When THE GOOD PLACE ended its first season an enormous secret had been revealed: Eleanor and her friends were actually trapped in The Bad Place. But with their memories wiped by Michael and their torture scenario reset, there was a possibility that the show would begin its second season with a repeat of the series premiere, albeit with a few minor changes.
That, however, is not what happens. In fact, despite the initial premise of the show returning for the season 2 premiere (Eleanor doesn’t believe she belongs in the Good Place) the show is both very different and extremely familiar.
One of the first major differences is Ted Danson’s role as Michael. He’s still his corny, cheeful self among the people he’s setting out to “torture”, but now that we know his true identity we get to see a lot more of his true personality be let out. Michael’s superior doesn’t have faith in his “cockamamie” experiment, so Michael is desperate to make this work. And now we get a sense of how elaborate this entire charade actually is, with Michael prompting the other residents of the neighbourhood (including people like Real Eleanor) to take on new roles and try to manipulate Eleanor and her friends. After all, Michael is determined to prove that there’s a “better way to make humans miserable.”
Fans will also get a sense that there’s something different about Eleanor. She spent a lot of season 1 floundering around a bit, slowly trying to make herself into someone good. But season 2 Eleanor is a woman on a mission, determined to figure out what the meaning of the note she was given (the very note we know she wrote to herself). So we’re not wasting a lot of time on her getting to know the neighbourhood or figuring out whether she feels she has been misplaced.
And while the first season was very much Eleanor’s show, season 2 shows us how Michael is also determined to torture Chidi, Tahani and Jason. Their new soulmate situations are hilarious and perfectly designed to drive each of them crazy.
THE GOOD PLACE returns for an all new season with a one-hour premiere on September 20 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. The show will then move to its regular timeslot on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. beginning on September 28.