The Good Place

With the exception of Seinfeld reruns, I never watch sitcoms. In fact, sports aside, I don’t watch anything on the big broadcast networks.

The great thing about network shows is that they are highly formulaic, providing a great sense of comfort to the viewer, a commodity now higher than ever in demand in these turbulent times. The bad thing about network shows is that they are highly formulaic.

I, for one, find these formulas tiring at this point. And with shows like Breaking Bad, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Americans, The Crown, Ozark, Portlandia and Curb Your Enthusiasm streaming and on cable networks, why would I ever watch Law & Order or Friends again?

The Good Place is an exception. I’m late to the party here, but after listening to my son rave about it for over a year, I decided to dive on Netflix. Two short weeks later I had binged the first two seasons.

While it has all the conventions of the genre, the Good Place takes on weighty philosophical issues with great humor and grace. Ted Danson, Kristin Bell and the rest of the cast are over-the-top wonderful. And speaking of comfort, while there are plenty of twists and turns in the plot, the series consistently demonstrates that it’s never too late for people – living or dead in this case – to change for the better.

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