Reviews | Written by Stephen Boothroyd 31/01/2019

THE GOOD PLACE: SEASON 3

REVIEWED: SEASON 3 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX UK

The first two seasons of The Good Place were of such a high standard that it was always unlikely it would be able to hold up the standard. Other than one episode entitled Janet(s), most other episodes didn't really stand out, and that episode was instantly followed by the lacklustre Book of Dougs. The show tried to put character development ahead of the comedy, a bold move considering the characters had their memories wiped on so many occasions, that the speed at which the character development happens comes across unnatural to the viewer.

By expanding the locations of the show and losing its ‘Good Place’, the show lost a lot of its location-based humour, making the budget restraints more obvious and leading to several bottle episodes. Lots of dull locations such as offices and a lack of extras left the viewer struggling to suspend their disbelief; for the first time it felt painfully obvious that we were watching a modestly budgeted situation comedy. Even the aforementioned Janet(s), as excellent as it was, probably came about due to a lack of location budget. After all, what’s cheaper to film than a void?

One thing Season 3 did do very well is confirm that The Good Place is very much a love story and not just a story about friendship, with the Eleanor/Chidi relationship really taking things up a notch. Unfortunately, most of the time it just didn't feel at a natural pace, add this to the fact that the two personalities still seem pretty incompatible, it makes it hard to buy into. This soured it slightly, as the ending could have been a real tear-jerker. This contrasts with the excellently played-out Janet and Jason relationship, which the creative team have done such an excellent job pacing. The two characters gel so well together that it makes them much easier to root for.

The series continued its broad theme to address ethical issues throughout, although there’s nothing quite as thought-provoking, hilarious, or memorable here as last season’s The Trolley Problem. Certainly a mixed bag overall then, and unfortunately we think it’s a season that will ultimately cost the show numerous viewers.  It’s far from a dud, but simply has too many throwaway episodes for it to come close to its usual standard. That said, the ending gives us high hopes for Season 4!