21st Feb2020

‘The Good Place: Season 4’ Review

by Rhys Payne

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The first season of The Good Place was one of the best series I have ever seen. It was hilariously funny but was also crammed full of shocking twists and turns, all of which made the show exciting to watch. The second season was somewhat disappointing and the third was only marginally better, so I was eager to see what the newest, and final, series would be like… Turns out it was everything I needed it to be and more!

This was one of the most perfect ways to ends a series, one that other shows should take note of. This season ties together plot threads, character moments and key story points from earlier seasons, complete with flashbacks to actual scenes from previous episode; which helps create a perfect well-rounded story arc from the audience’s perspective. We had callbacks to season one including a “like a monk” like which was insanely clever. One of my favourite references dealt with the variety of Janets, which was something discussed across the other three seasons but as a viewer we never actually saw this actually realised until this series and the anticipation was sustained long enough for the pay off to be worthwhile. As a Rocky Horror Picture Show fan I really appreciated the minute reference to the cult classic when the phrase “Damn it Janet” was used – which many people would not notice or realise which only adds to how clever this show is produced. The actual narrative of the show was also extremely cleverly written as the dramatic twists and turns were both insane but also made perfect sense within the story which is something many shows do not do nowadays but this final season of The Good Place did this amazingly!

This is a show where you have to embrace it for what it is otherwise you won’t enjoy it as much as you should. The show talks about some very emotional themes and contains so very heartbreaking scenes (especially in this season!) but there is a constant air of silliness throughout. There are numerous, almost random, musical breaks – one particular “break” that stands out is a scene between Micheal and Janet where they performed the Tina Turner classic ‘Simply the Best’ which was amazing. On top of the song inclusions, the characters themselves were so incredibly over the top that you instantly realise the nature of the show. The new characters in this season were extreme caricatures which made sense within the show but was also very entertaining to see. When had an extremely boring old lady and a catty and gossip obsessed celebrity reporter who was such extreme representations of a certain type of person that it was comical in itself. Also, some of the special effects in this show are so ridiculously ‘bad’ that it only added to the jovial nature of the show.

The episodes are extremely short at only 20 mins per episode which makes The Good Place easy to watch. This allows this show to be perfect for binge-watching but if you would prefer to savour the show and watch it when you have the time, then the short episode length will cause you some problems. On top of this, the credits at the end of each episode were very distracting. Unlike most shows, the end credits appeared during the end of the episode while the action of the episode was still happening which was quite distracting as naturally, you want to read the credits but if you do you may miss something important for the next episode.

As I have already said this is the final season of The Good Place and so I was looking forward to seeing how they would end this series. I have to be honest it was one of the best ends to a show I have ever seen. Each character that we have come to know and love had a chance to say goodbye in their own unique and insanely emotional way, which was amazing to watch! From the beginning of this season it was clear that they all had to say goodbye but, even though you know it was going to happen, they still managed to make it heartbreaking – which is the sign of an amazing cast and creative team!

In conclusion, this sason was a fantastic way to end The Good Place and did everything it needed to and more. There were serious and heartbreaking moments underpinned with hilarious and comical moments that made for a fantastic watch. A highlight of this show was an underrated moment where Micheal talked about morality and says something along the lines of “It’s not about being good or bad but it’s about trying to be better!” Which is such a clever inclusion even in this jovial show.

The fourth season of The Good Place did everything it needed to bring the show to the end in a way which is exactly what the viewers wanted… and needed!

***** 5/5

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