“Welcome! Everything is Fine.” — The Good Place Review

by Lacey Berig, news editor

“I swear I’m worth it,” proclaims Kristen Bell’s character Eleanor Shellstrop, a sentiment that rings true for the character as well as the show itself in NBC’s “The Good Place.”

Eleanor and her group of misfits lead the audience through an unexpected, ever-changing afterlife that will keep them on their toes while also warming their hearts as they explore what it truly means to be human.

This whirlwind show sweeps the audience along with every crazy twist from the very first episode and continuing to the very last. 

The first big reveal comes with the opening scene when the audience learns these characters are already dead. The writers work to make light of such a heavy topic as Eleanor realizes she doesn’t have a purse because “No. I’m dead. Right. Okay,” and proceeds to cheerily follow Michael, her guide and the neighborhood’s eccentric architect, played by Ted Danson. 

Viewers are introduced to a variety of characters with a focus on four specific humans whose lives unfold as the series progresses. 

With each new piece of information, these incredible and evolving characters leave us craving more. 

Shows about death and afterlife can be tricky to pull off without a certain amount of cheese, but the cast embraces the cheese as their characters round out and friendships develop.

Kristen Bell’s performance as the outwardly cool Eleanor makes suspension of disbelief possible around all the twists and turns as she takes in stride all the new information she receives. 

Bell’s moments of disengagement remind us that often bad choices are some form of self preservation. She plays the perfect “every man” by being both destructive and caring with just the right amount of charm. 

The chemistry among the cast sells the whole experience. We witness the characters as they were on Earth, but more importantly as they are after life and together. 

The wit, pacing, and sentiment poured into each piece of this quirky ensemble elevates the characters to people we want to know about and follow even in death. 

The subject matter of “The Good Place” paired with impressive writing and acting allow the audience freedom to invest in a dorky, fun-filled adventure where friendship is held in very high regard.

I say this is a comedy well worth the time as it follows characters just like you and me to teach a grander lesson about what life has to offer and what we can offer in return.

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