What Makes The Good Place So Damn Good

March 22, 2018

Everyone’s a sucker for a good character transition, and this show has four (well, five, actually). The Good Place is NBC’s hit comedy about four people who end up in a heaven-like afterlife and get paired together for eternity, though two of them were placed there accidentally. The show is all about making choices, becoming a better person, reflecting on your life, and forming relationships with people who may seem like your total opposite. It is a feel-good show to end all feel-good shows, despite how many plot twists and unforeseen mishaps wrench the viewer’s heart (and patience). And it stars Kristen Bell to boot.

But that’s not all. There are an infinite number of things that make this show so perfect, from the relatable pitfalls, to the chemistry between the two main characters, to the stupid funny script. A big part of what makes The Good Place so great, though, is the unbelievable slew of guest appearances made by the best actors in comedy. Jason Mantzoukas, who plays Adrian Pimento in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Dennis Feinstein in Parks and Recreation, stars as the rebound boyfriend of Good Place robot, Janet. He is disheveled and acts like a newborn puppy and yells a lotkind of the ideal character for his general personality. Adam Scott also makes an appearance as Trevor, who is kind of the show’s Satan, in a way. And Maya Rudolph plays “the Judge,” who settles all qualms in the universe and I guess is kind of God? Which is 100% the best case scenario for me if God is real, just saying.

What really makes this show amazing is the main characters themselves. Boy, the writing in this television series is golden beyond belief, and the casting directors filled in that script with pure talent. Janet is an all-knowing, human-like artificial intelligence device who serves the needs of all the residents of the Good Place. Over the course of the show, she develops more human qualities, like the ability to love and to have emotion in general. She is kind and smart and constantly giving and is a good representation of how women are the most powerful force in the universe. There are the four main characters; Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani, who are all awful but somehow incredibly likeable. The aforementioned chemistry between Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and Chidi (William Jackson Harper), is so believable and sweet and pure. Chidi helps Eleanor learn to be a better person after spending her life on earth being a selfish, uncaring, and just downright mean human being. But through Chidi’s ethics lessons and obscene amounts of patience, her sense of common decency and kindness develops along with the relationship between the two.

To sum this all up, The Good Place is funny, relatable, original, and absolute, pure joy. It’s some of the best television to be produced in quite some time and it is one of those shows that will make you laugh out loud alone in your room and then make you cry out loud approximately two minutes later. But the rest of the time you’re guaranteed to be smiling the whole way through.

Claire Goldberg
is the Voice's former editoral board chair and halftime leisure editor. She "says a lot of funny things," according to Emma Francois.

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