Why we love ‘The Good Place’ and its star Kristen Bell

The philosophical comedy, now on Netflix, draws you in with its lovable cast and sharp wit

Kristen Bell  as Eleanor Shellstrop in The Good Place: her character is a narcissistic, shrimp-loving and boozy mé féiner

Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop in The Good Place: her character is a narcissistic, shrimp-loving and boozy mé féiner

 

As a philosophical comedy dealing in the afterlife, The Good Place has a lot going for it. With almost every line laced with sharp wit, it has lured people in deeply, causing people to either reignite their childhood crush on the silver-haired fox Ted Danson or question whether or not they’d be granted access to The Good Place when they die.

Created by Michael Schur, who is co-responsible for the warm hug that is Parks and Recreations, The Good Place has placed Kristen Bell back into our lives, so much so that we want her as our VBF (very best friend).

Sure feckit, we will take anyone from The Good Place as our VBF. Danson, Schur and producers Joe Mande and Megan Amram: they’re all worthy candidates for this very important and very real role.

The NBC show has been on air in America since 2016 and two seasons of it are now on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it yet you are truly hashtag blessed.

You pray that this she-devil will grow her own set of wings

Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop, a narcissistic, shrimp-loving and boozy mé féiner who accidentally ends up in The Good Place when she should have gone straight to hell when she died. On paper, the character is distinctly unlikable but through Bell’s charm and precise comic timing, you pray that this she-devil will grow her own set of wings.

“When I read a script and see an unlikable character, I wrap my brain around for ways to make her likeable and force the audience to root for her. It’s a very fun challenge,” she said to Vulture last year.

Bell’s big break came in 2004 as the lead character in Veronica Mars but she first came to our attention – if you weren’t a dab hand at illegal streaming – in 2006 with RTÉ 2 airing the teen mystery comedy in the afternoon and then E4 picking it up in 2009, two years after the show was cancelled.

But there’s potentially a mini-series of the show in the works, as Bell recently announced during a Facebook Live conversation with IndieWire. “I mean, if I have to do it as Murder She Wrote at 80, we’re going to do it. It’s going to happen.”

She has made appearances in a lot of big pop culture moments over the last 13 years. She was the voice of Gossip Girl, but you didn’t hear it from me: “Who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me. Xoxo, Gossip Girl.” She was Sarah Marshall in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the movie that pushed Russell Brand and his sweaty leather trousers further into our lives.

We would like her to be our VBF before her star deservedly rises even further

She proclaimed a deep love for sloths on The Ellen Show, becoming instantly gifable and memeable and she was the voice of the spirited Anna in Disney’s Frozen.

As Eleanor, Bell has proved herself to be one of TV’s best comic actors and we would like her to be our VBF before her star deservedly rises even further.

Unfriending: Unless Justin Timberlake dedicates the first five minutes of his Super Bowl LII Halftime Show performance apologising to Janet Jackson for 2004’s Nipple Gate, then we have no time for him. Zilch. You have three months to come up with a worthy apology, JT.

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