Updated Jan. 3, 4:46 p.m.
There are plenty of TV shows with trauma and drama. Change the channel. Here are five that have nothing but good intentions. We discussed these five and more on an episode of From the Hip, on AudioBoom and iTunes.
'The Good Place'
In The Good Place, Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) has an early-in-death revelation that she was not a very good person. Dead before she knows it, she's now trying to make up for lost time to ensure her spot among the good. Talk about your second chances. But she's not the only one trying to learn how to behave better in this thinking comedy.
There, she and some newfound friends enlist a former ethics professor to help them learn how to be good. It's never too late, right? It's also never too late to begin watching this wonderfully weird series and learn about good and evil and all the spots in between along with Eleanor and her newfound friends, including perennial TV star Ted Danson. Danson stars as the architect of the place where Eleanor lands after her weird death. The series returns Jan. 4 and runs Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on NBC. Previous seasons can be streamed via Hulu.
Lord of hell Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) decides to retire to Los Angeles — appropriate? — and run a sinfully decadent night club. Some things aren't so different from the fallen angel's day job, but he is drawn into working alongside Los Angeles police Detective Chloe Decker where he officially becomes a consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department. He learns about humans and how they interact, finding out that he's not so far from them, one crime at a time, and that they have daddy issues, too. Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox
The Big Bang Theory can grate against the nerves, as can the character of Sheldon Cooper. That attests to the dexterity of award-winning Texan Jim Parsons, who plays the character, and to the writers who define him. But in Young Sheldon, viewers get a deep dive into how Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D., came to be how he is. Parsons narrates this look at Sheldon's home life, with his siblings and parents. He feels his otherness in all the ways that those who perceive themselves as misfits can, but he learns that he's not the only one in the world and he must accommodate for feelings and family. This touching comedy hits all the right notes and, while young Sheldon (Iain Armitage) makes his way through the muck, you will come to some realizations yourself. Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on CBS; stream on CBS.com and CBS All Access
Josh Futturman (Josh Hutcherson) plays video games a lot, one in particular: Biotic Wars. The janitor at a scientific research company goes to work, plays the game, then goes back to work. Just as he's explaining to his housemates, er, parents, that he seeks more out of life, the more comes crashing into his room after he finally beats his nemesis level on the game. It turns out it was a simulator sent back in time to find a savior. A Future Man, which is his screen name. This action-adventure comedy series teaches about how to deal with dashed hopes, loaded expectations and the sure disappointments that attend both; the reasons one should not kill a baby or just plain not kill; how to get in touch with emotions; and harness career aspirations. And it's funny, albeit in a sometimes puerile way, to boot. Hulu
It was a publicity stunt. Courtney Rose tried to jump-start his rap career by running for mayor of his hometown of Fort Grey, Calif., and ended up winning the office. At first, he wants to just get the key to the city and abdicate, but his mother reminds him that his lyrics are about making a positive change. And in the office of mayor, he can attempt to do just that. Each episode flows like a lazy river, but Courtney and the viewer get valuable advice that may not save that day but will allow you to wake up to save another one. Oh, and the music from Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Blackish) makes it all go down easy. Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC; stream on ABC.com
On the bubble: The Orville, Fox; Kevin Probably Saves the World, ABC; Marvel's Runaways, Hulu; Luke Cage, Netflix.