Review: The Good Place

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From the brilliant creator of The Office (US) and Parks and Recreation, two of the most popular, and hilarious, sitcoms to grace our TV screens, brings us the last season of his latest comedy, The Good Place. This innovative and creative show has moved on from the introduction of Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) to the good place which she soon realises was a mistake and seeks the help of philosophy expert, Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) to help her become a better person, to yet another season that keeps the twists and creative storylines coming. Michael Schur continues to surprise and reinvent traditional sitcom traditions making the newest season just as brilliant as the previous ones.

For the last season, The Good Place returns to its old routines and many of Michael’s (Ted Danson) tricks from season one are reimplemented on these new characters, but this time reversed. The show builds on these tricks to create a new experiment but instead of trying to torture the subjects in the fake afterlife, they are trying to prove humans really can improve themselves and become better. 

The previous season ended with the group of characters finding a fatal flaw in the points system which determines whether you go to the good place or the bad place after death. It was thought that the more good acts done on earth, the more points you get until you get enough to enter the good place. Makes sense, right? Turns out that no matter how many good deeds and how kind you are on earth you can’t get into the good place. They discover that over the last 500 years not one person had earned enough points to get there. Michael strikes a deal with Judge Gen (Maya Rudolph) and demon Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) to start up one last barely controlled experiment that could change the afterlife system.

The original, loveable team cockroach – Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) – have greatly improved and this last experiment is a final mission to prove that the humans of demon Shawn’s choosing are capable of changing for the better too. This introduces us to a handful of new characters who provide a whole new variety of challengers for our favourite characters.  

The latest episode of the season, featuring Kristen Bell’s directorial debut, reveals the results of the experiment. While Tahani, Jason, Janet and Eleanor wait for the results to roll in they decide to throw funerals for each other to pass the time with a frozen Chidi, and it is as warm, kind and wonderful as you would want it to be. The results of the experiment inevitably focus on Brent having gotten 1% worse, where the other three improved. The judge agrees that the point system isn’t working anymore and decides it’s time to start humanity over again. We find our soul squad fighting once again for humanity, having to convince the Judge that if humans have the right support they can truly become better and that there is no limit to our ability to grow.

“No one is beyond rehabilitation,” Michael says during the trial to redeem humanity. “What that number can’t tell you is who he could have become tomorrow.” With one final episode to come before the hiatus, and all the hope that Chidi will be able to come up with an answer, we don’t know how this is going to all go down, but as long as there is a tomorrow, all hope is not lost. 

Photo Credit: NME