After four seasons, The Good Place is now over. Everything is fine.
When the show premiered back in September of 2016, I had no idea what to expect. The only reason I wanted to give it a chance was because I had a lot of their free frozen yogurt at The Good Place booth at Comic Con that year, although the booth itself gave away absolutely no information about what the show would be about. All I knew was that they gave me free frozen yogurt, and that Kristen Bell was attached to the project. I was sold.
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I was hooked when that first episode aired. I was immediately intrigued by the premise, but personally wondered how on earth they could continue a show like this. The show began with Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) dying and waking up in the Good Place. Except by the time the first episode was over, we knew that she didn’t belong there. In my mind, there was no way the show could have any kind of longevity beyond a first season. Maybe they could go until the second season, but surely once they figure out that she doesn’t belong there, and then ultimately decide to let her stay, the show would be over? What I didn’t realize was that the show was helmed by the brilliant Michael Schur, who had a hand in creating Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine Nine, and who was a writer for The Office. And, boy, was I in for it.
The Journey Through The Good Place
That first season finale? Brilliant. Chef’s kiss. It was everything I wasn’t expecting and didn’t know I wanted. It was the most scintillating plot twist I’d seen on TV in the longest time. From that moment on, it was a wild ride towards an end I couldn’t quite fathom. Every time I thought I knew what would happen, the show would pull the rug out from beneath me in the best way possible. It was such an excellent exploration of philosophy, what it means to be good, and what it means to be human.
The companion Good Place Podcast also made the show that much better. It was hosted by Mark Evan Jackson (who plays Shawn), and the guests would include various cast and crew from the show to really give fans a glimpse behind the curtain. The people working on the show clearly seemed to be fans of the show themselves, and it comes through in the quality of the show. Not only that, the guests of the podcast portrayed a picture of a set that was so supportive and encouraging of each other in a way that isn’t always common in Hollywood. And for a show about morality and ethics, it seems fitting that the work environment itself was a haven for all who worked there.
I am so thankful to this show and the people who worked on it. For making something so brilliant packaged up as something silly and fun. (As they constantly said on the podcast, it was the smartest dumb show to exist). It was thought-provoking, and made me feel every emotion under the sun and the series finale episode was the perfect goodbye to the characters, the story, and the fans.
Goodbye, The Good Place. We will miss you. We will miss the jokes, and the stories. But most of all, we will miss Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, Michael, and Janet. But as you’ve taught us, all good things also must come to an end. So, goodbye, and to quote Mark Evan Jackson at the end of every podcast episode: go do something good.