Based on the book “What in God’s Name” by Simon Rich, Miracle Workers is what you get when you take the original premise of ‘The Good Place’ but remove all the fun aspects of Heaven. With an average script, a boring hook, and a series that is solely relying on the star power of its two biggest actors.
That said, if you’re into ‘How Does Heaven Work’ types of Heaven and God stories – the series may be just enough to keep you engaged.
Steve Buscemi is God in this universe, though one who is washed up and well beyond his great years. He lets Heaven and existence mostly run itself like in a corporation – while he lavishes in laziness and entitlement, ignoring the bad in the world, but embracing the good wherever he can find it.
Mostly, this version of God is lazy but really just wants to be loved again.
Set in a super office known as Heaven Incorporated, we meet Eliza (Geraldine Viswanthan), a worker looking to upgrade her position from literal ‘dirt’ farmer. She transfers to the department of answered prayers, where she meets Harry Potter himself, Craig (Daniel Radcliffe).
Craig is an awkward recluse and the sole person working in the department of answered prayers up until now. He obsesses with helping people find things, though that is the extent of his divine intervention. A big reason for this is that seemingly grand acts of intervention often holds vast ramifications – such as natural disasters, leading to the deaths of many people.
Eliza learns of this the hard way, causing a flood that saved someone’s crops but kills many people. She runs up to the ‘Steve Buscemi’ God, to request help – and surprisingly, he actually listens to her.
Addressing Heaven INC. the next day, God’s decided to blow up the Earth instead of act – as life has gotten too complicated. Undeterred, Eliza works her best to save the planet – seeking the help of Craig, who is more than happy to have a friend now, to aid in her impossible task.
She makes a wager with God that if she can answer one of the ‘impossible’ prayers in two weeks – in this case: having two humans whom already really like each other, fall in love – then God won’t destroy earth. If she loses, God gets to watch her eat a worm… also, the Earth still gets destroyed.
I want to say that there’s more to the pilot than this but there isn’t. There are funny tidbits here and there worth watching, but the overall lack of imperative stakes makes this pilot sort of boring (Everyone here are angels, I’m sure why they’re compelled into caring about humanity anyway?) as are the reasonings both God and Craig even remain committed to the Earth in the first place.
Though I won’t entirely discount the series, as of now it’s something I’ve absolutely seen before – though performed better elsewhere. That being said, the pilot does a well enough job with setting up the series.
Final Score: 7.5/10