Adrienne Kohler is a Kiwi now residing in the US but she’s still helping us antipodeans stay up to date with what’s coming up in the world of entertainment, TV and film.
I was idly browsing through Twitter when it popped up – would I like the chance to see a preview of “Good Omens” Would I? Of course! It turned out this was a promotion from Amazon Prime and not only was the preview free, it was being held by outdoor cinema company Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. Faster than you can say “the devil made me do it” I nabbed a ticket and on a clear night under a full moon made my way to the screening on Sunset Boulevard.
Good Omens is a co-production between Amazon Prime and BBC Two and is based on the 1990 novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The series stars an ensemble cast featuring David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Anna Maxwell Martin, Josie Lawrence, Adria Arjona, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Miranda Richardson and Nick Offerman.
What I hadn’t realised when I booked my ticket was that Gaiman was going to be there in person to introduce the opening episode and it was the first ever screening of the show. He paid a beautiful tribute to co-author Terry Pratchett, recalling how Pratchett had asked him to make the series after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s’ Disease but then “the bastard died and that made it a last request, which you can’t refuse.”
It seemed a fitting tribute to Pratchett to watch the first screening in a graveyard under a full moon and the crowd responded with a huge cheer and applause as the show began.
In his introduction, Gaiman said he had taken the role of showrunner to ensure it was properly made and, if the first episode is anything to go on, he’s done a fantastic job and the rest of the series is going to be a blast. This is a no spoiler review, but it’s not giving anything away to say that the series follows the demon Crowley (Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Sheen), who are secretly working together to try and prevent Armageddon so as not to disrupt the lifestyles they have come to enjoy on Earth.
I will tell you that it looks amazing with lush BBC production values and gorgeous costuming – I wish I could watch all of it on the big screen. Sheen and Tennant are perfectly cast as the unlikely eternal friends, and their sparking off each other is a delight to watch, while Madmen star Jon Hamm has huge fun as the indifferent and stylishly dressed Archangel Gabriel.
It is very English, very witty and very funny and I can’t wait for the remainder of the series to drop on Amazon Prime on May 31st. Be sure to watch it.
Reviewed by Adrienne Kohler