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Posts tagged "the good place"

The Despairing Place

Critics Have Called It “Transcendent,” but The Good Place Finale is Tortuous

Another Week Ends: Tara Isabella Burton, A Tired Reverend, Anderson Cooper, Wile E. Coyote, Orthosomnia, Mike Schur, and the Terms of Forgiveness

1. This week, writer Tara Isabella Burton (a guest speaker at our upcoming conference!) contributed a beautifully confident piece to America Magazine: How I Learned to Love My Christianity. She begins humorously. “There was a joke I used to make back before I was Christian: I am the most liberal person in a room full […]

What We’re Watching and Listening to, November Edition: The Crown Season 3 (and a Couple Other Things)

This contains spoilers from Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown. Carrie Willard Netflix released Season 3 of The Crown this past week, and there is simply too much to unpack all at once. I’ve been enthralled since Season 1, and again in Season 2. This third season is so very good, and so very rich in […]

Another Week Ends: A Peaceful Prison, Accidental Killers, Walking Report Cards, Nihilist Dads, Sin and Mental Health, and a Lot of Exorcisms

1. We’ve all been there. Exhausted from the daily grind… Overwhelmed by expectations from work and family and social commitments… Needing the peace and quiet of a nice, structured jail cell… Wait, what? Our first story this week (ht CB) tells of a mock prison where ‘inmates’ pay $90 to spend 24 hours in solitary confinement, […]

The Strange Absurdity of Scorekeeping in The Good Place

A bonzer contribution from one Sam Guthrie: With seasons 1 and 2 of NBC’s The Good Place streaming on Netflix, Kristen Bell and gang bring the laughs with the show’s expository mirror reflecting the religiosity of our modern world. The Good Place follows the adventure of Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) as she navigates her existence […]

Another Week Ends: Divine Dad Jokes, Social Media Dark Ages, Millennial Marriages, Cher’s SOS, and a Swimming Pool Full of Sprinkles

1. It’s the experience economy, in case you haven’t heard. In a previous vocation, that was the mantra by which we were expected to “pivot” our future plans. The new experience entrepreneurs have likely set up shop in your neighborhood too: we just got our first axe-throwing range to compliment our smashing-pottery-therapy studio and our […]

On Being the Center of the Universe: A Reminder for the Narcissist in Me

Without giving anything away, NBC’s The Good Place features six major characters, one of whom is Tahani al-Jamil: a tall, gorgeous philanthropist with an exclusive interest in herself. When asked to describe Tahani, her friend Eleanor rattles off the following, with affection: “self-obsessed socialite, ridiculous giraffe, absurd British aristocrat, narcissistic attention seeker.” In Season 2, […]

Another Week Ends: Data Thugs and Emotional Scientists, René Girard and Johnny Cash, Hurricane Pop-Tarts, Personality Tests, and Mean Houseplants

1. A mishmash of articles coming our way this week regarding the search for objectivity in the public sphere. First, a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the “replicability crisis” in the field of psychology. If you’re uninitiated, this is the recent (and ongoing) debunking of numerous landmark studies in psychology, debunked […]

#MeToo, and You

My fingers hovered over the keys, wondering whether this was the right or wrong thing to do. Forty years’ practice keep me coming back to this default: not the nuanced, winding halls of grace but the black-and-white certainty of law. I considered and weighed, and I posted. There are three memories right off the top […]

Another Week Ends: Bootleg Bob Dylan, Converted Morticians, Your True Self, Anxious Teens, and Earning Points in The Good Place

1. This week brought some fantastic revelations, not the least of which was Bob Dylan’s bootleg (gospel-infused) song, “Making A Liar Out of Me”: Needless to say, we’re eagerly awaiting this collection’s release. From Andy Greene at Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan began writing gospel songs at such a furious rate in late 1978 that there was […]

On Being Outsiders…and Not Quite Bulletproof

Just wanted to let you know you can all calm down: I figured out the Election of 2016. Okay, maybe I didn’t “figure it out” so much as “choose the theory I find least disquieting among all the ones being thrown around right now.” The narrative of this election, after all, is being told and retold all […]

Bad People in The Good Place

In case you missed it during the Olympics, NBC will have a new Thursday night sitcom this fall: The Good Place (I went to high school with Michael Schur!). It’s about an abominable woman (Kristin Bell), who, by some cosmic error, ends up in Heaven.

Not surprisingly, the show appears (admittedly from the 2-minute trailer) to propagate the notion that good people go to the “good place” and bad people go to the “bad place” (although I hold out hope that the creator of Parks & Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be a bit more insightful). Of course, this is the Law, not the Gospel. It is Karma, not Grace. In contrast, the New Testament affirms that the only Good Person went to the bad place so that bad people could go to the good place.