NBC’s The Good Place hits its 3rd season. Season 2 ended with another cliffhanger that had fans clamoring for more. Fans and critics alike love The Good Place, rotten tomatoes giving Season 2 100% fresh rating. The diverse cast, unique sense of humor and out-of-the-box format make The Good Place one of TVs current outstanding gems. What resonates most with fans? What makes The Good Place so unique in its style? How many Cheers references can we cram into one article? Warning, pre-season 3 spoilers!
Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden star in a whacky fantasy show following Eleanor Shellstrop awaking in Heaven. Well, a heaven. “The Good Place” is her reward for being a righteous person in life. The only catch is, Eleanor was a terrible person. Believing she’d been sent there by mistake, she enlists the help of fellow Good Placers to help her learn to be a better person. And the hijinks ensue.
Kristen Bell is an amazing leading lady. She’s got charm, charisma, and command of the screen. She’s likable, even if she’s playing someone completely abhorrent. She short blonde comes off as endearing as she blurts the rudest things from her mouth. Bell has fantastic chemistry with William Harper, playing Chidi. Bell’s outgoing, extroverted Eleanor plays well to Harper’s comedic-straight-man, over-thinking, introverted Chidi. Joining the two as fellow Good Placers, Jameela Jamil’s Tahani has a bit of tragedy to her, saving felt unloved compared to her sister, which keeps her over-the-top vain narcissism from becoming overwhelming. Manny Jacinto plays loveable idiot Jason Mendoza. Everyone has that one friend who smoked way too much pot in their formative years and is now permanently stuck as a DudeBro from the 90s. That’s Jason.
Last but not least we have Ted Danson, playing Michael, architect of The Good Place. Danson’s got a subtle way about him. Perhaps the familiarity one feels with Danson is due to him being on TV for so long. Every time he’s on the screen you feel comfortable like you’re in a place where everybody knows your name. Or maybe it’s just his fantastic bow-ties. His chemistry with Bell is remarkable, the two play off each other so well, you know the set has to be a blast to film on. The bloopers are probably amazing.
Bringing in a face like Danson was perfect. He’s familiar to so many, likable, lovable even, you immediately want to trust him. So when it turns out that Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason are actually in The Bad Place, you feel their hurt as they’re betrayed.
The diversity of the rest of the cast is a breath of fresh air compared to what is normally seen on prime time television. Each character is given a fully fleshed out storyline, each actor given plenty of screen time, and you feel the camaraderie between the cast in their performances.
The scene-stealer of the show has to be D’Arcy Carden playing the artificial being Janet. Janet’s job is to assist the inhabitants of The Good Place and act as assistant to Michael. Janet is innocent and a bit literal, but as the show progresses Janet is given a story arc of her own in which her character changes and grows.
The Good Place is an odd show. It’s hard to compare it to anything else on television. With a show like this, there’s nothing to expect from it. It’s unique and making up its own rules as it goes. Which is refreshing for viewers who can guess the ending of episodes or even story arcs that follow typical TV formulas.
The Good Place tackles the afterlife with a fun, whimsical style, deftly dodging the big questions like ‘what is the meaning of life’, ‘is there a god’, or ‘will Sam Malone ever find a lasting, meaningful relationship”?
As Eleanor seeks to become a better person, the shows touching on numerous ethical theories and practices, sneaking in a lot of thought-provoking scenarios that cause viewers to use their brains while they zone out on the boob tube. It’s a devious use of entertainment, causing one to consider the different sides to a problem, what’s considered good or bad in any given situation, all while they’re laughing and enjoying a bit of TV. In short, The Good Place is forking good art. It tackles topics without most viewers ever being aware its happening. It has a deeper message that it gets across without sacrificing the funny.
Season 3 begins with the four humans back on Earth. Tune in tonight, Sept. 27, on NBC to find out exactly what shirt these humans are bound to step in next.
Why do you like The Good Place? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!