So if Modern Family is too sweet and Superstore reminds you too much of work then The Good Place is the best new comedy for you.
The pitch doesn’t sound like the best idea for sitcom “A really bad person dies and is accidentally placed with all the good people, heaven starts going crazy” but 90% of anything is in the execution and The Good Place is executed perfectly.
Written by Michael Schur who’s signature sense of humour you’ll find within SNL, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Parks and Recreation. Schur creates offbeat and well written characters in just a few words, storylines are tight and everything feels smart without beating pop culture references over your head.
The premise of the show can be a little much especially with all the explanations of what exactly The Good Place is and all the little quirky nuances of the world e.g. creepy clowns. But to be honest there’s no one better to head up a decidedly weird sitcom than Kirsten Bell. Bell brings the level of sarcasm and quick wittedness that her characters are usually known for along with the moral ambiguity of a girl who was kind of a shit head during her time on earth.
Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop a former sales exec who is mistaken for a human rights lawyer whom used to get innocent people off death row. Rolling with it she accepts the identity of the clown-loving human rights lawyer including her soulmate Chidi Anagonye who she manages to rope into her scheme.
The strength of the story does lie within the support cast, Ted Danson plays the architect of The Good Place who seems slightly out of step with what humanity is but desperately wants to fit in, the upbeat A.I Janet who knows everything and can appear at any time. Tahani Al-Jamil, the Princess Di -model pretty next door neighbour too Eleanor who’s just a little too perfect and her buddhist monk soulmate Jianyu Li who’s then a vow of silence.
The Good Place is watchable comedy TV that also happens to be engaging as the storyline travels through each episode including a couple of twists and turns that you won’t see coming. If you want a well-written well-acted comedy that makes use of it’s half an hour time slot then The Good Place is for you!