Death. It comes for us all. It is. Inevitable. Whether you’re an Arizona trash bag, a fashionista multimillionaire or even a moral ethics professor, you’ll eventually meet your demise one way or another.
The real question posed though, is what happens after you go bye bye on planet Earth? Were any of the religions right? Is there a supposed Heaven or Hell? Maybe reincarnation? Or maybe, just maybe, there’s Michael Schur’s The Good Place.
The Good Place (currently streaming on Netflix) hooked me with it’s rather original concept. All humans receive points for every action done in their life. And once you go *blip*, you get sent to The Good Place, or The Bad Place. But what if you get sent to the wrong place? What if the so-called perfect system makes a mistake? Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristin Bell), our lovely Arizona trash bag knows exactly the answer. Through her comical adventure in the afterlife, The Good Place explores ideas of ethics, morality and death all while managing to still be relatable. Even if I haven’t died yet…
The premise is simple: Eleanor, our resident evil-doer, has been sent to the wrong place, the good one. After her untimely passing, she is greeted by the lovely Michael (Ted Danson), the architect who runs the neighbourhood she is spending her afterlife in. Everyone surrounding her is the perfect example of a good human being, particularly her soulmate Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), a moral ethics professor who spent his entire life learning and researching about the morally right, and morally wrong. And due to exactly those morals, Eleanor pleads to Chidi to help her become a better person, so she can truly earn her rightful place in The Good Place.
Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t exactly your average feel good comedy. Nor is it a sweet coming of age story where Eleanor learns to be super sweet and good. This show is odd, but in a very good way. It spans across four seasons and goes through some weird and rather wacky situations, which I have to say are quite hard to relate to. But, the cast do an absolutely fantastic job of carrying the rather complex and confusing narrative across. Eleanor, Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) and Chidi Anagonye alongside Michael and Janet (D’arcy Carden) make up an excellent rag-tag crew with great chemistry, and the comedy comes naturally. The Good Place really emphasises the human aspects of the characters, bringing out rich character growth, meaningful relationships which had me reflecting on my own life at times.
Without spoiling too much, I was surprised how much the story transpired past it’s initial premise. With plot turns left and right, each time the story felt like it was slowing, a new element sideswipes the cast into a completely different direction. After binge watching all four seasons, I could still never tell how the plot would change.
If you’re looking for a good binge with an even greater story, The Good Place is just an afterlife away.