SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for Season 1 of The Good Place. If you have not yet caught up with the first run of this hilarious, amazing show, please bookmark this page, binge, and then come back!
As the season finale of NBC's The Good Place demonstrated, creator Michael Schur and his team of writers are hardly flying by the seat of their pants in the design of the show. Instead, the major twist at the end of Season 1 actually demonstrates that there is definitely a very clear strategy in place for how the show will grow in develop. But exactly how long does this plan extend? According to star Kristen Bell, the creator of the series already has a good idea of what fans can expect from The Good Place in Season 7.
I had the immense pleasure of sitting down for an interview with Kristen Bell this past weekend during the Los Angeles press day for her new big screen comedy CHIPS -- and personally being a huge fan of The Good Place, I dedicated my last question to asking about it. Recognizing the forward thinking that surely went into crafting the big Season 1 twist, I asked the actress exactly how much of the series was already being planned out. Excitedly, she explained not only that Michael Schur has a very clear idea of what he wants the show to be, but that he actually let her in on those details before she even agreed to star. Said Bell,
I have heard the pitch for season two and season three. Because much like the finale... before I signed on to the project he sat me down and said, 'Here's what I want to do with the whole season.' And because he's a great creator and he said, 'I feel irresponsible giving an actor this job and pulling the rug out from under them in the finale and changing the whole show, so I want you to know what's going to happen. And then you can decide if you want the part.' So we had the whole thing planned out, and because it's such a weird show, because there are these unearthly, heavenly elements, and different places you can go, he wants to do the whole thing. So he actually pitched me the second season, the third season, and whatever the seventh season would be. His brain is bigger than I could ever imagine.
This is pretty incredible to think about when acknowledging where things currently stand on The Good Place. Through 95% of the first 13 episodes, audiences were led to believe that Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) were all in the show's magical vision of paradise... but then came the bombshell reveal that they've actually been in The Bad Place the entire time. This led Michael (Ted Danson) to completely reset everything and erase everyone's memories, which means that Season 2 will pick up almost exactly where everything began. This begs the question how the next slate of episodes will manage to not be repetitive and move in new directions -- but if Michael Schur has things planned out until Season 7, it's hard not to be confident that he easily paved over that potentially significant issue.
Of course, there is an obvious danger in planning things out that far in advance -- a lesson that many, many shows have learned in the last century. There isn't a year that goes by without a beloved show randomly and tragically getting the axe from a network, and that can be an issue when a creator is only a fraction of the way into crafting a much larger design. Obviously we're very much hoping that The Good Place does manage to stay on the air as long as it needs to, and that we get to see everything that Michael Schur has been planning... but we also have to hope that he's also created some back-up plans and exit strategies just in case things go sideways.
The Season 1 finale of The Good Place aired back in January and NBC has picked up the show for Season 2, which will presumably be back in the fall season (though no official start date has been announced. In the meantime, look for Kristen Bell on the big screen in CHIPS on March 24th, and stay tuned for more from our interview here on CinemaBlend!