From Hannah: It’s almost the end of January, which means we will soon say goodbye to the best show currently airing on television The Good Place (Editior’s Note: It’s no Riverdale. -Mav). We’ve mentioned the show over the course of the podcast, so it’s only fitting we give it the full-length episode it deserves (this time with spoilers). I definitely want to talk about the show and the finale in and of itself, but I also want our episode to think about two cool aspects of The Good Place: its interest in ethics and its experimental nature. By “experimental” I mean something different than the show taking risks and playing with genre (although it certainly did so). What I mean is that The Good Place actively (sometimes with faux research studies, sometimes with speculate worlds) conducted fictional social experiments that asked how we could be better people. The whole premise of the first season, after all, is based on Michael’s initial experiment with his neighborhood. These experiments are directly tied to ethics.
The Good Place appeals to me because it’s a show that acknowledges the complications of what it means to act ethically. It does so without falling into cynicism. It makes Kant jokes! But I am, admittedly, a nerd who is way too invested in moral philosophy, and The Good Place‘s audience is wider than academics who overly identify with Chidi. So, if you watch the show, what interests you? Is The Good Place different from other types of speculative fiction or fiction interested in philosophy? Does the show take any stance on what it means to be “good?”
(And if you’re not watching it, you should!)