Editor’s Note: This article includes a few spoilers of the NBC comedy, The Good Place.
In just a few days, The Good Place returns to the screen with its third season. In lieu of this, I thought I would give a little insight as to what the show is and why you should watch it!
The Good Place is this highly selective heaven type of utopia created by Michael (Ted Danson), for people who have been good and open-minded during their time alive. The Good Place consists of friendly faces with a Good Janet (D’Arcy Carden), frozen yoghurt and nice houses. Since there is a good place, there is also the Bad Place and a Bad Janet. The Bad Place is intended for people who were the exact opposite of those in the good place. In fact, a person could be sent to the Bad Place for the smallest reason, like saying “I need a vacation — from my vacation!” or for liking Hawaiian pizza. Personally, the latter is definitely hell-worthy and you should be in the Bad Place for liking it.
The shows follows the afterlife of Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), who ends up in the Good Place. Shortly after she is introduced to her new home and her soulmate, Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) who was an ethics professor, she realizes that she has been put in the Good Place by mistake, and she’s not who Michael thinks she is. At first, Eleanor believes that as long as she keeps pretending, no one will know. She meets her neighbors, Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), who used to hold many charities and help those in need, and Jianyu (Manny Jacinto), a Buddhist monk who took a vow of silence.
When strange things begin happening and threaten to ruin the Good Place, Eleanor realizes that maybe she won’t be able to keep her secret much longer. She then consults her soulmate, Chidi, to teach her about ethics in order for her to become a better person and actually belong in the Good Place. Throughout the season, each character, with the exception of Michael and Janet, try to help Eleanor become a good person and in turn, they learn some interesting things about themselves and each other.
The main theme of the first season centres around the realization of how being a good person versus a bad person can affect you and that the people you surround yourself have a big role in that. The NBC series brings hilarious dialogue and storyline, and yet, even with its lighthearted tone, it gives one hell of a season finale.
The second season follows the aftermath of the shocking ending of the season one finale: what they thought was the Good Place was actually The Bad Place. Everyone, including Michael and except Janet, come from the actual Bad Place and that the four humans were actually part of an experiment to torture themselves. Since Eleanor discovered Michael’s experiment, this followed a lot of reboots and eventually a negotiation. Throughout the sophomore season the four humans and Michael team up in order to make everyone else believe that they are actually being tortured and while that happens, the humans teach Michael about ethics. The season concludes with Michael and Janet making sure that the four humans are doing good things on earth in order to return to the actual Good Place.
It is a rarity to see a show that deals with issues such a morality to centres around comedy. The writers have put an impressive amount of thought and work into each episode of the series. Despite being a comedy, it still has its fair share of more emotional moments, like when Michael realizes he cannot kill Good Janet because she is his friend despite him having lied to her, or when Tahani realizes her self-worth. Even the fact that Michael is willing to fight for them and give them a second chance at life and at becoming a better person. The way the writers make everything connect and tie together is amazingly clever and the fact that it’s a comedy makes it even more special.
Also, I promise that after just watching the first season, you will not be able to say any curse words properly.
The first two seasons of The Good Place are now available for streaming on Netflix and the third season returns this Thursday with a one-hour episode at 8/7c only on NBC.
Featured image courtesy of NBC/Universal.