If you only do one good thing this week, it should be to watch Season 2 of “The Good Place”
I will admit that I saw the pilot of NBC’s The Good Place last year at San Diego Comic-Con, and I thought it was fine. I wasn’t overly hooked and I didn’t think it was anything Earth shattering — but one thing’s for sure, I will follow Kirsten Bell wherever she goes, even if it’s to the afterlife.
Halfway through the first season of Good Place I sort of…gave up. I just fell out of keeping up with the show, and honestly, I wasn’t sure how long the joke of “So, they’re all dead!” could be played out. When the season finale came and went I didn’t think twice about it. And then I heard everyone else talk about the finale of the Good Place, and I decided to give it a second chance — besides, that’s that Chidi would want me to do. Everyone deserves a second chance, and my forking god, I am so glad I came back to The Good Place.
You’ve probably heard the premise of the show by now, but if not, here goes: After a mixup, Eleanor (Bell) gets sent to the “Good Place” — aka heaven — even though she’s a very bad person. Hoping not to get sent to the Bad Place, she enlists her so called ~soul mate~ Chidi (William Jackson Harper) to help her break good and live out her life in eternal bliss. Except…that’s not what’s really going on. This so called “Good Place” is really the “Bad Place,” and the architect of this afterlife, Micahel (Ted Danson) has created a world in which Eleanor and Chidi, along with their neighbors Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto), torture each other for all of eternity. Because hell is other people.
This big reveal unfolded in the Season 1 finale, and it was damn near close to one of the best season finale twists I’ve ever seen. Think of how shocking that twist at the beginning of the first episode of This Is Us was, but imagine you don’t realize that’s what’s happening until the very last episode of the first season. The twist in The Good Place was brilliant, and I loved it, and if you go back and watch the episodes again, you can see the trail of breadcrumbs left behind for viewers to find. Of course they’re in the bad place.
So how does a show top an epic reveal/twist/self-destruction plot? By doing it again. You go into Season 2 thinking that the show is, once again, going to be a season long mystery as Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason slowly realize they’re in the bad place. Michael has all these new crazy and horrible ways to torture this foursome (like how Tahani lives in a tiny house and can only wear cargo pants, and the most indecisive of the group, Chidi, has accidentally been assigned *two* soul mates — but no biting). However, things are unraveling for Michael, too. He can’t keep his bad place minions in check, and they start to rebel, while meanwhile Eleanor is getting a little too close to figuring out everything again…
And then she does. Eleanor, once again, figures out that the big rouse is they’re in the Bad Place, not the Good Place, and Michael is forced to wipe everyone’s memory again. That makes Eleanor 2 for 2, and Michael’s version of the Bad Place a whopping 0. Michael is warned that he cannot restart his Bad Place again, but he does anyway at the end of the episode. Third times the charm for hell, right?
The premise sounds repetitive, but I promise it’s not. Ahem, I shit you not, it’s so great. I’ve seen a few more episodes of Season 2, and Episode 3 (the season premiere was Episodes 1 and 2) is actually even better than the first, if you can believe it. I may have already watched the next episode three times, and now I have to wait a week to talk about it — and you know what, that’s my version of the Bad Place. I know what’s happening in the next episode of The Good Place, but I have to wait six days to tell you about it. Torture. Uggghhhhh.
Now please go watch the season premiere on Hulu or NBC.com. Thanks!