Season 1 is the first season of NBC's The Good Place. It premiered on September 19, 2016, and concluded on January 19, 2017.
What happens when we die? It’s a question everyone has asked, since the beginning of time. But when Eleanor Shellstrop dies tragically, she finds out that the afterlife is amazing; full of frozen yogurt, soulmates, and wonderful people who have done incredible things with their lives. It is absolutely perfect. The only problem is Eleanor isn’t supposed to be in The Good Place. In fact, her life decisions wouldn’t have even gotten her close. But due to a clerical error, she’s been given someone else’s reward and now has to struggle with being good in order to make sure her secret isn’t discovered.
- Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop
- Ted Danson as Michael
- William Jackson Harper as Chidi Anagonye
- D'Arcy Carden as Janet / Bad Janet
- Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil
- Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza
- Tiya Sircar as "Real Eleanor Shellstrop"
- Adam Scott as Trevor
- Marc Evan Jackson as Shawn
- Maribeth Monroe as Mindy St. Claire
- Michael is named after the archangel Michael.
- Kristen Bell is a vegetarian and all the shrimp she eats is specially created by the props department
- Show creator Michael Schur stated that before they launched the first sneak peek for episode one of The Good Place, there's was simply two version of the original synopsis.
|1||Chapter 1: Everything is Fine||September 19, 2016|
|Eleanor Shellstrop wakes up in an afterlife utopia called the "Good Place", where she is welcomed by her "neighborhood" architect Michael. Admission is based on how ethically a deceased person behaved in life, with positive points accrued for ethical decisions and negative points for unethical decisions. Very few people qualify; all else go to an afterlife of torture in the "Bad Place", which, based on "live audio" provided by Michael's ashistant Janet, seems synonymous with Hell. Michael praises Eleanor for being a lawyer who helped innocent people off death row, then escorts her to a home designed to her preferences where she can access memories from her life. She is also paired with a soulmate: Chidi, a Senegalese ethics professor. Eleanor tells Chidi that all of Michael's information about her is wrong because the biography, memories, and home preferences are someone else's. Eleanor made a living by knowingly selling a worthless supplement to the sick and elderly and was crass and uncaring. Chidi has a moral crisis over whether or not to help Eleanor, who becomes frustrated and angry at a party hosted by her neighbors, soulmates Tahani and Jianyu. The next morning, the neighborhood is attacked by representations of elements from Eleanor's life and her misbehavior in the Good Place.|
|2||Chapter 2: Flying||September 19, 2016|
|Eleanor avoids suspicion in the aftermath of the chaos, while Michael fears he has failed in his first big project. Introducing Immanuel Kant's Metaphysics of Morals, Chidi considers teaching Eleanor to be a good person. Tahani organizes a clean up day, but anyone who volunteers will miss out on the opportunity to fly. Chidi suggests Eleanor volunteer in order to prove that she has the capacity for selflessness. She does, but she hides the trash to go flying after all, causing a trash storm to occur. Chidi loses faith in her and refuses to help. That night, Eleanor feels guilty and cleans the neighborhood herself. Chidi sees her and agrees to teach her to be good. A note is slipped under Eleanor's door, warning her that she doesn't belong in the Good Place. Flashbacks to Eleanor's life show that she habitually shirked the responsibility of acting as a designated driver.|
|3||Chapter 3: Tahani Al-Jamil||September 22, 2016|
|Eleanor suspects Tahani of writing the note but ultimately accepts that Tahani is genuinely good and begins to form a real friendship with her, comforting her over her dissatisfaction with Jianyu's vow of silence. Michael tries to get Chidi to take up a hobby, but Chidi only wants to work on his ethics manuscript. After Michael says that it is difficult to read, he agrees to become Chidi's advisor in rewriting it. Janet cycles through a series of bizarre personalities. Michael recruits Eleanor to help investigate the problems in the neighborhood. That night, Jianyu finally speaks aloud when he tells Eleanor that he wrote the note, explaining that he also doesn't belong in the Good Place. In Eleanor's flashbacks, her boyfriend Andy makes a conscious effort to be good, but Eleanor concludes that being good is pointless and too much work in a world full of bad things.|
|4||Chapter 4: Jason Mendoza||September 29, 2016|
|Jianyu tells Eleanor he is really Jason Mendoza, a Filipino American drug dealer and amateur DJ from Jacksonville, Florida who has gone along with the fiction of being a monk because the supposed vow of silence enables him to avoid detection. Jason decides to express his true identity, while Eleanor and a stunned Chidi try to convince him to stay hidden, fearing Eleanor will also be exposed. Tahani helps plan the gala opening of Patricia's restaurant. When Jason plans to share the real details of his life at the event, Eleanor creates a distraction by destroying Patricia's masterpiece cake, causing a sinkhole to open. Jason agrees to join Chidi's ethics class, but is an even less apt student than Eleanor. Tahani discovers that the sinkhole is growing, not closing as Michael expected. Flashbacks show that Jason Mendoza was hired as a famous EDM DJ's stand-in and was rejected by the crowd when he played his own music. He tells a friend that he longs to be appreciated as his authentic self—and then vandalizes the DJ's boat.|
|5||Chapter 5: Category 55 Emergency Doomsday Crisis||October 6, 2016|
|Eleanor is pleased that she is learning to be considerate of others and learning about John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, but Chidi is dissatisfied with spending all of his time teaching Eleanor. Michael protects the neighborhood from the sinkhole by quarantining all of the residents. He insists that Eleanor and Chidi host a couple who live near the sinkhole; the observant couple concludes that Chidi is hiding something. Chidi admits he never had a real relationship with a woman before; Eleanor realizes he's disappointed that she's not his true soulmate and decides to be a better friend to him by arranging the exact leisure activities he described to her. Meanwhile, Tahani reads Michael's private documents and learns that she has the second-lowest score in the neighborhood. She tries to raise it by aiding Michael, who has to save her from the sinkhole; he tells her that scores don't change after death and that she should be satisfied to be one of the best people who ever lived. The sinkhole closes after Eleanor's kind gesture and Michael informs her that she must help him uncover the cause. Tahani's flashbacks show that she lived her entire life in the shadow of her sister, Kamilah, finally deciding to live independently after their parents' deaths.|
|6||Chapter 6: What We Owe to Each Other||October 13, 2016|
|Eleanor distracts Michael from his investigation in order to avoid detection. He tells her that architects don't normally live in neighborhoods; doing so was his own idea and will be discredited by his failure. Meanwhile, Tahani tries to bond with Jianyu, forcing Chidi to go to great lengths to protect Jason's secret. Chidi and Tahani end up bonding, but Tahani ultimately accepts Jianyu as her soulmate after he gives her a gift that Chidi arranged. Michael concludes that he is the cause of the problems and announces his impending departure. In the past, Eleanor ditches house-sitting for a friend in order to attend a Rihanna concert, resulting in her friend's dog suffering a permanent disability; Eleanor doesn't care.|
|7||Chapter 7: The Eternal Shriek||October 20, 2016|
|Michael announces that his "retirement" will consist of eternal torture. Rather than tell the truth, Eleanor decides to "kill" Janet because only she can initiate Michael's retirement. She and Chidi argue over activating Janet's killswitch and Chidi ends up pushing the button while trying to stop Jason from doing so. Chidi agrees to keep their secret, even though it will make him miserable. Meanwhile, Tahani plans a somber retirement party for Michael; Michael then blames Tahani for distracting him from Janet but soon apologizes. Janet is rebooted with no memories and operates at diminished capacity. Michael announces he will remain in the neighborhood to investigate Janet's murder, which he says means there is a problem beyond himself. Eleanor tells Chidi she loves him, then admits to everyone that she is the problem because she was brought to the Good Place by mistake. In flashbacks, Chidi fibs that he likes a coworker's unattractive boots; he obsesses over the lie for three years and finally confesses after the coworker survives a difficult surgery.|
|8||Chapter 8: Most Improved Player||October 27, 2016|
|Michael interviews Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason about Eleanor and Janet's death. After finally getting Eleanor's file from Janet (who is still re-learning things and had been only producing different types of cacti beforehand), he learns that Eleanor ruined a friend's dress, leading to a lawsuit that bankrupted innocent dry cleaners, public humiliation of the friend, and Eleanor's personal profit via t-shirts insulting her friend. This leads to Michael calling the Bad Place to come pick up Eleanor. A train from the Bad Place arrives, bringing Trevor, a cruel and sleazy representative, to take Eleanor. After Chidi confesses that he killed Janet and that Eleanor is learning to be a better person, Michael and the others arrive at the train station to prevent Trevor from taking Eleanor. Trevor agrees to let the matter be discussed if he can continue to keep the other Eleanor Shellstrop, who was meant for the Good Place and is then led off the train.|
|9||Chapter 9: ...Someone Like Me as a Member||November 3, 2016|
|As negotiations begin to determine the fates of the Eleanors, Michael uses Tahani's house as a meeting place only for the Bad Place demons to turn the event into a party where they walk all over Michael, much to Tahani's dismay. Meanwhile, Chidi and the real Eleanor bond over dinner with Eleanor and Trevor. During the main negotiation session, Michael stands up to Trevor and his demons, declaring war on the Bad Place and promising to fight for Eleanor. Trevor promises to get Shawn, an "Eternal Judge", involved. Michael ultimately throws the demons out of the Good Place. That night, Jason finds Tahani in his "meditation room", demanding to know who he really is. In flashbacks, Eleanor is shown to dislike joining social groups.|
|10||Chapter 10: Chidi's Choice||January 5, 2017|
|While working together on Eleanor's defense case, Real Eleanor makes Eleanor realize she loves Chidi. Tahani confronts Jason and learns Chidi inspired his kind gestures. Chidi panics when Eleanor and Tahani both tell him they love him. Michael successfully encourages Chidi to make a decision. Eleanor insists that she and Tahani preserve their friendship, so they spend the rest of the day together. Appreciating Janet's kindness towards him, Jason decides to marry her. Eleanor and Tahani attend the wedding and, when Chidi arrives, Eleanor tells him that her love for him is that of gratitude towards a friend and teacher and Tahani admits she was just on the rebound. Declaring she has thought of a way for Eleanor to stay, Tahani leaves with her. Flashbacks show that a young Chidi wasted an entire recess period unable to pick teammates. Later in life, Chidi's indecisiveness made him unable to act as his best friend Uzo's best man and indirectly led to Chidi's death when an air conditioning unit, which he knocked loose, fell on him while he stood below, unable to choose a bar to visit with Uzo.|
|11||Chapter 11: What's My Motivation||January 12, 2017|
|Tahani suggests that Eleanor be allowed to accrue points in the Good Place; starting at -4,000, she must exceed 1,200,000. She performs good deeds and recreates Tahani's welcoming party, winning over her neighbors with humor, but her score only increases when she advises Chidi to respond favorably to Real Eleanor's declaration of love. Eleanor learns that, since her motivation is self-preservation, her actions won't increase her score. She secretly plans to leave the Good Place to become a good person and her score reaches the target. Michael discovers both Jason's identity and his marriage to Janet, who has developed emotions and loves Jason, so Michael decides to reboot her. When Shawn's train arrives, Janet, Jason, and Eleanor hijack it to take them to a "Medium Place". Flashbacks show that Jason suffocated and died in a safe while trying to rob a restaurant with his friend Pillboi, who was placed on probation and not charged in his death.|
|12||Chapter 12: Mindy St. Claire||January 19, 2017|
|Eleanor, Jason, and Janet escape to a "Medium Place" inhabited by Mindy St. Claire, an 80's attorney who generally led a selfish life, but whose actions just prior to her death led to a massive global charity being formed. Meanwhile, Shawn proceeds with his trial on Eleanor and Jason, with Chidi, Tahani, Michael, and real Eleanor trying to argue in Eleanor's favor. Ultimately, Shawn judges against Eleanor and Jason, decreeing that, if the two don't return, Chidi and Tahani will be sentenced to go to the Bad Place in their stead. Eleanor eventually convinces Jason and Janet to return in order to spare Chidi and Tahani from that fate. Flashbacks show the day of Eleanor's death, the day Eleanor got emancipated from her parents, and various other moments in Eleanor's life.|
|13||Chapter 13: Michael's Gambit||January 19, 2017|
|Just missing Shawn's deadline, Eleanor and Jason return, joining Chidi and Tahani. Shawn decides that they can choose any two of the four to go to the Bad Place. Many arguments are made for who should go and who should stay, with Real Eleanor deciding to take one place. As arguments become more heated and frustrating, Eleanor has an epiphany: the four of them have been torturing each other not by accident but by design, meaning they've been in the Bad Place all along. Michael confesses that this is true; "The Good Place" is a new and elaborate Bad Place neighborhood where Eleanor, Jason, Chidi, and Tahani, the only human inhabitants, were to drive each other to agony. Michael explains Janet is a legitimate Good Place Janet he stole to run his fake Good Place. Flashbacks show Michael at his architect job before he created his false "Good Place" and his pitch meeting with Shawn. With his scheme exposed, Michael begs Shawn for a "redo" by blanking their memories and changing some parameters. In a last ditch effort to do something, Eleanor rips a page from Chidi's book and writes a message to herself which she hides in Janet's mouth. After the reset, Janet gives Eleanor that piece of paper that reads: "Eleanor - Find Chidi".|