The Good Place: An Accurate Show About Society

( parce qu’on étudie aussi l’anglais ! )

Today, I’m writing about a show that is not only funny and interesting but a portrait of our society. What if what was supposed to entertain us also had a deeper meaning? Let’s discover more about The Good Place. 

What Is The Good Place?

This story follows 6 people throughout four seasons. It takes place in the afterlife, the point is that instead of the traditional hell and heaven these places are instead referred to as The Good Place and The Bad Place. In The Bad Place there are both demons, who torture humans soul and architects. An architect’s job is to design neighbourhoods for torture. First, we meet Michael, an afterlife architect whose mission is to design the perfect way to torture human souls. Michael was growing tired of doing the same thing, so he pitched an idea, instead of torturing souls physically he would torture them emotionally by creating a fake Good Place neighbourhood. He then carefully chose four people that he believed would drive each other crazy. He also created Janet, an all knowing being that is neither girl nor robot. She’s there to assist Michael and the humans. Then, there are the four humans that were the source of the whole idea. Chidi, Jason, Eleanor and Tahani are all told by Michael that this is The Good Place. Since in the afterlife you’re given a soulmate, Michael places Chidi with Eleanor and Tahani with Jason. The afterlife goes on with lots of problems, all invented by the architect and executed by the demons, but at the end of the first season Eleanor realizes the truth. They’re not in The Good Place but in TheBad Place. She and Jason understand why they’re there but Chidi and Tahani are confused. Michael explains to Tahani that while she was in fact doing great things on earth she only did it to be better than her sister. For Chidi, even though he did good things, the fact he was never able to make decisions made people in his life miserable. So on that season one wraps leading to the next season of the show. 

What’s the connection with us?

Now that the background is set I’d like to skip to what interests us. At some point in the series Michael, who is now a reformed demon, realizes something important. It’s been 521 years since someone got into The Good Place. I think that’s interesting because it shows that it’s impossible to be truly good. The showrunners took this idea to an extreme, but still, when you really examine our life everything we own is the result of some bad action and/or choice. The food we eat is produced in farms that use pesticides or that was built where a forest used to be or maybe people there are underpaid. The clothes we wear are fabricated by Third World countries citizens that didn’t have the best working conditions. Even if we assume the products that are advertised as 100% green really are: How was that product transported to us? Where did you buy it? Was it in another megastore? Nothing can be truly good and that’s that. There’s always something bad that comes from what we consume. 

What can we do? Or can we even do anything?

We can’t do anything; it would take years, maybe centuries even, I mean this isn’t a small issue. This is a worldwide problem that would require a total 360 of our way of living. Therefore, in my opinion, no matter what is produced, not a single one of us is going to be there to see it and be able to prove it doesn’t have a negative impact. While we can’t do anything, I think we can at least be aware of what’s going on, instead of not pretending the issues aren’t there. 

Finally, I’d like to add that even though we can learn great things from The Good Place, it’s an extremely funny show. The characters are relatable and interesting, the plot is evolving constantly and you don’t lose interest easily.

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