(**Spoiler-free because you really need to watch it for yourself**)
While I await the return of the second season of The Good Place, which is now on a mid-season break for the holidays, I shall write a review for the first season! Even though, let’s be real, either you already watched it and loved it or should watch it and love it.
Michael Schur proves himself once again after Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine with this gem. The plot seems quite straight-forward. Eleanor Shellstrop finds herself somewhere new and strange only to be told she has passed on to paradise, essentially heaven, called The Good Place. However, she realizes that she’s been sent here by mistake because in reality, she’s a terrible, terrible person, but revealing that will lead to an eternity in The Bad Place (cue tortured screaming and bees with teeth). With the help of her “soulmate” Chidi, she tries to blend in and belong in The Good Place by becoming a better person.
I personally am not a fan of anything that takes itself way too seriously–and thank goodness The Good Place does not, at all, despite covering some heavy topics (life and death, right and wrong). At the same time, it doesn’t fall so far off the deep end that it’s outright ridiculous–it’s kooky enough to keep you intrigued but thought-provoking enough to keep you grounded. After all, you get to learn about ethics and philosophy! This is where the show excels. You are invested in the characters and plot, but the show’s primary purpose is to entertain and make you laugh. In that way, it is indeed quite The Good Place. It also has very fun twists like a rollercoaster, so don’t settle in for a comfortable ride–there are many bumps and turns up ahead.
The world is set up quite well, perfecting a pleasant and quirky vibe that is truly unique to the show, but what is hands-down the best part of the series is the characters. I feel that a well-developed team of characters is what always distinguishes one comedy from another. Much like in Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the cast of The Good Place wonderfully captures the unique essence of each individual’s role. Eleanor is fun and snarky. Despite being a truly terrible person, she is still endearing and likable. Chidi plays the perfect foil as the bookish ethics professor. It is a bit hard to pick a favorite because I love every single one of ‘em, but I have to choose Tahani, played by the brilliant Jameela Jamil, followed closely by Janet, the knowledgeable not-a-girl not-a-robot. The chemistry all the actors have with one another is amazing; it is a refreshingly diverse cast, as well.
As a 13-episode season, The Good Place chugs along at a very good pace, keeping you riveted each episode, which usually ends with a great cliffhanger. There are memorable jokes, my favorite being the replacement of curse words with hilariously censored versions that I, and probably other fans, have adopted into my own life.
Lastly, this show has a rewatchability level of 10 out of 10. You can just binge-watch it over and over again to your satisfaction or even leave it on in the background while you do other things. This is very important for me, and The Good Place exceeds my expectations in this category.
I can’t say much more without spoiling the show, but feel free to let me know how much you enjoyed the show down below (Please refrain from or give warnings for spoilers)!
Aren’t you dying for the second season to come back? Hey, we can suffer together. But I would also love to hear the thoughts of people who were less than impressed by the show! You can check out other reviews here.