(Full disclosure: I work for E! News, a subsidiary of NBC Universal, which produces and airs The Good Place. This review is entirely my own opinion, and is not in any way reflective of NBC Universal. I do not believe that my opinion was swayed by my employment, and I have written plenty of pieces that are critical of NBC Universal content, but if you want to take my review with a grain of salt, feel free!)
It doesn’t take much to sell me on a Michael Schur series. After spending a few years writing for The Office, Schur moved on to create Parks and Recreation, a modern classic, and Brooklyn 9-9, one of the most consistently funny sitcoms currently running. So even without the presence of the terrific Kristen Bell and sitcom legend Ted Danson, or the directorial hand of the great Drew Goddard, or guidance from television auteur Damon Lindelof, The Good Place was worth my time and attention. Considering that it ALSO involves all of the above, The Good Place was at the top of my “new shows to watch” list.
Even outside of its pedigree, The Good Place deserves recognition for trying something different. Schur has shown that even when he falls back on the formats and character-types with which he’s familiar, as he did with Brooklyn 9-9, his output is levels above most of his contemporaries. But The Good Place takes on bold ideas and touchy subjects, tackling them in the form of a serialized half-hour comedy on network television. That’s not just rare, it flat-out doesn’t exist in modern television.