Every now and then a tv show surprises me in an unexpectedly good way. A recent Netflix binge brought me, happily, to THE GOOD PLACE!
While our lives often seem like a twisted series of moral dilemmas (and then we die), most people would rather talk about death than mention the E (ethics) and M (morals) words in polite company. And, while we seem obsessed by entertaining visions of death and destruction in action, we are less comfortable discussing what happens after.
So imagine the challenge of taking on the two least comedic subjects for a “not-dark” comedy — the afterlife and ethics — and making them the pointed focus of a fast-paced, dialogue driven, and wholly entertaining half-hour series.
What is THE GOOD PLACE like?
Imagine you’ve led a far from perfect life. Against all odds, you’ve made it to “the good place” but it is not what you thought. The people there aren’t all good and everything isn’t perfect. But, in order to not be sent to “the bad place” where the truly awful and horrifically evil reside, you have to not only be good, you have to be eternally ethical and moral.
Would you, could you, forever forsake the likes of greed, vanity, selfishness, lying, and profanity for altruism, mutual respect, cooperation, equality and truthfulness?
And how fast could you learn? Because, in the afterlife, the average resident has 1,222,821 points and the powers-that-be are keeping meticulous score.
So, welcome to eternal happiness… welcome to THE GOOD PLACE!
Bravo to writer/creator Michael Schur (Parks and Recreation) and team! THE GOOD PLACE is a smart and funny gem. May it run long and provoke much use and discussion of the E and M words!