A few months ago, my favorite blogger introduced me to a Netflix series entitled The Good Place. She gave no description of the show but highly recommended it and praised the writers’ creativity. With all the coronavirus coverage in the news, we could all use a healthy dose of The Good Place.
Good vs. Bad
I went in blind and binge-watched the first season of this 22-minute-per-episode (give or take) dark comedy and watched with baited breath to see what happened next. Essentially, the “Good Place” is where “good” people, people who dedicated their lives on Earth to helping the less fortunate, go when they die. In the Good Place, inhabitants enjoy pristine living conditions, the homes of their dreams, flying lessons, and endless flavors of frozen yogurt. Sounds amazing, right? He he …
The “Bad Place” is where “bad” people go. However, because I haven’t gotten into season 2, I have no idea what the Bad Place is like and whether viewers ever get to see it. What I do know is that fedoras are a necessity. The series has received critical acclaim for its examination of ethics and philosophy.
Season 1 Spoilers Ahead
Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) and Jianyu Li/Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) are imposters who have mistakenly been admitted entry to the Good Place, much to the chagrin of their soulmates, Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) and Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), respectively, who actually belong there.
Eleanor and Jason are eventually outed and take a detour with “Good Janet” (D’Arcy Carden), a humanoid Internet browser/butler to the “Medium Place,” where they meet its sole inhabitant, a former corporate lawyer. The three eventually return to the Good Place, where the humans (including Chidi and Tahani) must decide who will be banished to the Bad Place for breaking the rules.
Eventually, Eleanor figures out that they (including Chidi and Tahani, who were actually not so “good” after all) are actually living in the Bad Place due to their torment of each other. The architect of the “Good Place,” Michael (Ted Danson), is incredulous that his plan was discovered so soon, and everyone’s (including Good Janet’s) memories are wiped.
Which Place Is the Workforce Right Now?
The plot of this series seems to be the exact opposite of the current state of the world. While it may seem like we are in the “Bad Place,” specifically with regard to employee-employer-related issues, could we really be in the “Good Place”? Closures are forcing us to be home with our families more, cook at home, be aggressive in our personal hygiene, yearn for sunshine and fresh air, and abandon the morning and evening commutes.
Congress recently passed (and the president signed) the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), which will give relief to employers and employees alike and:
- Provide a limited period of paid sick leave,
- Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide an extended period of unpaid or partially paid leave for a public health emergency (E-FMLA), and
- Provide tax credits to employers providing E-FMLA leave.
You can read about the Act in its entirety here.
While we can only be optimistic about what lies ahead, we are in the Good Place because we (and our families) woke up this morning.
Take care of yourselves and your families.