A forking good show

Over the course of the weekend, I watched the entire first season of The Good Place. Normally I don’t like to binge-watch shows like that (I don’t even like having to use the term “binge-watch”), but I simply could not bear to have to wait any longer to see what was going to happen next. It’s not entirely unlike how I recently watched the entire second season of Attack on Titan in a single day. When there are mysteries to unravel, I just can’t leave them ravelled. I thirst for answers.

The difference between said shows is that I was left cold and disappointed by Attack on Titan, whereas the ending of The Good Place blew my mind and left me wanting more.

Let’s start from the start; in most realities, I haven’t and will never watch this show. In this particular universe, however, I heard an offhand comment about how it was good on a podcast. Interest piqued, I did a Google search. Okay, stars Ted Danson. I’m about 75% on board. I read the Wikipedia summary. It has a well-received twist ending. 100% on board. Checked Netflix, season one is available. Yep, I’m watching this now.

As much as I adore Ted Danson (and he is charming and wonderful here), the real star of the show is Kristen Bell. Now, the only thing I’ve ever watched where she has a starring role is Forgetting Sarah Marshall. And that didn’t leave much of an impression on me in any way. In The Good Place, however, she is so fantastic. In fact, all of the main characters are. Even the ones who are supposed to be a little more annoying come off as lovable in their own ways.

The premise of the show is that Kristen Bell died and has gone to The Good Place, which is essentially Heaven or whatever, with Ted Danson as the goofy administrator. Only in this universe, The Good Place only accepts the very best people, of which she is definitely not. So the first half of the season focuses on her trying not to get caught as a impostor and working to become a better person so that she can actually belong there. There’s a pretty significant shift about halfway through, and every episode ends on an insane cliffhanger, which practically forces you to keep watching if you’re streaming. It would have been an absolute nightmare to have to wait week-by-week for new episodes.

The ending, which I noted earlier was well-received, is in fact awesome. Not because of the twist itself, but because I imagine that it will completely shift the dynamic of the show’s second season. S2 is actually already halfway through, and I’m sitting here with bated breath, waiting desperately for it to end and get uploaded to Netflix. There are so many questions left unanswered, and I am so excited to see where they take it from here. Honestly, I get the same feelings from The Good Place that I did from the early seasons of LOST. And that’s great! The big difference is that The Good Place is firmly wrapped in comedy, with only minor splashes of drama thrown in to keep an even pace.

Obviously, I recommend giving this a chance. If you aren’t won over by the stellar cast and excellent range of jokes, the ending of the first episode should get you. It definitely makes a strong impression. I want to type a description of what happens because it’s unbelievable, but I think it’s best left as a surprise. You will not see it coming. And it really only gets better from there.


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