, armed with knowledge (and a huge flaming sword) they try to escape from the Eden fighting with a lion, in a sort of reenactment of the johnmilitiana memory. The two supernatural beings, witnessing the scene, they begin to reflect on the nature of good and evil (which in theory should, respectively, embody), but also of the most mundane of their work, the decisions made by the people in both Heaven and Hell, the importance of time.

In these first few minutes there is already virtually everything that the new series comes from the literature of Neil Gaiman wants to say: despite the differences that separate them – not least the different colors of the wings, one white and the other black – and the two angels are made to be friends; it is the Great Divine Plan? It is a simple case? The case exists? We do not know.

What is certain, however, is that the point is all here, on these two dudes a bit bizarre, and we understand immediately. The co-production Amazon Prime Video and BBC Two, and a little bit less.

Equal parts fantasy and religious buddy movie, the new mini-series, Good Omens tip wisely the spotlight on a couple of interpreters evidently passionate about the project, Michael Sheen and David Tennant, it's a race of skill, respectively, in the role of the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley: they are the soul of the story, to the point that often, when the narration shifts from the story of their affair – which then coincides with the main plot – you go to lose not a little in terms of gloss, with the six episodes that occasionally are full of gaps and arrive at the finish line with the wind a bit short.

Gaiman, who created the tv series and has written all six episodes, doing their best to condense the novel he wrote with Terry Pratchett in 1990, and does everything to facilitate the task (frankly rather difficult of director Douglas Mackinnon, that is, to return to live-action, and then through the image, audio-visual, what on paper can be much more easily built with the prose.

The problem is that not only is Mackinnon seems to have too often ideas that are sufficiently original to accompany the extravagance of the world created by Gaiman (which is what happens in American Gods, at least in the first season, far better than the second, and visually much more satisfying in the way that refers to the cinema of Zack Snyder), but also that the same scripts of the novelist seem to want to ignore the fact that we are in television, not a novel: consequently, the narrative lives of moments but never seems too cohesive, with storylines that run in parallel but distantissime, not returning never that sense of “time bomb”, which assumes the domains of a story on the rise of the Anti-Christ and the outbreak of the Apocalypse.

Fortunately, however, those moments are often valid, and reach the towering heights when you focus on what seems to be the only thing that really matters: friendship beyond the class differences of the two protagonists, and the interaction between the actors that interpret them.

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