Last year I highlighted several upcoming shows in a post where I judged their quality solely based on their trailers. So far, I did a pretty good job. “Son of Zorn” is delightful and “Designated Survivor” might be a little too bland, but it generally gets the job done. “Making History” has yet to premiere but it just recently set an official premiere date for the first week of March, so I’ll have to see how that goes. And then, of course, there’s “The Good Place,” the best of them all.
“The Good Place,” in case you weren’t aware, is about a woman, Eleanor Shellstrop (played by Kristen Bell), who wakes up in the afterlife (after an unfortunate incident involving a bottle of margarita mix and a stack of shopping carts) and is told that because of her many good deeds in life she has come to “the Good Place,” a heaven of sorts.
The only problem is, Eleanor never did any of these good things. In fact, she was a pretty bad person in life, more suited for “the Bad Place,” which we only hear tales of and a brief sound snippet akin to the scene in “The Christmas Carol” when all of the ghosts are outside screaming at that guy. Needless to say, Eleanor decides that she needs to become a good person to earn her spot in “the Good Place” before anyone else figures out that a mistake was made.
Along the way she meets several people who seem perfect for “the Good Place”. Her “soulmate” (each person in “the Good Place” is set up with their true soulmate) Chidi (played by William Jackson Harper), spent his life studying ethics and knows the clear right and wrong decision to fit any circumstance. Eleanor and Chidi’s neighbor, Tahani (played by Jameela Jamil) hosted various fund-raising and philanthropic events in her life. And Tahani’s “soulmate,” Jianyu (played by Manny Jacinto) is a monk who took a vow of silence in life that appeared to continue on into the afterlife.
Quickly Eleanor’s incorrect presence in “The Good Place” causes various negative effects on the neighborhood she lives in and the architect of said neighborhood, Michael (played by Ted Danson) believes it’s a sign that he’s done something wrong. Chaos naturally ensues.
The show was always great, mixing laugh-out-loud humor with a thoughtful commentary on what it means to actually be good person (with some writing, I’d like to add, by former blog interviewee Demi of “Gilmore Guys”), but it was the recent season finale that cemented its status as a new classic. I won’t give it away, but there’s a huge twist that even I didn’t see coming. It’s so clever and brilliant and makes it explicitly clear that this show needs a second season, something NBC has yet to nail down as of this post.
So that’s where you come in. If you haven’t watched any of “The Good Place” yet, watch it! Watch it OnDemand, watch it on NBC’s website, just watch it somewhere where NBC will know its being watched. This show needs to be saved, not just because its great and a second season could potentially earn it a bigger audience, but also because I need to find out what happens next. And hey, if you do help it get renewed, maybe that’ll get you some “Good Place” points! You never know!
Have you watched “The Good Place”? Got thoughts on the big season finale twist? Do you think I would end up in “The Good Place”? Be honest. Or maybe not, I don’t know. Provide your reasoning in the comments. And, before I go emotionally prepare for the Oscar Nominations Announcement tomorrow morning, I’ll leave you with this…