What: The Good Place, a half-hour television comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson.
Where: Airs on NBC; the first season is currently streaming on Netflix.
Why: Because it’s forkin’ funny, for starters.
The Good Place stars Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who realizes she has died and ended up in the proverbial good place as a reward for all of the saintly humanitarian work she conducted on earth during her lifetime. The only problem? They beamed up the wrong Eleanor. This Eleanor, it turns out, was kind of an awful person. She wasn’t evil, per se, but she definitely qualified as Not Nice. Not wanting to be found out and sent to the Bad Place, Eleanor convinces her supposed soul mate, Chidi, to cover for her and help keep her true identity from being discovered by the Architect, the angelic being who designed their eternal utopia, played by Ted Danson. Trouble is, Eleanor’s presence, and legitimate good person Chidi’s willingness to lie for her despite his frequent attacks of conscience, is causing environmental disruptions that are creating chaos and making the Good Place not so good after all.
That’s the premise. I won’t say much more about the plot, other than it contains some pretty entertaining twists and turns leading up to an end-of-season game changer that sets the stage for Season Two (which I have not yet seen). While they get top billing, Bell and Danson are part of a delightful ensemble cast that includes Chidi, a pair of neighbors–one of whom immediately becomes Eleanor’s best frenemy–and a supremely delightful artificial intelligence named Janet.
At the risk of making myself sound like an old poop, a lot of what passes for today’s comedy tends to be lost on me. But The Good Place is not only clever and creative, it’s legitimately funny on a consistent basis. I can only hope the trend continues for the second season. Considering that there’s a third season planned for fall, I’m pretty confident that this show-crush will continue for a while.
Who: Fans of Restless Spirits, snarky dead blonde female protagonists in general, Kristen Bell, clever writing and quirky comedies that are actually funny.
Have you already been captivated by this show? Leave a forking comment!