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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Good Place Review: You're gonna like it here.

I'm pretty sure Kristen Bell has had one of the best possible careers in entertainment. She's got her beloved indie gem, her blockbuster hit, and now a high concept prestige comedy that shows just how wide her range can go. I mean, you try being an asshole and still manage to be perfectly charming at the same time. In fact, she's the one jerk in a cast filled with the best people who ever lived.

Eleanore Shellstrop has died and gone to heaven, or rather "The Good Place." Something all major religions touched on but never fully grasped. Everyone "guessed about 5%" says Ted Danson as an other worldly figure who created this particular Good Place. Apparently everything you did in your whole life was rated on a positive and negative scale. The best of the best went to the Good Place. Everyone else, including every single artist who ever lived, went to the "Bad Place." Somewhere Eleanore, who made a living off of selling snake oil to the elderly, probably deserves to be instead.

There's been a mistake and now Eleanor's selfishness is leeching into paradise and it's only a matter of time until she's thrown back. It's pretty dense for a comedy yet surprisingly breezy. Like, cut out her alcoholism and this could practically be on the Disney Channel. And the blasphemy. Disney could probably do without all the blasphemy. Because under it's witty candy coated surface is a bristling take down of the logistics of heaven. Like how can these allegedly "good" people feel so at peace while the vast majority of humanity suffers at the hands of bears? Which apparently have two mouths in the Bad Place.

Settling Soul Mates.

This could get really deep down the line and seeing as this is by the same guy who helmed Parks and Rec I have no doubt it will. The supporting cast is fine. I hope William Harper doesn't become this show's Ann. In that I hope he gets more to do than be constantly exasperated at Eleanore's capacity to be a total piece of shirt. There is also no cursing in the Good Place.

But Danson rules as a neurotic angel-esque figure who wants to help people without really knowing the first thing about them. He doesn't know what to do with sweat and seems to be darkly saddened by humanity's unquenchable love of frozen yogurt. His bow ties themselves are almost a cast member.

So yeah, this is good stuff so far. Corny CGI aside, this will fill the P&R sized hole in my heart quite nicely. Not exactly great yet, but watch out. In a couple seasons (fingers crossed) I could see this being taught in philosophy courses. It could go crazy deep if it wanted to. It's a show I feel is about to pull the rug out from under me any second. I like that feeling.

God I love Ted Danson.

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