236 episodes. 10 seasons. One of the most popular television shows of all time. Friends revolves around the intertwined lives of six friends who navigate their 20s and 30s in New York City. Categorized as an American sitcom, the series definitely lives up to its name. Each episode is created with the perfect amount of comedic timing, sarcastic remarks, and playful banter. But behind that comedy lies a plethora of teachings to take away and implement into our own lives. As a bigger-than-huge fan of Friends myself (I’ve watched the entire show more than three times), these are the five main lessons I have recognized and continuously try to implement in my own life:
Welcome! Everything is Fine. At least, the latter is what you try to tell yourself as you grapple with a mountain’s worth of papers, homework assignments, and midterm study sessions—to the point where you just know that the “recommended” eight hours of sleep is going to be just another pipe dream. Even now, with what seems like an eternal loop of “Special Report” coronavirus updates on all the news channels, the combined stress no doubt feels physically and mentally exhausting. We’ve all been there, truly. Nevertheless, those four words are also what greet you when you enter the afterlife, at least according to The Good Place.
Written and produced by Michael Schur, famed creative behind The Office and co-creator of Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place follows the stories of Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), and Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) during their time in The Good Place, designed by the architect Michael (Ted Danson) and managed by a “Janet” (D’Arcy Carden), a humanoid database of all the knowledge of the universe. However, this takes a turn when it turns out that Eleanor—a supposed death row lawyer but in actuality an “Arizona trash bag”—is placed there by mistake and tries to earn her place there by learning ethics from Chidi, a former moral philosophy professor, while also trying not to blow her cover.
It’s pretty much common convention that college students are professional binge watchers, capable of watching hours of content within the most unbelievable of time frames (time frames when we really should have been crossing some work off of our agendas, but alas). Regardless, this show is no exception, holding a coveted spot in my top ten list of shows, and there is no better time to chip away at your “To Watch” list than now. Though I can’t provide much more context aside from this in order to avoid spoilers, the four seasons of The Good Place are designed with the creative precision of a Swiss watch, discussing major philosophical concepts with plenty of quick-witted humor slipped under the door that will make you belly laugh, alongside truly mind-boggling twists and satisfying character arcs.
The characters and the chemistry they share in particular are what make this show so special to me and many other viewers. The Good Place was my go-to show to watch in the background while I did work/attempted to do work because in trying to manage my school work, I was enraptured by the storyline and found myself picking up on coping mechanisms exhibited by the characters’ personal developments—coping mechanisms that have been helping me from getting quarantine cabin fever during this difficult time. So without further ado, I present The Good Place’s Guide to Stress Management: Continue reading