Mike Schur has given us comedy magic on NBC for years. From The Office to Parks and Recreation, he’s been a network staple that has brought endless laughs and touching moments to the small screen. That continued in a whole new way in recent years with The Good Place, a show that is every bit as funny as the aforementioned comedies, but also as philosophically compelling and narratively surprising as a show like LOST. Unfortunately, all that will come to an end with the show’s upcoming fourth season.
During the For Your Consideration panel for The Good Place, Mike Schur announced that the show would wrap up after four seasons. He followed it up with this post from the show’s Twitter:
Mike Schur provided a more extensive explanation of why the show is ending to The Hollywood Reporter:
“After season one ended and aired and it seemed like the show was going to survive the gauntlet of being a TV show in the modern era, I was like, “Well, this show isn’t a typical show where the goal is to do it as long as we can and as many episodes as we can.” It was never designed that way — we do 13 episodes per year from the beginning. I knew I needed to map this out in the same way that I mapped out the first season, I needed to map out the whole show. I didn’t feel like it needed to be definitive but I needed to have a sense of how long I thought the idea could sustain itself. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that it was four seasons.”
However, Schur wasn’t always certain that the show would end with four seasons, and he did allow the opportunity for things to change as they went along. He explained further:
“There were times early on where I felt like maybe five and maybe it’s three. (Laughs.) Once I settled on four seasons, I didn’t tell anyone — except the writers. I didn’t tell the studio or network because I wanted to make sure that I was right and I wanted to leave open the possibility that as we as a team developed the show, I wanted to allow the possibility that something could change and there was more I wanted to do. But it was pretty much always four from early on as a general map. We spent all of season three checking in and making sure that we were pacing things correctly and there was going to be enough time to do what we wanted but not too much time so that we were running in place. Toward the end of us shooting season three, I told the studio and then we told the network soon after that. It was completely dictated by the idea and how much juice I thought the idea contained and the pace at which we were letting story unfold and stuff like that. The nice thing about TV shows nowadays is it’s not a forced marathon. You can let the idea dictate the number of episodes that you actually do, which is great for creativity.”
At the very least, we’re glad to hear that The Good Place didn’t get canceled. That would have been infinitely more frustrating. Instead, The Good Place will get to finish the story they set out to tell. Speaking of which, if you happen to have missed out on The Good Place, here’s the official synopsis:
The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell, “House of Lies,” “Veronica Mars”), an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife, and thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place (which is definitely where she belongs). While hiding in plain sight from Good Place Architect Michael (Ted Danson – “Cheers,” “CSI” – in an Emmy Award-nominated performance), she’s determined to shed her old way of living and earn her spot.
Also seeking redemption, along with Eleanor, are Senegalese philosopher Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper, “Paterson”), who is tortured by decision-making; elegant Pakistani-British socialite Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil, “Playing It Straight”); and dance-obsessed Floridian Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto, “The Romeo Section”). Michael is aided by Janet (D’Arcy Carden, “Broad City”), a human-esque repository for all of the knowledge in the universe.
Since the show comes with a bunch of satisfying twists and turns, we’ll leave it at that for those of you out there who may want to pick up the show before it comes to a close (the first two seasons are available on Netflix right now, and hopefully the third will be soon). We’ll be sad to see this show go, but we’re also very glad it was given the time it needed to tell the complete story.
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