At a yuppie-friendly health food supermarket, Helen Goode pushes her shopping cart down the produce aisle. She reaches a mound of green apples reading “Conventionally Harvested $3.99/lb.” Just beside these lies another mound of apples, labeled “Organic $5.49/lb”, followed by a selection of “Sustainably Harvested Organic” apples, then “Locally Grown Sustainably Harvested Organic” apples, then “ Fair Trade Locally Grown Sustainably Harvested Organic” apples, which are priced at $10.99/lb. Helen looks defeated as a seemingly unending selection of green apples looms ahead.
Helen Goode is the matriarch of the forthcoming ABC animated comedy, “The Goode Family,” Mike Judge’s latest offering for the post-“Stuff White People Like” era. Judge is probably best known for his last cartoon sitcom, “King of the Hill,” which spent much of its 13 seasons gently chiding the neurotic tendencies of the self-consciously politically correct left.
Where the Hill family of “ King of the Hill” served as a down-homey foil for the kinds of uppity shenanigans Judge seems to relish in jabbing, the Goodes are both the setup and the punchline. Their dog, named Che, is vegan; their adopted South African son Ubuntu—whom they thought would be black but turned out to be the flaxen-haired son of Afrikaaners—dresses like Queen Latifah circa 1992; gas emissions from excessive driving are forgiven because “what’s important is that you feel guilty about it.”
At a time where political correctness and environmental consciousness have become second nature for many of us, is a show like “The Goode Family” even relevant? For everyone out there who knows someone who’s just a little too obnoxiously upstanding—and we all do—the answer is likely yes.