‘The Good Place’ Crew Starts To Feel The Heat

Alex Mell-Taylor
6 min readSep 30, 2019

Will ‘A Girl From Arizona Pt 1’ break apart the group chemistry we all love?

The Good Place is a show that’s difficult to explain to people who haven’t seen it. The premise is that a dead woman named Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) accidentally winds up in the good part of the afterlife after a lifetime of being an awful human being. She has to learn how to not be a garbage person by secretly taking ethics classes from her alleged soul mate Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) while pretending to be a “good person.” Other series regulars include the hilarious Floridian Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) and posh braggart Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil). The show has plenty of gags and funny one-liners. Still, more than a slapdash sitcom, it’s also a serious examination of modern philosophy which questions the ethical foundations of our current society.

Since you clicked on a review of season four, I’m assuming that you are up to speed with the fact that Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani were actually in the bad place as part of a Sartrean experiment to see if they could torture themselves for all eternity. The experiment failed. The crew ran away, and now they have teamed up with reformed demon Michael (Ted Danson) and not human Janet (D’Arcy Carden) to create an experiment to prove to the forces behind the good and bad places that humans can learn to be good after all.

A Girl From Arizona Pt 1 picks up where the season three finale ended. Eleanor has stepped up as the leader of the experiment, which involves four recently dead human beings going through the same sort of conditions that the crew did in season one. These humans are contractually meant to be equally as awful as the OG crew was in the first season.

The Bad Place, which is the supplier of these new test subjects, has worked extra hard to make sure these new candidates fork with Eleanor & company on an emotional level as well. Candidate number one is a gay, trashy celebrity blogger named John Wheaton (Brandon Scott Jones) who is probably Tahani’s worst nightmare. Number two is Chidi’s season three love interest Simone Garnett (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). You will recall that her presence prompted Chidi to erase his memory during the season three finale because he feared he would be unable to lie to her. Candidate…