Good Omens is amazing

Originally published at:


the fact that God is voiced by a woman

Tsk! In fact, the Voice of God is voiced by a woman.

Until recently the Voice of Trump was voiced by a woman too.


It’s kind of surprising how alone I am with my dislike of this show. And I really wanted to love it - Good Omens is one of my favorite books (despite me not being a fan of either Gaiman or Pratchett) and I was really looking forward to seeing it adapted. I usually tend to be pretty good with adaptations, too, so I wasn’t particularly worried about changes I had expected to happen. Turns out that it’s the things that I didn’t expect to happen, though, are what ruin the show to me.

The biggest turn-off for me is how they handled Aziraphale - he goes from an angel with a sly and cunning side who can navigate Heaven and Earth (and I guess Hell) without getting into trouble most of the time, to a hopelessly naive, hapless idiot who constantly gets into trouble, gets tricked by humans, and needs to be saved by Crowley numerous times. In the end he pretty much loses all of his agency when he pleads with Crowley to “come up with something”… my eye never rolled harder than at that. (Crowley goes from a kind of half-heartedly demonic demon who is also a massive dork into a cool, edgy badass who is arguably the protagonist of the show, which is equally annoying.)

And there’s how dumbed down the whole thing is. It’s not like the book is Dostoevsky, but somehow the show not simply spoon-feeds us story details and information, it eats it, digests it, and kind of feeds it to the viewers mouth to mouth like a mama bird. Who is the target audience of this show, kids? In episode 4 we spend most of the episode watching Adam warp reality while voices whisper “make it real!” and whatnot - and then for good measure the narration goes “the world was changing, what Adam thought was true was becoming real.” You don’t say?!

Same with the visual presentation, everything is presented literally without any subtlety whatsoever. The end is the worst with the whole Satan and Adam bit. Was that really necessary? The book managed to convey the whole thing without having to make a huge spectacle out of it, and it could have been done in the show as well and it would have been much better for it.


Is it like the radio adaption?

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Tsk! In the show, Metatron is in fact played and voiced by a man. God herself is voiced by a woman.


That’s a bit of a change from the book where God spends it being ineffable.


Well, if you didn’t completely understand Francis McDormand’s role, then I’d say she nailed it, ineffably.


I don’t. When I’m reading a great book I dread the day that they attempt to process it through the meat grinder of film/tv adaptation. Even the “great” ones like LOTR left me feeling like I had just read the chapter headings and was now saddled with someone else’s interpretive imagery in my brain (though I could never have fully envisioned Middle Earth as fully or brilliantly as they did).

I am hard pressed to think of anything that was better on film than print. Granted, I haven’t read/seen everything committed to adaptation, but the only thing I can recall that was actually better than the source material was The Iron Giant (the book is not great, even for a mid-century early reader; the film is perfection). I had a feeling looking at the trailer that I would feel the same as you, mainly about characterization so thanks for helping me decide to read the book and skip the adaptation.

I may allow it to auto-play in the background, though just to help drive up the viewership numbers.


I haven’t seen it yet. My Must Watch List is backlogged for years.

I’m with you, thought it was meh.

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Yeah I gotta agree, the show is aggressively mediocre.
Everything seems like someone remembered that they were supposed to start making a show a month before it was due.


Ignore haters, watch when you want. It’s nice, in a good way, like it has a Winnie-the-Pooh friendliness filled with higher quality Hitchhikers Guide sensibilities and jokes.

I overall liked it even though my cynicism wanted it to not work. It’s not Italian Neo-Realism, it’s cute and fun and smart enough to forgive the Rupert-like adventure plot. It’s a warm bath, but sometimes warm baths are great.


I enjoyed the show more than I didn’t, but while there are some great additions (the 30 minute montage through history is fantastic), overall, it hewed too close to the book. I understand that a lot of the humor in the book comes from the narration. That makes sense in a book. It makes less sense in a visual medium. I would have killed for more sight gags, and more attempts to get the joke out of the visual presentation instead of the narrative presentation.


Did that review just evoke Time Bandits ?

I am the BBS Captain, I’m not entirely dim.


It’s an interesting question- Jaws, The Godfather, No Country for Old Men seem to make a few lists.


This bothered me too; you are not alone.

It was a super-faithful adaptation, which I enjoyed simply to see the things I already loved brought to life. But it Told so much more than it Showed when it really didn’t need to. It would have made much better TV if the plot had been trimmed back to the essentials, and more time spent on characterisation and visual storytelling.

Also (and I realise it’s hard to do) the children were terrible. Totally flat. Stranger Things has set the bar very high, and this came nowehere near it.


Man, if, when you hear the name Michael McKean, you think of Laverne and Shirley you may need to get out more often.

Hints: This is Spinal Tap, Better Call Saul, A Mighty Wind (where he also was awarded an actual Grammy and an Oscar nomination for song writing.) and a long list of lesser and money-making roles.


I liked that quite a lot (but have not read the book - my TBR list is too long; the pile on my bedside cabinet, alone, is teeteringly high).
Sadly this Radio 4 adaptation is not available on BBC iPlayer or BBC Sounds at present.
But you can get it as a CD or an ‘audiobook’

(I do have the original Radio 4 six-episode broadcast recorded as MP3s, though. It will certainly bear relistening one day.)


Ok, those are great examples. I don’t know if I’d say that any of them are better than the source material, but a few really moved me to the same degree. No Country and Stand By Me, mainly. I haven’t read a number of them and find myself a kittle unwilling to do so because I loved the films so much. Particularly Brokeback Mountain which, for my money, is one of the greatest tragic romances ever committed to film.

Now that I think of it, I have to assume that There Will be Blood outstrips Oil! By a country mile. The greatest american film of this century, IMO.