The Good Place

From the showrunner of The Office (US) and Parks and Recreation comes an existential comedy about the afterlife.

The Good Place follows Eleanor Shellstrop, played by Kristen Bell, as she finds herself in a waiting room facing a large green sign saying ‘Welcome! Everything is Fine.’ It is then that she meets Michael, played by the wonderful Ted Danson, who informs her that she is dead and in the Good Place, a heaven-like space that allows people in on a karmic points-based system. Only the people who have done the most good in their lives end up in the Good Place and everyone else ends up in the hellish Bad Place. It soon becomes evident to Eleanor that she’s been placed there by accident as she was a horrible person in life. As she continues to be a horrible person in the Good Place crazy things start happening. With the help of her reluctant ‘soulmate’, Chidi, played by William Jackson Harper, she tries to become a better person so as not be found out and sent to the Bad Place. Rounding out the incredible cast is Jameela Jamil as haughty and boastful Tahani, Manny Jacinto as the deceptively quiet Buddhist monk, Jianyu, and D’arcy Carden as the hilariously helpful Janet. What ensues is both comical and heartfelt.

The show lays bare societal quirks and idiosyncrasies that we tend to overlook. Michael’s commentary on topics ranging from frozen yoghurt to existential crises leave you wheezing and thinking about the strangeness of life. With the central theme being on how living your life affects your fate in the afterlife, it’s hard not to think about the life that you have lived and the whether or not you could even reach the requirements to make it into the Good Place. It’s not often that a show can get you to rethink your life choices through humour and optimism.

The Good Place is more than can be described. It is a show that is best experienced without knowing too much about it. Whatever you do though, make sure it’s at the top of your watch-list.

Jade Verbick

(Image: Programming Insider)