Afterlife sitcom The Good Place is due to come to an end after just four seasons next year, but star Manny Jacinto assures us that it will be going out on its own terms, in a way that is set to “uplift” and “satisfy” the show’s fans.
The show’s creator Mike Schur, who worked on long-running sitcoms like The Office and Parks and Recreation, announced in an open letter earlier this year that he would bring his far-from-conventional series to an end after just over 50 episodes, eschewing the temptation to “tread water just because the water is so warm and pleasant.”
The news came as a surprise to the cast as well as the fans, not least Jacinto, who was putting pen to paper on a mortgage for a new house in Los Angeles as the email came through from Schur breaking the news.
“I was in panic mode right away,” he said, though his forthcoming appearance alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick will have gone some way to quelling his fears of unemployment.
“All of us wish that it could have gone a bit longer, but we completely understand and respect Mike’s vision, and reading the last few episodes we were like, ‘oh okay we get it, this makes complete sense, this is how it should end’,” he said. “And nowadays with TV, there’s not a lot of closure, they either go on too long or they have to end because they’ve run out of story, but this is just a satisfying and complete ending.”
He says that while the finale of season four is incomparable to season one – in which a major twist revealed that the show’s characters were in fact in Hell, not Heaven – he was blown away by where things ended up.
“It kind of changed my whole view of what we can do in this series,” he said. “I think with Mike and the writers, they’ve definitely tried to stay away from redoing what they’ve done in the past or recreating that kind of shock value from season one. But the ending is definitely unique in itself, and I would hope with it being the last season that instead of people being sad, it’ll uplift people and maybe hopefully contribute to something better. I’m not saying it’ll change humanity, but it’ll kind of uplift people or let people see the world in a different way, or see themselves in a different way.”
The new series will see the soul squad reboot the original ‘The Good Place’ neighbourhood in order to prove to the powers-that-be that humans are capable of bettering themselves, and that the points system in the after life is messed up. Jacinto says that Jason Mendoza, the lovable moron of the group, is set to show some real growth.
“Jason is a bit more aware of things, especially in the first few episodes,” he says. “Definitely not as oblivious, and I think that goes to show that the writers are aware of giving Jason some growth, and that he’s not just the same old guy we’ve been seeing.”
As for Jacinto himself, he’s keeping it together as he knows he still has a few weeks of promotion with his cast-mates so he isn’t torn up about it just yet. But it’ll hit him eventually. “I’m sure I’m going to start crying in the middle of the night a month from now,” he joked.
The Good Place season four premieres on Netflix on Friday 27th September