The Good Place is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. It was funny and touching, uplifting and compelling. Plus the series was informative. Chidi’s classes were accessible crash courses in ethics, the kind even a smooth brain like Jason could understand. The show even helped me become a better person, by making me think about the moral implications of even life’s smallest decisions. Viewers clearly weren’t the only ones to take deeper meaning away from its four season run though. The show’s creator, Michael Schur, also came away from The Good Place with a new outlook on life and how to be a good person. He’s taking those lessons and turning them into his first book. Schur is following up his work on the show with How to Be Good: A Definitive Answer for Exactly What to Do, In Every Possible Situation.
The publishing house Simon & Schuster has announced (in news we first came across at The Wrap) it has acquired the rights to Schur’s first ever book. In it The Good Place creator “will use humor and philosophy to determine how we should deal with the large and small ethical challenges we all face every day.” To do so he will take “readers on a journey through the 2500-year discussion of ethics, explaining and poking fun at these grand ideas, and sketching a roadmap for how we ought to act.” That sounds like a fitting followup for everything he learned about philosophy, ethics, and morals while taking the Soul Squad through his own version of the afterlife. It should also fill the void fans of the series have felt since its finale.
“What drew us immediately to Mike’s book is the same quality that has drawn millions to his work on television—its ability to be profound and funny at the same time,” said Simon & Schuster Vice President and Executive Editor Eamon Dolan in a statement.
This is the first time Schur, also one of the co-creators of two other beloved series, Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will be writing words that aren’t meant to be read by actors. According to him that shouldn’t be a problem. Probably. “I’m thrilled to be working with Simon & Schuster on this project,” he said in the press release announcing the project. “I don’t know how to write a book, but Eamon assured me that wouldn’t be a problem.”
We have faith he’ll figure it out.
The book will also have another major connection with the series that inspired it. It will include contributions from Clemson University Professor Todd May. Fans of The Good Place might not immediately recognize his name, but May served as an advisor on the show.
Simon & Schuster plans to publish How to Be Good, which is still a tentative title (it’s a good one keep it!) next year. It should hit stores in fall of 2021. That’s a little longer than we’d like to wait, especially since the show ended. But it’s less time than “infinity,” so things could be worse. (In the Bad Place, the book will be delayed every 6 months forever.)
The wait is also an opportunity. We can come up with ways to do something good with it that isn’t just about us reading it. And thanks to everything we learned from The Good Place we have an idea. We’ll buy a copy to donate to our local library.
Hey, Michael Schur: think Chidi would approve?
Featured Image: NBC