Wednesday, October 12, 2016

'The Good Place' is not a good show to watch.

Now that the new tv season has started, half a dozen or so new comedy shows have premiered. These are the shows that have been rated highly by the test audiences and have been approved by the network executives. 

Many of these shows get a massive push in the media and get hyped through the roof. They get praise from the critics, regardless of whether they are any good or whether they have any potential to become successful. 

In any case, one of these new 'awesome' shows happens to be NBC's 'The Good Place', that premiered in September. It has received fairly enthusiastic reviews across the board, so you might think that this series would be the real deal. 

Yet, as is the case with almost every new series, this show that stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, is no exception to the rule. 'The Good Place', unfortunately, isn't any good and doesn't manage to entertain you in any meaningful way. 

The biggest problem with this single camera comedy is that its premise doesn't make sense. The show being about Bell's character going to heaven doesn't have universal appeal and (literally) doesn't have a connection to real life.

Pretty much none of the stuff that happened in the pilot made sense or felt natural. I can't be alone in thinking that the writers and the producers of the show had no clue what they were supposed to do with their characters.

For example in the pilot, Bell's character's most frequent reaction to going to 'heaven' is a simple 'cool'. She thinks that it's 'cool' that she's there now, that it's 'cool' that she's one of the chosen ones and that it's 'cool' that she has a soulmate there.

The fact that she doesn't have problems and doesn't have issues with what's going on is not a good thing at all. That she doesn't have obstacles or goals to deal with means that the show doesn't have organic story ideas that it could build on.

Naturally, these problems and logical inconsistencies were not the only things about the pilot that didn't work. The pilot also happened to have many other problems with storytelling and with things that didn't make sense.

For instance, the 'revelation' in the middle of the pilot that Bell's main character wasn't actually a good person felt extremely artificial and unnecessary. It absolutely wasn't needed in any way and made the pilot feel even more constrained.

I also didn't like how her supposed 'soulmate' didn't speak english. I found it to be unnecessarily convoluted when the token black character simply 'revealed' that his french got automatically translated to english instead.

Yet, the single worst moment in the pilot was when Ted Danson's character out of nowhere decided to kick a dog. This kind of animal cruelty had no reason to be in the script and made me feel even more angry towards the writers of the show.

In the end, even if one was willing to overlook all these problems with the show, let's not forget that 'The Good Place' was supposed to be a comedy. It was supposed to be a series that made you laugh and made you feel better about yourself.

Unfortunately though, there's almost nothing good about the show's pilot. It's not well written, interesting or funny and the pilot doesn't have anything in it that would make you care about the characters and what happens to them.

In that sense, since the show doesn't really know what it's supposed to be about and since it doesn't make you laugh, 'The Good Place' as a series is probably not going to make it and is likely going to get cancelled fairly soon.


  1. "That she doesn't have obstacles or goals to deal with means that the show doesn't have organic story ideas that it could build on. "

    The fact that she doesn't belong in the Good Place creates the exact obstacles you are referring to here. It creates the conflict in the show.

    Punting a dog into the sun is animal cruelty? Really? This is a fantasy comedy, not a dog fighting ring. Guess what- it didn't actually happen.

    There is so much wrong in this narrow minded critique, I don't know how to address it in less words than the actual post. It's a great show with brilliant jokes and Danson's performance is great.

    This entire blog appears to be bitching about other peoples creations and hard work that don't live up to your expectations. What are you creating that's so great?

  2. In this post I'm sensing a failed writer throwing down a great deal of unwarranted criticism out of sheer jealousy. I'm certain Michael Schur won't mind, because he's getting ready to sweep the Emmy Awards.

  3. Counterpoint. This show is awesome and one of the best new things on television. It is smart writing that is jam packed with jokes. Megan Amram, please tell me pun restaurant names for all of time. This show plays with the structure of a sitcom in an interesting way without feeling like that's the only point of making the show. So good.

    I suppose though, there's no reason to kvell about this show on a blog that includes the post, "South Park is the only relevant comedy on tv." Broaden your horizons buddy.

  4. Everyone is untitled to their opinion no matter how asinine they me be.