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TV Series Review

The Bible is full of signs and portents regarding the end of the world (as we know it): Four Horsemen, seven seals, the falling star called Wormwood, etc.

But to my knowledge, it never mentions a handbasket.

Perhaps it’s only fitting that the Antichrist would be delivered via handbasket, what with the infernal cliché and all. But given the cargo, you’d think some precautions would’ve been in order to, y’know, make sure the diabolical baby made it to the right set of parents.


That’s exactly what didn’t happen 11 years ago, when the demon Crowley (the same dude who tempted Eve into plucking a certain fruit off a certain tree) dropped the child off at an abbey filled with satanic nuns. Tasked with slipping the baby to an unsuspecting U.S. ambassador on his wife, the infant Antichrist was instead shuffled off to a middle-class pair of Brits without anyone knowing it.

That’s a problem for all concerned, really. For Satan and his legions of darkness, that means the kid (Adam’s his name) has missed out on 11 years of devilish tutoring, which Crowley had been mistakenly pouring into a run-of-the-mill mortal boy. Naturally, it’s bad news for Crowley himself, too. But for the demon, it extends beyond just disobeying his diabolical boss.

See, Crowley has been working secretly with an angel named Aziraphale to normalize the mistaken, not-so-demonic child (named Warlock) and thus, they think, prevent Armageddon. So while Crowley was filling the kid’s mind with thoughts of death and destruction (satisfying his immediate supervisors), Aziraphale pushed Warlock to love all living creatures (impressing heavenly bureaucrats). The end result, they hope, is a very normal kid who may talk back to his parents but has only a limited desire to annihilate every living being.

Now, with the real Antichrist about to come into his power, Aziraphale and Crowley must find that boy and stop him in order to save the world they’ve both become rather attached to.

But that, of course, comes with its own set of issues.

The Coarse Men of the Apocalypse

Amazon’s Good Omens pulls its story from a 1990 novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (though some elements apparently derive from an unwritten sequel). Pratchett, who died in 2015, was famous for his comic fantasies, so of course it’s funny. Neil Gaiman is the man behind such imaginative novels as Coraline and American Gods, so of course it’s creative. And, given its subject matter, of course it’s blasphemous, too.

At its core, the show’s spiritual problems stem from a simple, serious, theological error: The concept that there’s good, there’s evil, and then there's the muddled middle where most of us live.

Angels here are strict-and-stuffy fun-haters. Demons are wicked, but (at least in Crowley’s case) kind of a kick to be around. And both sides are playing a rather evenly matched game—with human pawns in play. As such, both Crowley and Aziraphale hope to keep the Antichrist from picking a side. “If we do it right, he won’t be evil,” Crowley says. “Or good. He’ll just be normal.”

But in Christian thinking (and remember, Good Omens is at least superficially filled with Christian images, ideas and themes), we’re always on a side. We can either submit to Christ's authority and follow Him … or not.

For all of its wit, Good Omens feeds into a very wishful, very contemporary and, I think, very humanistic understanding of who we are and why we’re here. The miniseries could certainly foster a bevy of fascinating theological discussions. But it’s a most unreliable narration, and thus potentially corruptive at its core.

It has superficial problems as well, though perhaps fewer than you might expect. Sporadic nudity flashes onscreen. Characters utter occasional profanities (though sometimes bad words come in streams rather than trickles). And remember, the show is predicated on a climactic war between heaven and hell, which some characters don’t survive to see. While the violence here is treated in a rather lighthearted manner, that doesn’t stop the occasional witch from being burned at the stake (and, incidentally, exploding to kill all of the onlookers as well).

Good Omens is thought by many to be a good show. But spiritually, this Amazon Prime miniseries seems like it needs to be carted away in its own handbasket.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

May 31, 2019: "In the Beginning"
May 31, 2019: "The Doomsday Option"



Readability Age Range



David Tennant as Crowley; Michael Sheen as Aziraphale; Sam Taylor Buck as Adam Young; Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel; Jack Whitehall as Newton Pulsifer; Adria Arjona as Anathema Device; Michael McKean as Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell; Miranda Richardson as Madame Tracy; Ned Dennehy as Hastur; Ariyon Bakare as Ligur; Daniel Mays as Arthur Young; Sian Brooke as Deidre Young; Nick Offerman as Thaddeus Dowling; Jill Winternitz as Harriet Dowling; Frances McDormand as the voice of God






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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