Over the course of 3 seasons The Good Place has embarked on a hilarious and insightful journey through many real-life and imaginary ethical situations. Each main character poses real ethical questions that we as society have not really asked ourselves or have discussed fully.
Tahani Al-Jamil (The Greater Good):
Tahani was sent to the bad place because even though she had raised billions of dollars for charities, she did it all for the wrong reasons, and even though technically it is almost impossible in this day and age to be so hugely successfully philanthropic without garnering attention, she did it for just that reason, the attention. Now, even though Tahani’s motivations were off, she was not a bad person and considering all the people she helped with her philanthropic efforts, shouldn’t that earn her spot in the good place? I mean, doesn’t the amount of lives she touched outweigh the minor flaws in her personality?
Chidi Anagonye (Mental Illness):
Chidi was sent to the bad place because he tortured all the people closest to him with his inability to make a decision and that even lead to his death. Now, even though Chidi’s friends and family often suffered greatly because of his inability to make a decision, he was not indecisive on purpose, the man suffered from a crippling form of anxiety that made it near impossible to make quick decisions and then not regret them retroactively, does that mean he deserves to go to the bad place with bad people? He spent his life living and teaching about ethics, he did not choose to hurt his loved ones, he wasn’t doing it on purpose.
Jason Mendoza (Not Intelligent Enough):
Jason was sent to the bad place for many reasons, let me pick just three: he sold drugs (although they were fake) to college kids, he blew up someone’s boat and tried to rob a restaurant with his friend. Though all of this screams criminal, to those that do not know Jason, over the course of the series you realize that he is not a bad guy, he is just incapable of understanding the gravity of his decisions. He knows the difference between wrong and right, albeit minimally, but if he doesn’t understand the consequences of his decisions, how can we, as society, expect him to make nothing but the easiest decision or to just mirror the actions of those around him?
Eleanor Shellstrop (Nature Vs. Nurture):
Eleanor was sent to the bad place, just like Jason, for many reasons, let me pick my favorite one: She ripped her friend’s dress by mistake, the friend then sued her dry cleaner thinking it was their fault, putting the dry cleaner out of business, when everyone started calling her friend “The Dress Bitch”, Eleanor then made t-shirts of it, sold them and then bought that same dress with the profits from the sales. Now, we all know that most people are born neutral but the way we are brought up greatly affects the way we view things and how we navigate the world so if Eleanor’s parents did not force their views of choosing one’s self over others, on to her, maybe she would have been a better person, maybe she would have surrounded herself with better people. But maybe that is just too many maybes but victims of circumstance deserve some leniency, don’t you think?