Binge-A-Thon: The Good Place (Season One)

For the last few months I’ve been following a lot of week-to-week shows (and then not writing about them, sadly) so my TV plate has been pretty full. There was Game of Thrones, Twin Peaks: The Return, Preacher, The Sinner, and the only one left still running, Mr. Mercedes.

As more and more of these shows have finished up their seasons, my TV time has expanded, which is what I think has led to the sudden burst of binges in the last few days. And with a few TV binges out of the way, I’m now prepped to spend October watching horror films.

I hadn’t heard about The Good Place until just the last week, when it started popping up on my radar as a result of its immanent second season start. The combination of pretty stellar reviews and a concept that sounded decidedly up my alley (a bad person ends up accidentally sent to heaven, and chaos ensues) gave me reason enough to check out the pilot episode. And a brilliantly funny pilot episode led me to binge out on the rest of the season. And this was a legit binge. I took this one down in a single day.

I like laughing. I really do. I want to like more comedies. I really do. But most of what is considered funny can barely get a chuckle out of me. I’m hard to please, I guess, but I really wish I wasn’t. Laughter is pretty great.

So when I find something that makes me laugh — like The Good Place did — I’m pretty excited. Unfortunately I can’t say too much about it without running the risk of spoiling the ups and downs of what’s a pretty great show.

What I can say is that, as I said above, it’s insanely funny, sometimes darkly so, sometimes absurdly so. It’s also really well acted with four central characters worth spending time with, but who also have surprises to reveal with each passing episode.

It also spends a surprising amount of time talking about philosophy, specifically in regards to ethics, as Kristen Bell’s Eleanor attempts to become a better person before she’s found out, in the hopes that she might be allowed to stay in The Good Place and avoid being sent to, well, The Bad Place.

So if you like comedy built around philosophy, heaven and hell, death, and bad people doing bad things but trying to become better people, and who doesn’t enjoy all of that, this is definitely a show you should check out.

And hey, if you want to follow the week by week of the new season, now’s a perfect time to get yourself caught up. Well, actually, a few weeks back would have been the perfect time, because the new season has already started, and you’ll be like two or three episodes behind. But this is clearly a close second to the perfect time.

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