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David Tennant, Michael Sheen Continue to Elevate Quality of Good Omens 2

Plenty has changed in the four years since Prime Video’s "Good Omens" premiered. That amount of time between seasons can often be the death knell for a series like this, but one thing that hasn’t changed in that time is the chemistry between leads David Tennant and Michael Sheen. They continue to be the brightest part of "Good Omens 2," playing off each other wonderfully. It’s not a stretch to imagine that their characters have been friends (or lovers) for thousands of years. 

The first season of "Good Omens"' was based entirely on Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s international best-selling novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, and was dedicated to stopping the Apocalypse. And that’s where the story was set to end. Pratchett passed in 2015, and nothing else was published in this universe. Certainly, there were discussions between Gaiman and Pratchett about continuing the tales of Tennant’s retired demon Crowley and Sheen’s retired angel Aziraphale, but nothing came of it. Gaiman uses Season Two to explore material discussed during those meetings and introduce his characters to more bizarre circumstances. 

Those who watched Season One should have a grasp of what to expect from "Good Omens 2,” but those new to the show will find a quirky, fantasy-filled mystery where an angel and demon must work together to thwart the ambitions of heaven and hell. It's truly funny how, despite being an angel and a demon, Tennant and Sheen’s characters operate in more of a grey zone. Crowley isn’t completely evil, as he bends the rules to suit his needs. Although a fallen angel, he’s still responsible for completing the duties passed on to him from Hell. On the other hand, Aziraphale slowly learns that even God might not always be right, and there has to be a balance to continually performing good deeds. Through their own shared history, they discover that they fall onto the side of the humans, offering them protection, nurturing their relationships, and supporting their growth. 

Tennant and Sheen aren’t the only returning cast members for "Good Omens 2.” In one of the most significant changes this season, archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) has arrived on Earth with none of his memories intact. This new plotline allows Hamm to spend significantly more time with the main cast, showcasing his humor in a joyously funny new problem for his character. Aziraphale desperately wants to discover why Gabriel has lost his memories, but he doesn’t want to alert Heaven or Hell because they’ll want to use this dilemma to their advantage. The only thing Aziraphale can count on is his good friend, Crowley, to keep everything under control. But hiding the archangel from the grasp of angels and demons turns out to be harder than they ever imagined. 

Other performers return in new roles, including Miranda Richardson, Nina Sosanya, and Maggie Service. Maggie and Nina’s characters end up in a will-they-or-won’t-they romance plot, in which record store owner Maggie pines for the unavailable Nina. Crowley and Aziraphale end up in the middle of their romance as Maggie and Nina’s happiness could decide the fate of humanity. Meanwhile, Miranda Richardson’s Shax has overtaken Crowley’s vacated position in Hell. It’s a deliciously fun performance from Richardson that brings a lot of bravado to a role that could’ve easily been fodder. 

If that doesn’t seem like enough of a story to justify another six episodes of "Good Omens," apparently, the writers agree. Three episodes contain minisodes written by collaborators John Finnemore, Cat Clarke, Jeremy Dyson, and Andy Nyman. The first of which, “A Companion to Owls,” witnesses Crowley 5,000 years ago on a mission to smite Job, God’s favorite human. Aziraphale learns of a troublesome bet between Heaven and Hell that might bring Job endless suffering and does his best to change it. In another minisode, “The Resurrectionists,” Crowley and Aziraphale are in Edinburgh in 1827. They meet a young woman Elspeth (Abigail Lawrie), who makes money on a most disturbing job, corpse robbery. They’ll find out whether her job is as distasteful as it seems. Finally, our favorite pair gets roped into a magic show during the Blitz of 1940s England. Soon after, Nazi zombies are determined to catch the angel and demon working together. 

These three minisodes vary greatly in quality, with my favorite of the bunch learning about Job’s plight. The other two are slight, bringing Crowley and Aziraphale into drab and ultimately dire locations. This slate of episodes (five of the six episodes were viewed for review) exists only as a promise for greater adventures should the series return once again. 

"Good Omens 2” spends much time with its tedious world-building to build toward an unannounced third season. Gaiman has alluded to this in interviews where he admits to needing additional time to build out the story from the first season's events. It makes "Good Omens 2” feel like a tedious subplot that needed to occur before getting back to the true story. The entire cast leans on finding out what truly happened to Gabriel, but it isn’t all that interesting as a plot device. 

But it’s hard to imagine anyone enraptured by "Good Omens" being disappointed in the new adventures of their favorite angel and demon, especially as the show keeps up many quirky and bizarre happenings that made it such a success in the first place. Tennant and Sheen continue to be the reason to watch: Their relationship never feels manufactured, and their characters seem to honestly love each other in one of the most chaste relationships on TV. That infectious love for the material covers many misgivings for this season's main storyline. When everyone is having this much fun, it's difficult to curse them too much.

Five episodes were screened for review. “Good Omens 2” premieres on Amazon Prime Video on July 28th.

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