“You must remember that your story matters. What you write has the power to save a life, sometimes that life is your own.”
― Stalina Goodwin, Make It Write!: Put Your Pain To Work Writing Journal
This is my first time writing a blog.
Well, second time.
I wrote most of another blog post and it was so boring I couldn’t stand it. So I deleted it!
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you. Here we go!
Good Omens (the first of likely several posts)
I should preface any discussion about a tv series with the note that I really don’t watch much television. I stumbled upon Good Omens last year and was exceedingly surprised to find myself watching 2-3 hours of tv in one sitting. This is not normal behavior for me!!
I’ve lost track of how many times I have seen the miniseries now. It remains near the top of my queue on Prime and I even recently purchased it on disc just in case it ever goes away.
Yes, I think it’s that good.
SPOILERS AHEAD. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW, PLEASE STOP HERE, GO WATCH, AND THEN COME BACK LOL
So for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, let me get you up to speed (but it really must be seen to be fully appreciated). Good Omens is the story of the End of the World. The Apocalypse. It is the account of the events leading up to the Second Great War Between Heaven and Hell. It is also a love story.
Good Omens tells the tale of Aziraphale, Principality of the Eastern Gate of Eden, and Crowley, the Demon from Eden who appeared as a snake to tempt Eve and Adam into eating the apple. The two meet on the wall of Eden, watching as the now-exiled humans venture out into the creation beyond, and a tenuous acquaintanceship is formed between the two Earth-bound entities. The story then jumps ahead 6000 or so years, to the night the Anti-christ is born, triggering the “end times”. Aziraphale and Crowley, after being on Earth for millennia, have developed a deep affection for the planet that has become their home. They love Earth, the people, the cars, the food, the music…and they are quite fond of each other also (but that’s a secret kept from their respective head offices). They decide that in order to avert the destruction of Earth in the coming war, they will quietly insert themselves into the Anti-christ child’s world and help raise him. There’s just one problem. They have the wrong kid. The two then begin an urgent quest to find the right kid. They have five days.
So this show is based on a novel of the same name, co-written by Nail Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett. The screenplay is written by Neil Gaiman. Let me just say, as a writer, I wish I had that much wit lol. I am currently reading the novel, so I’m sure I will make reference to the book at some point. (I am also beta reading a new book series by Lanie Goodell and have currently been left dangling by a finger on a cliff waiting for the next installment. Check out her website at www.meligoodell.com. I will do a post about being a beta reader one day too, I’m sure)…..My blog is creating itself before our very eyes and that is exciting to see! But… I digress (really quite frequently actually lol).
There is much to say about the show’s portrayal of Heaven, Hell, the angels and the demons. I’m going to discuss that some other time. I want to talk about the love stories in Good Omens. There are many love stories, and to discuss some would give away the ending, so I am only going to talk about two of them: Aziraphale and Crowley’s love for Earth and Humanity, and Aziraphale and Crowley’s love for each other.
This angel and demon have been on earth for 6,000 years. During that time, both have been observed to have “gone native”, that is, acting increasingly human and not keeping with their…more otherworldly natures, much to the confusion and chagrin of their head offices.
Aziraphale tries his best to be a good angel, but always appears to be lacking when compared to the other angels. He is absolutely smitten with all things creative, beautiful, and delicious. As a human, A. Z. Fell owns a vintage bookshop. He is proud and snobby, but also warm and caring. He is accused on several occasions by the angels of being “soft” and reprimanded for performing frivolous miracles. Aziraphale believes in the innate good in people (and Crowley), and the loving spirits that all humans possess. The angels scoff at him when he suggests there needn’t be a war.
Crowley, on the other hand, is one of the most popular, successful demons in Hell. He is frequently given commendations for his evil deeds, though some of the demons question just how evil he actually is. His evil deeds seem to tend more towards pranks and jokes on humanity. He is responsible for cell signals going down, traffic jams, etc. He adores the world and the craftiness of humanity. He is frequently amazed at the evil they perform all on their own (especially the French Revolution). The demons are perplexed at the suggestion that there doesn’t need to be a war.
It is this love for humanity that drives the story. This love is what leads these two outcasts to devise a plan to stop the Anti-christ, averting the end of the world. They have been on earth throughout history, for better or worse. They have seen people at their lowest points, and have witnessed them rise to greatness. They have questioned the actions of the people and the ineffability of the “ineffable plan”. Theirs is a deep, complicated, and passionate love for the world in all of its glory and shortcomings.
I adore my dear best friend, Lanie Goodell. She and I provide balance to each other, provide unwavering support in a world of criticism, and we get a real kick out of watching people question our (and subsequently their own) sexual orientations due to our close affection. There is banter and fun; we have lively disagreements but maintain the ability (now lol) to listen and hear each other. We spent years living as bitter frenemies and rivals because it seemed that’s what was expected of us. I think this is because we are such a powerhouse of energy…people really oftentimes don’t know what to do with us. We discuss at length religion, politics, comic books, makeup tutorials, raising children, and how to make the best cup of coffee. She stood by me when not many other people would. She is my encourager, my confidant, my creative muse (when you read my upcoming novel, Port In The Storm, there is a character based strongly on her), and my translator of pop culture. We drink together, play together, read and write together, pray together (another topic for another day); we pile up like puppies in bed or on the couch and it seems there is an almost constant physical connection when we are together that maybe is our unconscious attempt to make up for the time we are apart. We live almost 1500 miles apart but we manage to maintain this amazing connection to each other. I think she was even the one who suggested I watch Good Omens. I could sing this dear lady’s praises all day.
I tell you all about this dear friendship, because it mirrors quite closely the friendship between Aziraphale and Crowley. These two, from their first meeting were never intended to be friends. An angel and a demon as friends? Is this some kind of joke? (The show is awfully funny sometimes) But despite the expectation of the Universe for these two to be mortal enemies, something unexpected happens. Small miracles here and there, shelter from the rain, a narrow escape from the Bastille, time and time again, over food, drinks, plays, and ducks, these two begin to become friends. Each has a unique understanding of the other because they have been on Earth together throughout history.
There is a scene near the end of the series, when Crowley and Aziraphale have been separated and Crowley has reason to believe Angel, as he refers to him, has died. It’s a tragic and emotional scene and I find I am unable to watch without tears because I get it. The thought of losing the person who knows you best and who has been around forever is devastating.
When the two are reunited, Crowley attempts to explain to Aziraphale that he lost his best friend in a touching scene, but Aziraphale seems to not understand. And isn’t that how that goes? It’s a good reminder that we should take time to tell others what they mean to us?
If you ask Lanie, she would probably tell you that, though I have improved somewhat, I can be a bit emotionally constipated sometimes. She’d be right. I do better articulating myself in writing. I guess that’s the introvert in me.