Fans of the Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett book will like Amazon's Good Omens, but newcomers may find it lagging, says AJ Romano. "Directed by veteran Doctor Who director Douglas Mackinnon, it’s a funny, warm treat that fans of the book will find familiar and endearing, from the strong ensemble cast — Michael Sheen in particular shines as the fusty, fastidious angel — to the slightly kitschy production design, which flits between a litany of pleasantly clichéd English aesthetics, from P.G. Wodehouse to Harry Potter," says Romano, adding: "Gaiman and Pratchett largely wrote themselves into the characters of Crowley and Aziraphale, respectively, and it’s the duo’s affectionate bickering and unlikely camaraderie that dominate the show as it does the book — so much so that it’s easy to forget what a large cast the story actually contains. That’s both a blessing and a curse for Amazon’s Good Omens, which is at its best whenever Aziraphale and Crowley share the screen, but which tends to feel aimless whenever the narrative switches to focus on the other cast members: the meddling demons, the officious angel Gabriel (Jon Hamm in purple contacts), a prophetic witch and her descendent, Anathema Device (Adria Arjona). Oh, and the four horsemen of the apocalypse."
Good Omens would've been better off as a movie: "It’s a kind of storytelling so maximal that the same 57-minute episode can contain a tangential alien invasion and a physics lesson explaining how angels and demons can shrink and grow in size (featuring multiple Sheens dancing the gavotte and multiple Tennants getting down to disco)," says Sophie Gilbert. "The blessing of the streaming-TV era is that (Neil) Gaiman seems to have been given the go-ahead to manifest literally anything; the curse is that the story itself is better suited to a two-hour movie than a meandering six-hour trip through time and space. It takes an awful lot to make Armageddon feel anticlimactic, and yet, after the travails everyone in Good Omens has endured through millennia, things conclude with what feels awfully like a whimper."
Good Omens isn’t quite Heaven, and isn’t quite Hell: "Good Omens’ pilot occasionally feels like sitting through the process of listening to a friend read you some of their well-crafted short fiction while an energetic, eye-catching slideshow plays," says William Hughes.
Neil Gaiman wishes Good Omens didn't feel quite so close to reality: “I mean, if I could trade, I would have a much duller world in which we had to try and convince people that an apocalypse was likely, instead of having the world that we’re in, where the nuclear clock is ticking closer and closer, and where I’m going: ‘Actually, as far as I can tell everybody in charge is f*cking nuts.’ You know, I would like sensible people and an end of history, that was fun.”