Jay — I watched The Goode Family last night (thank you DVR). I thought it was . . . good, but not great. I kept saying to my wife, “Wow, their heart is in the right place” — by which I meant the writers and producers, not necessarily the Goodes (though, I suppose that’s true too). I thought the show was rockier and less funny than I expected. There were some laugh-out-loud moments (I loved the eco-friendly supermarket tote labeled “An Inconvenient Bag”). And I kept wondering, “Mother of Pearl, how did this get on ABC?” But I think the show needs to work out the kinks, which is not uncommon for pilots.
As for Che, the starving dog, that was one of my favorite parts. The reason the dog is a killer is because the Goode Family is determine to deny his doggy nature and make him a vegan. So the dog is constantly killing squirrels, cats, and any other varmints he can find. I’ve met a few people with “vegetarian dogs” and I find it outrageous. First, the dogs aren’t vegetarians, they’re carnivores (or omnivores if you prefer) who are being forced to eat food they don’t want. We wouldn’t call prison inmates who are served only Kosher food, “Kosher.”
More importantly, I actually thought the dog bit was the Rossetta Stone of the whole show. The Goodes live in a soft-totalitarian community where reality — and nature — are constantly being denied. Dogs, bless ‘em, cannot be brainwashed in that way and will seek to express their dogginess — and satisfy their hunger — any way they can. It was the same point they were trying to make about the Goodes’ teenage kids. You can smother teens in as much Gaia-nonsense as you want; they’re still going to be teens.