What does heaven look like? According to the hit television show The Good Place, it’s the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
The hilltop museum overlooking the city, designed by architect Richard Meier, starred in the penultimate episode of the series, a comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson about misadventures in the afterlife that aired its finale last month.
The long-awaited arrival of the actual Good Place was a major moment for the show, which had spent the better part of four seasons with its central characters trying to escape the endless torture of the Bad Place and earn a spot in heaven.
“There’s a lot of discussion of, what does the Good Place look like?” said executive producer Morgan Sackett, who directed the episode, titled “Patty,” on the series podcast.
“We had purposely avoided showing the Good Place before,” writer Andrew Law added. “You’re bound to disappoint the audience with anything you come up with.”
And after four seasons shooting on location, options were limited. “The prettiest places in LA, the beach, the Huntington gardens—we’d shot all that stuff,” added Sackett.
Knowing it was a long shot, the show approached the Getty, known for its beautiful grounds and breathtaking views, months in advance. “It was a long courtship with them. It’s a very well-funded institution and they’re not opening for filming business,” Sackett said. “A woman named Julie who works there is a huge fan of the show, otherwise it was a nonstarter.”
Julie is Julie Jaskol, the museum’s assistant director of media relations. Knowing that the museum was going to stand in for the fabled Good Place made it easy to come around on the idea, she told Artnet News in an email.
“We had worked with the location person before, so we had confidence in him, and we all loved the show,” she explained.
After months of negotiations, The Good Place crew took over the museum for a 12-hour shoot one Monday in August. (The Getty is closed to the public on Mondays.)
Sackett was surprised to get the green light. “There’s wildly priceless art and very high security. They don’t want a bunch of Hollywood dingdongs running around there,” he joked.
So why does the Getty make for the perfect Good Place? “You’d have to ask them,” Jaskol said. “We think they were looking for something beautiful, serene, maybe a little otherworldly.”
But Bell and Danson didn’t have time to see any of the exhibitions, she said. “They had a tight schedule.”
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