Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m completely amazed by season 2 of the comedy series, Good Omens. Ever since season 4 of BBC’s Sherlock, I lost my faith in showrunners who allowed queerbaiting and gaslighting. That is, until season 2 of Good Omens came along. If you haven’t watched it yet, beware of spoilers!
Good Omens (2019 –) is based on Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett’s novel of the same name. We follow the story of the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), who are supposed to follow the orders of a very bureaucratic version of heaven and hell. But soon enough, they figure out they can bend the rules slightly and start working together. In season 1, the two try to prevent the apocalypse from happening. In season 2, the archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm) is at the center of a peculiar and mysterious situation involving memory loss and heaven’s bureaucratic leaders. Both heaven and hell want to get their hands on Gabriel, but as Aziraphale and Crowley are now “on their own side,” they decide to protect Gabriel and find out what has happened to him. At the same time, they must defend the fragile home they’ve made for themselves. To do so, they try to hide a miracle they created to keep Gabriel safe and claim that it was supposed to bring Maggie (Maggie Service) and Nina (Nina Sosanya), shop owners from across the street, together as a couple.
While season 1 features multiple protagonists and their storylines, season 2 mainly focuses on the relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley as they explore their feelings for each other. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of miscommunication and time pressure as Aziraphale has been promoted and needs to go back to heaven for the job. Yet, Crowley, who’s supposed to come along, wants nothing to do with heaven or hell anymore.
What I love most about Good Omens is how seriously it treats its fans and the story it’s telling. The representation of good and evil is convincing, as is the casual queerness. Good Omens features several characters from the LGBTQIA+ community, but they don’t make a big deal out of it. They’re just living their lives like everyone else. In many scenes, Aziraphale and Crowley behave like the old married couple they are, for instance when they dance together or kiss each other. See.
When I watched BBC’s Sherlock back in the 2010s, many fans were certain that John Watson (Martin Freeman) and Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) would become a couple in the end. The creators had hinted at it on several occasions, for instance in the way the characters acted around each other – with longing stares and continuous conversations about how everybody thought they were a couple. But when the final season had aired, nothing of the sort happened, and the fans were mocked for imagining it.
Now, Good Omens did the exact opposite. It’s a mainstream show, not solely centered around queer relationships. And unlike in Sherlock, where the main response to fanfiction was marking the creators as insane and weird, in Good Omens the fans are celebrated – also by the series’ main actors: Michael Sheen is delighted by the fanfiction out there, and David Tennant has commented on Amazon that he was happy to see people cosplaying at a convention.
The season’s finale is heartbreaking, to say the least. But I trust the showrunners to fix it in season 3. (I spoiled enough already, you’ll have to see the show for yourselves).
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