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Good Omens reviews: Tennant and Sheen deliver sinful indulgence, heavenly good time
Close those prayer books, because the first reviews for Amazon's adaptation of Good Omens are finally here. The consensus seems to be the six-part miniseries (based on the beloved 1990 book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) could be television's next big hit, and not a minute too soon when you consider the void left by Game of Thrones.
In particular, critics are hailing the crackling fire and brimstone chemistry between the show's two central leads: David Tennant (Jessica Jones) and Michael Sheen (Passengers), who play a demon (Crowley) and angel (Aziraphale) respectively. Both characters have been friends since the start of creation, and are now grappling with the impending doom of Judgement Day soon to be brought on by the arrival of the Antichrist.
Showrun by Gaiman himself, Good Omens boasts one humdinger of a supporting cast with Jon Hamm, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Derek Jacobi, and Nick Offerman all appearring onscreen. Even the "Powers That Be" are voiced by A-listers: Frances McDormand (God/narrator), Benedict Cumberbatch (Satan), and Brian Cox (Death).
Good Omens premieres Friday, May 31.
Find out what the critics are saying below...
"Good Omens cleverly invests in Crowley and Aziraphale’s relationship, scattering sequences of the pair meeting throughout history and occasionally saving each other’s lives. A whole show could be made of just Sheen and Tennant’s characters getting into history. Their push-pull dynamic is as playful as it is stealthily romantic, something the show leans into as it becomes clear that their friendship is the heart of the series." -Hoai-Tran Bui, /FILM
"Onscreen, this pairing — between a saintly being played by Michael Sheen and a fallen angel played by David Tennant, both seeking to save the world for their own reasons — is the best part of the new Good Omens limited series. But it’s not enough: This six-hour journey towards the end of time comes to feel grindingly slow by the end, more anticlimax than fight for Earth’s future." -Daniel D'Addario, Variety
"Gaiman wrote the source material with the late Terry Pratchett, and has managed to retain the whimsical humour that made the book ... so beloved. What’s more, Pratchett’s witty observations and footnotes – those same flourishes that distinguished his Discworld series from all other fantasy novels – are present throughout, thanks namely to Frances McDormand’s fourth-wall breaking narration as an ineffable God." -Jack Sheperd, The Independent
It’s this pairing [of Tennant and Sheen] that proves to be the beating heart of the series ... Every time either actor appears onscreen, you can almost hear the costume department’s (and fandom’s) squeals of joy. David Tennant in snakeskin boots! Michael Sheen with artfully tousled bleached hair! A tartan bow tie!" -Flora Carr, RadioTimes
"The six-episode season offers a pitch-perfect fantasy story that's incredibly stylized, entertaining, and earnest, and it sets a pretty high bar for the television that's still to come this year ... even for those who haven't read the novel, there's an almost immediate sense of accessibility that carries all the way through, largely thanks to the genuinely fun ways that the show chooses to tell its story." -Jenna Anderson, ComicBook.com
"Aziraphale and Crowley’s chemistry with one another is a core component of their characterizations in the book and Tennant and Sheen capture them both brilliantly with just the right blend of genuine tenderness and exasperation. Neither of them directly say it to one another, but Crowley and Aziraphale are more than friends or partners in any mortal sense of the words, they’re the only people in existence who can understand one another and can’t conceive of existing without being connected." -Charles-Pulliam Moore, i09
"Ultimately, it's the acting prowess of the central duo — Tennant as the wily, crafty demon Crowley with a penchant for designer sunglasses, and Sheen as the gastronomic angel Aziraphale who also enjoys dealing in rare books — that is the best aspect ... . Fans will be no doubt be delighted, and the rest can tune in to see what this strange, zany world has to offer." -Akhil Arora, NDTV
"A love of language shines through the masterful writing of both Gaiman and Pratchett. Unfortunately, the TV adaptation clings to the book's text, translating it into a clunky and intrusive voiceover ... The voiceover is just one of the things that makes the show feel kind of slow. The music and editing and a few narrative choices contribute to a general lack of urgency: Considering the show is literally counting down to the end of the world, it's bizarre there's so little sense of impending doom." -Richard Trenholm, CNET
"Good Omens is thankfully one hell of a ride. In lieu of Pratchett working by his side, Gaiman is clearly the right person to bring the book to life. There’s a lot of fidelity to the source material – Gaiman’s said he particularly aimed to save Pratchett’s ideas and jokes rather than his own – but the showrunner clearly also gave himself the freedom to add in fresh material and alter whatever he saw fit. In fact, Gaiman incorporated some of the ideas from his and Pratchett’s abandoned sequel into the show. This means even more characters and subplots are inserted into the already ambitious narrative, but somehow Gaiman keeps things bouncy and fun for the duration of the trim six episode run." -Christian Bone, We Got This Covered
"Salvation comes from the comic chemistry between the show's pair of scenery-chewing stars, David Tennant and Michael Sheen. They light up the screen as Crowley and Aziraphale ... Sheen’s prim, bowtied aesthete is the perfect foil to the louche, snake-hipped Tennant, who seems to be channeling a mixture of Mick Jagger and Bill Nighy. It’s a real treat watching two serious actors try to out-ham each other; together, they’re enough reason to return for another episode, but only just." Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph (via Yahoo!)