My obsession with the show The Good Place

I am *so* into the TV show The Good Place. I love it when screenwriters can pull off something with such pinpoint precise structure and dialogue. It’s one of those pieces of media that you occasionally see, and think, “Damn, I wish I’d written that.” I think I’d be really terrible at writing for TV, actually. So it’s a good thing that I didn’t write it.

The Good Place (if you don’t know) is a comedy show that takes place in the afterlife. It tackles philosophy in a way I haven’t seen on TV before. The show contains a set of scenarios that invites the reader to ask, “What is morality?” Like the actual literature, it refuses a simple answer. It overtly discusses many of the complex (and sometimes overly simplified) answers that philosophers have come up with.

I really respect media that can be both informative and entertaining. I never feel like The Good Place is preaching to me, but it polishes up/builds my knowledge of philosophy. It does another thing I really like also–the writers’ passion for the subject comes through so boldly that it makes me care about the subject, too, even if it’s not something I’m natively interested in. (The TV show Slings & Arrows does this with some Shakespeare tragedies; the writers’ love just saturates it.)

I watch a lot of TV because I’m addicted to narratives, but when I read anything in prose, my work brain kicks in. TV avoids the work brain. I usually judge TV with lower standards than prose, because I consume so much of it, but The Good Place is just awesome.

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7 Responses to My obsession with the show The Good Place

  1. 1
    Kohai says:

    I absolutely friggin’ love The Good Place. Is this a thread we can post on with spoilers?

  2. 2
    Mandolin says:

    Hm. Maybe I should make a spoiler thread? Or you could just start posts with spoilers in them with SPOILERS in all caps, but I don’t know if that really works for people.

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    I think that would be a good idea–I am very glad I didn’t know how Season 1 ended before I bingewatched it, and I wouldn’t dream of spoiling it for any first-time viewers.

    It’s so good!

  4. 4
    Doug S. says:

    I loved it too. The whole cast is superb, the characters have great comedic chemistry, and you never know what’s going to happen next. And Ted Danson definitely deserved some kind of acting award for that one smile in the Season 1 finale – I’m sure those of you who’ve seen it know which one. :)

  5. 5
    Gracchus says:

    Seconded. I had no idea it was going to be a show about philosophy – I just watched it because I have generally enjoyed everything Schur has written, so it had a good pedigree. The philosophical analysis is just a bonus (and happily, if one isn’t in the mood for philosophical analysis, it’s just a good comedy).

  6. 6
    Jake Squid says:

    The writing is so solid on that show. I was interested in the concept when I first found out about it, but didn’t expect anything good. Because, you know, TV. I loved the first season but had a lot of doubts if they could pull off more than that due to where they left off in the season 1 finale. But, holy shit, did they do it and do it well. I’m hoping that they’ve got another 25 or 30 seasons at this level left in them.

  7. 7
    Mandolin says:

    I’m having trouble signing in to my account directly on this site (my posts here stream from my blog), so I’m working on that – but I will put up a spoiler thread when I can.