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Primetime Picks… 5/31/19

May 31 Posted by in Features | Comments

Early this morning, Amazon Prime Video released all 6 episodes of the new original series Good Omens, which is an adaptation of the 1990 novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen, The Good Fight, Masters of Sex) and demon Crowley (David Tennant, Doctor Who) have been on Earth since its creation, literally. In fact it was Crowley who tempted Eve with that apple. While they work for opposite sides, the two have come to an arrangement during their centuries of influencing humans, particularly in situations where their efforts would just cancel one another out. This professional respect for one another has grown into a long-lasting friendship—in so much as an angel and a demon can be friends. The two are enjoying their time on Earth, and don’t want to see it end any time soon. So when they learn that the Antichrist has been born, they decide to insert themselves into the child’s life, to mentor him, so that when he comes into his powers at age 11, he will not bring about Armageddon. However, this means defying their superiors, who are looking forward to this long-awaited war between good and evil to play out—but things don’t go quite as smoothly as Aziraphale and Crowley planned.

Meanwhile, Anathema Device (Adria Arjona, Emerald City), an American ancestor of infamous 17th century witch Agnes Nutter, makes her way to the small British town where the Antichrist resides. Agnes had written a book of incredibly accurate prophesies, which has been passed down for generations. All her life, Anathema has been letting these prognostications dictate her actions, and that has led her to cross paths with Newton Pulsifer (Jack Whitehall, Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father), an awkward young man who seems to break any piece of technology he touches. Newton is the ancestor of the man who executed Agnes Nutter for being a witch, and the latest protege of the head of the Witch Hunter army (of one), General Shadwell (Michael McKean, Better Call Saul). Shadwell has a few screws loose, and is focused on his self-appointed duty to rid the world of witches.

As the four horsemen of the Apocalypse make their way to the spawn of Satan, time is quickly running out. Humanity’s last chance to prevent Armageddon lies in the hands of a band of quirky misfits.

I can’t recommend this series highly enough. Over the course of the 6 episodes you get a complete story, so it’s not a huge time commitment, and you don’t have to worry about being left on a cliffhanger that may never get resolved. Once I started watching the first episode, I couldn’t stop. Who would have thought a show about preventing the apocalypse could be so delightful and entertaining?! The show is filled with bizarre, off-beat characters, and extremely smart and witty writing that combines fun pop culture references with a bit of social commentary on the human condition. The style and tone of the series often reminded me of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The series is extremely faithful to the original source material, and now I can’t imagine anyone else but Tennant and Sheen in these roles. Crowley is like the classic cool rock star, who’s always wearing shades, and drives around in his prized vintage Bentley. While he likes being evil, there is definitely some good in him, and he tries to hide this from his superiors. Meanwhile, Sheen’s Aziraphale is constantly trying to do good, but he sometimes breaks the rules when he feels like his superiors—such as the angel Gabriel (Jon Hamm, Mad Men)—don’t have the humans’ best interests in mind. The series’ cast also includes Frances McDormand (as the narrator/voice of God), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Miranda Richardson, Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland), and Mireille Enos (The Catch, The Killing).

Tonight I’ll also be watching/recording Swamp Thing, How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast), and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..