This story assumes that you’ve already seen the first two seasons of The Good Place, so if for some reason you’ve been saving it then maybe opt out now, because trust us, it’s worth going in cold. You’ve been warned, spoiler-fearers.
Let’s be honest: most television is about terrible people doing terrible things. After all, there’s not a hell of a lot of drama in nice people being nice to one another nicely.
And then there’s The Good Place, a show which is literally about people trying (and often failing badly) to become better people – a premise which should by rights make for terrible viewing and is instead the funniest and most life-affirming thing in popular culture.
And sometime around 5pm-ish, Netflix has an entire double episode of The Good Place for you! Season 3! Ready to go! Why aren’t we watching it right now?
Yes, the show that’s as much a delight behind the scenes as it is to watch (as the relentlessly entertaining and almost sickeningly upbeat The Good Place: The Podcast make abundantly clear) is back with our four heroes and secret best friends returned to Earth to give their moral development a red hot second go.
And we ‘Straylians should be advised that the return episode is called ‘Everything Is Bonzer!’ because, as the end of season 2 told us, Eleanor is about to hunt down Chidi in his philosophy department in Brisbane.
And yes, that’s not how we spell bonza. Or bonsai. Or bronzer. In fact, it’s not how we spell any word in the English language. For example: Lunch. Angrily. Presumptuous. Squid. We could go on.
And look, we could go on about the endless quotability or the superb casting or the way that every third episode has a twist which lesser comedies would save for series finales.
But the most magical thing about the show is that it gently encourages you, the jaded viewer binge-watching content in this golden age of television, to ponder some of the deepest questions about how humans should treat one another.
After all, this is a show about life and death and ethics and moral philosophy, albeit one where the non-denominational afterlife is maintained by omnipotent Janets who are not people and also not robots.
These aren’t things that get talked about in mainstream entertainment. And as entertainment tends to the dark and gritty, there’s something to be said for getting a little shot of laugh-out-loud hilarious positivity in one’s cultural diet.
Think of it as a heaping tub of frozen yoghurt, flavoured like a fully recharged phone battery; or the spicy kick that is the concept of envy upon your televisual burrito.
Goddammit, The Good Place. We’ve missed you.