The Good Place – Comedy and Philosophy Combined

I’m not into comedies and usually find them too cheap when it comes to humor. They are usually loud and obnoxious or just silly without much substance.

I started watching “The Good Place” just for fun because I wanted to watch something easy and relaxing. Turned out that, while easy and relaxing, this show was witty and even intelligently made.

Eleanor Shellstrop dies and goes to Good Place which should be a version of Heaven where everything is perfect, you have all you need and more and you even get to meet your true soulmate with what you are supposed to spend the whole eternity together.

Eleanor’s soulmate is Chidi Anagonye, a professor on ethics which is really fresh because you rarely see philosophy professors featured in any mainstream show/movie let alone be a cool guy and also one of the main characters. In the Good Place, Chidi’s goal and mission became to teach Eleanor ethics so every episode we hear about different philosopher’s take of morality. With everything nowadays revolving about weed and booty it’s refreshing to see that a show attempted to educate people about different philosophical schools even if it was in a light and passing way. Kudos to that!

To be honest, Chidi’s lectures are not particularly interesting but the whole show deals with the concept of morality.

 

Spoilers ahead!

 

I liked the show’s take on the concept of good and bad. It was done in a very clever way.

At first, we believe that it is Eleanor who got mixed with someone else and ended up in the Good Place by mistake. Then we realize that she’s not the only one as Jason is also pretending to be a Buddhist monk. The real twist comes from the end of the first season – it is when we learn that the Good Place is not good at all – it’s actually the Bad Place and Michael is a demon!

It’s a great take on our beliefs of the afterlife, Hell and Heaven but also on our perception of what is good and what is bad.

Simply put, whatever we thought was “good” in the Good Place” was “bad”. Hell is not shown as a pit of fire where little demons torture you for eternity. Hell is depicted as being perfect and it’s our own fear of imperfection what is torturing us. It is a great metaphor for the real world, too. Our fears are our worst enemies.

Once the four realized that they weren’t living in a perfect Good Place and that their imperfections could actually save them from the eternal damnation, they became proactive in terms of finding the solution not only for themselves but also for the whole humanity.

Further we go into the show, we realize that it’s not only that the four main characters are in the Bad Place – everyone is. No matter how great or small or completely insignificant their bad deeds were on Earth, everyone went to the Bad Place. Even the person whose life obsession was to score points for the Good Place couldn’t get enough points to go there. He spent his entire life sacrificing himself to the point of not living the life at all and he was still heading to the Bad Place.

We’ll see what will happen in the next season but we hope that they will continue doing the great work!

 

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