The Good Place is headed back to NBC for season 3, but as a new poster shows, the characters are headed someplace they haven’t been in quite a while — Earth. The comedy from Parks & Rec co-creator Mike Schur has been on an impressive upward trajectory after a solid first season delivered (well, Ted Danson’s Michael, really) one hell of a twist, revealing Eleanor (Kristin Bell), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), and everyone’s favorite Florida-loving dimwit, Jason (Manny Jacinto), were, in fact, in the Bad Place all along.
Since then, the show has become one of NBC’s most acclaimed comedies. and with its upcoming season 3 premiere just a few weeks away, the peacock network is beginning its promotion with a new poster that illustrates where the story will unfold. The news that The Good Place season 3 will take place on Earth isn’t too much of a surprise, the season 2 finale followed a suddenly alive Eleanor as she searched for Chidi, though she wasn’t entirely sure why. Since then, Schur has explained exactly what happened in ‘Somewhere Else,’ stating that, yes, the characters are actually alive on Earth with no knowledge of being in the good or bad place.
Schur said as much in a revealing interview with Alan Sepinwall at Rolling Stone, where he confirmed it was the beginning of a new timeline, with the purpose being the characters must apply what they’ve learned in a practical environment. While that curveball means The Good Place is pushing its characters forward in some surprising new directions, it also demonstrates just how un-sitcom-like this sitcom really is, making it not just one of NBC’s best shows, but also an interesting test case for how to buck the conventions of the format while still fitting nicely within it.
Though viewers have already gotten a taste of what’s to come for Eleanor and the others, The Good Place faces some interesting challenges in not only not repeating certain elements in season 2, but in blazing a new trial outside of the afterlife. The show had done a remarkable job in balancing comedy with some philosophical and ethical questions, and a fun, slightly surreal element that gave the show a nice visual component.
There’s no reason for any of that to be gone now just because Michael’s taken the group back to the beginning. But, if anything, The Good Place has demonstrated that it needn’t rely on old tricks in order to get a rise out of its audience.
The Good Place season 3 premieres Thursday, September 27 on NBC.