Why The Good Place Works

I know, I’m behind. But I finally just watched all of The Good Place in the span of like, a week.

I went into it knowing almost nothing about the show. I knew it was about ‘the good place’. That was it.

If you’ve never seen the show before, click away now. Because you don’t want the twists ruined. I mean, it would be almost impossible to ruin them all. My goodness, there are so many twists. But we’ll talk about that soon. 

I understand entirely why people were so obsessed with this show. The writing was amazing. And as always, there’s a lot to learn from it. 

Let’s start with the twists. Because, you consistently have no idea what’s going to happen next. I was blown away all the time, just by what they managed to sneak past me.

The twists work especially well because, when you look back, they make sense. And this is the tricky thing about writing twists. You want them to seem like they come out of nowhere. But if they don’t make sense, then they’re just jarring.

You learn pretty quickly while watching this to trust nothing. You don’t know who to trust. And honestly, you probably shouldn’t trust any of the characters. Everyone is lying pretty much all the time. To themselves, to each other. You’d think this would make the characters unlikable. But it doesn’t.

You know, characters make or break the show for me. And Elenore, Cheedie, Janet and the rest stole my heart every single episode. You hate/love the characters. And I think it’s because we’ve all been where they are. We’ve all tried to be better. We’ve all tried to help people. We’ve all found it difficult to do the right thing, no matter how hard we try. And for sure, we’ve all felt like we don’t belong. And so their struggles become your struggles. Their failures become yours. And their successes become yours as well.

Speaking of which. The Good Place called me out several times. Yes, I am one of those people who take their shoes off during long trips. I probably do any number of other things that will land someone in the bad place. The whole time we’re watching this, the darling husband and I kept giving each other pointed glances. It makes you second guess everything you’ve ever done. But in a non-judgy way. The show does that by poking fun at little things we all do. Things that probably annoy others, but we just can’t help ourselves. Bad little selfish habits that wouldn’t get you sent to the bad place.

Right?

Yeah, you’re probably fine. The best thing about The Good Place is that there is a really happy ending. Not like an over-the-top Adam Sandler ending. But also not gut-wrenching sad. It’s sweet, beautiful, perfect. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for better.

Too often I feel like endings seek to piss their fans off. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it happens. How else could you explain the ending of Roseanne or The Dinosaurs? It is so nice to see a show not outlive its welcome, not get canceled, and have a real, solid, satisfying happy ending.

Have you seen The Good Place? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments. 

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