The Good Place is an American television comedy that aired on NBC since September 19, 2016.
In December 2018 NBC renewed the series for a fourth and final season
After she is struck and killed by a tractor-trailer carrying a billboard for erectile dysfunction products, a woman named Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is welcomed into the afterlife by Michael (Ted Danson), the facilitator and architect of Eleanor's new neighborhood in a utopia called "The Good Place" (located in sector 12358w). When Michael tells Eleanor she made it into The Good Place for helping innocent clients get off death row, plus other international humanitarian work, she realizes she has been mistaken for someone else whom she later finds out has the same name. Additionally, upon arrival, she learns that each person in the good place has a soulmate with whom she or he is matched and (accordingly) with whom she or he will live for eternity.
Hoping to stay in The Good Place, Eleanor must hide her morally imperfect behavioral past from everyone. However, she quickly confesses to her assigned soulmate, Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), a university ethics professor in life who agrees to teach Eleanor to become a better person and avoid eternal torture in "The Bad Place". She also interacts with the people who were rightfully admitted into the Good Place, notably Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), a wealthy philanthropist who dedicated her life to helping the poor and raised billions through charities, and her soulmate Jianyu Li (Manny Jacinto), a silent Buddhist monk from Taiwan. Michael and the habitants are assisted by Janet (D'Arcy Carden), an artificial woman in charge of helping and informing the habitants.
Each episode features flashbacks to one of the Good Place's residents and her or his perfect and/or imperfect life (done in a light dramatic fashion), and ends with a twist or cliffhanger that leads into the following episode.
- Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop
- William Jackson Harper as Chidi
- Jameela Jamil as Tahani
- D'Arcy Carden as Janet
- Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza
- Ted Danson as Michael
Episode number Edit
|Season||Episodes||First air date||Last air date|
|Season 1||13||September 19, 2016||January 19, 2017|
|Season 2||13||September 20, 2017||February 1, 2018|
|Season 3||13||September 27, 2018||January 24, 2019|
|Season 4||14||September 26, 2019|
Development and casting Edit
NBC first announced the show on August 13, 2015, when they issued a press release detailing that they had issued the then untitled show a 13-episode order based purely on a pitch by Michael Schur. On January 12, 2016, it was announced that Kristen Bell and Ted Danson had been cast in the lead roles for the series. The first synopsis of the show was also released, stating that the show was set to revolve around Eleanor designing her own self-improvement course with Michael acting as her guide - although the afterlife element had always been a part of the series, as Kristen Bell has stated she was aware of the first-season finale twist when she signed onto the show.
William Jackson Harper was cast as Chris on February 11, 2016, though the character was renamed Chidi. Jameela Jamil was cast as Tessa on February 25, 2016, and her character was renamed Tahani. On March 3, 2016, Manny Jacinto was revealed to have been cast as a "sweet and good-natured Jason" whose "dream is to make a living as a DJ in Southern Florida." On March 14, 2016, D’Arcy Carden was cast in the final series regular role as Janet Della-Denunzio, a violin salesperson with a checkered past - though the character was completely reworked, she retained her original first name in the series.
The final premise for the show, including the afterlife element, was ultimately announced on May 15, 2016, when NBC announced its schedule for the 2016-17 TV season.
Critical reception Edit
The Good Place has received positive reviews from television critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a rating of 90%, based on 47 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kristen Bell and Ted Danson knock it out of the park with supremely entertaining, charming performances in this absurd, clever and whimsical portrayal of the afterlife." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 78 out of 100, based on reviews from 32 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The editors of TV Guide placed The Good Place second among the top ten picks for the most anticipated new shows of the 2016–17 season. In its review from writer Liam Matthews, "NBC's new comedy has an impressive pedigree" (referring to Mike Schur, and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, the latter cited as "arguably the greatest sitcom actor of all time"). Matthews concludes that "The hope is that their combined star power can restore NBC's tarnished comedy brand to its former glory. It won't be the next Friends, but it's something even better: a network comedy that feels different than anything that's come before."