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8 Reasons The Good Place is the Sitcom Everyone Should Be Watching

One of the best shows on television right now is The Good Place, a comedy that mixes the usual zany ensemble cast of a great sitcom with a huge, contradictory, existential premise of a quirky afterlife. The Good Place is high concept comedy at its finest. If you love sitcoms or hate them, here’s some reasons to give The Good Place a try.

1. It’s created by the same guy who created Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

There aren’t many shows more fun and relatable than Parks and Recreation, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine is working its way up through the ranks. What do those shows have in common? They’re both co-created by Mike Schur, who also wrote for The Office, possibly one of the most beloved shows on television. Mike Schur keeps his usual wit and hilarity for a sitcom entirely different from his usual schtick.

2. It’s the most original premise for a sitcom on TV.

The show opens with a simple premise: that Eleanor Shellstrop, played by the charming Kristen Bell, has died and gone to the Good Place. The Good Place is a magical afterlife neighborhood where everything is always fine, there’s frozen yogurt shops on every corner, and she finds her soulmate in the adorable Chidi.

The only problem? She’s not supposed to be there. She got mixed up with another Eleanor Shellstrop. This Eleanor is a snarky narcissist who never did anything with her life. Luckily, her fake-soulmate Chidi was an ethics professor while he was alive and decides to help her become a better person who deserves to live in the Good Place.

It’s a huge departure from the influx of workplace sitcoms out there, and is one of the only sitcoms out there that deals with a world beyond our own.

3. It deals with big existential questions in a light-hearted way.

Obviously, a show about the afterlife doesn’t exactly sound like a bucket of fun-hearted laughs. The stakes are high–higher than every sitcom out there and even most dramas, but the show always grounds their crazy, existential conflicts with some solid humor and great cast dynamics.

4. You’ll learn a ton about ethics and not even realize it.

At its heart, this is a show about what it means to be a good person. It asks us what we deserve in the end, why we do good things, what makes something essentially good and, at the very center – can people really become better? Is it ever too late?

There’s a ton of ethical theory you’ll find in your most boring philosophy lecture but presented in a fun, accessible, and immediate way.

5. It has an amazing, diverse cast with great dynamics.

The whole cast dynamic is absolutely fantastic, and everyone bounces off each other wonderfully. Every character is vividly drawn, relatable, and lovable in their own way even as they screw everything up.

There’s Eleanor, the aforementioned narcissist; Chidi, her anxious ethics professor; Tahani, a hot, rich fraud with legs for days; Jason, always waiting for the bass to drop; Janet, not a robot and not a girl, who is a staple of Good Place livelihood; and Michael, the supernatural being who runs the neighborhood. All of them are fun, well-developed characters that have great relationships with one another. Plus, three of the six main cast members are people of color who have distinct cultural identities, which is really great to see on a mainstream show.

6. It has an insane twist.

The Good Place basically reinvents the idea of a twist ending. Their first season finale will blow your mind. No spoilers, but you’ve got to watch until at least then to really appreciate the genius of this show.

7. It’s super relatable.

All the characters have their own quirky personality, and whether they’re in the middle of an existential crisis or living their best life in paradise, all six of them (even the non-human ones) manage to be so breathtakingly human and understandable in every scene.

8. It’s forkin’ hilarious.

No matter how deep the show gets, it never forgets that it’s a sitcom and it’s meant to entertain. In fact, the existential and ethical just makes it funnier. At its best, you won’t be able to find any better example of laugh-out-loud television.

 

 

Courtney Welu is a student at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities who studies English and theatre.
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