Throughout the entirety of The Good Place, but particularly this season, with a new experiment, with the knowledge that the point system doesn’t work, we have been dealing with the same issue: humans evolve, they change, and they get better. And yet, they still end up in The Bad Place.
Is that fair?
Of course, the answer is fairly obvious. It’s not fair. It never has been. But, like anyone who grew up around organized religion will tell you, it was never supposed to actually be fair. Those are the rules, and you either take them, or well …you take them?
Except, maybe, in “You’ve Changed, Man,” The Good Place is telling us that, you don’t have to. That sometimes – well, actually, all times – we can ask for better, even if the thing we’re asking better from is, you know, an immortal judge or a literal demon from hell.
This is a very important message, not just for a TV show, but in general, and as the show gets closer and closer to the end of this thought process, of this show that was always made up of bigger ideas than most shows are made of, it’s one we needed more than ever.
Yes, they have told us, over and over again that we can get better. No one is static, and you are not your worst moments. You don’t have to be defined by them. And yet, these words have always come tempered by reality. You don’t have to be defined by your worst actions, but you also can’t help it some people, if the world, judges you by them.
Because that’s the way of the world.
Except, The Good Place is saying, maybe, just maybe, changing yourself isn’t the end of the journey. Maybe the end of the journey is, indeed, changing the world. And though that seems impossible, if enough people change themselves and work together to change the world, well …it might actually be doable.
Imagine that. A comedy show on NBC, here, teaching philosophical lessons about life.
That’s always who The Good Place has been, though. And it’s done this, through four seasons, while still making us laugh, still making us feel for these characters who are just as flawed as we are, if not more. And though the show might be coming to a close, the ideas that we’ve learned from these group of writers, and from Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, Michael and Janet don’t have to.
Like any good lesson, they can, and will stay with us. That is this show’s legacy.
Things I think I think:
- Chidi’s confidence is, indeed, sexy.
- The way he’s just like “I love you Eleanor, next”? Boy, that’s some character growth indeed.
- Framing cruelty as humanity’s crime is actually pretty dang on point.
- Shawn’s whole “new ideas are gross” is his most Kevin moment ever.
- I almost can’t believe that’s really Timothy Olyphant, except I know it is.
- “Fighting with you is the most fun I’ve ever had.”
- Well, this is …surprising. What’s gonna happen NOW? There are still three episodes left.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think about “You’ve Changed, Man”? Share with us in the comments below!
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.