There is a new sitcom out this fall called “The Good Place.” Ted Danson and Kristen Bell are the stars. I watched the Pilot and first episode. I haven’t decided if I will keep watching to see where the show is headed or not. What I wanted to discuss here is the depressing way the sitcom portrays the after-life.
Kristen’s character dies and ends up in the “Good Place” at Ted Danson’s desk. He explains to all the newcomers how you get there. A point scheme exists that gives you positive or negative points based on every action you do on earth. Obviously, good things give you positive points and bad behaviors give you negative points. In the end, it’s totaled up and if you are above an extremely high, pre-defined number, you go to the “Good Place.” Everyone else goes to the “Bad Place.” The people inhabiting this land were extreme philanthropists or spent their life as doctors in impoverished nations. Very few make it to the “Good Place.”
The rest of the show is spent meeting new characters. There is rivalry, insecurity, lonliness, bitterness and boredom in this “Good Place.” The people aren’t happy nor are they any different than on earth. Emotions run high.
Let me state that I am a Christian which means I believe in Jesus as God’s son and that His death and resurrection (coming back to life and ascending to Heaven) paid my penalty for disobeying God. I believe in Heaven (eternity in God’s presence) and Hell (eternity apart from God’s presence).
This show made me sad. Why would I want to struggle on earth just to keep doing so after I die? Why would I even bother doing good if I most likely wouldn’t reach the high score required to make it to the “Good Place?” Why would I want to live in “paradise” if I am just going to continue to feel insecure, lonely and/or not good enough?
I know it’s just a sitcom and meant to be funny. It has humorous moments and the flashbacks to Kristen’s former life are intriguing. Yet the tension of all the emotions makes it a sad show to me.
I’m not rejecting or embracing this new show. I just wanted to challenge all of us to think about what we believe happens after we die. How do we envision Heaven or our view of the “Good Place?” Obviously, I hope you come to understand who God is and how Heaven is truly the place you want to be.
In the Bible, Revelation 21:3-4 says “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
It’s a new order. The pain and frustration of earthly things will be gone. No more tears. Dwelling with God is the GOOD PLACE. You can start that dwelling now while you are on earth. Reading the Bible, joining a church, connecting with others who also seek to know God more are all ways to get a taste of the GOOD PLACE today. The hope of Heaven, the real GOOD PLACE, will sustain you through the trials and joys of this life. Start seeking today.