All good things must come to an end … even beloved TV series like The Good Place, which kicks off its fourth and final season this Thursday, September 26th on NBC in the US and Global TV in Canada.
During San Diego Comic-Con 2019, we had the chance to chat with the cast about the show’s swan song. Here’s what Manny Jacinto, Marc Evan Jackson, D’arcy Carden and Ted Danson shared about being a part of The Good Place, and why it was a unique and memorable experience.
Marc Evan Jackson (Shawn) was always excited to discover the outrageous words that he would get to say.
Jackson: It’s a ridiculous situation to be able to get a script the night before a table read, and thumb through it and say, “Oh, I can’t wait to say these words.” The bit that Morgan Sackett pitched me when [Shawn] is sitting at his desk on a Skype call with Michael, and Shawn believes that he invented penis bees. You get these scripts and can’t wait to get to work to say this out loud in front of people.
The show has always been so much more than jokes and one-liners. Manny Jacinto told us about what he learned about comedy from Mike Schur, and why The Good Place is different from other comedies on TV.
Jacinto: What makes [The Good Place] different from other comedies is that it’s not about the jokes. [The writers] are finding the characters’ motivations, and give them a well-rounded arc. If you know Mike [Schur’s] work in Parks and Recreation or The Office, some of [the characters] are jerks, or they’re pretentious, but a lot of them have heart. At the end of the day, Mike’s go-to is to give these characters heart. That’s what we all look forward to each season. It’s not just the jokes, but also the emotional relationships between all these characters.
I remember starting out — and especially in the first season — there’s a rhythm to comedy and to the joke. When I started working with Mike, he was like, “That rhythm is perfect, that timing is nice, but remember to always be truthful.” That is the biggest thing in comedy. You can say the joke and get a laugh, but it’s more important for the joke to have truth.
D’arcy Carden (Janet) and Ted Danson (Michael) expressed a lot of gratitude for the journey they got to take with their characters over four seasons.
Carden: I have this lucky, weird thing with this character where I get to be rebooted and evolve. That’s a fun thing to play with. I’ve never lived with a character for this long — four years — and it has not been boring for one second. Janet’s constantly changing and and it’s been fun to find the grounded-ness.
Danson: You got to play all these different Janets. I got to be a demon trying to torture people. Then [Michael] fell in love with them and wanted to be like them. We had this amazing arc.
Carden: Like when Ted got to play Vicky wearing a Michael suit.
Danson: We got to be incredibly silly in the most serious way.
Marc Evan Jackson was tight-lipped about the final season, but he did give us a bit of a teaser.
Jackson: I can explain — word for word — everything that happens in Season 4, and it wouldn’t make any sense. Everything in the show shouldn’t work. It shouldn’t exist, and somehow it works.
Photo Courtesy of NBC