I just got through watching season one of The Good Place on Neflix. There were enough .gifs and video clips on the internet that I knew the general beats, but even knowing most of the twists, I was really impressed with this show.
It’s a network sitcom. It’s got all of the characteristics of a network sitcom: bright colors, characters who kind of like each other and kinda don’t, and Ted Danson.
The premise is that our main characters–Elanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jianyu are dead. They and 318 other dead people go to a personalized neighborhood in The Good Place to enjoy eternal happiness.
The kink in that plan–at least initially–is that Elanor doesn’t belong in The Good Place. A clerical error gave her the points (karma, basically) of another person. And if she’s found out, she goes to The Bad Place.
Elanor isn’t evil; she’s just a bad person who’s embrace an life aggressive immorality and selfishness. When disasters that reflect Elanor’s shitty behavior beset the neighborhood, Elanor has to learn to become a good person before the neighborhood’s all-powerful architect, Michael, can connect her to the disasters.
In true sitcom style, the ring of conspirators in Elanor’s misplaced status widens and the situations get wilder, but the tension never releases: the season’s penultimate moment is an emotional roulette wheel of characters arguing over trips to The Bad Place to save each other.