TV REVIEW: The Good Place Season 4


The cast of The Good Place

NBC’s extremely popular sitcom, The Good Place, just finished airing the fourth and final season of the show. Just a quick recap for those who haven’t seen The Good Place: the show starts with Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman in her mid-30s from Arizona, who was put in the “Good Place” after her death, but it was a mistake. She then strives to become a better person with the help of Chidi Anagonye, her alleged soulmate. At the end of the first season, she figures out that she, Chidi, and two other humans were actually in the Bad Place all along. The demon that was in charge of their torture, Michael, then wipes their memories many times and keeps having to restart his plan because Eleanor keeps figuring out that they are in the Bad Place. Seasons 2 and 3 mostly consist of the 4 humans: Eleanor, Chidi, Jason Mendoza (a rapper from Jacksonville, Florida and possibly the stupidest human to ever live), Tahani Al Jamil (a famous British philanthropist who lived in her sister’s shadow), Janet (Michael’s all-knowing assistant), and Michael (the Bad Place demon who turns good) trying to find the flaws and fix the afterlife system that has been sending almost everyone to the Bad Place for centuries because life has become so complicated. Along the way, Chidi and Eleanor fall in love as do Jason and Janet. Now to season 4…

I think the producers and directors have done an incredible job with season 4, not to mention the phenomenal cast. Kristen Bell (Eleanor) and Ted Danson (Michael) are particularly talented, but my favorite cast member has to be D’Arcy Caren, who plays the part of Janet for most of the show, and also the hundreds of other Good Place, Bad Place, Neutral, and Disco Janets portrayed in the show. At one point, she actually plays all of the characters in an episode where they are all trapped in bodies that look like Janet when the whole group goes inside Janet’s void to avoid being captured (It makes more sense when you watch it). She is extremely talented and her character ties the show together.

At the end of season 3, I was struggling to see where the show could go and wondered whether it was about to fizzle out, but it didn’t. It debatably got even better. The content felt fresh and new and was amazingly funny. 

In season 4, the “Judge” of the universe and the afterlife allows the six main characters to create a test that would see whether humans could improve in the afterlife using the point system already used on Earth. This would decide whether or not the afterlife system was flawed or not—basically, the make it or break it moment for them. Four new humans were chosen from Earth, and all were placed in essentially the exact situation that Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani were at the beginning of the show. It was similar content as the first season, but the perspective was different, effectively taking the audience through a portion of the show that was essential to the plot without the bored or repetitive feeling. 

With two episodes left, the group finally proves that the afterlife system is flawed, finds a way to fix it, and makes it to the Good Place—FOR REAL THIS TIME! (I’m pretty sure).

The second-to-last episode was awesome, possibly my favorite episode of the show (and not just because they guest-starred one of my favorite actresses, Lisa Kudrow). Before this episode, once again, I was struggling to see where the episode could go, since the whole team had already made it to the real Good Place after years of fighting to get there, and there were still two episodes left. But, the writers effectively created a problem that enabled Eleanor to use her experience on Earth and her time in the afterlife to fix what nobody else could figure out. One thing I did not expect was how the Good Place committee quit and pushed the leadership of the entire Good Place onto Michael, but he and Eleanor (mostly Eleanor) handled everything and actually improved the Good Place in the short time they had been residents. My favorite thing about the second-to-last episode was that Chidi and Eleanor are together, without memory loss or anything to tear them apart this time. Chidi, Eleanor, Tahani, Jason, Janet, and Michael are finally in the Good Place for “as long as they like.” 

The final episode was, overall, really sad. When Chidi tells Eleanor that he wants to move on and leave the Good Place, Eleanor starts crying, and I almost did too. She obviously was not ready to move on and could not imagine life without him after being together for so long. They were an awesome couple. Not everything was sad though; Jason, as always, brought some comic relief. When Jason came back after the audience thought he had moved on several Jeremy Bearimys ago was hilarious. It turns out he had never left, just waited for Janet to come back, so he could give her the necklace he made for her. I really liked how the episode focused on each character separately and then them as a group. It allowed the audience to see each character more deeply and ended everything in a satisfying way. I also thought it was extremely interesting how Michael was allowed to become human in the end, completely fulfilling everything in his life. Even though I wish there were more seasons to this show, I was satisfied with the ending, which is more than I can say for a lot of shows. I’ll end with a quote from the final scene of the show finale, “Take it sleazy.”