It makes me very happy – The Good Place

The Good Place is one of the most pleasing shows on Netflix, and I recommend everyone give it a watch as soon as possible.

From the trailer alone I wasn’t sure what to expect, I’m not overly keen on Kristen Bell and I hadn’t heard of any of the other actors except Ted Danson, but I learned to love them fast.

The premise is simple but really refreshing; Eleanor Shellstrop (Bell) is dead, waking up in heavan she gets to enjoy all the finer things in life – only she’s actually constantly terrified because she knows she shouldn’t be there.

An admin error in heaven has lead to a blatant sinner getting into heaven on a case of mistaken identity. The way they combine whatever aspects of religions they fancy along with always boiling it down to mundane office workers.

Credit: NBC/Netflix/Press

Shellstrop is the ultimate selfish protagonist. Her motivation, initially, is gloriously self-preserving and manipulative, emotionally blackmailing her partner in heaven into keeping her secrets and teaching her to be good. The show almost borders on educational entertainment at time when going into philosophical arguments, but emphasis on the entertainment.

The slower tone, strong use of colours for all the characters and settings really build a strange tone that feels like something slightly too perfect for reality, embracing an issue people have complained about sitcoms for years.

Michael (Danson) plays the role of a middle manager in the afterlife, being the equivalent to an angel, in charge of their neighbourhood and he just steals the show.

Credit: NBC/Netflix/Press

He is constantly on the hunt for an error he knows in the system, all the while being the loving father figure that Eleanor has always needed.

He’s so kind and bumbling, while never feeling like an idiot, it really helps you beleive in the unlikely premise. He has one of, if not the strongest, development arcs over the series, and as of the latest episode has really stepped up in a huge way.

The supporting cast are all stars too

The supporting cast of Chidi, the put-upon ethics professor, and Tahani, the ultimate upperclass socialite, really act as amazing foils to Eleanor. I won’t talk much about Tahani’s soul mate because he’s an interesting case I’d rather not spoil.

Credit: NBC/Netflix/Press

They start a little flat, by design, but they really get fleshed out more and more as the series goes on.

Janet is the best. At the start of the show I thought she would be so annoying, and I was ready to rail on her so badly. But she suddenly turned into the stand out of the show.

Sadly all of her best moments tend to spoil important plot points, but she alone is almost worth watching the entire show for.

Spoilers are a real thing

This isn’t your average Big Bang Theory or Brooklyn 99, tuning in for random episodes as they air on TV will really not be a good time.

Do not go googling before you start watching unless you are very careful. There are many huge twists and turns that have huge changes upon the status of the characters and a show as a whole. Go in blind or you miss out on one of the best experiences on TV for years.

Credit: NBC/Netflix/Press

There is one distinct plot, and even though each series has a very definitive end point they are mote like the ends of acts in a play.

No series is the same in tone, and the characters are so different from episode one they may be unrecognisable to someone who hasn’t followed them on their journey of development.

For example I couldn’t stand the character of Chidi in series one, but in series three I love him now as they have learned so much.

I could watch this all day for years and years, my only worry is they’ll keep it going too long because of how loved it is.

There does seem to be a definitive ending goal in mind though so my worries are eased for now, I just love the cast too much to say goodbye.

Published by James Sumner

Writer, reviewer & journalist. BA: Multimedia Journalism. MA: PR & Digital Comms.

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