There are two main arguments The Good Place creator Michael Schur and star Kristen Bell have given as to why their brilliant show has to end with season 4. With the final season just beginning, that rapidly approaching last episode of The Good Place is about all we can think about. (Well, when we're not obsessing over its latest bombshells, jokes, and moral dilemmas, that is.)
That's a quit-while-you're-ahead approach many of us who have witnessed our favourite shows wither and fade in later seasons can certainly see as wise. Each of The Good Place's perfect seasons has been a mere 13 episodes long — the typical run of British, cable, and streaming service series but only half the length of most network shows. It's always left us wanting more, with little room for meandering subplots we wouldn't care about or annoying obstacles placed there solely for the sake of getting in extra episodes.
This final season will have just 14 episodes.
Reason #2: The moral arc of this story fits best into four seasons, according to Schur.
"When we figured out that the big move at the end of season 2 was that they were going to be sent back to Earth, which was pretty early in season 2’s discussion, then it became even more evident [when it would end]," Schur explained to TVLine. "It was like, 'Alright, if that’s season 2, and season 3 starts on Earth ... and that suggests what season 4 will be' ... it just became clear that that was the end."
"[T]he most ethical thing for the story — which should be our main concern, not loving working with each other, not the paycheck we get, not staying on the air, not our resumes — should be, What does this story need to say?" Bell told the magazine. "The best stories, I think, are the ones where they pay attention to where the story ends. Because otherwise we’re destined to become fatigued."
The story will end with its first (and last) supersized episode, a 90-minute finale airing January 30, 2020, Collider reports. Judging by the excellent pacing of the first three seasons, we should be able to trust that Schur and his writing team knew what they were doing when they determined we'd get just a few more hours with Eleanor (Bell), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Janet (D'Arcy Carden), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Michael (Ted Danson). The cast will return for an aftershow hosted by Seth Meyers following the series finale.
That doesn't mean we have to be happy about it.
One beacon of hope through all this, is the promise Bell extracted from Schur when he called her to talk about the final season.
"And I was like, 'You’re breaking up! You’re breaking up! Wait, wait! The only way I’ll be able to hear you is if, before you tell me whatever you’re going to tell me, you immediately promise to write me something else after this,' " she told Rolling Stone. "And he was like, 'OK, I’ll write you something else after this.'"