The show’s premise consists of a newly deceased saleswoman Eleanor Shellstrop, portrayed by Kristen Bell, who enters an afterlife split into two concepts; ‘The Good Place’ – where only the best of humans can enter and soul mates exist, and ‘The Bad Place’ – where the majority of humans seem to end up as their every bad deed in life counts against them.
Due to a mistaken identity, narcissistic and uncaring Shellstrop ends up in The Good Place, where she meets a diverse cast of vivid characters who help her learn to be more moral and noble in order for her to stay in the ‘good’ afterlife.
However, this plan is fallible, as the show slowly reveals the truth behind the other characters’ identities and the true intentions behind The Good Place.
The Senegal raised, French speaking ethics professor known as Chidi Anagonye, portrayed by William Jackson Harper, is Shellstrop’s soulmate and the one who agrees to help her navigate the concept of goodness despite her innate selfishness at first, all the while struggling with his own fears.
Wealthy heiress, Tahani Al-Jamil, born in Pakistan and raised in London, portrayed by Jameela Jamil, appears condescending at times, but has a huge heart. She originally clashes with the main protagonist Eleanor due to their different personalities, but soon transforms into a complex dynamic of love/friendship as the show progresses.
Al-Jamil supposed soulmate is first known as Jianyu Li, a lovable Buddhist monk who is from Taiwan, portrayed by Manny Jacinto, but his own secrets reveal that his identity isn’t what it appears to be.
Other characters include Michael, portrayed by Ted Danson, who created The Good Place but has his own secret agenda. The artificial guide named Janet, portrayed by D’Arcy Carden, is meant to help the inhabitants of the ‘good’ afterlife, but struggles with her own identity.
The show has a diverse group of cast and characters who develop and change over the course of the first season and begin to settle into their own by the end of the season. Humor and an almost quirky strangeness go hand-in-hand with the show but that’s what makes it so interesting.
“The Good Place” is not perfect and indeed has its faults, however, the band of characters and dynamics the show has, is what makes the show so enjoyable.
With each episode being only about twenty minutes long, it’s a quick binge must watch before catching up with season two that aired last month.