Shout! Factory has just released the third season of The Good Place on DVD, so there’s plenty of time to binge before the final season begins this Fall. If you somehow have never seen the show before, then stop everything and go back and watch the first two seasons immediately, because they’re so forking good! As the second season came to a close, only Eleanor (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars) had passed the Judge’s test. While the others had definitely been making progress towards being “good”, they failed under the pressure of their personalized tests. Michael (Ted Danson, Cheers) was convinced that the group could truly learn to be good people if they had the chance to do so on Earth. So he convinced the Judge to allow him to reverse the humans’ deaths to prove his theory. And so, after a mysterious white-haired man saved her from being crushed by shopping carts, Eleanor did just that. She quit her soul-sucking job and joined a non-profit. Everything was going great for months, until Eleanor started to slide back into her old ways. And so Michael, watching from above, arranged for Eleanor to once again meet Chidi, hoping that this re-connection of strangers would help set her back on the right path.
Each season this series seems to completely re-invent itself, and really shakes things up in unexpected ways. As the third season opens, our group is once again alive and back on Earth. They don’t remember anything about what happened in The Good Place, and don’t yet know one another. However, Michael knows that these strangers need to meet because they help make one another good people. The premiere fills in some of the gaps as to how the rest of our group had been saved from their untimely deaths, how they are taking advantage of their new leases on life, and how Michael has been manipulating things over the past months to help these humans prove that they can become better people. It isn’t long before Michael gets the entire gang back together, but things aren’t going to be as easy as he originally thought, especially since he and Janet don’t have access to their powers when they are on Earth. Also, Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) is plotting ways to put a stop to Michael’s experiment.
This series is so well written, taking viewers on an emotional and thought-provoking journey, while also making them laugh hysterically along the way. There are so many layers to each episode—not just the smart, witty dialogue, but also the many sight gags in the backgrounds of every scene. You can watch these episodes over and over and always notice something new. There writers have also done an excellent job of planting seeds and seemingly-minor mentions in the earlier seasons that pay off nicely in this third season. The characters continue to grow and transform in this latest leg of their journey to becoming truly good people. The third season also delves more into their families, and why they are the way they are. We get to meet Eleanor’s mother Donna (Leslie Grossman), and Jason’s much-talked about pal Donkey Doug (Mitch Narito)! There are also some hilarious guest stars, including Michael McKean, Andy Daly, Stephen Merchant, Nicole Byer and Paul Scheer, as well as some entertaining new characters and some returning favorites, but I don’t want to ruin any surprises.
This is quite possibly my favorite show on TV, and season three is another fun arc in the overall story. I sat down to watch the DVD and didn’t stop until I had rewatched the entire season! While I love every episode, one of this season’s highlights is “Janet(s)”, in which D’Arcy Carden gets to play a large number of characters—she was totally robbed of an Emmy nomination for this amazing performance! One wonderful thing about Shout! Factory’s DVD release is that it includes the extended cuts of the episodes—some with nearly 5 additional minutes added in! So re-watching the season is like watching it again for the first time. The DVD also features a nearly 9-minute gag reel and a visual effects demonstration reel.
While I wish that TV shows that aired in HD would always get Blu-ray releases, Shout! Factory’s DVD-only release still looks and sounds quite good. The picture isn’t quite as sharp as the original HD airings on NBC, but the quality is more than sufficient, and any imperfections are not distracting. The audio track provides clear dialogue, and also makes nice use of the surround and stereo channels to add dimension to what’s happening on screen, providing a more immersive experience for the viewer. The two DVD discs come packed in a multi-disc DVD keepcase without a slipcover. The inner lining of the DVD cover insert provides episode and bonus material information.
- All 13 extended episodes of the third season:
Disc 1: “Everything Is Bonzer!” (42:57), “The Brainy Bunch” (24:40), “The Snowplow” (24:40), “Jeremy Bearimy” (26:49), “The Ballad of Donkey Doug” (22:40), “A Fractured Inheritance” (27:05)
Disc 2: “The Worst Possible Use of Free Will” (24:32), “Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By” (25:04), “Janet(s)” (24:25), “The Book of Dougs” (23:42), “Chidi Sees the Time-Knife” (24:11), “Pandemonium” (25:24)
- 480i / Widescreen 1.78:1
- Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: None
- Closed Captioned
- Gag Reel (8:51)
This fun gag reel (with lots of uncensored profanity) features the actors flubbing their lines, misplacing props, improv-ing lines, and making each other crack up during takes. And it finishes out with a dance montage. Plus, character of Shawn provides and intro and closing to the featurette.
- Visual Effects Reel (2:27)
A quick look at some of the season’s scenes with and without the visual effects, showcasing what a big difference they make. Sequences include “The London Bridge Ahead”, “Savage Taxi Smash”, “Centaur Tahani”, “Janet, Janet, Janet”, “Endless Office”, “Chaos Kiss”, and “The Bridge To IHOP”,
In its third season, The Good Place remains just as hilarious, heartwarming and entertaining as ever. The writers continue to fill each episode with laugh-out-loud moments and many layers of comedy, which makes this show great for repeat viewings. There are lots of creative twists and turns to the third season, and it really sets things up nicely for an exciting final season this Fall. Shout! Factory’s DVD looks and sounds great and contains a small but entertaining selection of bonus material—extended episodes, a gag reel, and a VFX demonstration. This release comes highly recommended for any fan of the series. Those who haven’t seen the show could jump in, but I would really recommend starting with the first season as this show is so…Good!