For four years, “The Good Place” offered superb comedy, easy to love characters, and an ongoing existential conversation that centred around morality and philosophy.
The show centred around Eleanor Shellstrop, a deceased saleswoman who ends up in the Good Place, an obvious reference to what we know as heaven, on a case of mistaken identity. She and her companions— Chidi Anagonye, Tahani Al Jamil and Jason Mendoza — soon realize that what they thought was the Good Place was actually the Bad Place (hell), carefully designed as an experimental form of torture by the architect — Michael.
Our four main characters would then embark on a great quest to get into the real Good Place, which sets them on a journey of self-realization, moral philosophy and ultimately questioning the very system by which the universe was governed.
This is where “The Good Place” excelled.
“The Good Place” had a very clear and somehow equally subtle message. There was obvious social and political commentary that rested on the importance of morality as humans.
The moral lessons were often taught through the character of Chidi, who was a Professor of Moral Philosophy during his time on earth. Chidi, portrayed by William Jackson Harper, placed every situation he and his companions went through under a philosophical microscope— after all, it was his duty to “teach” them how to be good.
The show-runners managed to pass on quotes and lessons from renowned moral philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, in the shape of comedic timing and outrageously hilarious and equally unlikely scenarios.
“The Good Place” made the conversation about right and wrong entertaining, thoughtful and engaging.
Another good part of “The Good Place” was its open commentary on current affairs. The show often made reference to things that were taking place in our contemporary society.
The most noteworthy of these conversations came during the second half of the series. On how humans were being unfairly judged in a system that was out of date and thus working against them — it was why no one had gotten into the Good Place in several centuries!
It focused on trying to persuade the forces that be to adapt the workings of the 'system' to keep up with the hardships that might impact the choices made by human beings during their time on Earth.
It also introduced the idea, that no matter how bad a person may be, when given the opportunity— everyone has the capacity to improve and become better beings.
“The Good Place” was more than a comedic masterpiece, it was a necessary conversation that got its point across in the most appropriate channel possible. If you have not seen “The Good Place,” you definitely should.
-- Rolando Alberts