Can ‘The Good Place’s Void Be Filled? Why TV Won’t Be the Same Without It
Luckily the show, which arrived in 2016, is departing on its own terms and leaving fans with a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion. And who would’ve known a show about four humans who enter the afterlife only to discover they’ve been sent to “The Bad Place” would resonate so much?
Sure, The Good Place isn’t your conventional comedy like NBC staples of years past like Seinfeld, Friends, The Office and Parks & Rec, but with heart and hilarity at its core, it doesn’t matter. In a world filled with so much negativity, a show like The Good Place is more than just a few laughs, it’s an escape from reality, and its more outlandish intricacies — we’re looking at you, chainsaw bear — only further that sentiment.
The Good Place did more than just provide great lines and new pop culture references, it taught lessons. In a cast of characters who find themselves in a state of death which is considered permanent (until afterlife magic steps in), their ability to adapt and grow despite several resets speaks volumes.
No matter how dire things are, or how serious or unrelenting people are to change as in death, there is potential to improve yourself, learn new things and contribute positively. Chidi (William Jackson Harper) may have been teaching Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), Michael (Ted Danson) and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) ethics this entire series, but viewers were also unknowingly students as well.
There’s a reason the show connects with such a wide audience — it causes one to think and rethink moments in their own life and make an effort to do better. You may not be an Arizona dirtbag, a human turtleneck, a narcissistic monster or the dumbest person ever, but there’s always a desire to go back and change things that you wish you’d done better — after all, “pobody’s nerfect.”
If they could change, if they could save the world from extinction, it means that we can too. There’s not a lot of shows out there that elicit such strong messages of empowerment to improve the world. The question of “what we owe each other” comes into play throughout the series, and it’s a big one to answer.
While there’s no clear cut response, one thing is for sure — we owe it to each other to walk away from The Good Place with a smile on our faces. It might be the end, and the show is leaving a void like Janet’s behind. Nothing will fill the hole, but at least we lived in a timeline where The Good Place existed — who knows if the same could be said about the Jeremy Bearimy.
The Good Place, Series Finale, Thursday, January 30, 8:30/7:30c, NBC