The Good Place

Michael Schur’s sitcom, “The Good Place,” features perfectly executed and hilariously relatable one-liners, lessons in philosophy and a free, unlimited supply of colorful frozen yogurt flavors and toppings to each character’s hearts content.

Simple, clever and brilliantly written, the NBC show, also available on Netflix and Hulu, at its core reminds us earthlings to be kind to one another and our planet.

In the first episode, viewers are introduced to Eleanor (hilariously played by Kristin Bell) who died and is graciously welcomed by Michael (Ted Danson), the architect of the Good Place neighborhood.

By the second episode, clearly there’s been a mistake. The plot thickens. Twists and turns abound, and the creative team of writers begins to contemplate the meaning of life and all its lessons along the way.

In the Good Place, each person is destined to meet his or her soulmate. Eleanor is paired up with Chidi (the perfectly cast William Jackson Harper), a successful ethics and moral philosophy professor (prior to the afterlife) with severe indecision issues who second guesses every choice possible.

Eleanor confides in Chidi that she might not belong in the Good Place. Chidi decides to help her become a better person so she can stay in the Good Place and avoid the impending doom of the torturous bad place.

Philosophy teachings are immersed subtly and overtly within each episode. The ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, David Hume and Soren Kierkegaard, to name a few, are explained to viewers in relatable ways.  

Chidi teaches philosophical wisdom to Eleanor so she can understand how her choices affect everyone or everything around her.

In the Good Place, beautiful friendships are formed in the afterlife that might never have occurred on earth. The characters genially work together to achieve the common good (spoiler alert).

Choice is a common thread in “The Good Place.” Choices not only determine how or why people live their lives, but where they might or might not end up along the way. Morals and ethics determine the choices we make. “The Good Place” reminds viewers to question them.

“The Good Place” challenges us to think about our own actions — grand or minute. Cause and effect, simply put.

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