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Photo courtesy of Billboard.
The Holdovers Review
February 20, 2024

“The Good Place” Review

“The Good Place” is a show that came out on NBC in 2016, which is currently on its fourth and final season. The show stars Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper, and Manny Jacinto. The first three seasons can be found on Netflix, with twenty minute episodes, and about 10 episodes per season. This show is definitely a good comedy, which features lighthearted humor, but also emotional topics throughout, and has many different relatable characters. 

The Good Place - Season 1

The Good Place” follows the story of Kristen’s character, Eleanor Shellstrope, getting into the version of the afterlife that we, as viewers, might regard as heaven. It is called the Good Place, hence the name of the show, and she believes everything is going perfectly as she is shown around the “neighborhood” by the immortal architect Michael. That is until she realizes she does not belong there, due to how her life on Earth of cheating and rude behavior is far from the standards of charity givers and monks that she is living among; she should not have made it through the selection process and should have been sent to the bad place. This challenge leads her to create special, meaningful bonds with the other characters, as well as improve herself in an effort to be good enough to stay in the Good Place.

One of the most important aspects of the show is the question of whether a bad person can become better with help from others, but also whether they deserve that help to become a better person or not. Eleanor Shellstrop seeks the help of her afterlife “soulmate” Chidi Anagonye, who also happens to be a philosophy professor, to help her learn how to become a better person. With her perseverance and motivation, she does seem to be improving, but does that end up benefiting her like she needs it to to stay in the good place, or is it a selfish cause with no pay off? If you were the one who had to


decide Eleanor’s fate, would you let her stay in the Good Place? The answer might seem obvious by solely reading this description, but just like in real life, there are more layers and factors that might sway your decision in the show, and it is done so well, keeping the viewer on their toes. Another interesting component of the show is how goodness, or badness, can be disguised or even unknown to the host themselves. Based on the life we have been living or the things we’ve been conditioned to hearing from others can really make someone lose track of who they are and what their true potential or flaws are. 

I really enjoyed watching this show because you can laugh along while pondering important questions about life and one’s own identity. It’s a great show to pass time and learn more about yourself from, and I welcome you to join the many others who watch the show, for good reason.

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