There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for excellence in storytelling with the shortened seasons that have surged into the television landscape recently. The writing has to be exceptional, the casts dynamic and the chemistry undeniable in order to get the most out of a scant 13 episodes over 4 seasons.
The Good Place mastered that art-giving us the shared experiences of Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, Janet and Michael, as they found commonalities and not-so-commonalities in working together to save humanity. 4 strangers thrown together in a semi-sort of-kinda stressful Good Place that’s really the Bad Place, Voltroning to make things fair for humankind.
And that’s the lasting impression this gem of a show gave us. People from different walks of life combining their strengths, compensating for one another’s weaknesses and getting the job done. It was synergy and symbiosis rolled into a beautiful fount of friendship.
My biggest takeaway from The Good Place was the idea that the destination wasn’t as important as the journey. Our intrepid team learned, grew and evolved in character and fortitude. The tests that were consistently thrown their way only increased their resolve to find solutions to seemingly impossible problems.
The finale only reinforced that the end is just the beginning. After uncountable Jeremy Bearimies, Jason decides to go through the door between the realms first. He’s followed by Tahani-who leaves to become an architect-in-training, inspired by Michael himself. As Eleanor and Chidi remain, the readiness and calm to make the move through the door surrounds Chidi. Eleanor tries her best to convince him to stay but when one is ready to cross through the door, one must go.
The final lesson of this little show that could was readiness. In the end, Eleanor remained alone because her readiness wasn’t there. But when she fulfilled her final quest-her journey became complete. Eleanor was able to walk through that door with relaxation and preparedness.
The Good Place gave all of us the best (and sometimes worst) of human nature. It expounded on themes of ethics and kindness and theology, wrapped in a package of comedy and drama. And when all was said and done, we had no choice but to always take it sleazy.
Stream the series finale of The Good Place on Hulu and watch seasons 1-3 on Netflix.