I’m still not ready to talk about this episode or The Good Place in its entirety as a series. I might never be ready, but that’s the point isn’t it—to take the leaps even when we aren’t fully there? The Good Place is an incredibly special show. It’s remarkably unique and its series finale singlehandedly takes the crown in nuanced comedy.
My immediate thoughts with tears streaming down my face went as followed: “I’ve loved and appreciated a lot of endings, but there’s something about the timing of this one that’s so perfectly fitting for the world right now. The performances, the organically meta storytelling, and the ode to “Pandemonium,” one of my all time favorite TV episodes ever. There are always going to be good days and bad days, slow days and quiet days, heartbreaks and healings. But there’s magic in the uncertainty and I believe that with a fervency so deep, I can’t imagine who I’d be if I didn’t. What a beautiful way to go while effortlessly leaving such a tremendous mark on television. I hope this inspires future writers to see that the world isn’t tired of touching stories that reflect on humanity, our complexities, and the friendships we find along the way. “Whenever You’re Ready.” What a hearty, perfect title. As much as I understand the idea that there are things we’ll never be ready for and we’ve got to take risks in life, sometimes you have to wait. It’s comforting to be left with the clarification that it’s okay to wait.”
January 13, 2020 seems like a lifetime ago—we might have been ready for a great number of things back then, but a full-fledged global pandemic wasn’t one of them. (And one we’re still dealing with. P.S. firmly believe that wearing a mask will land you points into the good place. Get on it.) Kristen Bell’s characters have been busy spreading some of my favorite messages this year, technically last year with Frozen’s Anna, but between “Do the Next Right Thing” and “Whenever You’re Ready” serving as glimpses of hope in this darkness, I’m grateful.
We celebrate the gifts that are our families and friends far too infrequently. There’s a specific day set in calendars for couples, and Leslie Knope coined the perfection that is Galentine’s Day (February 13), but even still, while it’s progressive and amazing, it’s just not enough. If a TV show or film doesn’t have a solid, incredible friendship or some sort of platonic relationship, I can’t get into it. As someone who’s so inspired by the people in her life, it’s the one thing I look for in the media I consume. It’s the one thing that keeps me engaged and invested. It’s the one thing that results in excellent character development. And this year especially, I’m happy to report there were too many gorgeous relationships to choose from. I’d rather have too much than not enough to even fill this category, which is always a bummer. We are not created to be alone as human beings, it’s the relationships we form throughout our lives that effortlessly shape us into the people we become and when we’re surrounded by people who believe in us, there’s nothing we can’t do.
1. The Rose Family Schitt’s Creek
When I first started Schitt’s Creek, I could have never imagined how much I’d adore this family and how far they’d come. The Roses are exceptional because they’re absolute weirdos in the most normal way in this ridiculous town, but they stand out because of the love that’s come into their hearts throughout their stay in Schitt’s Creek. This doesn’t just include the immediate Rose family, but Stevie, Ted, and Patrick, too. The family that once only wanted towels and a car out of this town have extended their hearts to the people around them, welcoming them with open arms and a promise to never abandon them. It’s Moira’s belief in Stevie as an unofficial second daughter. It’s the family’s undying love for Patrick and Ted. And it’s Alexis realizing just how much she’s grown to love spending time with them. The series wouldn’t be as brilliant if it weren’t for the family growing to appreciate one another without ever changing their outlandish dynamic and calling one another out on their craps.
“This is the whole story. No one is beyond rehabilitation. Brent spent a year being an absolute diaper load of a human being, and the points total tells you that. But what that number can’t tell you is who he could have become tomorrow.”
The most unsurprising fact at this very moment is that throughout the final season of The Good Place, there have been far too many great scenes to choose from, and there was no shortage of great scenes in “The Funeral to End All Funerals.” Kristen Bell’s direction of the episode felt incredibly important for Eleanor because there’s not a single scene in the latest episode that didn’t feel like a punch in the gut in all the right ways. How this show manages to make me openly weep every single time is still so astonishing. For instance, Bell’s voice breaking while maintaining stoicism as Eleanor said “wake him up”, all the eulogies and how these merry band of misfits healed one another through the entirety of their journey? “The Funeral to End All Funerals” was a masterful episode, but we’re all still thinking about the scene right? You know the one, the one with all the Janets, another perfect performance by D’Arcy Carden and what it meant for humanity.