The Good Place
Greetings, ‘The Good Place’ is an American comedy series that ran for four seasons from 2016 to 2020. There were 53 episodes made in total. It was created by Michael Schur, one of the creative forces behind the smash TV hits of the American version of ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’. He was also a co-creator of another rating success, the police based comedy ‘Brooklyn-99’. ‘The Good Place’ stars Kirsten Bell of ‘Veronica Mars’ and Ted Danson who is famed for his performance in the globally renowned ‘Cheers’. William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Many Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden are also among the main cast. The music was composed by David Schwartz who had previously worked on providing the score for ‘Reaper’ and ‘Arrested Development’.
The story begins when Eleanor Shellstrop opens her eyes to find herself sitting in a chair in an empty waiting room. She has no memory of how she got there or where she even is but she is quickly brought up to speed when a person, who identifies himself as Michael, welcomes her into his nearby office. Once inside, Michael breaks the news to Eleanor that she was killed when a line of shopping carts rolled down a hill and pushed her into oncoming traffic. He advises Eleanor that she has been brought to the Good Place after her death since she had worked tirelessly as a lawyer defending convicts on death row during her life. Michael explains that admittance into the Good Place, a heavenly utopia of which he is the architect, is based on morality points that are collected during a person’s life and these are determined by every choice they made on earth whether they be morally good or bad. Eleanor is told that her actions on earth earned her a particularly high score and she is informed that those who earn negative points are damned to spend an infinity being tormented in the Bad Place.
After the welcoming, Eleanor is introduced to her soul mate, a Senegalese ethics professor called Chidi, who she will share a house with for all eternity. Michael leaves the two alone and once he is gone a panicked Eleanor reveals the truth to Chidi that everything Michael believes about her is completely wrong. In her life, Eleanor was an amoral and uncaring individual who sold a dietary supplement to the sick and elderly while she knew the product didn’t work. Chidi, an indecisive man, is immediately unsettled by the news and is eventually persuaded to keep her secret despite the ethical complications that it raised. The two try to keep calm and interact with other residents of the Good Place, including socialite Tahani Al-Jamil and Buddhist monk Jianyu Li who has taken a vow of silence, but things start to go badly wrong with the Good Place as it suffers glitches such as unusual weather patterns. Michael, the architect, is perplexed by this but the deeply uncomfortable Chidi and Eleanor realise that it is her presence that is causing the havoc around them.
I thought the premise for this show was really quite unique and I like how it brought up ethical and philosophical theories in an entertaining way which, if done wrong, could have easily bored the viewer. There is a twist ending at the conclusion of the first series that is very impactful and it is an easy detail to miss due to how cleverly the story is crafted. The characters, which form a considerably large cast, are very likeable and they do learn to grow as people as the series progresses. As ‘The Good Place’ has a fairly low number of episodes, I believe that it doesn’t overstay its welcome and that it covers enough ground to satisfy audiences by having shown all that needs to be shown by the end of it. I would recommend this programme to anyone looking for something light-hearted and a bit different from other shows.
Quote of the Day
It's disgusting the way they splash this stuff all over the newspapers! What is journalism coming to? You're laying on top of the queen with her legs wrapped around you. And they call that news. They can't kick you off the force, Frank! It's just not fair
Captain Ed Hocken
The Naked Gun