This review for Prime Video’s Good Omens was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors who are currently on strike, tv series like this one would not be possible, and Autostraddle is grateful for the artists who do this work. This review contains mild spoilers.
On paper, Good Omens shouldn’t have delighted me as much as it has. Two male leads? A season one central plot involving Armageddon and Revelation’s end of days? As a queer Black woman who spent the first 18 years of my life (Baptist Pre-k through 8th grade and an all-girls Catholic high school; a tale for another day) surrounded by biblical stories in one way or another, I don’t typically seek out religion in my media. Well, I am here to tell you that not only did I fall in love with Good Omens’ male leads, Aziraphale and Crowley, but season two also delivers a sweet and tropey lesbian story that acts as a throughline and connection for the season’s many subplots.
At its core, Good Omens (based on the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett book of the same name) is a love story between an angel and a demon. Throughout the first two seasons of the show, we get to watch the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) go from simply co-workers to something that’s definitely more than just friends. But while season one relied on subtextual queerness with its male leads, season two introduces us to two canonically queer ladies from the jump. Nina (played by Nina Sosanya) runs a quaint coffee shop called “Give Me Coffee or Give Me Death”, and Maggie (Maggie Service) owns a record shop across the street and is nursing the most painful crush on Nina. When we meet both women, neither is having a particularly good time. Maggie is struggling to pay rent on her shop thanks to the pandemic and you know, streaming music services; while Nina is rushing to close up and get home lest she anger her incredibly controlling partner Lindsay.
The season centers mainly around Gabriel (yes, that Gabriel) showing up at Aziraphale’s bookshop with no memory of who he is. In an effort to hide him from the angels clearly looking for him, Aziraphale and Crowley perform a miracle that makes people unable to see Gabriel’s true self. I had so much fun noticing the ways the writers acknowledge and incorporate fandom and shipping into their show. I didn’t watch season one as it aired, but I did catch up before season two dropped, and I have to imagine that these shippers made themselves known because so much of this feels like a love letter to the fans. Not only does this season include some of my most favorite tropes, but they also turn Crowley and Aziraphale into shippers themselves! Once Heaven realizes a miracle was performed, Crowley and Aziraphale cover it up and say that the miracle was to get Nina and Maggie to fall in love. So naturally, to send their bosses off their trail, they decide to actually follow through on their matchmaking. And hilarity ensues!
I mentioned tropes earlier and boy howdy did they deliver; I’m talking trapped in a store together! The soft one and the tough one! Crowley orchestrating the women getting caught in a rainstorm with only an awning to huddle under! Aziraphale putting together a Jane Austen-esque ball because everyone knows it’s impossible not to fall in love while slow dancing with your crush! It reminded me of when my friends and I watch almost anything where two women are in a scene together and yell “KISS KISS KISS!wp_postsIt’s delightful and relatable as all heck too! From Maggie’s nervous energy the first time she talks to Nina, to the disappointment she tries to hide when she finds out Nina has a partner…we’ve all been there! And poor Nina has so much going on herself, that she barely has time to notice what’s right in front of her face– a thing she has in common with Aziraphale and Crowley, which she eventually notes when the tables turn and she and Maggie put on their own matchmaking hats.
Despite Nina and Maggie having much less screen time than other characters, we still get to see them shifting and growing as people in only 6 episodes. Maggie starts out as this shy and incredibly nervous woman with a crush she doesn’t know what to do with, and when we leave her at the end of the season, she has a newfound confidence that made me weirdly proud to watch. And Nina goes from being incredibly jaded and closed off to someone who finally understands who and what she deserves; in life and relationships.
There’s admittedly a lot going on plot-wise (at times it got a bit “totems schmotemswp_postsfor me) and I wish we had more Maggie and Nina, but the series-long reminder that love and companionship come in many forms is what drew and kept me into this story. Without spoiling the ending, I’ll just say that the writers left Nina and Maggie’s story in a way that has me jonesing for more.
Good Omens is streaming now on Prime Video.