The Goode Family

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The Goode Family
The Goode Family cast.jpg
The Goode family. From the left: Gerald, Helen, Bliss, Che, Ubuntu
Genre Animation/Comedy
Created by Mike Judge
John Altschuler
Dave Krinsky
Starring Mike Judge
Nancy Carell
David Herman
Linda Cardellini
Brian Doyle-Murray
Dee Bradley Baker
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Mike Judge
John Altschuler
David Krinsky
Tom Lassally
Michael Rotenberg
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Media Rights Capital
Ternion Pictures
Judgemental Films
3 Arts Entertainment
Film Roman
Blue Water Productions
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run May 27, 2009 – August 7, 2009 (2009-08-07)

The Goode Family is an American animated comedy series, which originally aired on ABC from May 27, 2009 to August 7, 2009. The series was created by Mike Judge, and follows the life of an environmentally responsible, albeit obsessive, family.[1][2] The series takes a comic look at contemporary society. Judge created the show along with former King of the Hill writers John Altschuler and David Krinsky. The show was cancelled after its first season due to low ratings.

The series was released on DVD format on January 8, 2013 by Shout! Factory.[3]

Premise[edit]

The Goode family struggles with the modern social and environmental responsibilities of being liberals, and the paradoxes that arise for a working-class family when trying to be politically correct all of the time about everything. Situations in the premiere episode included shopping at a natural foods store without having brought reusable bags, how to refer to ethnic groups, analyzing conservative beliefs they typically despise, and raising modern teenagers. The pilot satirized both stereotypical "liberal" and "conservative" mindsets, including the ongoing derangement of the family's "vegan" dog (who has taken to eating neighborhood pets).

Characters[edit]

The Goodes[edit]

  • Gerald Goode (Mike Judge) – An administrator at a community college. He comes from a "long line of over-educated academic liberals". He rides a bicycle for transportation to protect the environment, and his trademark clothing is a cycling uniform. He is very fastidious and easily disgusted, both by animals and people. His voice and character traits resemble those of the David Van Driessen character from Mike Judge's earlier series Beavis & Butt-Head.
  • Helen Goode (Nancy Carell) – Gerald’s wife. A local activist who has "daddy issues". She is concerned about her social status among the other eco-conscious people in Greenville, and often tries to impress the wealthy wife of Gerald's boss.

  • Ubuntu Goode (David Herman) – The Goodes' adopted son, named after Ubuntu, a concept from African philosophy (mispronounced by the characters as /juːˈbʌnt/ instead of /ˈbnt/). The Goodes adopted him in the name of promoting racial tolerance within the community, but due to their vagueness in filling out the adoption paperwork, the family ended up with a white South African baby instead of the black infant they wanted. Ubuntu is often shown conflicted with a seemingly innate desire to go against his parents' lifestyle; however, rather than being an outright rebellion, this seems to reflect the nature and nurture controversy. Although he is sixteen years old, he sleeps in footy pajamas that are decorated with big rig trucks. Despite his seemingly dopey and unaware nature, he is naturally accomplished at both sports and machinery; he is a member of his high school's football team.
  • Bliss Goode (Linda Cardellini) – Helen and Gerald's biological daughter. One of the characters with a sense of reason, she often disagrees with and mocks her parents' political stances, about which she is usually better-informed. She serves as the show's chief foil by poking holes in Gerald's and Helen's world view. In later episodes, she has tended to agree with her parents, and in some instances has actually helped them to achieve a common goal.
  • Che (Dee Bradley Baker) – The family dog, named after the communist revolutionary Che Guevara. The Goodes feed him vegan food which he hates. He craves meat and often eats neighborhood animals and pets.[4] As a consequence, "missing" flyers of neighborhood pets blanket street poles.
  • Charlie (Brian Doyle-Murray) – Helen's SUV-driving father who generally likes making fun of her lifestyle. He frequently ridicules Gerald and Helen for their beliefs, although he seems to favor Ubuntu more due to him being involved in the football team, and Bliss who seems to share his opinions.

Other characters[edit]

  • Kent Jenson (David Herman) – Gerald's boss at Greenville Community College, and Margo's husband
  • Kiki (Amy Hill)
  • Margo Jensen (Julia Sweeney) – Helen's snooty rival who relentlessly puts down the Goodes (but mostly just Helen). She is an influential member of the Greenville community and embodies everything Helen wants to be, while ironically at odds with Helen and vice-versa. Helen seems to mostly get the best of her, and her purpose is to display the type of person who is holier-than-thou while being a fake personality who seizes on fads to increase her social standing.
  • Mo (Laraine Newman) – An ugly homosexual the Goodes are friends with, along with her similar partner, Trish. Mo worked on an oil rig.
  • Penny (Lori Nasso) – A neighbor who is single and childless, and makes occasional comments about her loneliness and desire to have children. Her beliefs fluctuate, and she will take liberal causes only to abandon them shortly afterwards to her personal benefit.
  • Ray Johnson (Gary Anthony Williams) – An easy-going, country-music loving black neighbor of the Goodes who drives a gas-guzzling car and thinks of race as less important than the Goodes do, as an ironic device.
  • Solosolo (Phil LaMarr)
  • Souki (Cree Summer)
  • Treyvon (David Herman) – A teenage employee at One Earth, an organic supermarket frequented by the Goodes, Margo and Greenville's Liberal elite (the store is frequently seen featuring a large sign telling its shoppers what is good and what is bad; Farm-Raised Catfish constantly moving between good and bad). Treyvon is also an amateur filmmaker whom Bliss tries to befriend. He comes across as a suburbanite that thinks it is "cool" to mock others of less liberal beliefs.
  • Mr. Heelo (Howard Kremer) – The manager of the "One Earth" supermarket.
  • Trish (Julia Sweeney) – See 'Mo'
  • The Average Guy (Mike Judge) - A newscaster that does stories from the "average" point of view.

Crew[edit]

The show is created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky, with Altschuler and Krinsky serving as show runners. The show is directed by John Rice, Seth Kearsley, Jennifer Coyle, and Anthony Chun, with Wes Archer as supervising director. Show writers include Jonathan Collier, Jace Richdale, Gene Hong, Owen Ellickson, Dave Jeser, Franklin Hardy, Leila Strachan, Brad Pope, Howard Kremer, Shane Kosakowski, Jordana Arkin, and Matt Silverstein, in addition to Altschuler and Krinsky, and other writers.

Episodes[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
1 "Pilot" Wes Archer John Altschuler, Mike Judge & Dave Krinsky May 27, 2009 GFA01
Bliss takes drastic action and joins an abstinence group after hearing more than her fair share of safe sex talk from her mother. Ubuntu wants to learn to drive now that he has turned sixteen.
2 "Pleatherheads" John Rice Matt Silverstein & Dave Jeser June 3, 2009 GFA06
Ubuntu finds himself as the main man on the football team so Helen and Gerald need to learn what being a "football family" actually means. Bliss is worried she might not get into college so she goes to great lengths to give herself a better shot at getting in.
3 "Goodes Gone Wild" John Rice Jordana Arkin June 3, 2009 GFA02
Helen adopts an uncategorized animal in an effort to get Charlie to notice her good deeds. With no way of knowing how it acts and what it eats, she has quite an undertaking. Elsewhere, Gerald gets a helping hand from Che in order to get rid of the squirrels plaguing the college.
4 "Helen's Back" Jennifer Coyle Jonathan Collier June 12, 2009 GFA05
When Helen loses the ability to walk through a back injury, the family turn to a Latino gardening team in order to be part of an organic garden tour. Elsewhere Bliss and Ubuntu try out the 'trading up' scheme.
5 "A Tale of Two Lesbians" Anthony Chun Franklin Hardy & Shane Kosakowski June 19, 2009 GFA04
Gerald and Helen offend a lesbian couple so must seek out new lesbian friends in order to prove they aren't being offensive. Meanwhile, Ubuntu discovers he is quite adept at playing bingo.
6 "Freeganomics" John Rice Brad Pope & Howard Kremer June 26, 2009 GFA10
Helen gets the support of 'Freegan' Heinrich in order to get more people to come to the Eco Festival. After realizing what sort of person he is, they have difficulty getting him to leave their home.
7 "Graffiti in Greenville" Seth Kearsley Leila Strachan July 3, 2009 GFA08
Helen becomes a graffiti artist in order to make Bliss do some actual work, because she has been lying to her about the work she's been 'doing'. When her work begins to get noticed, Helen realizes she will need to come out of the shadows if she wants to get recognition for what she has done.
8 "A Goode Game of Chicken" Jennifer Coyle Gene Hong July 10, 2009 GFA09
Gerald eats a meal that contains chicken even though it is not supposed to. He decides to take on Cranky (a chef) to protest what happened. Elsewhere, nobody can find Che so they assume he is missing.
9 "After-School Special" Anthony Chun Franklin Hardy & Shane Kosakowski July 17, 2009 GFA12
When Helen and Gerald stop paying attention to their own kids due to mentoring at-risk children, Bliss and Ubuntu start causing trouble of their own.
10 "Public Disturbance" Anthony Chun Owen Ellickson July 24, 2009 GFA07
In an effort to bring public radio to the town, Gerald tries to get the other residents to become involved as well.
11 "Trouble in Store" Seth Kearsley Jordana Arkin July 31, 2009 GFA11
Helen is banned from One Earth on the day of Gerald's big meal, after 'stealing' something from the store.
12 "Gerald's Way or the Highway" Seth Kearsley Jace Richdale August 7, 2009 GFA03
Gerald takes over a highway in order to show his kids what one man can do to change things for the better. When he learns that it is being used to traffic drugs, he gets into a turf war with the dealers.
13 "A Goode Man is Hard to Find" Jennifer Coyle Dave Jeser & Matt Silverstein August 7, 2009 GFA13
Series finale. Gerald is under the impression that he is to become a sperm donor, and Charlie teaches Ubuntu about being a man after he gets his first facial hair.

Cancellation[edit]

On August 8, 2009, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson stated that the show, along with Surviving Suburbia, had officially been canceled due to low ratings.[5][6] However, on June 27, 2011 a post on the show's official Facebook page said: "Hopefully this will work. There are some investors that believe they can get a DVD/digital release of the first 13 episodes. Of course, if that happens, and it goes well then we may be able to get back up and running in some form. But, one step at a time. We will keep you all posted!"

In 2010, reruns of The Goode Family aired Monday nights at 10pm on Comedy Central, beginning January 4. It was to be evaluated for new episodes,[7] but was pulled off the Comedy Central schedule after only four weeks.[8] Mike Judge's two previous animated series Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill have had long runs and positive critical acclaim, however The Goode Family has become Judge's least successful animated series. The series returned to Comedy Central on February 25, 2012 at 6 AM.

Reception[edit]

When first airing, the show received mixed reviews. A reviewer for the L.A. Times said: "The Goode Family, which is nicely acted and well animated, works best when the cultural potshots give way to the more basic human needs of its characters: a mother's desire to be close to her daughter, or to her father (Brian Doyle-Murray as the resident voice of political incorrectness), in spite of "a lifetime of crippling negative comments," and a father's willingness to go outside his comfort zone to make his son happy, as when Ubuntu joins the football team. There's a show there." A reviewer for NJ.com said: The Goode Family feels as if you are being dropped into a foreign land without any kind of guide, or even map." A reviewer for The New York Times said: "Mr. 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 fair-trade coffee and move on."

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Goode Family: doomed to failure?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  2. ^ "The Goode Family". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  3. ^ Lambert, David (October 4, 2012). "The Goode Family - 'The Complete Series' of the Short-Lived Animated Show by Mike Judge". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Goode Family". TV.com. 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  5. ^ McPherson Declares "Goode Family", "Suburbia" Dead, The Futon Critic, August 8, 2009
  6. ^ "The Goode Family" and "Surviving Suburbia": ABC Prez Says Sitcoms Canceled, TV Series Finale, 8 August 2009.
  7. ^ Garvin, Glenn. "New life for 'Goode Family'", Los Angeles Times, 4 January 2010.
  8. ^ Goode Family Facebook Page

External links[edit]