'Miracle Workers' maybe the love child of 'The Good Place' and 'The Office', but its take on heaven and afterlife is brilliantly unique

‘Miracle Workers’ trivializes the concept of life, death and the afterlife to the point of making viewers question their own belief systems


                            'Miracle Workers' maybe the love child of 'The Good Place' and 'The Office', but its take on heaven and afterlife is brilliantly unique

God is a loser, the world is in chaos, and two shy humans kissing is the key to stopping an apocalypse.

TBS’ comedy ‘Miracle Workers’ has set itself apart from the rest of the crop with its plot alone, but how well does the Daniel Radcliffe–Steve Buscemi series succeed in following through? To start off, Earth is controlled by a corporate called Heaven Inc., which is run — for intents and purposes — by the jaded, disillusioned and oftentimes blubbering mess of a being called God.

This world, or Universe to be more precise, has been designed and thought out in the most microscopic level by Simon Rich, complete with a heavenly yes man and a socially awkward angel who works alone in the deep underbelly the ‘factory’, where not many people willingly venture into. That is, until, one wide-eyed newbie with an unshakable intent to make a difference, forces her way in.

God’s trusted sidekick Sanjay, wide-eyed newbie Eliza and a socially awkward angel Craig come together to save the world. (TBS)
God’s trusted sidekick Sanjay, wide-eyed newbie Eliza and a socially awkward angel Craig come together to save the world. (TBS)

God’s trusted sidekick Sanjay (Karan Soni) is tired and bored out of his wits, having done nothing but mundane, meaningless tasks for the past several hundred years, stroking God’s ego, even as he watches his once glorious boss fall deeper into the abyss of self-hate and self-destruction. He wants a new project, to feel like he is a making a difference, and to go back to being the star who answered many unanswerable prayers and made some miracles happen here and there.

He finds the perfect work partner in Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan), who having asked for a departmental shift to “Miracles,” finds out only a very small percentage of humans’ prayers are (painstakingly) answered. Even more devastatingly, she finds out God is planning on shutting the whole business down, after blowing up Earth.

Never one to give up, she decides to challenge God on his decision, and gets him to agree to not destroy earth on one condition — answer one of the most difficult prayers by making two extremely shy humans kiss. Unfortunately, the recluse that he turns to for help, Radcliffe’s Craig, isn’t the boldest, bravest angel in the corporation, and may not be all that okay with Eliza taking unconventional methods or bending the rules to achieve their goal. Nonetheless, the duo start working on the goal, along with Sanjay, before an unlikely ally joins forces. Will they be able to save Earth?

Steve Buscemi portrays a less-than-impressive God in TBS' 'Miracle Workers.' (TBS)
Steve Buscemi portrays a less-than-impressive God in TBS' 'Miracle Workers.' (TBS)

That is not the point of the show, if you ask me.

‘Miracle Workers’ trivializes the concept of life, death and afterlife to the point of making the viewers question their own belief system. The world within the corporation, from God’s immaculate and luxurious suite to the despicable condition of some of the factories within the compound seems too realistic to not be considered a possible reality.

An amalgamation of ‘The Office’ and ‘The Good Place’, ‘Miracle Workers’ still manages to boast of being conceptually unique, and executed to perfection. The flimsy mortality of humans and the dumb luck of being born with certain talents or the lack thereof are subtly addressed with the “mistakes” angels make. It’s a well-oiled machine of chaos, this version of Heaven and the humor that keeps the whole thing balanced is understated.

From the creation to execution, ‘Miracle Workers’ has managed to keep an excellent job of recreating a variation to the Heaven we have known to lust after – the point is, it may not be all that lust-worthy. If I were to air one major grievance regarding ‘Miracle Workers,’ it would be the number of episodes.

Seven episodes are far too few to delve into the universe that ‘Miracle Workers’ so intricately created. The stories seem a little too rushed and in certain cases, some comedic gems are left unexplored. Haste could have been the downfall of this TBS show, but fortunately wit and originality keep it afloat.

If you could only watch one new show in the month of February, I would suggest ‘Miracle Workers,’ which premieres Tuesday, February 12, at 10:30pm ET/PT on TBS.