Looking back on his catalogue, it should come as no surprise that Steve Buscemi is the ideal choice to play God. No, really. The clues were there, we just didn’t realise it.
From creating his own personal world of hybrid animals in Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams, to creepily singing a song about God while playing a murderer in Con Air (look, the man has range), all roads pointed to here. But where is here, exactly?
Miracle Workers is one of the latest offerings on Stan, featuring Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan as the low-level angels who play foil to Buscemi’s eccentricity as they prevent the literal end of the world.
Here, the strangely endearing Buscemi is taking on one of his most powerful roles yet – that of a God who (though all powerful) has gotten bored with his creation and is ready to move onto the next venture.
It’s a venture that will see the world being completely and utterly destroyed in order to start afresh with the most consistent of unsuccessful TV career-change tropes: opening a restaurant. But you know, he’s God. So maybe it’ll work this time?
And sure, he gives off more of an ‘uncle who doesn’t brush his hair and will tell you to hang loose’ vibe than that of the all-powerful creator, but that works in his favour.
Despite acting against one of the most recognised actors in the business (or at the very least, in the Muggle world), Buscemi’s seemingly effortless portrayal holds its own, dominating the scenes where the two share a screen.
The key supporting cast of Karan Soni, Sasha Compère, Jon Bass and Lolly Adefope are all complementary to this dynamic, and add an element of charm and quirkiness to the canvas.
Soni in particular serves up the right amount of sanity to combat the battiness of Buscemi’s characterisation, playing a frustrated and overworked Executive Assistant whose many God-decreed tasks include sampling endless gumbo and blowing up Bill Maher’s penis.
From that sentence alone it’s pretty clear that Buscemi’s God isn’t the typical holy being we’ve come to expect from a religiously-themed show, but it works. He’s well and truly got the world in his hands – whether or not he chooses to blow it up in the end is yet to be determined.