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The Secret Connection Between The Good Place And The Leftovers

The dystopian drama "The Leftovers" and philosophical sitcom "The Good Place" may seem to have much in common, at first glance. It's true that both exist in different genres and formats, the two enormously popular series share a strand of the same mystical DNA. "The Leftovers" is a prestige mystery focused on a disaster called the "Sudden Departure," which saw two percent of the world's population disappear at once. "The Good Place" is a joke-heavy sitcom centered around a group of strangers who have been stuck together in the afterlife.

Both shows dealt with complex topics through the lens of mysticism and philosophy, and both were critically acclaimed for their complexity. "The Leftovers" is often considered one of the best shows of all time (per Rolling Stone) while "The Good Place" has also been called one of the best sitcoms of the modern era (per Time). However, something far more literal connects "The Leftovers" and "The Good Place," and it's something that even major fans may not know about.

The Good Place may not exist without Damon Lindelof

During a 2018 interview with Vulture, "The Good Place" creator Michael Schur revealed that the show probably wouldn't exist without "The Leftovers" co-creator Damon Lindelof's approval and early involvement. After watching "The Leftovers" Schur said that he was so impressed that he had his agent set up a meeting with Lindelof. Schur shared his idea for "The Good Place" with the former "Lost" producer and even revealed the legendary ending of Season 1. Lindelof helped him work out certain science fiction plot elements.

"I needed a person who is conversant in the language of science fiction or genre writing, which I am not, to say to me, 'Here are some things that are gonna happen that are dangerous. Here's what's gonna happen, here's how to avoid it,'" Schur said. "So that was a huge part of how I operated going forward." Schur even went on to say that "The Good Place" probably wouldn't have even been made without Lindelof's approval. "Damon Lindelof saying, 'This is something' is the reason that show exists," Schur revealed. "So thank him, if you like it."

Sharp-eyed viewers of "The Good Place" may have spotted a number of small easter eggs dedicated to "The Leftovers," including a photo with October 14 as the date, which is the same day the Sudden Departure happens in "The Leftovers."