The thing about The Good Place that hooked me was its shocking season one finale. I had absolutely no idea where the show was going to go in its second season and here we are.
The main story of season two revolves around the shocking reveal that Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and the gang have actually been in The Bad Place. Michael (Ted Danson) erases their minds in an attempt to restart their torture, but it seems like no matter what he does they always find each other and discover the truth. As the experiment continues to fail, Michael’s job comes into jeopardy causing him to switch sides and align with the humans, hoping that he can help them all escape to The Good Place. As they evade Michael’s boss and his minions, they finally find themselves in front of the Judge who will decide their fate.
What worked so well with the first season of this show is that it did not let the novelty of the idea become stale and instead decided to flip it on its head sooner rather than later. The idea of a show following people around in the afterlife with a “guardian angel” wasn’t appealing at first, but after giving this show a chance and the first season was outstanding. From the acting, writing, tone and production design; everything exceeded initial expectations. And then came season two.
Not many shows blow up their premise immediately after their first season, and even fewer survive doing so and yet The Good Place does just that and actually became even better. The world built in the first season is expanded upon immensely to show the detailed business-like system behind the afterlife. The characters, who were already fleshed-out, entertaining and relatable people, are now thrust further into the interesting debates of life versus death and nature versus nurture. The moral dilemmas poised by such an outlandish comedy should not possibly work and yet they always hit their marks creating a strong backbone for the comedy to bounce off of.
If there was one nitpicky thing about this season it would be regarding the final episode ‘Somewhere Else.’ The twist in the final episode was by no means predictable, but the way it was pulled off felt a little less suspenseful than last season. At the end of season one, we learned that The Good Place is really The Bad Place and then it cuts to black. We have no idea what happens to the characters next until the following season, but here the majority of the season finale focuses on Eleanor’s life after the twist. Perhaps it would have been more suspenseful to have the episode end with Eleanor not getting hit by the shopping carts, allowing the majority of the plot to become episode one of season three. Then the first few episodes could follow each of the main characters as they potentially find each other or get shadow guidance from Michael (or even Janet for Jason).
This season of The Good Place expands on the success of its first season by using its thoroughly developed world to change the direction of the series. Its strange concepts may be a bit out there, but its inventive, well-written storytelling is filled with hilarious, trope-breaking jokes, thought-provoking, ethical themes and a lovable, relatable and entertaining ensemble. With two big cliff-hangers in back-to-back seasons, this show is one of the best new comedies on TV and it’s definitely worth the watch.
What did you think of The Good Place? Let me know in the comments!
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