August 17, 2020

THE CULTURE WARS ARE A ROUT:

Locked down? Open up to... a pretty Jewish view of afterlife in 'The Good Place' (PENINA BEEDE, 8/17/20, Times of Israel)

"Hindus are a little bit right, Muslims a little bit, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Buddhists; every religion guessed about five percent," says Michael, the architect of Eleanor's neighborhood in The Good Place, played by Ted Danson. "You know how some people pull into the breakdown lane when there's traffic, and they think to themselves, 'Ah, who cares? No one's watching?' We were watching!"

Michael Schur, the show's Jewish creator (who also worked on "The Office" and co-created "Parks and Recreation" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"), approached the plot as an ethical commentary on the afterlife rather than a religious one -- although he told The Hollywood Reporter that he studied several religions while preparing the script.

Nevertheless, "The Good Place" teaches us about ethics -- in a very Jewish way, full of indecision. Eleanor's supposed soul mate, Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), was an ethics professor before he died and can never settle on a flavor of frozen yogurt to eat, much less a concrete view of moral philosophy. After much debate, he agrees to teach Eleanor how to be a good person so she can pass into The Good Place without anyone noticing her tendency for selfishness.

Chidi explains that you can't do good deeds simply because you want to get into The Good Place, you have to be selfless. It's like he took it straight from the rabbis. 

Posted by at August 17, 2020 12:00 AM

  

« IT'S EXACTLY LIKE THE DEATH STAR (profanity alert): | Main | PRODUCTION MINUS LABOR INPUT: »