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Last night featured the second season finale of “The Good Place,” which continues to delight and surprise as one of the best network TV series out there and one, if you haven’t seen it, that deserves to be binge-watched, from beginning to end, in order.

“The Good Place” began with a simple premise - four people, having died in various ways, find themselves in heaven. Except that they quickly discover that they’re in “the good place” by accident - there’s a glitch in the system and they’re actually supposed to be in “the bad place.” And so, they have to create the illusion that they are better than they are.

From there, hilarity ensues.

Except that “The Good Place” isn’t just about hilarity, and is far more complex than that. The series is carefully crafted as a series of puzzles and conundrums, each of which builds upon another, never forgetting that it is a comedy and yet exploring issues of ethics and morality from a skewed perspective. It really is about the nature of goodness and the elusiveness of human perfectibility.

I’m not going to tell you anymore about the plot or structure, except that “The Good Place” never shies away from being willing to take risks in its storytelling.

The concept is matched by some delightful performances as good as I can remember in a network situation comedy. Kristen Bell is all edge and sarcasm as Eleanor Shellstrop, who is a pretty much reprehensible and yet utterly appealing. She’s matched by William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto as her fellow misplaced “Good Place” residents, and D’Arcy Carden as Janet, an artificial being designed to be helpful to all the residents.

But the heart of the show is Ted Danson, who plays Michael, the angel who has designed the unusual neighborhood that serves as the “Good Place.” More than that I cannot and will not tell you, except that Danson delivers a peerless performance that is both nimble and delicate - I’ve always thought of him as being a pointillist of a performer, and he confirms that here.

Watch “The Good Place.” (One other terrific thing about it - each season only consists of 13 episodes, not the 22 that the networks usually require. That means the show never overstays its welcome.) Thank me later.




That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.

Slàinte!
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