Quarta-feira’, 20/3/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Why The Good Place is the most underrated show on television

2 votes

In 2017, the media and public became enamored with a small handful of shows, throwing them into the spotlight, making them internationally recognized such as Little Big Lies, and 2016’s sci fi hit Stranger Things.

These series will likely go on to win many awards, gain millions of fans and earn many more seasons with much bigger budgets. One certain show seems to be left out from this deserved praise is NBC’s The Good Place.

The comedy has received critical acclaim with both seasons earning above 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 78 and 87 on Metacritic respectively. The series is  renewed for a third season, which will premiere in late 2018. However, the program has been “snubbed” at awards shows throughout its two-season run.

The Good Place centers around four people who suddenly died and now live in the afterlife. The show’s main character, Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), realizes soon after that she isn’t meant to be in The Good place. She and her friends have to navigate around many obstacles to obtain true happiness while not being caught by the town’s god-like leader Michael (Ted Danson).

Still of Kirsten Bell and William Jackson Harper in The Good Place. Photo courtesy of NBC

The series was created by Michael Shur, who has worked on other television series like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Parks and Recreation. Before developing the series fully, he actually spent some time with Lost producer Damon Lindelof on how to accurately and effectively build a world.

One of the best aspects about this comedy remains its connections with philosophy. Some of the main plot points throughout the show come through a philosophy teacher named Chidi (William Jackson Harper), who tries to help Eleanor and company learn how to be good. He uses moral ideas constantly throughout the show to try and help the rest of them learn how good people function.

The performances of the actors are contribute to the series’s success, especially those of Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. Viewers might recognize these two from their respective role in Disney’s Frozen and Cheers.

Still of Ted Danson and D’Arcy Carden in The Good Place. Photo courtesy of NBC.

The two actors constantly nail all their jokes, and create  an interesting dynamic with all the other characters. Bell and Danson  develop their characters l, as they learn in their own ways how to become the best person they can be. The actors as a whole, create an electrifying ensemble and make lots of believable connections.

The writing, for the most part, provides viewers with great comedy and development in the plot. The end of the first season also provides fans with an insane twist that completely changes the direction of the show.

The set pieces are also fairly amusing with certain aspects of each set having some special significance to a character or plot point. For example,  Eleanor’s house holds a creepy yet entertaining array of clown pictures and causes a majority of the characters to jump in fright at the eerie expressions captured by the paintings.

While the series does keep its effects to a minimum,  these appear fake and out of place, making them stand out and take away from the show’s realism that grounds  this fantastic world. While the poor effects made me realize that it is indeed just a program on NBC, at the same time these do provide the viewer with magic and enchantment, as when the effects are needed, they are usually for special scenarios.

Another downturn at times is the comedy itself. A majority of the time, the jokes are funny and land with great comedic timing. Unfortunately, it seems as if the show, especially the first season, is sprinkled with moments that are awkward. The series as whole though, is very entertaining and lively, with a great of intelligence hidden beneath the surface.


Samuel Tilbury

Hi, my name is Sam Tilbury and I'm a Senior at Gull Lake High School and the entertainment/opinion editor for the school's newspaper. I'm the only student in our grade that's been apart of Newspaper all three years, and I'm very excited to start my final year on staff! I really enjoy writing reviews, and voicing my opinions.


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