Kristen Bell says that there is an ethical lesson in the cancellation of The Good Place. The actress caught up with PopCulture.com's sister site, Comicbook.com at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, where she said that showrunner Michael Schur was putting his money where his mouth is by letting the show come to a close, though it makes her as sad as it makes fans.
Bell had a lot of projects to discuss and promote at SDCC this year, from Frozen 2 to Veronica Mars. Add to that list The Good Place, which returns this fall for its fourth and final season on NBC. The show was not canceled for low ratings, however — quite the opposite, as the writers simply decided that the story was at its end. For Bell, that is just further proof of Schur's integrity.
"You know, there's a lot of great things about having an extremely ethical showrunner like Mike Schur, and then there's a couple... downfalls," she said.
"One of them is that he... He waited for the story to tell him when it ended," she continued. "He didn't want to get in a situation where it was like 'oh, they're still trying to — insert-plot-line-here,' you know?"
Bell emphasized the pervasive themes of The Good Place, beneath all of the week-to-week jokes and eternity gags. She praised Schur for taking his work seriously.
"He didn't want anyone to get fatigued about this journey, because the statements he's making in this show come from his soul, about what it means to be a good person," Bell said. "'Why is philosophy important?' 'How are we supposed to share earth?' They were important enough to him that he felt like this journey deserved to have a little bit of an end, and he wrote something that I think is so beautiful and powerful, I think."
"Though people may be sad that it's ending, I think it will be worth it," she concluded.
From the start, The Good Place has been like no other sitcom, so it should come as no surprise that it is not ending like one. The show follows Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil, Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza and William Jackson Harper as Chidi Anagonye — four humans caught in limbo between different sections of the after-life.
Along with a demon named Michael (Ted Danson) and an omniscient force named Janet (D'Arcy Carden) they try desperately to sneak, bargain or earn their way into "the good place."
In its four seasons, the show has already covered tens of thousands of linear years, countless reboots of consciousness and multiple deaths, so although it may be ending after just four seasons, it seems fair to leave it as is.
The Good Place Season 4 premieres on Thursday, Sept. 26 on NBC.
Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for more from the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con International.