The Good Place is Your Next Binge-Worthy Sitcom

I ~love~ sitcoms.

I literally live and breathe The Office and Parks and Recreation. My very funny but terrible sense of humor came from these sitcoms. But we gotta be honest… even though we love these classic shows, their sense of humor is outdated and sometimes just borderline offensive. (I said what I said. Please, don’t attack me.)

But I love them… I really do! So ever since I finished binge-watching them on Netflix, I’ve been on the search for a good new sitcom for me to laugh my butt off.

My friends recommended The Good Place to me.

I was skeptical at first because I’m not sure if I’m gonna like it because it stars Kristen Bell which I’m not that familiar with, except the fact she’s Anna from Frozen. But after a little bit of Google search, I found out that The Good Place is written by Michael Schur—the genius behind The Office, Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

I knew I was in good hands so I finally decided to watch The Good Place… and holy shirt, it’s amazing!

(GIF: Cursing is censored in The Good Place. What the fork?)

Set in the afterlife, Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) arrived in the “The Good Place,” an afterlife neighborhood where obviously good people go to. Michael (Ted Danson), an immortal architect that designed the neighborhood according to its residents’ tastes, welcomed Eleanor to the neighborhood. Eleanor also met the good neighborhood robot Janet (D’Arcy Carden) who is basically a real-life Google person.

Eleanor met her soulmate, ethics professor Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) and neighboring soulmate couple silent Buddhist monk Jianyu Li (Manny Jacinto) and British socialite Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil).

(Image: From left to right: Tahani, Jason, Eleanor, and Chidi.)

Obviously, something is up in “The Good Place.” Eleanor admitted to Chidi that she doesn’t belong in there because she’s done horrible things when she was alive. Chidi being the natural ethics professor that he is, he teaches Eleanor ethics and moral philosophy to help her earn her place in “The Good Place.”  Jianyu, real name Jason Mendoza, told Eleanor that he also doesn’t belong in there because he’s actually a DJ from Florida. As Chidi teaches philosophy lectures to Eleanor and Jason, Tahani sets up a plan to make sure the two will earn their place in the neighborhood.

And that’s where everything starts to go bad in “The Good Place.

(Image: The people who will welcome you in The Good Place, Michael and Janet.)

This fantasy-comedy series has amazing characters with amazing background stories. Even though Eleanor is the protagonist of the story, every character is well-thought of with amazing background stories that compliment each other’s characters as to why they are the way that they are. Y'all, even Janet the robot has some awesome character development going on in the series! The diverse cast and characters really show how real it gets on Earth through the lens of a fantasy-comedy show.

You will definitely find a The Good Place character that you relates to the most. (I relate to Eleanor, although I believe I still need to reach my own character development.)

What I really liked about this show is that the comedy isn’t offensive. The humor comes out naturally because the characters are just naturally funny. A socialite who talks way too much is funny. A nerd who worries too much is funny. An asshole being an asshole is funny. A person who literally is clueless is funny. It’s funny at first but as you watch along the way it actually makes you think, “Is this really something I should laugh at or be concerned about?”

One of the main foundations of The Good Place’s plot is philosophy. Lots of philosophy. Like the kind of philosophy that I learn in class but I barely even understand. But through this show, I am beginning to understand what the heck my philosophy professor was talking about.

The fact that a nerd like Chidi is teaching philosophy, I am just lost. But very big thanks to Eleanor, she doesn’t understand what’s happening during his philosophy lectures either.

Over time, Eleanor slowly learns about morals and ethics and actually starts to use these in her decision making. And so do I.

Also, she translates all the big philosophy concepts and applies it to her crazy real-life experiences and honestly those were very helpful.

I can relate to Eleanor’s educational development in a way because I do the same thing too. It takes me forever to understand philosophical ideas so I try to use my experiences to explain the concepts easier to myself.

But, I’m boring and nothing interesting happens in my life. Eleanor’s crazy life made it easier for her and the viewers to understand these philosophical concepts. That’s what makes Eleanor’s character unique, too. She applied moral and ethical philosophy to reevaluate her life on Earth. She learned philosophy by learning what she did wrong. It gets even funnier because she started citing philosophers and concepts every time she makes a decision.

Of course, every single character in The Good Place did something wrong throughout their entire life. It might look like the show is just teaching you philosophy through comedy but it really teaches you how friendship and love can help you learn from each other.

The Good Place will literally help you grow every episode. Not gonna lie, I started paying attention to my philosophy class too after binge-watching this sitcom. I understood more about these concepts and I am actually applying it in real life. I am not just watching and studying philosophy. I am actually applying it in my decision-making process. I can't believe a sitcom made me more ~mature~. 

But to be real, I think that’s a beautiful thing.

The Good Place currently has three seasons with Seasons 1 and 2 available on Netflix. Season 3 is available on the NBC website. In December, NBC gave a green light for the show’s fourth season.