Kristen Bell Says ‘The Good Place’ Helped Her Realize Which Philosophical Principle She Relates to Most

The Good Place will be returning for season four in just a couple of weeks, so now is a good time to take a deeper look into the show’s concept. The Good Place tackles deep subjects like the afterlife and morality in a way that’s never been done before. Perhaps that’s what makes the show such a hit? The star of the show, Kristen Bell, and its producers had some interesting thoughts on this subject.

Audiences love the philosophical principles in ‘The Good Place’

Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

The Good Place is different than any other show on TV right now. It tackles the complicated subjects of the afterlife and human morality in a comedic set-up, which makes it difficult to categorize. In the beginning, the show’s creators were uncertain if audiences would get it, or if the concept would be completely lost. 

“We didn’t know if audiences were going to connect with this pretty weird premise and the idea of all these twists,” writer and producer, Josh Siegal told Backstage

But audiences have embraced The Good Place. The fact that it’s different could be the very reason the show has been successful. After all, in a world where everything on TV seems the same, a show with a completely different angle is refreshing. People enjoy exploring deeper topics in a comedic and fun manner. Anything that makes you think about life and makes you laugh at the same time will always be a winner. 

How the cast of ‘The Good Place’ makes the show a success

The star of the show and a viewer favorite is Kristen Bell, who plays Eleanor Shellstrop. The character finds herself in the afterlife, a place where good people go because they’ve been good all their life. However, Eleanor was mistaken for someone else. When she was alive, she made terrible choices and doesn’t really deserve to be in “the good place.” 

According to the producers, writers can only do so much with a character. It’s the actors who really make a character come to life, and they credit Bell for making Eleanor a huge success with fans. In fact, the entire cast is a talented group who were able to bring the script to life. 

“Even in Season 1, as crazy as our stories and mythology got and [as] deep as we would go into philosophy—we have such a gifted cast,” says Dylan Morgan, one of the producers. “They’re so brilliant at making our ideas sound like human beings are speaking in the moment and making them feel alive.”

The philosophical principles of ‘The Good Place’

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As many other celebrities have done with interesting results, Bell recently sat down with Sean Evans, host of the hit YouTube show, Hot Ones. She chowed down on spicy wings while discussing her life and career with Evans. When asked if The Good Place had helped her discover a philosophical principle to live her life by, Bell had a complicated answer.

She claimed that she’s always alternated between two opposite moral principles. As Bell explained, the utilitarian principle says that you do what’s best for the greater good. So if you have to kill one person to save ten others, you would make that sacrifice. On the other hand, you could always do what’s right at that moment, no matter what. So even if killing one person means you will be able to save many others, you wouldn’t do that because it’s never okay to kill a person. 

Bell then explained that she finds herself more into the philosophy of moral relativism, which means you’re able to alternate between those two principles depending on the situation. The Good Place has helped her realize there are times and a places for both ways of thinking. 

Season four of The Good Place premieres September 26.