“I argue that we choose to be good because of our bonds with other people and our innate desire to treat them with dignity. Simply put, we are not in this alone.”

— Chidi Anagonye, 2×03, Somewhere Else

In 2016, NBC released a sitcom about four people and their journey in the afterlife. The Good Place is a comedy which subtly and beautifully depicts the concepts of capitalism, right and wrong, and learning from our mistakes.

Eleanor, a self-claimed “Arizona dirtbag”, who used to be a dismissive, negative person when alive, died a rather embarrassing death. She and her friends go on a journey of growth and self-discovery. The demon Michael plans to torture her by making her think she is in The Good Place where she knows she doesn’t belong. This way he creates the perfect Bad Place for her.

When his several attempts of torturing Eleanor in his new version of The Bad Place fail, he gives up and joins her and her friends. The group discovers an anomaly in the point system which has been allotting people to their Places. They all look back on people with a perfect life who are still not allowed into The Good Place.

Apparently, the system cut points of every decision that the person didn’t even choose to make. Also, the potential of a person to change and how much they have changed since their past sins wasn’t being accounted for. The group takes it as their mission to remove this anomaly so that people can enter The Good Place, which had been empty for centuries.

A new system is put in place, where Michael’s original neighbourhood is converted into an experiment for all people to enter as their personal hell, realise their mistakes, and relive the neighbourhood with their previous neighbourhood’s essence. When one overcomes their flaws, they enter The Good Place.

Even though real life doesn’t give us endless chances to correct ourselves, the show wonderfully exhibits change in human behaviour when selfless external love and the spirit to be better version of ourselves come into play. With a little reflection, humanity can progress swiftly and beautifully. In summary, only humans can save humans, through love and compassion.

– S. Mysha Urooj, Amity International School, Noida

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