The cast of NBC’s The Good Place joined Seth Meyers for a live post-show Thursday night after the series finale of Michael Schur’s philosophy experiment/sitcom, sitting on comfy couches in a Rockefeller Center studio with a chance to weigh in on what they thought about the cult hit’s four-season run and how it concluded.
It somehow seemed a fitting landing spot for a show about six people (well, four humans, a demon and an all-knowing robot) who did much contemplating about the nature of existence over many bearimys and through even more twists and turns while saving humanity and, eventually, themselves.
The main cast assembled tonight included Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden and Manny Jacinto, who were clearly a tight-knit group. “Oddly the trajectory of our characters growing together helped us grow together as people,” Bell said. “The whole storyline is about these characters getting to know each other and creating bonds despite their differences and supporting each other and having true human connections, so I certainly know I was learning that along the way.”
Shooting on the series ended in August, and the cast didn’t see the episode until last night. But Jacinto said he was most emotional after the table read of the final episode, which ran a supersized 1 hour, 40 minutes tonight. That’s when they all first found out how it would end.
“It was a snotty table read,” Bell interjected. “Very very wet.”
“When we shot on the bridge, called the Artists Bridge in Paris, that was pretty emotional,” Bell added of a scene in the middle of the episode, where Eleanor took Chidi to his favorite places — ancient Greece and modern Paris. “Especially since they sort of formulated that as the last thing that we shot, was that scene where we try to say goodbye to each other. Mike our creator kept it rolling and then we were both just sobbing, and he ran out and said, ‘We’re done! Forever!’ ”
Schur’s name was invoked several times during the 20-minute long live show, but he didn’t go on camera; a late shout-out from Meyers confirmed the creator-writer-director was in the crowd.
Another bit involved the cast members toasting one another with champagne and saying nice things about one person, who then passed it on. Bell toasted her onscreen soulmate Harper, who toasted Jacinto (“you’re wise in ways you don’t even understand,” he told him), who toasted Jamil (the show was her first acting job), who toasted Danson, who toasted Carden, who toasted Bell.
Danson and Bell may have summed it up best when talking about a series that, in the end, is about the end.
“It was a perfect ending to our story — Mike’s story,” Danson said. “And whether or not this is how the universe works — I kinda think it might — it felt like this perfect goodbye: it was sad but uplifting, and kind and gentle and sweet, it was kinda everything.”
Added Bell: “And also too short. There’s this beautiful thing you can do as a writer that they did on this show which is like, ‘the show’ ended too soon. You wanted, maybe we did, wanted more of it. But that’s just what you get. That’s the amount of time you get. It’s a little too short. It’s a lot like life.”
Here is the farewell video the cast posted on Twitter: