Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone.
I am not really into football. Sometimes I do partake in Superbowl parties for the food and such (you know it!) but I don’t have anything going on this year.
It’s my last weekend before busy season starts at work and before I have to start going in on Saturdays to work. So today I am just planning to have a very chill day.
I will be doing a rewatch marathon of one of my new favorite shows of last year/this season: The Good Place.
The Good Place is a NBC comedy. It’s fairly high concept for a network comedy. The basic synopsis of the show on a very surface level is:
Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), an ordinary woman enters the afterlife and, thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place, which is definitely where she belongs. While hiding in plain sight from Michael (Ted Danson), the wise architect of the Good Place (who doesn’t know he’s made a mistake), she’s determined to shed her old way of living and discover the awesome (or, at least, the pretty good) person within.
Anyone who knows me knows why I would get into a show like this in the first place. I am a HUGE (understatement of the century?) Kristen Bell fan and of course Ted Danson is TV royalty. The show is helmed by Mike Schur (writer and exec producer) of Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and Master of None fame.
Aside from it being an afterlife situation, it seems like it would be a run of the mill sitcom with perhaps a lighthearted take on ethics. But it is so much more than that. Mike Schur took inspiration from Lost and even talked with Damon Lindelof before pitching the show to NBC. And you can tell because of it’s overarching narrative that twists and turns with every episode. The show continuously layers new mysteries and new dimensions over its established world and develops the characters (aside from KB and TD, the ensemble cast is overall very fantastic) in a way that takes them on an adventure of learning about themselves and how they can improve even after ‘it is all over’.
The show also provides an interesting study of what is good and bad and how your actions in your time on Earth means in the grand scheme of things when you pass. How much does intention/motivation factor in or should “points” be based on the ultimate (sometimes accidental?) results of your deeds and how they affect others? The show does lead you to question and think about these issues.
“C’mon! I wasn’t freakin’ Ghandi, but I was okay–I was a medium person. I should get to spend eternity in a medium place! Like Cincinnati! Everyone who wasn’t perfect but wasn’t terrible should get to spend eternity in Cincinnati!”
I would definitely say give this show a shot and if you aren’t blown away by the first few episodes, stick it out, trust me. The first few eps are good but not extraordinary. I know for some people (including me at times), if something doesn’t catch them in the first few eps, they will give up on a show. With The Good Place, you will want to stick around until the end. The payoff is worth it. For me, things speed up and get really good in the middle and the last 5 eps are on a whole other level. I can’t even talk about the finale because I feel like anything I say will give something away. And the joy of a show like this is really following the whole journey of it from the beginning to the end. And this makes for a great rewatch when you get to analyze things on a deeper level after learning of certain things in the later eps.
Also I am definitely not a writer but I feel like this show would be a great showcase for any aspiring screenwriter. It’s an ingenious discourse on storytelling. It’s ballsy for sure. It takes a preconceived structure of what a “sitcom” is and pretty much throws it out the window. Things you expect to happen might not necessarily happen or not in the usual way. Things you think would not occur may not only end up taking place but also happening sooner than you think. The pacing is crazy in a refreshing way. Each episode pretty much follows directly from the prior episode and leaves you wanting more.
Mike Schur is def one of my new ‘celeb’ crushes. He’s fantastic and takes his craft seriously. I wholly trust him to continue with the unpredictable writing. I’m so happy he gets the chance to as the series has been picked up for season 2! He has a long-term plan on where he wants to take the show. That’s no easy feat as there are so many different routes and narrative I can see the show going with especially after that season finale.
TLDR: WATCH THE FORKIN AMAZING ‘THE GOOD PLACE’ AND PREPARE YOURSELF FOR SOME CRAZY SHIRT.*
Please let me know in the comments if you have watched The Good Place or are planning to. If you do check it out, let me know what you think!
Enjoy the mew life,
*Don’t understand the reference? You’ll need t watch the show 😉