Why You Should Watch The Good Place
A good, solid, half hour comedy on television is hard to come by. The Good Place, though, fits the bill. This show was one of the new ones that came out this past fall, and, after a recent huge twist in the season one finale, it just got renewed for a second season. Eleanor (Kristin Bell) has died and has arrived, by mistake, in the Good Place. In the Good Place, everyone is matched with their soul mate for blissful ever after. Michael (Ted Danson), the Good Place’s architect welcomes Eleanor, unwitting that she’s in the wrong place. Keeping mum on the mistake, Eleanor lives the “good” Eleanor’s ever after life with “good” Eleanor’s soulmate, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), an ethical scholar. Eleanor eventually tells Chidi about the mistake so he tries to teach her how to be good so she really can stay. Hijinks ensue, naturally.
Here’s why you should watch The Good Place (don’t worry, there are NO spoilers):
It’s created by Michael Schur. If you don’t know his name, you should. He was a co-creator of one of the best tv comedies ever (in my humble opinion): Parks and Recreation. Not only did he do that show, but he was also a writer on The Office, and he co-created Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The man certainly has a funny bone.
The cast. Not only does The Good Place have some well-known actors in it (Ted Danson and Kristin Bell), but it also has a completely wonderful set of perhaps slightly more unknown actors in it. Ted Danson is charming (per usual) and great at playing the somewhat daffy architect. Kristin Bell is so good at playing “bad” Eleanor, but she is equally wonderful as she learns to be a somewhat decent Eleanor. William Jackson Harper and Jameela Jamil (as Tahani) are stellar sidekicks, playing each character to perfection. Harper’s indecisiveness and strict adherence to rules along with Jamil’s constant humble-bragging make for fun scenes. Also, there are some great guest appearances like Adam Scott (architect of the Bad Place) and Marc Evan Jackson as a judge.
The character of Janet. Can we just all agree that Janet (played gloriously by D’Arcy Carden) is, hands down, the best character on The Good Place? As Michael’s computer program assistant, her blunt honesty and inexperience is so funny. Her growth in character because of her interaction with the inhabitants—like learning what emotions are and how to express them—is super clever.
High-brow comedy with low-brow jokes (sometimes). It is not very often that a show gets the right mixture of heady concepts with occasional low-brow humor right (fart jokes don’t always get a laugh). In The Good Place, though, they’ve achieved a perfect balance.
The eternal good versus evil face-off. Like Parks and Rec, The Good Place has a big heart. Watching Elinor learn how to be a good person (essentially being more kind and selfless) is practically a life lesson in every episode.
Finally, who wouldn’t enjoy a show where the phrase “What the fork?”cleverly gets around cussing on prime-time AND stays within the premise of the show?!
Photo Credit: NBCUniversal