A Little Happier: Nothing Makes Me Happier Than a Great Twist in a Story

There’s really no point to this story. It just makes me happy, and I hope it makes you happy too!

But I’m going to reveal a major spoiler about the TV show The Good Place. So if you don’t want to hear it, skip this episode of A Little Happier.

The Good Place was a comedy TV show that aired for four seasons on NBC. The show opens with the main character Eleanor being told that she has died, and now she is in the “Good Place,” which is a kind of personalized heaven created by the “architect” Michael.

Eleanor is actually a hilariously terrible person, and she knows there’s been a mistake; she doesn’t belong in the Good Place. She tries to hide this mistake, and become a better person, so she can stay. Time goes by, she befriends other characters, such as Chidi, Tahani, and Jason, who are also struggling with their own problems with being in the Good Place. Michael, the “architect,” acts as their guide, and he’s aided by an artificial intelligence named Janet.

As the first season proceeds, the characters face situations that become increasingly more stressful and full of strife.

Then, in an extraordinary, jaw-dropping twist—here comes the spoiler!—at the end of the first season, Eleanor figures out why they’re all so miserable: they’re all actually in the Bad Place!

In reality, during the filming of the first season, the show’s creator Michael Schur revealed this twist only to Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, the actors who played Eleanor and Michael. None of the other actors on the show knew this secret about what was happening to their characters.

On-screen, it’s such a thrilling, satisfying twist. But there’s something to make it even better.  This is what makes me so happy.

One day, Mike Schur had to tell the actors who played those other four main characters—Chidi, Tahani, Jason, and Janet—what was going to happen, and what would be revealed. Kristen Bell, the actor who plays Eleanor, knew this would be a huge surprise to her fellow actors, so she decided to record the cast’s reactions to this news.

In the video, we see the four actors sitting in a row in a nondescript conference room. They’re listening intently as Mike Schur tells them the story of what’s going to happen in the episode. As he reveals the twist, we see their shock, their delight—how they’re thinking back on everything that’s happened, they’re trying to process it, they’re laughing. They had no idea!

I get such pleasure from this video! I’ve watched it a dozen times, to see their responses.Then I re-watch the actual scene Mike Schur describes, from the Season One finale.

Nothing makes me happier than a great twist! And the shocked delight of those actors. I can only imagine the fun that Mike Schur had, as he explained the idea.



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