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YMMV / Good Omens (2019)

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  • Acceptable Professional Targets: As in the book, no one cries about the deaths of the telemarketers at the hands of Hastur, especially not when they're happily crowing to each other on instant messenger about how they're interrupting people from important things. Especially as they have been updated from the regular telemarketers of the book into outright scam artists.
  • Accidental Aesop: Try not to trust hospitals that are religious, because they may mess up your healthcare due to their values.
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  • Adorkable: Aziraphale is quite endearing, if sometimes a little bumbling. Special mention goes to him enthusiastically practicing his magic tricks. Newt also qualifies, with his excitement to share a joke about his car, his passion for computer programming (even though they always get destroyed), and his crush on Anathema.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • There are a lot of ways you can interpret God in this series. Her seeming apathy towards humanity in Her actions (or lack thereof) is contrasted against her narration, where She seems genuinely fond of them. When Armageddon is averted, She doesn't seem upset by it, so is She being a Graceful Loser, or did it all go exactly as She hoped it would all along? Is Her lack of involvement in the conflicts between Heaven and Hell apathy, trusting Heaven to sort it out themselves, or does She believe in a Balance Between Good and Evil? If the latter, does She let Aziraphale and Crowley skirt the rules for this reason, knowing that they're essential to keeping the balance? A lot of questions are raised, and even the leads aren't sure what they think by the end.
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    • Alternatively, to borrow the whole “poker in the dark” metaphor, She deals the cards, but how the hand is played, is up to the players. (Which would suggest that Her true plan put all the pieces in play so that “humans being humans” could cause the mix-up, insuring that the true Antichrist would be left alone to grow up like any other human, and therefore have a choice in his future.)
    • For that matter, did God really not know Aziraphale gave his sword away when She asked, or did She know and decide to let it slide?
    • Are Famine, War, and Pollution just horrible sadists? Or is it unfair to hold them to human morality, since (unlike the angels and demons), they are literally the personifications of the disasters they bring? (It should be noted that famine, war, and pollution are all human-created disasters — note that Pestilence retired after humans figured out medicine, and Death, the only Horseman who is just part of the natural order of things, really isn't evil at all.) Especially when the kids destroy them just by believing in their opposites, they really seem to be a manifestation of human flaw rather than beings with their own free will and motivations.
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    • While Gabriel is undeniably a jerk, there are varying interpretations of just how MUCH of a jerk he is. He's eager to bring Armageddon upon the earth just so he can battle it out with the 'other side' to see who wins. He also tells 'Aziraphale' to shut up and die in hellfire. However, Gabriel — like most of the angels and demons on the show — hasn't spent much time on earth and clearly perceives humans as little better than ants, and so it's more understandable why he'd be willing to sacrifice them (well, us) all with no guilt in order to follow what he perceives to be the Great Plan. Also, Gabriel's 'with us or against us' attitude means that he sees Aziraphale as an enemy as soon as Aziraphale 'betrays' them. But before that, Gabriel does seem to at least try to be a good boss to those under him. Besides being just affable, he genuinely gives Aziraphale the benefit of the doubt many times while other angels were more ready to turn on him. He's also pretty effusive with his praise and he led the other angels into applauding Aziraphale's initiative in trying to make the anti-Christ baby not-evil, even though they all acknowledge that they think it won't work.
  • Awesome Music: The instrumental opening theme is quite beautiful — and it pops up everywhere once you know to listen for it. And, of course, the constant presence of The Greatest Hits of Queen, a holdover from a running gag in the book.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: If you haven't read the book, the appearance by Elvis Presley in Famine's first scene is completely meaningless. It also ignores that moving the story to the series' release year means that Elvis should be 84.
  • Crack Pairing: Gabriel/Beelzebub fanfics and fanart have gained a fair amount of popularity on Tumblr, despite them being on opposite sides of the celestial battle and dead set against angel and demon friendships. Their ship name is 'Ineffable Bureaucracy'.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Many of the deaths. Ligur dying by being melted into molten goo? Scary. Hastur screaming like a little girl? Hilarious.
    • Crowley scaring his plants into submission can be a little frightening, but his over-the-top voice and the fact that the plants are literally shaking pulls it back around to funny.
  • Dueling Shows: 2019's Miracle Workers had a similar concept about two angels trying to stop God from ending the world.
  • Ending Fatigue: The plot of The End of the World as We Know It is resolved in twenty-five minutes of the last episode with the other twenty-five wrapping up the character arcs with little dramatic stakes remaining. A bit fitting, since the whole show has really had the apocalypse as an almost secondary plot to developing Crowley and Aziraphale's relationship as well as the world around them – if you took Crowley and Aziraphale out of the story entirely, absolutely nothing about the apocalypse plot would change, since the babies still would have gotten mixed up (Crowley doesn't say "Room 3" in the books and Sister Mary does it all on her own), and everything that happens after that doesn't involve them in any plot-changing way.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: Two of them concerning Raphael, the fourth Christian archangel who doesn't appear despite Gabriel, Michael, & Uriel being in the show. Fics will explore either Crowley being Raphael before he fell or Aziraphale & Crowley combined being Raphael (and being split into two separate beings with the evil part 'cast out' before the events of the show). The mostly accepted Fanon is that Crowley was Raphael, but Falling meant that he wasn't allowed to retain his God-given name and status.
    • There's also an interesting one that suggests that Aziraphale is an assumed name like Crowley, and that his original name was Aziraphael (with an emphasis on the 'el' at the end, like Raphael), changed for whatever reason like Crowley did from Crawley.
    • Previously, fans were hesitant to try writing a roleswap AU because of how difficult it'd be to keep them in character without a complete Deconstruction (see The Sacred and the Profane). With the TV series, though, fans have gotten braver about trying the plot out. They've also engaged in variants such as Crowley rising back to Heaven after his actions in the series, or Aziraphale falling due to his association with Crowley (at least once out of spite that he was forced to choose between Heaven and Crowley).
    • Since the show has aired, there's been a number of fics posted revolving around the plot of Crowley and Aziraphale adopting and raising Adam, basically becoming his dads (Archive of Our Own even has a tag for it). A few of them end with Adam proclaiming them to be his real fathers when he rejects Satan.
      • It's also common to have Warlock be semi-adopted by Aziraphale and Crowley as well, since they did look after him for 11 years.
    • Since it isn't shown how exactly Aziraphale and Crowley figured out from Agnes' prophecy that they needed to switch bodies to avoid being killed by Heaven and Hell, a number of fics cover that in greater detail and usually include a Relationship Upgrade for them too.
    • Heaven and Hell trying out other methods of punishment for Aziraphale and Crowley, usually by making them human or erasing their memories of each other.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With The Good Place, due to both shows being quirky dark comedies that focus on the nature of Heaven and Hell, and the way angels and demons interact with humanity. Neil Gaiman has even said he thinks Crowley would like the show. As a bonus, Crowley has more than a little in common with The Good Place's Michael. The two shows also happen to share a castmember as Michael McKean, who plays Shadwell, appeared in an episode of The Good Place.
    • Similarly with Lucifer (2016). Not only do both shows focus on Heaven and Hell and the life of demons and angels on Earth, but both also have ties to Neil Gaiman as a creator. Numerous crossovers between the two popped up after the Good Omens series dropped.
    • With Elisabeth, as both have The Grim Reaper as a character note , emphasizes the importance of free will, and contain dark humor.
    • At least in social media, the show's fandom shares a following with the Doctor Who fandom, due to Crowley being played by David Tennant. It also helps that both Neil Gaiman and Michael Sheen have had involvement with Doctor Who before.
    • Has a significant shared fandom with Supernatural, as the latter is also heavily based around Judeo-Christian mythology and has a number of overlapping characters and concepts.
  • He Really Can Act: While both David Tennant and Michael Sheen have fairly illustrious careers, when Aziraphale and Crowley switch bodies, they really get to show off how well they can play the other. Special mention to the scene after the attempted executions where they're on the park bench, complete with Tennant sitting as prim and proper as Aziraphale would while Sheen sprawls out and slouches as befitting Crowley. Their accents and voices are both spot-on as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: This series came out in the summer of 2019, when the idea of a worldwide plague bringing humanity to its knees was silly in these modern times, and thus Pestilence had retired and Pollution had replaced it. Then Pestilence decided to come back for one last gig...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A Scottish man being an only-slightly-evil demon named Crowley who's mainly out for himself. Why does that sound familiar?
    • David Tennant finally gets to be ginger. And the Doctor is back in the Globe Theatre!
    • Adam as the full Antichrist bears an unavoidable resemblance to Brandon from Brightburn, released around the same time.
    • All of the Holmes siblings show up in Good Omens. In Sherlock, Mark Gatiss (Mycroft) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) play people on the good side, while Sian Brooke (Eurus) plays a villain. The reverse is true here, with them playing a Nazi, Satan himself, and Deirdre Young, respectively.
    • A rather misguided open-letter written by angry conservative Christians asking Netflixnote  to cancel the show included the fact that God was played by a woman included in their list of grievances. Where were these people when Octavia Spencer played God in the faith-based drama The Shack? Even the novel in which The Shack was based on (which was written by an actual Christian for Christian readers) even insists that God appeared in the form of a magical black woman.
  • Hollywood Homely: Both Newt and Anathema are played by very attractive actors. The show thus has them dress in odd ways, and gives Newt glasses and a messy haircut (both of which are noted in the being his worst features in the book). Anathema is also given glasses, spends most of the series in ruffled dresses which wouldn't look out of place in the Victorian era, and pins her hair into an odd type of updo which vaguely resembles a stereotypical pointed witches hat.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The series has quite a few complaints about being overly faithful to the novel, including the parts that don't translate well to the new medium (in particular, the narration from God often just seems to be condescendingly spelling out things we can see perfectly well). Neil Gaiman has acknowledged this, saying he felt very uneasy about making significant changes as it would feel disrespectful to his late friend and writing partner Terry Pratchett. There are also some fans who feel that God's take on the narration is actually better than it reads in the opening chapters of the book.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Shadwell is rude and abrasive to everyone and at least in theory wants to burn witches alive (he never has, but only because he's never managed to find one). However, he's obviously a sad old man who's devoted his life to a pointless cause, and no one seems to take him seriously enough to be offended by him.
  • LGBT Fan Base: The series is interpreted as gaycoded, and the actors have said they were intentionally playing up the love between the two main characters. Upon its release Vulture ran a headline declaring it to be a Gay Love Story. While per Word of God and book canon angels don’t really use human labels regarding gender, this attracted a lot of transgender and nonbinary fans into the fold as well.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • God ships Ineffable Husbands!Explanation 
    • Can I hear a wahoo?Explanation 
    • "What was it he said that got everyone so upset?" "Be kind to each other." "Oh yeah, that'll do it."Explanation 
  • Money-Making Shot: Satan's appearance in the last episode. It's by far the most complex visual effect in the show, and is featured in the trailers, but adds nothing to the story, since Satan is fended off in the same way as in the book, where he never quite manages to appear because in both cases, Adam changes reality to make Mr. Young his real father.
  • Narm:
    • Adam's scream when he realises he's driven away his friends is less an anguished cry of despair and more of a mechanical, monotonous drone. It almost sounds like he's trying to be sarcastic about it.
    • Some viewers think that horrific monsters are usually better left unseen, since the human mind will automatically fill-in with what scares a particular viewer, and so to see Satan come out of the ground with an oddly flat and small face left a lot to be desired once you actually got a look at him. Even just omitting his face would have fit with his reputation and made him a whole lot more magnificent and intimidating.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Duke Hastur, while bumbling a lot of the time, can be genuinely terrifying. Unlike Crowley, he's perfectly willing to hurt people permanently for petty reasons, like when he burns the Satanic convent down just to send the message that the Order is dissolved.
      • Special mention to the telemarket scammers where he terrifies the woman who set him free over the phone before emerging as a swarm of maggots from her electronics and mouth that fills the entire office and reduces the workers to bare skeletons.
    • War's Establishing Character Moment: walking into a peace agreement between three opposing factions, subtly sparking off discord, and walking out as everyone attending kills each other.
      • All the Horsemen Bar Death fit this, Each being a personification of a manmade Evil, However Death is a notable aversion, following Discworlds version, in that he is just a guy doing his job, nothing more, nothing less, although he is still terrifying, even the other Horsemen bow to him the second he appears, he is also the only one who is part of the universe, not man-made.
    • Even the absurdity of the situation can't keep Crowley yelling at and then removing a defective plant from being quite chilling, with David Tennant seeming to slip back into Kilgrave mode.
    • Adam briefly going full-on Reality Warper, including taking away his friends' mouths and contorting their faces into smiles while they're still clearly terrified of what he's doing. The scene where Pepper – until now fiery and unshakable – starts voicelessly crying while desperately pointing to her erased mouth is particularly harrowing.
    • It's subtle, but any moment where Gabriel's pleasant-if-smug veneer drops and the power-hungry shark that lies beneath shines through. Major props to Jon Hamm.
    • Ligur's death by holy water. Okay, Hastur's shrieking adds an edge of Black Comedy, but melting into oblivion — fully conscious throughout the process! — does not look like a nice way to go. No wonder Aziraphale was so terrified of this fate befalling his friend.
    • The M25 being consumed by hellfire is genuinely scary, as unlike in the book we get to see it from the perspective of a young couple who are trapped in their car by the traffic jam- the man gets out to take a leak, only to start chanting "Hail the Beast, devourer of worlds", a chant which is taken up by everyone else in the thousands of cars trapped on the motorway as it erupts into hellfire beneath them.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The Devil himself appears in the final episode, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s also very clearly where the majority of the show’s special effects budget went.
    • Sir Derek Jacobi makes a brief appearances as Metatron, the Voice of God.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Rufus Drumknott is one of the Nazis in the church, Chuck has become a Witchfinder General, The Captain is the accountant who Crowley scares the utter bejeezus out of after he accidentally shoots Aziraphale with a paintball, Lucy is the Lord of the Files, Raymond Chestnut used to be one of the Four Horsemen while Lord Boreal went by the name Lord Ligur, Jules Reyes left the PPC and became a witch... Really, the series is full of retroactive recognition.
  • Squick: The undisguised forms of the demons. Pustules, sores, and nasty-looking symbiotic animals (like the frog squatting on Hastur's head) are evidently popular.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • Newt/Anathema falls flat for a number of people since the entire reason they get together in the first place is Agnes Nutter's prophecies and there's very little development for them otherwise.
    • Likewise, Shadwell/Tracy also hasn't sat particularly well, given that much of their interactions prior to the last episode or two are him yelling at and insulting her for being a sex worker, however, it is clear that his calling her those things has went from insulting to a kind of Slap-Slap-Kiss on his part, as he is clearly attracted to her, she has taken his "Witchfinder" personality as just a quirk, which, to be honest, is all it is.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Four Horsemen, they get a lot of characterisation, and quite a big deal is made of them, but they don't actually really do anything, Granted, they probably would have done more if Adam had taken up his role as the Antichrist, but other than that, they get an Establishing Character Moment, ride to the air base, have a Evil Gloating moment each, then go down without a real fight.
    • Admittedly, this is exactly what happens in the book as well. The anti-climax is part of the point.
  • Ugly Cute: The little slug demon that announces the start of a Kangaroo Trial in Hell looks like a pudgy little ball, or perhaps a child's toy.


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