The first season of The Good Place ended with one of the more surprising plot twists in recent memory, not least because the chipper network sitcom about a morally compromised woman accidentally sent to heaven didn’t seem like the kind of show likely to throw its viewers such a wicked curveball.
It wasn’t just viewers who were taken aback, either. Although creator Michael Schur told stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson the twist when he pitched them the show, the rest of The Good Place’s cast wasn’t informed until they came to shoot the season’s final epsiodes. Schur felt a little guilty about not letting them in on the fact that the heaven they thought they were inhabiting was actually an ingenious twist on hell, but he told Entertainment Weekly “Their performances were going to be exactly what they should be without knowing it, so it didn’t seem like there was any actual benefit to telling them outside of, like, friendship. I sort of rolled the dice on the idea that they wouldn’t hate me if I didn’t tell them until later.”
Fortunately, the moment when Schur finally informed them was captured on video by Bell herself, and with The Good Place’s excellent second season underway, she’s shared the clip of William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, and D’Arcy Carden going slack-jawed with awe as they find out that the Good Place wasn’t actually so good. If there’s an Emmy for Best Performance in a Reaction Video, Carden ought to have it sewed up next year.