The Getty Center Is So Serenely Beautiful That It Was Literally Heaven on the Hit TV Show ‘The Good Place’

The hilltop Los Angeles museum stood in for paradise on the show's penultimate episode.

Jameela Jamil as Tahani; Manny Jacinto as Jason; D'Arcy Carden as Janet; Kristen Bell as Eleanor; and William Jackson Harper as Chidi, on the grounds of the Getty Center in the finale episode of The Good Place. Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC.

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.

Ted Danson as Michael, on the ground of the Getty Center in episode "Patty" on The Good Place. Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC.

Ted Danson as Michael on the grounds of the Getty Center on The Good Place. Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC.

“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.

Kristen Bell as Eleanor, Manny Jacinto as Jason, William Jackson Harper as Chidi, D'Arcy Carden as Janet, Ted Danson as Michael, and Jameela Jamil as Tahani, on the grounds of the Getty Center in episode "Patty" on <em>The Good Place</em>. Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC.

The cast of The Good Place on the grounds of the Getty Center. Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC.

“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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