– By Carly Twehous –
Some spoilers below
Welcome! Everything is fine!
This is the Good Place: A generalized, metaphysical “paradise” run exclusively on the arbitrary negative and positive energy put out into the universe. (Very Woodstock, I know.) Every action you do has a pre-assigned negative or positive value to it and your ultimate score determines if you spend eternity in the Good Place or the Bad Place.
Let’s view the scorecards, shall we?
Remaining loyal to the Cleveland Browns gives you 53.83 positive points, while rooting for the Yankees puts you down another 100.77. (To some sports fan, somewhere in the world, that’s hilarious. Quite honestly, I had to Google what sport this was in reference to.)
Using “Facebook” as a verb will cost you 5.55 points, while giving out full-sized candy bars on Halloween will earn you a whopping 613.96 points. Ending slavery will boost you roughly 814,000, while committing genocide will only take you down 433,000. Interesting.
Veganism itself is an additional 407.43 positive points. That being said, discussing veganism unprompted will cost 9843.81 points. (For the life of me, this particular set of facts is the only one based in actual, justifiable morality. I seem to recall a tale about the Pharisees and a comment about their boastful manner of prayer…)
With arbitrary rules like that, that otherwise have absolutely no basis in objective philosophy or concrete metaphysical reasoning… well, is it any wonder something goes a bit wrong?
To some, this concept might be teetering dangerously towards blasphemy. There’s a Good Place that’s undeniably imperfect and a Bad Place that torments mediocrity and absolutely no Medium Place, whatsoever. More than that… It’s all relative. When it comes to metaphysics and philosophy and morality, relative should be a fightin’ word.
My advice? Analyze the imperfections in reason and objective truth for what they are, but don’t sweat it too much. Otherwise, you run the risk of sounding a bit too much like a Pharisee or an overenthusiastic vegan. That’ll cost you arbitrary after-life points, you know.
This show is so much more gratifying if taken as it is, rather than as a war-cry against institutionalized religion. It’s a clever, satirical comedy, with a dash of dramatic irony, meant to entertain and engage an audience with an intriguing world with fascinating characters.
The Good Place is great.
It’s this wonderful story about how Sam Malone (Ted Danson) died and somehow ended up running this Bizzaro Earth version of heaven. But that’s okay. He catered to a rather odd crowd at Cheers. Let’s be honest: if you really think about it, Janet is basically Woody in a skirt.
Anna (Kristen Bell), from Frozen, tries to convince everyone around her that she’s actually a good person. Which, coincidentally, is pretty much the entire plot of Frozen.
Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), from Parks and Rec, is there. I don’t know why, nor did I know why he suddenly shows up on Parks and Rec, but in both cases, he’s brilliant.
Oh. And, by the end of the first episode, giant ladybugs attack the town, shrimp have both been used to stuff bras and are floating in the sky, a frog devours a palace, and everyone inexplicably finds themselves in matching outfits.
Spoilers? I guess. That’ll probably cost me some points.
Of course, I fibbed a bit. This is not actually the long-awaited, post-mortem revival of Cheers. But the rest of that is true, plus or minus a few giraffes.
Welcome to the Good Place. Turns out, everything is definitely not fine. But why not stick around for the ride?
For more TV reviews by Carly, click here.