Welcome to The Good Place Review –– Everything is Great
What happens when we die? It’s a question everyone has asked, since the beginning of time.
The Good Place is a town where those who have been good throughout their lives go once they have passed away. And when Eleanor Shellstrop dies tragically, she finds out that the afterlife is amazing; full of frozen yogurt, soulmates, and wonderful people who have done incredible things with their lives. It is absolutely perfect.
The only problem is Eleanor isn’t supposed to be in The Good Place. In fact, her life decisions wouldn’t have even gotten her close. But due to a clerical error, she’s been given someone else’s reward and now has to struggle with being good in order to make sure her secret isn’t discovered.
A Sneak Peek Into “The Good Place”
Eleanor Shellstrop is dead. Yes, like, dead dead.
The minute she opened her eyes, the first thing she saw were the words : Welcome! Everything is fine. Looking around the room, there seemed to be no one in there but herself, surrounded by calming waterfall music and air that smelt like freshly cut grasses. Until suddenly, the door to her left opened and out popped a man who seemed to be in his 60s with white slicked back hair and a bright smile pasted on his face.
Without hesitance, Eleanor followed the man into his office, only to be told that, understandably, she had passed away. She was not surprised about this fact, but was mildly pleased when she was told that due to all the good deeds that she had done on Earth while she was alive, Eleanor had earned herself a spot in the Good Place.
The man introduced himself as Michael, an immortal architect who built a specifically designed afterlife community that strives to accommodate everyone’s specific tastes. As Michael gradually eased Eleanor into her afterlife in the Good Place, he also took the time to introduce Eleanor to Janet––an artificial intelligence that serves as a guide for the Good Place residents. Intrigued and thrilled all at once about the fact that there actually is a place to go to after their deaths, Eleanor was a bubble of excitement as she listened to Michael explaining the neighborhood to her.
That is, until she saw her new home.
Despite being quite vexed with her “forever” home in the afterlife that is for some reason filled with clowns, Eleanor didn’t voice any of her complaints to Michael. It was in this house that she was first introduced to her soulmate, a university ethics professor named Chidi Anagonye. After their initial introduction, Michael left, wanting them to have some space to themselves to get to know each other and bond as soulmates.
It was here that Eleanor’s true color started to show. Throughout the conversation, Eleanor was so focused on talking about herself that she couldn’t even pay enough attention to what Chidi was saying to remember what college he went to and where he was born in. They even started to bicker and argue due to this, until Eleanor anxiously blurted out that she believed that she must have been sent to the Good Place by accident.
When asked why, she mentioned about how Michael pulled up a video showing her memories of the times she worked as a lawyer who fought against the death penalty and did human rights mission in Ukraine, and those were not Eleanor’s memories. She had no recollection of doing such thing because all her life, she had led a dissolute and amoral life. Throughout her time on Earth, Eleanor had no problem lying to others and continuously breaking promises. She rarely ever took responsibilities for her actions, and she even supported a coffee show that was managed by a pedophile.
After admitting all of this to Chidi, Eleanor begged him to take her as his student and teach her to be good so she could remain in the Good Place. Chidi being the good person that he was, and bearing the responsibility of being Eleanor’s soulmate agreed to help Eleanor to become a better person to earn her place in the Good Place for real. However, despite their determination to help Eleanor change into a better person, everything is not as simple as it seems.
3 Words to Sum Up This Tv Show
ADDICTING, WITTY, HEARTWARMING
Guess what your girl has been doing for the past week?
Ding ding ding! You guessed it! I have been binge watching The Good Place. This show is seriously mother forking addicting, man. Let’s be honest here, if you have followed this blog for some time then you know that I’m not really a tv show kinda person. Sure, I do watch them every now and then, but it is extremely rare for a show––especially a show with multiple seasons––to hook me in from start to end.
Usually what happens is, I will watch the first season––like I did with the Game of Thrones, guilty––and then got bored of it and move on. But with The Good Place, I just can’t seem to pull my eyes away from my computer screen. I was quite literally watching one season per day, granted each episode might only be 20 minutes and there are only 12 episodes per season, but my mind was still blown with how quickly I gobbled this tv show down.
SEASON 1 – SEASON 4
First, let’s get this out of the way, season 1 had us all fooled. I mean, I was so convinced that I had it all down to the T but boy oh boy I didn’t see that twist coming.
I don’t really watch a lot of tv shows as you already know, but for me personally, I truly believe that The Good Place started out pretty solid. The viewers are introduced to these bunch of characters that at face value are doomed to be a dysfunctional group that’s bound to implode on itself, but for some reason, despite all their quirks and differences, they managed to make it work. Not only that, there are growth in these characters as well. They started as a bunch of diamonds in the rough, but by the end of season 1, they have all bonded and became closer than they were before.
Now, season 2 and season 3 were not impressive. There are a few times where it seemed like the writers are at their wits end and it kind of showed in the episodes. But then again, they managed to spin some more threads of “ethical logic” to keep the plot going. Overall, season 2 and 3 were okay, but there are some points where it just kinda seemed like it was dragging its feet just to get to the end.
Season 4 however, now this is where it gets all the waterworks going. It is no denying that Michael Schur knows how to write a great show, as we can see with Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine Nine. The Good Place is no different, it ended right where it should have, leaving the viewers with a bitter sweet memories of their beloved characters.
As a reader, this is one of the things that I look forward to the most. And it is no different with tv shows. Every single character in The Good Place changed for the better. From rude and selfish Eleanor, eternally indecisive Chidi, vain and boastful Tahani, not-so-bright Jason to even the demons in the Bad Place, they all showed immense growth and development at the end compared to where they first started.
After following their journey for the whole 4 seasons, I actually felt like I was growing and learning alongside them as well.
LIFE LESSONS OR EXISTENTIAL CRISIS
It’s interesting to see how much one can learn from tv shows, especially one that was labeled under a comedy category.
Despite The Good Place’s light and comedic delivery, I think there is actually quite a lot that we can learn from this. Personally, I don’t really believe in the concept of heaven and hell. It’s not like I’m 100% disbelieving because again, who really knows what happens in afterlife? If there is any to begin with. And through The Good Place, from what started off as a simple: if you do good things while you’re alive you go to the Good Place and vice versa, in the end, the theory turned into something more complicated than that as the story goes on.
How powerful should one be, to determine how many points each actions generate? Not to mention, what if (spoiler alert) the whole system was rigged in the first place and no matter what good we do, we will never get into the Good Place? Additionally, if Good Place and Bad Place really does exists, does that mean what we do on earth determine how we spend our eternity in the afterlife?
Okay. Now I get why Chidi get stomachaches all the time. After all that gibberish, I feel like I’m going to have a stomachache too.
Now, we’ve come to the big question, should you watch the The Good Place?
Honest answer? Yes.
Sure, you might start having existential crisis along the way, but hey, what’s life without a little spicy jest of anxiety and depression?
Kidding, kidding. Jokes aside though, The Good Place truly is a wonderful show and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s pretty PG as far as languages and the steamy scenes go, so you don’t need to worry on that front. The characters are all very lovable, I mean dude, even the all-knowing-not-a-girl Janet is so charming with her endlessly positive attitude, and she’s supposed to be a robot!
Trust me on this one, if you haven’t watched this show yet, grab yourself a blanket and/or a teddy bear, sit cho ass down and give the pilot episode a try. I have a feeling that you won’t regret it. Plus, maybe just like all the viewers of The Good Place, you might find yourself another––as Jason Mendoza would say––lit shows to add to your list of favorites.
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