Created by sitcom savant Michael Schur, the series premiered in 2016 to critical acclaim — and only grew more popular following the first season finale’s major twist. The show followed Eleanor Shellstrop (Bell) who’s sent to a utopia after her untimely death but can’t help but feel like she doesn’t belong. In the Good Place, she meets indecisive Chidi (Harper), self-centered Tahani (Jameela Jamil), dim-witted Jason (Manny Jacinto) and Michael (Danson), the architect behind the neighborhood.
When the gang eventually discovers that they’re really in the Bad Place — and that Michael is a demon who cooked up a tricky scheme — they begin to wonder whether there’s room for a middle ground between good and evil. They bring their case to an all-knowing judge (Maya Rudolph) and learn to lead better lives before meeting their fates.
“[It’s] difficult to describe,” Bell told Rolling Stone of the finale. “I hate to say bittersweet, but I felt like the ending was so worthy, it’s hard to have any regrets. All that’s there now is the yearning to spend more time with those wonderful people I worked with.”
The group’s last table read was a “snot-fest,” according to the When in Rome star. “Everybody was bawling,” she recalled. “It’s this mixture of saying goodbye to the characters, whom we’re attached to, but also saying goodbye to these friendships that we’ve been lucky enough to have on a daily basis. So there were these two levels to reading the finale that made us all extra teary.”
“It took me a while to really process it actually,” he said in January 2020. “It’s very complete and it doesn’t give you everything that you want, but it gives you everything that you need. I was very emotional. I think it’s all tied up into the fact that we’re all saying goodbye. It really posits some interesting theories about our storytelling and about what our view of life actually is. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s really effective. I can’t wait to see how people respond. … What we’re doing in this finale is something I haven’t seen.”
The Good Place earned 14 Emmy nominations throughout its run, including two nods for Outstanding Comedy Series, and received a Peabody Award in 2019. Scroll down to see where the cast is now: