Good Omens Places Humanity In A Theological War

Let’s pretend that there’s only one rule for any visual reinterpretation to follow if it wishes to earn the fandom’s approval. Stop making that face, I said let’s pretend. In this beautifully simple playscape that we’ve created together, the pivotal standard that all adaptations must adhere to is “respect the source material, dammit.” For some (I’m sure you can conjure at least five examples on your own without my having to list them), this bar is simply too high to bother with, but not for Prime Video’s adapation of “Good Omens.” Co-author of the novel Neil Gaiman himself wrote the screenplay — you can read it, if you like — for all six episodes. It doesn’t get much closer to respecting the source material than that, now, does it? 

Funneled through Gaiman, Prime Video’s adaptation of “Good Omens” maintains the comic, and often poignant, wit that made the original work so powerful. Where additions are found, such as a larger role for the archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) in the miniseries than in the book, they are naturally integrated into the story. When an original author is involved, minor tweaks feel more permissible, like a deleted chapter finally coming to life. 

And that’s what the story is all about: life. Specifically, human life, with all its flaws and fragility, yes, but also its fortitude and potential. “Good Omens” is never coy about the message that humanity does its best work when left untainted by occult influences, both of the demonic and the angelic variety. Which reminds me …

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