We’re so forking into this show.
Three episodes in and we’re already hooked on NBC’s freshman comedy that offers up equal parts laughs and surprisingly philosophical questions about the nature of humans and “being good.” The Good Place follows Eleanor, a somewhat unpleasant young woman who meets her end by way of shopping cart and finds herself in the afterlife, aka The Good Place. The catch? She’s not really supposed to be there.
As Eleanor (Kristen Bell) navigates her new surroundings – the neighborhood she’s placed, the soulmate she’s matched with, the people she must now co-exist with, all choreographed by Michael (Ted Danson), the creator – we learn that she wasn’t necessarily the best person back on Earth. In an effort to stay in The Good Place (as opposed to the alternative) Eleanor sets about learning how to be improve herself. But as we see flashbacks to her life on Earth we begin to realize that she wasn’t necessarily evil, she might just be… human.
Helmed by Michael Schur (Parks & Recreation), there are a lot of laughs in the first few episodes, both of the overt and more subtle variety. But it’s also just a smart premise that is ripe for a lot of moral commentary that might be missing from the current TV landscape (and society in general?). But that’s not the only reason we’re into this series.
Kristen Bell as Eleanor
We fell in love with her on Veronica Mars back in the day, we gladly built snowmen with her in the animated hit Frozen, and we REALLY fell in love with her as she melted down before our eyes over her love of sloths. Kristen Bell is the leading lady primetime TV needs – Broad enough to appeal to the masses but with the biting wit to cut through boring noise. As Eleanor she delivers line after self-censored line with the ease of a seasoned actress.
Ted Danson as Michael
Ted Danson has had a fascinating career, both on the big and small screen. “Cheers“, “Damages,” “CSI,” “Two Men and a Baby.” He’s done it all! But in The Good Place he plays a wholly unique character, a self-doubting spiritual being who is uncertain about his capacity to create and maintain the perfect neighborhood he was tasked with managing in The Good Place. Danson brings genuine neurosis to his character that can only be described as, well, human.
Janet, the human embodiment of Suri
Smart phones in The Good Place? Who needs ‘em! Not when you have Janet around, the neighborhood concierge who is at everyone’s beck and call, pulling up such gems as replaying sounds from The Bad Place and declaring and “Fun Fact: Janet is me!”. And if Janet seems familiar but you can’t quite place her, here you go: She’s played by D’Arcy Carden, who is Gemma on Broad City.
Who hasn’t wanted to yell out a good “Fork You!” or boldly state “This is bull shirt!”