Where's the new The Good Place??
May 2, 2024 6:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm pretty sure nothing else like it exists, but if it does I feel like MetaFilter people are my best bet to find it!

I love The Good Place, to me it's the perfect show. I like that it:
1) involves philosophy as a central theme
2) is hilarious without relying on the characters just being nonstop jerks to each other (especially without that being viewed as problematic).

I'd settle for just one of these options, but both would be amazing!
posted by Eyelash to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
For 2) I cannot recommend Somebody Somewhere highly enough.
posted by mskyle at 6:29 PM on May 2 [26 favorites]

Miracle Workers seemed to cover some of the same thematic ground. I didn’t watch much of it, so not really a recommendation, but maybe worth checking out.

Pushing Daisies was another short-lived show that treated mortality with good-hearted humor.

For current well-written non-jerk-based comedies I recommend Fisk (Australian series, two short seasons currently on Netflix) and Shrinking (one season has aired on Apple TV+, second season allegedly on the way). And Hacks (Max, S3 airing now) does feature characters being intermittently awful to each other, but within a framework of basic decency.
posted by staggernation at 6:51 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]

Lodge 49 is a rather different show from The Good Place but I feel like it might scratch both of the itches in your description.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:56 PM on May 2 [13 favorites]

I echo Pushing Daisies as a close cousin of The Good Place. A bit sweeter and less funny, but visually stunning. It was sadly a victim of the writer's strike, so there is not enough of it!
posted by dpaul at 7:02 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]

Somebody Somewhere was great. As for people not being jerks in a Michael Schur series, did you already watch Parks and Recreation?
posted by signal at 7:08 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]

Infinity Train

Stephen Universe
posted by nickggully at 7:36 PM on May 2 [9 favorites]

Midnight Diner
posted by happy_cat at 8:02 PM on May 2 [16 favorites]

Came here to recommend Lodge 49. It starts slightly slow and depressing, but quickly becomes one of the warmest shows I can think of. Mrs. Davis is also fantastic, very weird, very funny. Neither is explicitly about philosophy, but both have strong philosophical themes.
posted by Garm at 8:52 PM on May 2 [7 favorites]

I adored Detectorists for the same reasons. Someone on MeFi recommended it during lockdown and I remember thinking, how the hell could a show about people searching for buried treasure with metal detectors be funny and interesting? And then it quickly became one of my favourite shows ever. So heartwarming, and also very very funny in a dry, quiet British way.

Also, and hear me out, Schitt’s Creek. I also avoided that one forever because it looked so stupid and the name just made me cringe. Until, that is, lockdown sent me scrambling for nondepressing, funny, gentle TV. The Rose family is pretty unlikeable at the beginning, but that’s the point. It quickly becomes a lovely, thoughtful show about shallow people who are forced into a situation where they learn to be genuine, kind, caring human beings. I legit cried through the entire final episode.

In the same vein: Kim’s Convenience. Plus you get to see pre-Shang-Chi, pre-Barbie Movie Simu Liu!

And seconding Somebody Somewhere and Midnight Diner. I love them both.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:52 PM on May 2 [25 favorites]

Detectorists for sure, but I kinda feel that Poker Face might meet this?
posted by Iteki at 12:59 AM on May 3 [7 favorites]

Since it hasn't been mentioned already, I suggest Upload, a surprisingly warm and complex romantic comedy drama set in the near-ish future and revolving around the central McGuffin of consciousness upload at the moment of death. It's hard to explain, but this show is much better than it sounds on paper, and has really grown on me. Characters who initially seem two-dimensional are allowed to develop in interesting ways. I think it has a similar general vibe to The Good Place.
posted by confluency at 1:17 AM on May 3 [11 favorites]

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Ted Lasso yet. There are some jerks but they are presented as a problem that needs to be solved, and most characters become better people over the series. There's some philosophy in there too, and some honest looks at toxic masculinity and depression.

Don't skip it (as I did for years) if you hate sports (like I do). It's not really about soccer.
posted by mmoncur at 3:11 AM on May 3 [31 favorites]

For category #2, Abbott Elementary! It's my favorite mainstream comedy these days.
posted by emd3737 at 3:45 AM on May 3 [12 favorites]

I endorse Russian Doll, the Natasha Lyonne joint on Netflix. I recommend seeking no spoilers. It's a black comedy about philosophy.
posted by 4th number at 6:48 AM on May 3 [15 favorites]

It only hits #2 on your list, but I can't help myself from recommending Girls5eva! I'd actually consider it more of a successor to 30 Rock, but much kinder. I've found that many of the modern sweetie-pie sitcoms are pleasant to watch but not always joke-a-minute funny - I think Girls5eva achieves both beautifully! It deserves a lot more recognition than it's gotten.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 7:24 AM on May 3 [9 favorites]

Still Up on Apple TV might be fun for you. It's a comedy that stars Antonia Thomas and Craig Roberts as two people who bond over their intense insomnia and have funny, endless conversations while up all night. It's loopy, but genial and the lead characters are both messy and endearing, making huge mistakes without ever being actually bad people.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:34 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]

I think Father Brown is hilarious and people aren't jerks to each other (other than all the murders).
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:04 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Dead Like Me, with Mandy Patinkin!
posted by indexy at 11:57 AM on May 3 [6 favorites]

Also, Northern Exposure
posted by indexy at 12:14 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

posted by atlantica at 12:45 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

One of the signatures of Michael Schur's work is exactly what you describe in #2. So I'd definitely check out Brooklyn 99 and Parks and Rec as well. The latter tried way too hard to be The Office in the first season (another Schur show but one I was never able to get into, strangely enough) but it gets *much* better in the second season after Rob Lowe and Adam Scott (aka Trevor the demon on TGP) joined up.

Schitt's Creek is awesome once you give it a chance; I always tell people to give it at least six episodes before giving up. They do character arcs so beautifully on the show!

Ted Lasso is another amazing show that hits those #2 marks.

Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts is another absolute favorite and good for all ages.

And I haven't check it out yet but Michael Schur wrote a book that you might enjoy and could scratch that elusive philosophy itch.
posted by Molasses808 at 1:42 PM on May 3 [6 favorites]

So, if you find that you're going to have to re-watch the Good Place to scratch that itch, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend listening to The Good Place: The Podcast. It's hosted by Mark Evan Jackson (he plays Shawn) and there's an episode for each episode. It started out as a recap sort of thing, because it was launched after the show, and eventually caught up with the currently aired episode timeline. He would talk about the episode with 1-3 guests, typically an actor + a crew member or writer that had a specific hand in that episode. Even more amazingly, it was produced with full support from NBC, so they had real budget and permission for audio clips.

Cannot recommend highly enough. (Available through Apple, Spotify, and pretty much all other pod platforms.)
posted by ApathyGirl at 2:21 PM on May 3 [10 favorites]

It's a bit older (from around 2010 I think) but maybe check out the Canadian show "Being Erica".
posted by virve at 4:22 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]

So I have this personal pet theory that the characters of Schitts Creek died horrifically when they got their wealth taken away and Schitts Creek is purgatory where they self actualise and find happiness in their own versions of heaven.

Not sure how well it holds up but it gives me something to think about when rewatching it for the 6th time.
posted by like_neon at 2:09 AM on May 4 [8 favorites]

Don't know if this will scratch your itch, but "Corner Gas", a Canadian show, is well worth watching.
Also Letterkenny.
posted by james33 at 6:28 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]

“Ghosts” (the American version) just finished its third season and it features an ensemble cast with characters that really just want the best for each other in the end. Maybe a little philosophical as it deals with the afterlife in some unexpected ways (as I’m seeing many of the suggestions here do).
posted by Fuego at 11:15 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]

And I haven't check it out yet but Michael Schur wrote a book that you might enjoy and could scratch that elusive philosophy itch.

Further to this suggestion, I enjoyed this book and it helped fill the void of the show ending a little.

I listened to the audio book and the actors from the show are brought in to narrate at certain points, which is delightful.
posted by My Kryptonite is Worry at 1:37 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Mod note: [btw, this has been added to the sidebar and Best Of blog!]
posted by taz (staff) at 3:17 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]

“Ghosts” (the American version)

Ooooh, I've never watched the American version, but I love the British version and highly recommend it.
posted by confluency at 4:19 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]

« Older How to find the cheapest airfare   |   What am I looking at? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments