The Good Place – Review

Genre Comedy
Created by Michael Schur
Starring Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto, Ted Danson
Released on September 19, 2016 – present
Duration 22 minutes
No. of Seasons 3
No. of Episodes 39
Flixxpanda Rating 7/10
Channel Netflix

According to the show’s narrative after people die, they either go to the ‘good place’ or the ‘bad place’. It’s all based on a very accurate and specific point system. Good deeds (like eating a sandwich or abolishing slavery) give you plus points while bad deeds (like telling a woman to smile or blowing your nose through one nostril while closing the other) give you negative points. After one dies their total points are counted and they are sorted. The Good Place is Netflix’s first “heavenly” comedy – as in its based on the afterlife. Co-creator of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Michael Schur brings his talent in creating these quirky slightly eccentric characters who seem to exist in small worlds (like slightly reckless police stations).

In the opening scene we see Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) waking up in the so-called Good Place. She then meets Michael (Ted Danson). She died in a series of embarrassingly unfortunate events, as Michael tells her. While Eleanor seems sweet and her wide-eyed curiosity charms us, it seems a bit overdone.

Michael turns out to be the architect of this one particular neighborhood in the Good Place that the show takes place in. He leads her to her house (an adorable brightly colored cottage), then proceeds to give her a sort-of-tour around. There’s a whole lot of nice things in the Good Place. For instance, you’re not alone there. Your one true soulmate is there too! No matter what language anyone speaks in the place translates it to something the person you’re conversing with understands. You can ask for anything you want – and I mean anything – and you’ll get it. Also, there’s Janet (D’Arcy Carden) – a walking database of information. She can tell you about everything (much like Google) plus, nobody else can access your search history. But she can’t tell you about the Bad Place – except for playing a short audio clip of what’s going on down there. It’s mostly a lot of screaming from tortured souls.

When Eleanor meets her soulmate, she asks him to promise that he’ll never betray her and always stand by her side. Promptly, after this she drops the bombshell. She’s not meant to be here. There’s been some mix-up because she’s actually a terrible person. She never did any of the good things that Michael praised her about on her arrival. Things start to go wrong soon after. A trash storm, giant ladybugs trotting through the streets – it’s chaos. You see, the Good Place is perfectly designed (down to the angle of a grass blade), a single wrench in the gears will make things fall apart. That wrench is probably Eleanor.

From then on, it becomes quite obvious. She’s snarky and a total shrew. She’s rude, doesn’t care about anyone’s happiness besides her own. Oh, and she’ll do anything to continue staying at the Good Place, even though she knows she doesn’t belong. She tries to enlist the help of her supposed soulmate Chidi ((William Jackson Harper). He’s reluctant at first and then agrees. Soon after, we see Eleanor receive a note slid under her door that says “You don’t belong here”.

The show is quirky and adorable. The characters are well-written, each having their own personality traits. The all fit together. It reminded me quite a bit of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, later when I find out the creators were the same it made perfect sense. It’s got the unoffensive jokes and slightly bizarre personas. A feel-good show at its core, it’s an easy watch. Even if you don’t like the story-line, you’ll fall in love with the bright colors, characters and general happy vibe of the Good Place. If you’re looking for something that won’t require much of an emotional investment give it a shot!

Video Credit – YouTube

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