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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Why You Should be Watching ‘The Good Place’


There is an insane world of TV out there right now as we explore the third Golden Age of Television. From streaming platforms, to cable, to websites, it seems that every major media source is putting out their own content.

So how, in this oversaturated television market, is it even remotely possible to find a good, hilarious, heartfelt show that’s well written with an amazing cast? Enter: The Good Place.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fan of sitcoms. I don’t really think there’s ever been a sitcom that I’ve really taken a liking to since Parks and Recreation.

Which is good for me, because Michael Schur, the creator of Parks and Rec, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Office, is also the mastermind behind The Good Place. But of his shows, none have successfully hooked me the way The Good Place does.

The Good Place follows Eleanor Shellstrop, played by Kristen Bell, alongside several other comedic counterparts as they try to navigate their newly deceased lives in the appropriately named Good Place. The only problem is that Eleanor was sent there by mistake.

I won’t spoil the show for those who haven’t seen it, but as the seasons progress, Eleanor’s afterlife only gets more and more insane; Reaching a fever pitch in this year’s fourth and final season.

The reason The Good Place works so well compared to other sitcoms is how every single character on the show is relatable, no matter how much of a caricature they may be. The character of Tahani may be conceited and rich, but her strained relationship with her parents and sister are understood by most.

Every character is allowed to explore their personalities and grow as the story progresses. The once self-centered Eleanor is able to put others before her, while the indecisiveness of her counterpart, Chidi, is overcome for the sake of the rest of the group.

But I have a particular soft spot for the character of Janet, an artificial intelligence similar to the likes of Siri and Alexa who can appear out of thin air if called. Her childlike demeanor begins to melt as she learns and grows, but never once loses her signature optimism.

The characters on the show are designed to be opposites and yet somehow, they continuously make each other better people. The Good Place is not only a ray of sunshine in this world, but legitimately funny at the same time.

Setting a story in a world where anything is possible literally means that anything can happen. The comedy is as over the top as it is subtle, and works stupendously given the talented actors on the show.

In one episode, the ensemble of characters are accidentally transformed into Janet, resulting in Janet’s actress, D’Arcy Carden, having to imitate her co-stars’ personalities. It’s the little genius jokes like this that keep the show flowing even during moments of heaviness.

For those of you interested in watching, good news: The first three seasons are on Netflix and season four has only just started. But for those of you still on the fence, I promise you that watching The Good Place is is the easiest way to put yourself in the best place of all.

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