Neighborhood 12358W is the first of Michael's Experiments, otherwise known as "The Good Place".
Michael's "Good Place" Neighborhood was Michael's first project as an independent architect for The Bad Place. After being an apprentice for 200 years he was finally given the chance to design his own neighborhood.
Not wanting to do a paint-by-numbers neighborhood he instead pitched to his bosses his own version: a neighborhood where the inhabitants think they are in The Good Place.
Rather than the standard tortures of the Bad Place, the humans would end up torturing each other psychologically. The Bad Place neighborhood lasted for almost 300 years before Michael destroyed it in Best Self.
Michael selected four humans (Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani). Michael's intention was that their clashing personalities, and stresses caused by their situation would result in them torturing each other in various ways for a millennium without them realizing the true nature of the situation. As part of their torment, both Eleanor and Jason were led to believe they were in the Good Place due to a mistake they must keep concealed.
The remaining 318 residents were demons under Michael's command playing the part of humans in paradise with Michael posing as a Good Place architect. By necessity, a Good Place Janet was required for the neighborhood's operation. As per her programming, she is genuinely helpful and not part of the ruse.
Physically, the neighborhood resembles a small community with a mostly pastel color scheme surrounded by a vast expanse of bucolic countryside. There is a train station at its edge. A constant through most, if not all, of the iterations of the neighborhood are a number of shops selling varieties of the same disappointing foodstuff (such as frozen yogurt).
The main problem with Michael's neighborhood is that one of the humans would eventually figure out that they were in fact in The Bad Place after they realized that they were far too miserable there for it to be a Good Place. Or, on one occasion, Michael left the door of his office open while discussing his plans and Eleanor walked in on him.
After this Michael would wipe the memory of the humans and start over with various modifications to the setup, however the process would repeat itself over and over again, 802 times, for nearly 300 years, to the increasing dissatisfaction of the other demons. The reboots would never last longer than 11 months. Eventually, Michael gave up and joined forces with the humans in order to avoid retirement.
The neighborhood is eventually shut down entirely and erased from existence at the end of Chapter 23 as Michael, Janet, and the humans leave by train.
- 12358 are the first second through sixth numbers in the Fibonacci sequence.
- Eleanor is almost always the one who figures out that they are in The Bad Place, save for one time when Jason first put it together.
- Michael has rebooted his neighborhood over 800 times with the longest time lasting 11 months and the average reboot only going for 5 months.
- Over the course of 802 reboots approximately 300 years had passed (from Michael and the other demons' perspectives), but because time works differently in the afterlife, 300 hundred years had not passed on earth.
- According to Eleanor's horoscope seen in a flashback in Chapter 12, her lucky numbers are 1, 23, and 58.
- According to Vicky in Season 2, Episode 8, the neighborhood is over 1000 miles.
- The Neighborhood's design was recreated exactly for Michael's third experiment.
- The "town" exteriors are shot on the "Little Europe" lot at Universal Studios Hollywood (and can be visited on the Universal Studios public tour). The Chinese Gardens location is at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in nearby San Marino.