The Good Place is heavenly to watch

Aine Conaty

Credit: The Good Place

Many people think about death. How will I die? Will I get to live a long, fun-filled life? Will I make it to heaven? But what most people don’t think about is what would you do if you wound up in the afterlife and you’ve been mistaken for someone else. 

That is the very dilemma that the main character of The Good Place, Eleanor Shellstrop, faces. Shellstrop was run over an advertising billboard truck and when she wakes up she is in the afterlife. She is surprised she has made it into the Good Place. She was never known to be nice and caring when she was alive. The truth begins to emerge eventually though when Shellstrop realises she has been mistaken for somebody else. She must decide whether she should come forward and tell the truth or whether she should accept the mistake and enjoy the luxury of The Good Place.

The Good Place was first aired September 19, 2016 on NBC. Michael Schur, the producer of Brooklyn nine-nine and Parks and Recreation, was also the producer for this show and he does not disappoint. He maintains his traditional tone of slapstick comedy while revivifying the humour to prevent it from becoming stale. The omnipresent humour is somewhat similar to the tone of the adored Gilmore Girls.

The world created by architect Michael is idyllic. It’s always sunny, everybody is always happy and stress is non-existent. The buoyant residents sit at cafes and enjoy the company of their beloved soulmates, while eating coloured frozen yoghurt and congratulating themselves on their arrival in paradise.

As well as presenting the viewer with lovable characters and their engaging relationships, the show deals with somewhat serious topics such as religion, morality and the afterlife. However, it does so in such a light-hearted way that you find yourself smiling the entire time. It goes from cracking a joke to dealing with serious ethical and moral issues. That’s part of what makes this completely unrealistic idea of a scintillating, white, perfect afterlife very relatable to the viewer. It reminds the people watching it that while there are always serious issues to be dealt with, there is so much more happiness and elation that can be focused on instead.

The cast is just to die for (pardon the pun). Eleanor is played by the hilarious Kristen Bell, who voiced Anna in Frozen. Bell’s character is quite disparate from anything she has played before and really emphasised just how talented she is. Michael, the creator of ‘The Good Place’, is played by the brilliant Ted Danson, of Fargo. He completely embodies a father figure in his portrayal, accentuating the  Jameela Jamil does a phenomenal job playing the beautiful and elegant Tahani, capturing the character’s ‘spoilt rich child’ attitude perfectly. Jameela, formerly a TV and radio presenter, showcases her limitless talent in the hit show.

The Good Place is an easy watch. The esteemed cast take a simple plot line and enhance it by tenfold. It should definitely be on the to-watch list for anybody who enjoys a good Netflix binge.