Have You Watched “The Good Place”?

Something remarkable is happening on a half-hour comedy right now, and I highly recommend you check it out.

I’m talking about The Good Place, as you can tell from the subject of this post. But let me back up a minute to explain why this is a big deal.

In the vast majority of half-hour comedies, the core premise of every episode hardly ever changes. I’ll use The Office, one of my favorite shows ever, as an example: The core of almost every episode is about people working in an office. The people themselves may change, but the core premise remains the same.

I think this is because audiences like familiarity. I know I do. I’m perfectly happy watching an episode of Seinfeld where the characters barely leave Jerry’s apartment. That core location feels a little bit like home to any frequent viewer.

This is what makes The Good Place’s second season so audacious. There was a big twist at the end of the first season, but most other shows would have found a way to revert to the standard formula in season 2. Not so with The Good Place. The core premise itself has changed–the show has truly moved forward, and it continues to do so in every subsequent episode.

While I wouldn’t want this in every show, it’s refreshing to watch. I like knowing that shows have the potential to evolve–to truly evolve, not just superficial, temporary changes–and The Good Place gives me hope.

Have you seen it? Feel free to talk about spoilers in the comments.