The Good Place star D’Arcy Carden says a new series of the paradigm-shifting show would be “the ultimate twist”.
The offbeat comedy about the afterlife, which first aired in 2016, has been a hit with fans and critics alike, running for four seasons.
From the very first series, the show has featured unexpected storyline twists and complete shifts in space and time.
Image: Janet is a personal assistant who’s neither a robot nor a woman
With the final episode due to air on Netflix later this month, fans have met the news with dismay.
Speaking to Sky News at the E! People’s Choice Awards in LA, Carden – who plays Janet, a programmed guide and the source of all information for humans in the Good Place – admits if there was a surprise new season, it would be in keeping with The Good Place’s ethos.
“I’m going to call Mike (Schur) the show creator after this and say, ‘Hey, if we pulled one over on them, this would be the ultimate twist’,” she said.
Schur has insisted the show would have to come to a natural conclusion as the cast of human characters evolve into better versions of themselves.
But like Good Place architect Michael (played by Ted Danson), who has attempted to script the whole afterlife but still been surprised by the results, it would seem fitting for there to be a twist – subverting expectation in just the way The Good Place fans have learned to anticipate.
Carden says the show’s enormous success was a surprise.
Delving into the ethical and philosophical dilemmas of existence, it certainly doesn’t automatically suggest itself as great comedy material.
Carden admits it was a risk: “I love the show, and have always loved the show, but I did think it was going to be a little weird for people, as it is very weird.
“It seems like people are into it in a way that I’m like, ‘Oh, great, we can all just do a weird show on TV and people will like it’. So, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with people’s reaction.”
As for the upbeat show hitting a chord during turbulent times on both sides of the Atlantic, Carden thinks that could play a part in its popularity.
“The last few years, when it’s been a little nutty. Our show isn’t peaches and cream, you know, just rainbows and puppies, there’s some darkness to it.
“It is like a nice warm blanket, but it also makes you think.”
Image: Carden and Ted Danson try to keep rule over the afterlife in The Good Place
Starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, as well as British star Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper and Manny Jacinto, Carden says being part of the show has been “dreamy”.
“The cast is incredible, we all clicked immediately, it’s been a dream come true.”
The role of Janet (who is technically ungendered and not actually a robot) has presented a few challenges for the 39-year-old actress.
Playing several versions of the all-knowing personal assistant – including a gloriously nasty “Bad Janet”, who she describes as “a very bad girl” – has meant adopting a whole new physicality.
“Janet has just one pose, and she never really moves from exactly that. It’s actually nice to be out and move my arms.
“It was hard but then it became not so hard. It eventually became part of me and got easier after the first season.”
Image: Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Manny Jacinto and Jamil also star in the show
She says that for British viewers, it could provide a welcome break from the constant flow of news about Brexit: “There’s only so much bad stuff one can take, so it’s rough.
“I have family in England, and I know that things are rough there, and it’s rough here (in the US).
“There are things that are good, look to the good things. Know that we are going to come back up again at some point. I know I should be more positive, but it’s rough.”
Carden even jokes that Janet could help resolve Brexit: “Maybe that’s the twist of season five… I’ll make it happen.”
The Good Place season 4 is out on Netflix now.