The new NBC sitcom The Good Place premiered on September 19, 2016 to 8.04 million viewers.
The comedy focuses on the idea of an afterlife, specifically Eleanor Shellstrop’s afterlife. In this universe, there is a supposedly very selective “good place” and a standard “bad place.” Eleanor has been sent to “the good place” although the audience comes to discover that this is a mistake or glitch in the system as she was a horrible person in her lifetime. The series will go on to deal with the repercussions of this as well as whether or not Eleanor becomes a better person in “the good place”.
With an interesting twist on a classic fantasy scenario along with a strong cast– led by Kristen Bell and Ted Danson as well as a creative team lead by Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Michael Schur– The Good Place was expected to be a smash hit, but ultimately was met with mixed reviews.
While The New York Times reviewer praises the acting and one liners (“I was a medium person! I should get to spend eternity in a medium place… like Cincinnati!), USA Today‘s reviewer remained unimpressed, saying he expected more (more character connection, more consistent laughs, etc).
I’m curious to follow the buzz about this show during this season’s 13 episode arc to see if it maintains high viewership as well as what side critical reception will skew to as the series continues. I personally think that will be a nice juxtaposition to the work we will be doing in class. I’m looking forward to analyzing the sitcom growth and change and getting to see that at play today on a brand new show on a major network.