NBC’s new comedy “The Good Place” is set in an imagined afterlife, and creator Mike Schur says he took his inspiration from a famous ABC hit drama.
During a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour, Schur explained that each episode of the show has a contained story, and at the end, “something dramatic happens and it sends the story spiraling,” he said. “The model in my head is ‘Lost.'”
One of the first people he called when he was developed the series, he said, was “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof. “I took him to lunch and said, ‘We’re going to play a game ‘Is this anything?'”
Of upcoming episodes beyond the pilot, he says, “I imagine this going in the ‘Lost’ way,” with cliffhangers and big events.
NBC picked up the comedy for a straight-to-series run for 13 episodes, which Schur says is nearly done filming. The finale is the one he’s always intended. “I didn’t pitch the show until I knew what the whole season was going to be,” he said.
Schur dismissed the notion that the show had any larger message about religion. “The only objective is to discuss the actual main question which is what does it mean to be a good person,” he says. He began his research for the show reading books about the afterlife, but realized it wasn’t a show about religion, it’s about ethics.
“The intention is not to make any current specific commentary on any people or things, except to say that the behaviors that we all exhibit have consequences. Your actions don’t just end when you turn away, or close your eyes. It will probably serve as a Rorschach test to everyone who watches it.”