The Good Place Season 2 review: does the new season live up to the first?

Here’s our review of Season 2 of Michael Schur’s The Good Place

After the Season One finale shock twist that the characters of The Good Place were actually in the Bad Place all along, there was naturally a pinch of trepidation that preceded the Season Two opener.

Even after 13 episodes of proof that the series rarely, if ever, hits a wrong note, one main worry still lingered in the between-seasons void like a shiny red balloon floating merrily through a forest made of trees with pins for leaves: if Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) no longer think they’re in the Good Place, the whole premise for Season Two will have to change, and we might not be able to deal with that.

As it turns out, the pin-leaves were actually marshmallows all along and we needn’t have fretted over it. The big Season One finale twist was just a neat set up for a new but equally as fun adventure that has been jovially unwinding for a further 13 episodes. Obviously the end of Season Two left us on another potentially series-altering bombshell, but we shan’t get into that now.

Though the entire show is driven by our four dead heroes’ quest to become better people, Season Two interestingly meant a change in personality was in order for demon Michael (Ted Danson) too, with his bow tie-wearing ‘hopeless dad’ facade from the fake Good Place being replaced with a trickster-like torturer. He still wears bow ties, but he now also likes to torture and humiliate humans until they break. However, the new ‘don’t give a damn about any of you’ personality leaves room for some positive character development as Michael begins to sit in on Chidi’s morals and ethics lessons, and the on-going result is both amusing and heart-warming to watch.

The series relies on far more story development than your average American sitcom, and the pace is fast as a result, but that doesn’t mean The Good Place doesn’t take time over the details. It’s the details that make it what it is. That, and the fact that it’s hilarious.