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“The Good Place” is a starting point if you ever wondered what happens after we die

By Nina Steele 

The Good PlaceYou know a show is good when you start laughing from the word go. And that’s what you get with The Good Place. It’s Hollywood’s take on the afterlife and it does live up to all the good reviews I have read. At the centre of the plot is a young woman named Eleanor Shellstrop (played by Kristen Bell). She epitomizes everything that is wrong with today’s society. She is self-absorbed, shallow and her role models are reality TV personalities. With that kind of background, the last thing you would expect is for her to go straight to paradise or ‘The Good Place’ as it’s called in the show, upon her death. However, to her own surprise, that’s exactly what happens. As it turns out, she is there by mistake. And the whole place soon starts to feel her negative energy, when bad things start happening.

The show manages to combine humour with issues of morality. We are for example constantly reminded that the world as we see it, is a reflection of the choices and values of those within it. So basically, if we don’t like the way things are, the best way to change it is to start with ourselves. As Gandhi once said: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. I can only speculate that in a world where spirituality is alien to many people, the use of humour was intended to convey a serious message, while at the same time, making sure not to alienate some viewers.

Season 1 ends with a twist that throws everything into question. The show is great because, in spite of the fact that it’s a comedy, it manages to convey a serious message about our place in the world. Everything is done so subtly that some viewers won’t even realise that they are being reminded about the need to live a virtuous life. The show does this by amplifying everything that is wrong with today’s society. Time and time again, it drives home the message that the choices we make will ultimately determine our fate whether here on earth or in the afterlife, for those who believe that there is indeed an afterlife.

The fact that the storyline is quite unique makes the show easily stand out. I won’t be surprised to see copycats emerge from rival networks. Until then, I, like millions of others will be enjoying this brilliant show and hoping that everyone behind it keeps up the good work.

The Good Place is currently showing on NBC and Netflix.

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