Good Omens Season 2 Review: Show Coasts By On David Tennant And Michael Sheen's Charm

Good Omens Season 2 Review: Show Coasts By On David Tennant And Michael Sheen's Charm

The second season of the Amazon Prime Video series retains the goofiness of the first instalment, but lowers the stakes

Creator: Neil Gaiman

Director: Douglas Mackinnon

Writers: John Finnemore, Cat Clarke, Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman

Cast: David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Miranda Richardson

Where do franchises go after an instalment that threatens, then averts the destruction of the entire planet? Post Avengers: Endgame (2019), the MCU retreated to quiet American suburbia and quaint domesticity with WandaVision (2021). Good Omens season 2 does much the same, following up a first season near-apocalypse with one that rarely strays too far from the cosy confines of angel Aziraphale’s (Michael Sheen) bookshop. The stakes are smaller, the dynamic more intimate. 

What the show loses in narrative urgency, it makes up for with rich characterisation, spending much more time on the relationship between Aziraphale and his demon best friend Crowley (David Tennant). The two alternate between bickering like an old married couple and wordlessly showing up for each other. Their camaraderie coasts on lighthearted banter, but there’s also a rare openness and unhesitant vulnerability between them. They’re depicted as the world’s slowest-burn romance, one that’s been in the making for a literal eternity. If in season 1, the show’s most ticking-clock question was: Could Crowley and Aziraphale stop the end times?, season 2 prompts a question of a different time-bound nature: When will Aziraphale and Crowley finally realise how they feel about each other?

Good Omens Season 2 Review: Show Coasts By On David Tennant And Michael Sheen's Charm
All You Need to Know About Good Omens Season 1

While Neil Gaiman created and wrote the first season of Good Omens based on his and Terry Pratchett's 1990 novel of the same name, season 2 was conjured out of only notes on a sequel Gaiman and Pratchett were working on,  which reflects in the somewhat meandering pace. The season kicks off with supreme archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) turning up at Aziraphale’s bookshop having lost his memory. The plot isn’t as compelling, though it does give Jon Hamm the chance to play befuddled himbo to great effect. Five episodes later, however, there’s still little explanation as to how he ended up in this predicament. This is a pared-down season, with not as many supporting characters or subplots. For all the locations it travels to, the most memorable still remain heaven, visualised as a sterile room that’s spacious to the point of being discomfiting, and hell, seen as a series of dingy cramped corridors.

While Aziraphale and Crowley attempt to help Gabriel piece his mind back together, they also turn their attention to the fledgling romance between record store owner Maggie and barista Nina. The show, however, doesn’t really develop the two women as characters outside of their possible attraction to each other. Maggie is sweet, Nina is stern and all Good Omens seems to be saying is: “Hey, isn’t this reminding you of another romance between polar opposites on this show you’d rather see happen? The cherubic Aziraphale and devilish Crowley, perhaps?” For as much effort as the angel and demon invest in setting up Maggie and Nina to fall in love, you wish they’d start being less oblivious about the state of their own relationship. 

Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens season 2.
Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Good Omens season 2.

While some scenes that start out silly could segue into a spiritual crisis, there’s a playful goofiness that animates the show, even in its most suspenseful moments. Is a lie in service of a greater good still an immoral act? Is a good deed that ends up hurting someone worth it? There are no binaries in Good Omens, no one ever truly good or bad. 

For the celestial characters of Good Omens, entire galaxies are just fancy wallpaper and thousands of years might as well be seconds. What, then, is the point of anything? In a show about faith that is repeatedly tested, and about believing in that which you don’t fully understand, what’s real and tangible is Aziraphale and Crowley’s friendship. Early in the new season, a slight smile flickers across Aziraphale’s face when he’s asked to consider if there’s one person in the world who’s a comfort to him. The answer is Crowley. He knows and we know it, without him ever having to spell it out.  It’s a testament to the show’s solid writing and Tennant and Sheen’s lived-in chemistry. In a show full of transience, their sturdy relationship is the foundation upon which everything else stands.