Netflix Review – The Good Place Season 4 (2019)

Clever, optimistic and downright unpredictable, Mike Schur’s philosophical comedy The Good Place has been a wild ride from start to finish. First airing back in 2016, the final, 90-minute extended episode is set to release on January 30th 2020 at 8:30pm as a spin-off to season fours November finale.

What began as a light-hearted sitcom about a woman who accidentally ends up in The Good Place (a.k.a. heaven) is now one of the most popular TV shows on Netflix. Eleanor (Kristen Bell) attempts to hideout in The Good Place by learning to be a good citizen – something she wasn’t before. However, things soon get out of hand and the afterlife becomes much more complex than one would imagine.

The Good Place is practically the definition of a plot twist: you never know what to expect from one episode to the next. It’s this element of absurdity that gives the show its charm, constantly reeling out bizarre gags and clever one-liners. Being of the fantasy genre, The Good Place has no rules to play by (other than the inability to swear), pushing aside science and logic for a fun journey through Schur’s comical rendition of the afterlife.

The Good Place stands out from the abundance of TV sitcoms because of its unique focal point on the value of ethics. Famous philosophers and moral dilemmas litter the show to the point it could be considered educational (don’t worry – it’s still just as hilarious). The Good Place has a particular sense of humour that gives it the strength to carry off such outlandish stories. Grounded by our investment in the characters, The Good Place never fails to deliver an emotional (and humorous) punch.

Season four successfully maintains its unique level of wit, despite standards slipping slightly in season three. The story line had begun to get a little repetitive and guest star’s overused, but The Good Place managed to pick itself up again. Having gotten to know our characters over the course of four years, the shows heartfelt conclusion really exhibits the growth of its protagonists. A sassy “Arizona Trash Bag”, spoiled socialite, impulsive DJ (disguised as a monk) and indecisive philosophy professor make up the dysfunctional family at the start of The Good Place. However, by the end, Schur’s message of self-improvement and determination prevails as the maker of true friendship.

The final episode of season four returns to its roots in a surprisingly simplified ending. Though the fate of the world hangs in the balance (keeping us on our toes for the spin-off episode), Schur directs his attention to the main protagonists. Instead of flying to mars on a spaceship made of pancakes, we spend our last few precious moments with Eleanor and Chidi (William Jackson Harper), finally receiving the “answer” to what the shows been asking the whole time.

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