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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Francesca

It's The Final Countdown: Part 1 - "The Good Place"

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Opening Statement: I hope to enlighten my readers on a short journey into my views! I plan to post every other Sunday for the most part, excluding any spur of the moment ideas I may have or a busy schedule which may restrict me from posting that week. Thank you and enjoy!


Hello folks! It is the final countdown of one of my favorite shows on television currently, as well as one of my other "binge-worthy" shows. In honor of both the ending of The Good Place AND Parks and Recreation (even though it finished a while ago, I'm a bit late to the party and am just finishing it up now), I have decided to do a two part finale post to sum up my thoughts and opinions on what both of these shows have had to offer. I currently have two episodes left of both these amazing shows, and I am utterly HEARTBROKEN! I don't even want to watch them, (I'm going to right away) because I know it'll all be over after that. Ugh, alright enough of my crying, to start off Part 1, I will focus on one of the funniest, most creative television series I have ever seen, The Good Place.


I will not write in any major spoilers in Part 1 of this post for the sake of everyone out there who has not gotten the chance to be BLESSED with this show. If you haven't already, it's time people! And I'm here to tell you why.


As I began watching The Good Place, I quickly found myself falling in love with the quirky humor, wickedly creative writing, and intriguing conflict and obstacles that fill each episode. Watching Eleanor Shellstrop, played by the wonderfully talented Kristen Bell, evolve in a place where she knows she doesn't belong, is inspiring and exhilarating. I was on edge, waiting for her secret to be revealed, but also excited for her as she began to change her bitter ways in the afterlife. At times, when the "point system" was discussed and explained, I found myself even thinking about morality and the things I am doing in my own life. In some way, I could even say this show made me want to change some aspects of my life for the better.


Slowly but surely, it is revealed that this so called "Good Place" is most definitely flawed, and this leads all the main characters on a wild roller coaster up until the very end (and by very end, I mean close enough, still two episodes left, who knows what could happen)!


One specific element of the show that I admire, was that there were essentially six main characters. These characters include, Eleanor, Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto), the creator of the town Michael played by Ted Danson (just like the creator of the show Michael Schur), and Janet (D'Arcy Carden). To balance the lives, conflicts, and characteristics of six main characters, all whom I must mention were thoroughly developed in almost every way, is a challenging task for a screenwriter(s). In most situations that I have witnessed, this is usually accomplished in a similar format which is exemplified in films such as Love Actually, Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve etc. All of these films share a commonality, in that they each feature separate lives and stories of many different characters, who eventually and almost inevitably cross paths at some point or another. In doing so, this allows writers to, for the most part, fully develop characters in their own separate environments, with their own separate external and internal components and conflicts.


This however, does NOT happen on The Good Place. All these characters, especially the four humans, all develop in the same place, and ultimately all deal with similar if not the exact same issues, all surrounding ideas of morality and the afterlife. This can be difficult to do because having characters that are confined to the same world, with very little exception, can cause a show to become harder to follow, it forces more from the writers creatively to conjure up many diverse layers for the characters, and it can sometimes create favoritism toward some characters over others, because none are truly put in the spotlight for more than some time. Yes, I recognize that Eleanor is technically considered the original main character of the show, but as time goes on she progressively shares more and more of the spotlight with the other five, until it is almost equal.


My point from all that I've mentioned in the above section, is that I never found myself loving any one main character more than another. Each character had their own interesting, deep, and surprising story, which kept me paying attention to all of them, and not caring for one more than the other. Even though, all six were eventually seeking the same thing throughout each episode, (which is what really sets these multiple main characters apart from other shows of the same sort) I was still able to care about each one of them individually, which kept me watching and will keep me watching until the very end.


Now, some may argue that this has been done, and done well for that matter, many times on television, and that this show does not stand out on its own. I acknowledge this argument, but I personally would have to disagree and say that The Good Place does stand out in its effort of developing six main characters. And I will tell you why. Let's look at Friends for example (another one of my all-time favorite shows), another show with six main characters. If we analyze Friends from the same angle that I am analyzing The Good Place from, we see that even though all six characters were in fact fully developed main characters, they all led their own very different lives outside their shared coffee shop and purple apartment. This, gives writers the opportunity to come up with new situations that perfectly fit the characters separate lives, as well as come up with shared situations, such as dating within the friend group and more.


Around season three, I did start to notice that the storyline became a bit repetitive in comparison to the start of the show, where there were many unexpected twists and turns. Without spoiling too much, let me elaborate. Once you have watched it, you will quickly realize that the plot itself naturally has a "set end" of sorts, in that there is one very big goal that once accomplished, would ultimately end the show for the most part. Toward the end of season three, it felt as if the entire plot was stretched to its limits. None the less, I think the writers were still able to make it work in a way that kept viewers engaged.


To come to an end, both for this post and for this show, I am happy and thankful to have watched The Good Place. It has also inspired my writing as a screenwriter, and I hope to someday write something as thrilling, creative, and well-thought-out as this series. I am extremely sad to see this show end, I would have loved at least one more season. Although, when looking at this from a "plot-based" perspective as mentioned, the story is complete, and is ready to come to a satisfying end. The Good Place on NBC is an exciting story to watch unfold, and I encourage anyone who has yet to see it, to start. It is officially "The Final Countdown" of The Good Place and I am ready to see what these last two episodes have in store for us viewers.


Check out Part 2 of this post, where I talk about completing another great comedic tv show, Parks and Recreation!


~Francesca Reviews

 

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Disclaimer: All of my posts are based off of my own knowledge, opinion, and beliefs and this blog is only meant to be a platform to share those things with the world. I am always open to hear what you all have to say about the topics I write about, listening to many perspectives can only enhance my knowledge! Therefore, feel free to start a friendly conversation sharing your opinions! Thank you!


 

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