“The Good Place” is a fantasy-comedy series that started in September of 2016. It focuses on Eleanor Shellstrop, a women who died and went to the good place, an afterlife paradise, only to discover that she is there by mistake. Desperate to not be shipped off to the bad place, she tries to earn her place without revealing who she really is. The first season alone tells a compelling and entertaining story about Eleanor’s struggles, both with her situation and with the people around her. Not only that, but The Good Place has become something everyone should watch and take to heart.
Eleanor knows she wasn’t a good person in life, but she is determined to earn a place in the good place. With the help of Chidi, a man who was an ethics professor when he was alive, she begins to learn how to be good. As she makes friends in the good place, Eleanor makes more of an effort to change her ways, which gives some hope that we can all change for the better, even if it feels like it’s too late.
The show’s main cast is made up of a variety of lovable characters, all with their own strengths and quirks, that come together when it really matters. They show us that there is power in diversity and that all types of people can contribute in different ways.
Eleanor is a blonde woman that has shown she has smarts and tenacity to overcome any situation. Chidi is a black man who, while indecisive, has shown value in his intelligence and his sense of morality, especially when his friends are concerned. Tahani is a Pakistani woman is good-natured and cheerful, and is always willing to help others, despite the fact that Eleanor thinks she’s a bit condescending. Jianyu is an Asian man, and while he doesn’t contribute in the same way everyone else does, has a wisdom of his own and stays true to himself and his heart.
Through the first season, Eleanor grows closer to other people in the good place. They become friends, despite their differences, and support each other through their hardships.
The relationships that form throughout the season are strong and dynamic. Friends are made in unlikely places and continue to grow. Eleanor finds friends she wishes she had before she died, and these people inspire her to try harder to become a better person. She also learns the value of caring for people other than herself.
The show takes place in Eleanor’s afterlife, so it’s not a sunshine and rainbows kind of show. It gets very philosophical and plot heavy for characters, but it is balanced with a lot of well-written humor relevant to what’s happening.
We often think of death as something final and permanent, but “The Good Place” shows us a different perspective on what the afterlife means. It’s not a deadline so much as it is an opportunity, and in any time period, it’s comforting to think that death is another beginning rather than an end.
This is all just season one. The next two seasons bring in so much more that any audience can take from and relate to.
Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Good Place” are available on Netflix. Season 3 is available on Hulu.