SPOILERS for seasons 1-3 of The Good Place
I remember how I felt after the end of The Good Place’s amazing season 1 finale. It was that rare storytelling twist that was both surprising and the only outcome that made any sense. Of course the lead characters were in hell I thought, where else could they be? The angelic neighborhood architect played by Ted Danson was actually a malevolent demon this whole time, torturing our four main characters by simply setting them loose against each other. Eleanor’s dirtbag behaviour, Chidi’s indecisiveness, Tahani’s narcissism, and Jason’s… Jason’s being an idiot (there’s no nice way to put this), were perfectly suited to torture each other. This was done by thrusting them into familiar sit-com episode set-ups artificially created by Michael in an elaborate attempt to make them miserable without them ever realizing it. For an NBC network sitcom, this was without exaggeration, a genius conceit. It suggested that all a sitcom amounted to was a writer torturing their characters with the stresses of mundanity and the toxic combination of their wacky personalities. This was a brilliant direction for a show, it would take a lot to ruin it all. Unfortunately, they did.