What The Good Place Teaches Us About Our Own Eternal Destination
This post is totally spoiler alert, so if you haven’t watched NBC’s comedy series The Good Place. I highly recommend that you binge watch a season or two before you read any further.
I am totally obsessed with NBC’s The Good Place. I never binge watch tv – well, maybe this one time with Reign, Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time, The Crown, Resurrection, and Game of Thrones.
Let me rephrase that, I’ve never binge-watched a series to completion. I always wanted to, but never find the time. I get a few shows in and then life happens; however, I made the time to watch The Good Place.
The series follows four people after their untimely deaths. When each character died they woke up in a utopian neighborhood called The Good Place. In the Good Place they meet their alleged soulmates, live in the houses of their dreams, and eat an abundance of frozen yogurt.
Two residence believe they are worthy of The Good Place, while two others fear they don’t belong and try to live under the radiator. After a series of odd events, they learn that they all have been tricked and are all actually in The Bad Place, which is basically hell.
The four strangers become friends and learn exactly what they did in life to deserve eternal damnation.
As a last-ditch effort, the foursome began studying popular philosophers’ take on morals in an attempt to become better people.
The show is well-written and laugh out loud hilarious. Surprisingly, the comedy invokes serious questions about morality and the afterlife.
Even more surprising, the show has caused me to question my own eternal destination.
I’ve lived an OK life. I grew up in church, I read the Bible, I went to college, I go to work, and I’ve always been a homebody that stays away from wild partying and promiscuity.
I know that I’m flawed, but I never considered I might be flawed enough for hell/The Bad Place.
My view changed when I realized many of the character flaws that sent the four main characters of The Good Place to The Bad Place, are traits that I possess in some way too.
I know that I can’t be alone in this venture. Surely, I’m not the sole potential resident of The Bad Place.
Below I’ve outlined each Bad Place resident and their earthly failings that led them to eternal torture. Maybe you too can identify with their moral deficiencies.
The Bad Place Residents
- Eleanor Shellstrop: Before dying, Eleanor was selfish, afraid to commit to friendship or teamwork, and sold phony drugs to the elderly. Her problems were rooted in a terrible childhood with selfish parents whom she liberated herself from at a very young age.
- How you might compare: We are living in “selfie” times. Everything is centered around “I” and our personal comfort. Will your selfishness on earth land you a spot in the Bad Place forever?
- Chidi Anagonye: Was a Professor of Ethics and Moral Philosophy at St. John’s University. Though Chidi was thoughtful and kind almost to a flaw, he hurt everyone around him with his extreme indecisiveness. Chidi weighted each moral cost before making any decision, a problem that led to his untimely death.
- How you might compare: Are you indecisive? Has your indecision ever hurt the people you love the most? I know that my personal indecision has led to several hurtful mistakes. Maybe you should consider following your heart a little more if this problem applies to you too. You see, Chidi never actually needed to be in The Bad Place to be punished. He allowed his dogmatic ways to make his life a living hell before and after death.
- Tahani AL-Jamil: Tahani was a rich British socialite whose life’s work was throwing fancy parties that raised billions of dollars for charity. Tahani seemed to have it all, brains, beauty, and a host of Hollywood A-list friends who she constantly name dropped in conversation. The problem was she always lived in the shadows of an accomplished sister whom her parents loved more. None of those plush parties were ever really about charity, they were always a masked scheme to win her parents love and approval.
- How you might compare: We live in a time that if someone gives thirty cents to a homeless person (note that even a dollar will not buy a water from a vending machine) they feel the incessant need to post the pictures online. Giving, in many cases, no longer comes from the heart, but it is a ploy for accolades, likes and shares.
Not only should you purify your intentions when giving, but also watch out for jealously! Jealously drove Tahani to make selfish decisions that sent her straight to The Bad Place.
- Jason Mendoza: Jason was an Amateur wannabe EDM DJ and drug dealer before his death. Though, in general, Jason was kind at heart, he was very ignorant and impulsive. His inability to think things through and overcome his rough upbringing, as well as his impulsiveness transported him to The Bad Place at only 27 years old.
- How you might compare: We live in a Microwave Society and we want things now! Jason actually died trying to rob a restaurant by hiding in a safe because he wanted to become a DJ in Miami, but didn’t want to endure the hard work it took to get there. Today no one is willing to wait for anything. Want that new iPhone? Try a twenty-four-month payment plan. Want a fit body? Drink Flat Tummy Tea for a nice detoxifying flush. Want to go to Dubai? Become an Instagram hottie and get a Sugar Daddy to fly you out. Our impulse control is almost none existent. Another huge problem of Americans especially is ignorance. It seems as though living in an era where information is readily available would make humans smarter, but not so. Knowledge is available, but there is a negative feedback loop between knowledge and those willing to attain it. Education and not becoming a product of his surroundings could have saved Jason a trip to The Bad Place. Will you allow your own low impulse control and ignorance to take you under?
So, Where Will you End Up when your Number is Up?
The Good Place proves to be far more than a laugh, but a series with hidden depth that might make you reconsider everything.
As Christians, we know that we are saved through grace and belief in Jesus Christ as our personal savior but works do have meaning to God (check the Ten Commandments).
Maybe if you are struggling with any of the sins of the cast of The Good Place, now is the time to work on becoming a better person. Unlike Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason, we don’t have eternity to make things right.
Comment below using your Facebook profile or WordPress ID. Do you watch The Good Place? Who is your favorite character?