I wasn’t planning on watching (m)any new shows on television this fall season. I got word at the last minute, though, of a new show by Michael Schur (of Parks and Recreation fame) called The Good Place. The show follows the story of Eleanor Shellstrop, a super-selfish character played by Kristen Bell, who unexpectedly ends up in a version of heaven. It’s all skewed (from an orthodox perspective), but it has some great moments that line up with the worldview questions I talk about in class throughout the year. Here’s a clip where “the afterlife” is explained.
The folks at Entertainment Weekly interviewed Schur about the math behind the good/bad behavior calculations. It’s a funny explanation that you can read about here.
Two episodes aired last night. Kant and Aristotle had their names dropped in the second episode. Some interesting approaches to ethics, morality, perfectionism, and the nature of the world around us.
I’m not sure how long the show will last (it’s a bit of a stretch for network television). It’s sharp, though. And it’s a perfect picture of the absurdity of an afterlife devoid of any real classical theology (Christian or otherwise). It must be the heaven as rendered in moralistic therapeutic deism.