There’s a lot of drama happening, both out in the world and on our television sets. And sometimes, you just want to go to your happy place. Or, in this instance, The Good Place.
The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) as she wakes up only to find that she’s died and there’s been some sort of clerical error and she’s in the good place in the place of somebody else. But she doesn’t want to go to the bad place so she persuades her appointed soul mate to teach her ethics so that she can become a better person before that inevitable moment when the truth is discovered…
Here’s why you should absolutely be watching Michael Schur’s marvellous, delightful and continuously surprising The Good Place. (NB: It’s on Netflix in the UK but NBC in the US.)
Oh do we need some. And there’s so much to be found here. The show brings with it so many reasons to smile and laugh and this can only be a good thing!
All the forking swears
You can’t swear in The Good Place, you son of a bench, so be tickled instead by the hilarious clusterfork of new family-friendly swears you’re about to fall in love with.
The (surprising) depth
If I’m being totally honest, this is not a show I started watching in order to think about ethics and philosophy. It looked light and easy to watch and came in little digestible episodes about 20 minutes long.
But that didn’t stop The Good Place from doing just that.
It took something silly and fun and turned it into something clever and thoughtful – whilst somehow retaining the fun! I just don’t know how they do it. But it’s absolute genius.
It’s a simple concept really – woman wakes up in ‘The Good Place’ but freaks out because she clearly shouldn’t be there as she’s led a pretty rubbish and selfish life.
But this concept could only get the show so far before it just got boring and same-y. There needed to be some surprises along the way to keep us hooked. The Good Place has them in spades. And when they hit, holy forking shirtballs, they’re good.
OK so there’s Kristen Bell (who you probably know) but there’s also that woman off T4 (remember that show?) and the genius of Ted Danson and some other people you’ve probably never heard of.
But whether these are big names or not is irrelevant. Get to know the names Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper, D’Arcy Carden and Manny Jacinto. They’ll all be family soon enough.
Yes, I know, I just mentioned him. But Danson is so forking good he deserves his own point. As Michael, the giddy architect out enjoying his first big job, Danson is adorable and frantic, loveable and hilarious. And as the show develops, so does the character.
He’s also the coolest man to sport a bow tie since the Doctor.
What would you need to make The Good Place perfect – a piece of software that appears when you call and gets you anything you want, perhaps?
She’s not a robot but she’s not human either. Whatever she is – she’s awesome. Every home should have one.
The cultural references
Societal expectations, name drops, fashion trends, comments on literature and much more – it’s all there for us to enjoy and either nod along to or shake our head at.
The warm and fuzzies
When the show begins, it really is all about the one-liners and quirky humour. But the more we get to know these characters, the more we are invested.
As we approach the end of series two, the humour remains but with it comes something I did not see coming: it’s also incredibly touching.