A heaven of a good time


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The Good Place first aired on September 19, 2017 and now has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Subaita Rahman, Entertainment & Humor Editor

No one really knows what happens in the afterlife, or who ends up in hell, heaven, or whatever’s in between. The writers of The Good Place, however, might have a pretty good guess.

The Good Place is a comedy series currently on its second season on NBC, but I stumbled across it on Netflix. I didn’t expect to like it based on my current partiality to The Office and Parks and Recreation. I thought this was a high bar to reach, but I clicked on it anyway, expecting a light, airy show I could use as background noise.

Though nothing will ever top my everlasting love for Michael Scott and Leslie Knope, the journeys of Eleanor Shellstrop into “The Good Place” were definitely proved to be more than background noise. Before I knew it I found myself getting actually invested into the storyline. The easy humor and the pace of the storyline made the show really engaging, though I found it hard to get used to the little bit of cheesiness and a few glaring plot holes.

The show revolves around Eleanor Shellstrop, played by Kristen Bell, accidentally making it to “The Good Place,” or heaven. With the help of her “soulmate” Chidi and her neighbors Tahani and Jianyu, Eleanor tries to rack up good deeds in the afterlife in order to earn her place and remain under the radar.

From the first episode, I already found myself curious to see how the show would play out. Not only was I curious about Eleanor mistakenly making it into “The Good Place”, but I was eager to see how the show’s version of heaven would translate into typical renditions of it. I especially liked how the series turned such a heavy concept of the afterlife into lighthearted, funny scenes without offending anyone.

In The Good Place, you earned big points by not discussing your veganism or keeping your composure in an amusement park line, and you suffered major docking from doing things like having a vanity license plate and using “Facebook” as a verb. I felt this was a tactful way of portraying the afterlife without focusing on heavy, debatable topics.  I enjoyed how the writers managed to make clean humor (though intended not to be clean – you can’t swear in The Good Place, so swear words are substituted with their innocent-sounding counterparts) and puns flow well.

However, it still wasn’t perfect, and there were some mildly cringe-worthy moments and cheesy jokes. This was still relatively easy to look past, mainly because I also had so many other questions about how the show and its universe. After each explanation of the afterlife and its process, I was left even more confused. The very last episode answered a good portion of my questions but introduced even bigger questions to be answered about the whole show, not to mention a frustrating cliffhanger.

Despite these evident issues, the series was overall amusing and well-written, which outweighed the grievances.

The Good Place is, to match its name, a good show. You’ll start for the storyline and stay for the humor and crazy plot twists. Keep an open mind about the cheesiness and some unanswered questions, and you’re in for a forkin’ good time.

Rating: 4.5/5