“The Good Place” debuted on NBC Monday night, September 19, to strong reviews (78 on MetaCritic, 85% freshness on MetaCritic). With the 2016 Emmys just behind us, has the race for Best Comedy Series in 2017 already started?
The new series tells the story of Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a selfish woman who dies and due to a case of mistaken identity ends up in heaven instead of … the other place. The imaginative premise could help the series stand out on the awards scene, as could its impressive pedigree.
Bell has yet to be nominated for an Emmy, but after missing out on bids for “Veronica Mars” and “House of Lies” she could be considered overdue. Her co-star Ted Danson is a longtime Emmy favorite, having won Best Comedy Actor twice for “Cheers” (1990 and 1993); he has 15 nominations in all. And the series is created by Michael Schur, a two-time Emmy winner who wrote for “Saturday Night Live,” produced “The Office”‘ and created “Parks and Recreation” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
So what exactly are the critics saying about the new comedy? Check out some of the reviews below, and click here to discuss the series in our forums.
Jeff Jensen (Entertainment Weekly): “Remember when we thought ‘Lost’ was about dead people in a bizarre limbo working out their redemption? Reboot the idea as a fantastically funny sitcom and you get NBC’s ‘The Good Place,’ a heady yet big-laughs comedy about the folly of phoniness, judgment, and perfection.”
Jen Chaney (Vulture): “Imagine a show with the smart, character-driven comedic sensibility of ‘Parks and Recreation,’ the storytelling style of ‘Lost,’ and a touch of the whimsy that defined ‘Pushing Daisies.’ Now you have some sense of what ‘The Good Place’ is like.”
Ellen Gray (Philadelphia Daily News): “Bell and Danson, whose character isn’t as much in control as he appears at first, are both kind of adorable and so is William Jackson Harper as Chidi, Eleanor’s designated ‘soul mate,’ a Senegalese philosophy professor she cajoles into teaching her how to be good before she’s discovered to be a fraud and sent to the not-so-good place … the five episodes I’ve seen of The Good Place showed it to be smart with heart, and that combination should be worth a fair number of afterlife points.”
David Wiegand (San Francisco Chronicle): “The series was created by Mike Schur, who co-created both ‘Parks & Recreation’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine Nine.’ There’s no question that he and NBC are taking a chance with this tangy fantasy froth, but the necessary elements for a successful comedy are there, including the chemistry between Danson and Bell.”