Review of The Good Place
Writer: Ashley Bow
The screen opens on a pair of wide, green eyes. Calming music plays as they focus directly ahead to see the large print on the wall, reading, “Welcome! Everything is fine.”
That scene memorably begins The Good Place, an ongoing NBC series which has, as of September 20, begun its second season. The show focuses on Eleanor Shellstrop, a mediocre woman who, due to an error in the system, went to The Good Place with 321 other people after her death. The first season centers around this mistake, showing how such a simple glitch in the system affected the ‘perfect’ afterlife for her companions, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason.
This show, on a surface level, is simple and fun. Even the most casual viewers can watch it and understand. However, on a deeper level, it proves to be a new-age philosophy lesson which follows and challenges the concepts of good and bad. Can there be a set system of measurement for how much good a person does? What can affect good and bad? If you have selfish motivations, can you ever do anything truly good? And on that note, can a person ever truly have selfless motivations?
The answers are not always simple. They change depending on perspective and situations, and they tend to shift over time. The storyline of The Good Place follows this same fundamental truth by releasing information early and late so that no one, not even the actors, had a final answer as to what was going on until the stunning season one finale.
The first episode of season two continued in this same fashion, constantly keeping viewers on their toes and looking for new information. Overall, I have high hopes for season two. If it turns out as well as the first, The Good Place will surely receive a dedicated fanbase and high praise from all over.