'Goode' is Excellent

Considering the filthy state of current TV, I am delightedly astonished to be able to wholeheartedly recommend a new show: "The Goode Family" (ABC on Friday nights). But if you want to see it, you'd better hurry, because the liberal bigots are already trying to kill it.
As Wikipedia summarizes:

The Goodes are a "green" family who live a [totally] politically correct lifestyle. They have solar panels on their house, harvest rainwater for use in an outdoor shower and plant-watering, garden in their front yard, drive a hybrid car, recycle, reuse shopping bags, etc. They are also vegans. The family lives by the motto "What Would Al Gore Do?"

The Goodes are descendants of the utopian idealists who populated the Shaker colonies and Brook Farm and who were satirized by Dostoyevsky (Lebezyatnikov in Crime and Punishment) and Randall Jarrell (Flo Whittaker in Pictures from an Institution).

They are the saints of a defunct religion, based on the Ann Frank misconception that people are naturally good. They strive to do everything that they have been taught is progressive and constructive and earth-friendly while desperately trying to avoid saying anything bad about anyone else. As Jarrell says of Flo:

If she had been told that Benton and Jerrold and John and Fern and the furniture had been burned to ashes by the head of the American Federation of Labor, who had then sown salt over the ashes, she would have sobbed, and sobbed, and said at last---she could do no other---"I think that we ought to hear his side of the case before we make up our minds."

You cannot help laughing at the way they tie themselves into knots of ultraconscientious guilt, while at the same time admiring their fundamental nobility.

Creator/animator Mike Judge has captured this duality perfectly. The father of the Goode family may be a walking reductio ad absurdum of political correctness,

"I'm sorry I used so much gasoline, Dad."

"It's OK. What's important is that you feel guilty about it."

but, while gritting your teeth in exasperation, you must mutter, like Kipling's soldier, "you're a better man than I am, Gerald Goode."

But that's not good enough. Judge's gentle style of satire was tolerated when his targets were the rural conservatives in "King of the Hill". But PC idealists, who are the useful idiots of the current liberal movement, are off limits. Therefore, activist bloggers fail to see any humor in a show that others find hilarious.

Coincidentally, Robert Lloyd, in the Los Angeles Times, considers it "a rather narrowly conceived spoof of what might be called, in a liberal way, liberal concerns". He is offended that

With the natural world being rapidly undone by our thirst for convenience, it seems an odd time to mock hybrid cars and reusable shopping bags. Sanctimony and hypocrisy and narcissistic virtuousness, sure, because those are things that always deserve mocking, no matter what agenda they're attached to... But the Goodes are merely well-meaning and, in the three episodes I've seen, do no harm...

This from someone who recently devoted an entire column to jeering at other people's "awkwardness".

Similarly, Gina Bellafante finds the show inappropriate because it's out of date:

...the show feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-'90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed. Who really thinks of wind power -- an allusion to which is a running visual gag in the show -- as mindless, left-wing nonsense anymore?


Judge, who remains obsessed with the absurdities of political correctness, still has his head very much in the Clinton years, and it is possible to watch "The Goode Family" feeling so thoroughly transported back to another time that you wonder where all the Monica Lewinsky jokes went. Sometimes you've just got to grab your cup of free-trade coffee and move on.

In short, the Goodes are so indisputably right that one dare not make fun of them. This is the quintessence of bigotry: the idea that anyone who opposes what you believe in must be insane or evil.

It's obvious that the fix is on. And to make matters worse, the June 19 show is about lesbians. Since the GLBT community is probably the most intolerant group of bigots on this planet, I expect that the storm of protest will be more than ABC can withstand. So watch and enjoy "The Good Family" while you can, tape it for posterity, and, if you dare, tell ABC how much you liked it.
Considering the filthy state of current TV, I am delightedly astonished to be able to wholeheartedly recommend a new show: "The Goode Family" (ABC on Friday nights). But if you want to see it, you'd better hurry, because the liberal bigots are already trying to kill it.
As Wikipedia summarizes:

The Goodes are a "green" family who live a [totally] politically correct lifestyle. They have solar panels on their house, harvest rainwater for use in an outdoor shower and plant-watering, garden in their front yard, drive a hybrid car, recycle, reuse shopping bags, etc. They are also vegans. The family lives by the motto "What Would Al Gore Do?"

The Goodes are descendants of the utopian idealists who populated the Shaker colonies and Brook Farm and who were satirized by Dostoyevsky (Lebezyatnikov in Crime and Punishment) and Randall Jarrell (Flo Whittaker in Pictures from an Institution).

They are the saints of a defunct religion, based on the Ann Frank misconception that people are naturally good. They strive to do everything that they have been taught is progressive and constructive and earth-friendly while desperately trying to avoid saying anything bad about anyone else. As Jarrell says of Flo:

If she had been told that Benton and Jerrold and John and Fern and the furniture had been burned to ashes by the head of the American Federation of Labor, who had then sown salt over the ashes, she would have sobbed, and sobbed, and said at last---she could do no other---"I think that we ought to hear his side of the case before we make up our minds."

You cannot help laughing at the way they tie themselves into knots of ultraconscientious guilt, while at the same time admiring their fundamental nobility.

Creator/animator Mike Judge has captured this duality perfectly. The father of the Goode family may be a walking reductio ad absurdum of political correctness,

"I'm sorry I used so much gasoline, Dad."

"It's OK. What's important is that you feel guilty about it."

but, while gritting your teeth in exasperation, you must mutter, like Kipling's soldier, "you're a better man than I am, Gerald Goode."

But that's not good enough. Judge's gentle style of satire was tolerated when his targets were the rural conservatives in "King of the Hill". But PC idealists, who are the useful idiots of the current liberal movement, are off limits. Therefore, activist bloggers fail to see any humor in a show that others find hilarious.

Coincidentally, Robert Lloyd, in the Los Angeles Times, considers it "a rather narrowly conceived spoof of what might be called, in a liberal way, liberal concerns". He is offended that

With the natural world being rapidly undone by our thirst for convenience, it seems an odd time to mock hybrid cars and reusable shopping bags. Sanctimony and hypocrisy and narcissistic virtuousness, sure, because those are things that always deserve mocking, no matter what agenda they're attached to... But the Goodes are merely well-meaning and, in the three episodes I've seen, do no harm...

This from someone who recently devoted an entire column to jeering at other people's "awkwardness".

Similarly, Gina Bellafante finds the show inappropriate because it's out of date:

...the show feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-'90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed. Who really thinks of wind power -- an allusion to which is a running visual gag in the show -- as mindless, left-wing nonsense anymore?


Judge, who remains obsessed with the absurdities of political correctness, still has his head very much in the Clinton years, and it is possible to watch "The Goode Family" feeling so thoroughly transported back to another time that you wonder where all the Monica Lewinsky jokes went. Sometimes you've just got to grab your cup of free-trade coffee and move on.

In short, the Goodes are so indisputably right that one dare not make fun of them. This is the quintessence of bigotry: the idea that anyone who opposes what you believe in must be insane or evil.

It's obvious that the fix is on. And to make matters worse, the June 19 show is about lesbians. Since the GLBT community is probably the most intolerant group of bigots on this planet, I expect that the storm of protest will be more than ABC can withstand. So watch and enjoy "The Good Family" while you can, tape it for posterity, and, if you dare, tell ABC how much you liked it.