It’s not out of some sense of smugness that we don’t watch very much contemporary television. It’s that there’s so little time and we’re already devoting an hour of our day to watching something old with our son, so we just don’t see a lot of it. Maybe three nights a week Marie and I will look at something else after we put the kid to bed, but those are often older shows as well, although we’re looking at season two of the CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries now, and we’ll start season three of Stranger Things soon.
I mention this because when we do watch modern television, I’m often surprised by how incredibly long the endings are compared to an end-on-a-dime ITC adventure series, or pretty much anything else we watch. Stranger Things is a good comparison point again. I think that last hour of the second season finished its climax after about thirty minutes and devoted the rest of the running time to spending a little time with every single character without some killer beast from the Upside Down barking at them. The final part of Good Omens is like that as well. It luxuriates with its full sixty minute running time, despite the resolution coming at the halfway point. So the wrapup and farewell scenes go on a lot more than I was expecting. It was all very entertaining, whimsical, and occasionally sweet, just not what I’m used to yet.
So everything does end well – I mean, the world doesn’t really end, and that’s a good thing – and I was very pleased that all the metaphorical flaming swords from act one find a use in act three. Even some of the Easter eggs have payoffs. One of Adam’s friends quotes Tori Amos’s song “The Waitress” and then Amos herself turns up to sing the old standard “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” at the end. It’s a splendid program, the kid enjoyed it a whole lot, and episode five is majestically silly and brilliant. Us grown-ups were so pleased with it that, since Gaiman undertook this labor of love in memory of his old friend and co-writer Terry Pratchett, the least we can do is show our appreciation by picking up a copy of the original novel. Reckon Star Line Books has a copy.
What I really, really want, though, is a nice tie-in edition of Agnes’s book of prophecies, in a green hardback mocked up to look like the prop in the show, colored pencil drawings on the title page and everything. That and a Blu-ray set. Those’d look nice under the Christmas tree, wouldn’t they?