Kristen Bell Sneaks into Heaven in NBC’s New Comedy “The Good Place” (REVIEW)

A new take on heaven made its way to the small screen this week when Kristen Bell’s new show The Good Place premiered Tuesday on NBC. The story follows Kristen Bell’s character, Eleanor, who dies suddenly and goes to the afterlife, which is referred to as “the good place” (basically heaven).

“The good place” is a town that is strictly meant for people who have been good for their whole lives and deserve nothing but the best in their time after life, complete with spacious living, unlimited frozen yogurt and even a one true (designated) soul mate.

So, what’s the catch with this story?

Well, Eleanor has somehow slipped through the cracks of the system and is not even close to being a qualified member of “the good place.” In response, Eleanor ends up pretending that she belongs in efforts to avoid getting caught by the creator of the neighborhood, Michael. Helping her stay on the “down low”  is the real Eleanor’s soulmate, Chidi. Through flashbacks, we learn that Eleanor is an incredibly self-absorbed person, and Chidi is the one giving her lessons on how to have morals and be more selfless.

Eleanor and her "soul mate" Chidi. Courtesy of NBC Studios.
Eleanor and her “soul mate” Chidi. Courtesy of NBC Studios.

After three episodes, the show’s writing has all the intentions of being funny, but comes off as “just OK.”

One of the funnier aspects of the show is the fact that in “the good place,” there is absolutely no swearing. F-bombs are being replaced with the word “fork” and the s-word is replaced with shirt. These are pretty nice “haha” moments but overall, the show is just cute.

The style of the show is quirky, rather than satirical or dry. It may just have to do with the fact that all the characters in “the good place” are supposed to be the most kindhearted, happy-go-lucky individuals in the world, but comic relief is instilled with Eleanor there to call out their overjoyed bull shirt (as they would say on the show).

Going in, I had high expectations because Kristen Bell has been in the business for so long and has her name on some great comedy projects, such as this past summer’s movie hit Bad Moms.

The hilariously intricate scoring method of how people make it into “the good place.” Courtesy of NBC studios

Nevertheless, I was hoping to be more in love with it than I currently am, but I am willing to stay tuned a little while longer to see if it hopefully picks up. Who knows? The plot is creative enough that the writers could still be holding some magic up their sleeves to suck me back into The Good Place. 

The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.