The Atlantic

How to Break Up Ethically, According to The Good Place

In “The Ballad of Donkey Doug,” the NBC sitcom’s philosophizing gets used for one of the most commonplace moral minefields: ending a relationship.
Source: NBC

This story contains spoilers through Season 3, Episode 6 of The Good Place.

Chidi Anagonye has learned the deepest truths of existence—the nature of heaven and hell, the fate he’s eventually doomed to, and the real reason for Brexit—which means he must end things with his girlfriend. Who can’t relate? In typical fashion for NBC’s unpretentiously clever sitcom-slash-existential-epic, the most recent episode of The Good Place used a heady supernatural setup to explore a perfectly normal question: how to break up, ethically.

The show’s first two seasons saw the four main humans of the cast—the dithering professor Chidi, the sassy lowlife Eleanor, the superficial one-percenter Tahani, and the chronically confused criminal Jason—exploring) afterlife. But , they’ve had their minds wiped and havebeen sent back to Earth as part of an experiment by the divine beings above. Which means the hugely abstract questions the show has toyed with (see: ) are going to be dealt with in more concrete, banal, real-life scenarios. It’s the season of .

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