The Good Place: Pilot; Flying
September 19, 2016 9:35 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) enters the afterlife and begins her process of becoming a better person in the series premiere; in episode 2, Eleanor tries to prove that she's worthy of Chidi's help, and a flaw emerges in Michael's Neighborhood.
posted by oh yeah! (26 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aaaaaah I love this! Kristen Bell is always awesome. And it's funny and sweet and I think is deceptive in how predictable it could be.

It reminds me of Pushing Daisies, a show which perished far too soon.
posted by tracicle at 2:01 AM on September 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


I loved this, and I loved the marketing campaign that showed me enough of the funny parts without giving away the giant swerve at the end of the first episode.

I'm not sure how well the sitcom Lost idea is going to hold up, but I am aboard for the ride.
posted by Etrigan at 5:59 AM on September 20, 2016


It reminds me of Pushing Daisies

And, thus, Dead Like Me?
posted by Grangousier at 6:17 AM on September 20, 2016 [8 favorites]


I took a minute to grab the quantifiers for getting into the Good Place for all of you. I am sure that GRABBED A TORRENT OF A TV SHOW is a (slightly) negative value but I am hopeful that SHARED AMUSING TIDBITS FOR FELLOW FANS is positive enough to offset it.

I'm a little unclear about why eating a sandwich is 60% better than singing to a child, though. I did love that she helped her mom with her printer 339 times. :)
posted by phearlez at 7:07 AM on September 20, 2016 [17 favorites]


I'm mixed on this - I love Kristen Bell, Ted Danson was fun, but it felt so two dimensional. No one had any real nuance, even Kristen's character, who grew a little in the second episode. Still, in these two episodes, we saw her 1) at work where she was better at scaring and scamming old people than her co-workers, 2) lots of trips to the bar, where she apparently has one co-worker who talks, and 3) at a mall, where she showed that she doesn't care about the environment. Did they spend all their money on the Good Place staging, and forget to make or select other settings for people's lives before they died?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm assuming nuance for others is for the future. There's some hint of that being foreshadowed, I think, with the private behavior of the monk's soulmate. I assume - both because of that and because how else do you keep a show going - that we're going to discover that Eleanor isn't the only one with more going on. The obvious gag is that this isn't really the Good Place. After all, what do we have to base that on beyond the statements of one person and an AI?
posted by phearlez at 8:58 AM on September 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


I assume - both because of that and because how else do you keep a show going - that we're going to discover that Eleanor isn't the only one with more going on.

I hadn't thought of that, but it's intriguing.

The obvious gag is that this isn't really the Good Place. After all, what do we have to base that on beyond the statements of one person and an AI?

Sir, are you impugning Doug Forcett? He was ninety-two percent right.
posted by Etrigan at 9:02 AM on September 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


-100.32 rooting for New York Yankees.

That checks out.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:12 AM on September 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also, if you really do get points for eating a sandwich, I'm pretty sure I've already grilled cheesed my way into the good place.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:13 AM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


It does seem a little screwy that if you were to commit genocide, then end slavery, you'd have a substantial net positive score.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:14 AM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


-100.32 rooting for New York Yankees.

That checks out.


If you count it per game, okay.

Sir, are you impugning Doug Forcett?

I'm just presuming that anyplace where I am stuck with the same 321 other people for eternity must not be heaven. As far as Forcett, well, perhaps it's like the old thing about Will Rogers' saying that he never met a man he didn't like: well, he never had to meet Will Rogers, did he? Perhaps the other 321 people would be stuck with him.
posted by phearlez at 10:37 AM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


And, thus, Dead Like Me?

And now I'm watching it, no, obviously not. I am getting a 'B' Ark vibe, though. And The Village out of The Prisoner, of course.
posted by Grangousier at 2:06 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


And now I've watched it all... Mmm. I have no idea what I'm talking about, do I? It's very sweet, though, I'm looking forward to lowering my karmic score acquiring the rest. I do think it's not up there or down there, but more like Purgatory. I'm not sure whether the soulmates are actual people or a sort of spirit guide, but from what we've seen of Tahani, she's also got something to work on, which Jianyu is helping her with. So, maybe both actual person and spirit guide.
posted by Grangousier at 3:55 PM on September 20, 2016


I enjoyed the premiere. Gonna be adding it to the rotation.

I have a pretty soft spot for Kristen Bell, mostly because her range is from Frozen to House of Lies. Her character here reminds me a lot of her House of Lies character, but not as terrible of a person.

Everyone (even the stupidly-happy-about-cleaning couple) seems to have other nuances that we've yet to see, and I really wanna see!

Chidi is so great as a foil for Eleanor, but I hope they give him more personal stories in upcoming episodes.
posted by numaner at 4:11 PM on September 20, 2016


I can't say I'm fond of the premise, but I do like Schur's work and Kristen Bell, so I gave it a shot.

What's really interesting about this show is well, the philosophy. Is Eleanor ruining the joint? Is Tahani actually perfect enough to be there? Is she getting tortured by having a silent "soulmate?" Who comes up with these soul mate arrangements, anyway? Also, I feel sorry for Chidi being cheated out of his soul mate with....well, this. On the other hand, he gets to continue his work, right? And Michael REALLY ain't perfect enough if he literally kicked a dog into the sun without once thinking that one of his people might have wanted a dog, come on.

A name like "Eleanor Shellstrop" makes me think that nobody else in the world is gonna be named that--it's not like they mixed up Jennifer Smiths here. So....what went wrong? Also, why was original Eleanor so obsessed with clowns? Was it a fetish?

My guess for who left the note is Janet, who by rights SHOULD know everything.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:28 PM on September 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


I hadn't watched any promos for the show, just went through the various 'Fall TV lineup/what to watch' articles a few weeks ago and set my Tivo up to record everything potentially interesting, this one made the cut based on Kristen Bell alone, but, yeah, it's a keeper. Genuinely funny and visually interesting, and I like that it seems like some real thought went into the worldbuilding/premise.

(But if someone else wants to be the regular episode-thread-poster, feel free. I'm usually starting to fall behind on shows by Thursdays, once they've all started up again. I'm just trying to get pilot threads up promptly for any new shows I'm trying, after being so late with 'Queen Sugar')
posted by oh yeah! at 6:34 PM on September 20, 2016


I rather liked Michael's total literal handwave of "You might ask what happens to all of the people who didn't make it to The Good Place? Don't worry about it! (waves hand)"
posted by Justinian at 1:30 AM on September 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


"The bear has two mouths!"
[SPLORCH]

posted by Etrigan at 6:09 AM on September 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


Maybe the Bad Place is only bad because its residents are as inconsiderate as Eleanor is and constantly generate similar chaos situations.
posted by Small Dollar at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


What if the Good Place is a punishment for Michael ?
posted by Pendragon at 1:51 PM on September 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


I found myself wondering if the Bad Place sound clip was of a roller coaster. Maybe it's basically a fun theme park.
posted by amtho at 4:33 AM on September 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I feel reassured by the interview with Mike Schur when he says he spent a lot of time plotting out this season and has a good idea where it's headed.

I haven't watched Brooklyn 99, so I can't speak to that. But I do find it interesting that this and Parks and Rec are both really concerned with goodness, what it means to be good, or maybe more what it means to try and be good while innundated with all the petty tyranies and irritations of everyday life...
posted by Diablevert at 10:22 AM on September 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I haven't watched Brooklyn 99, so I can't speak to that. But I do find it interesting that this and Parks and Rec are both really concerned with goodness....

You definitely should watch Brooklyn 99!
posted by meese at 3:04 PM on September 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Gave the show a pass the first time around, then I saw an ad for it on the side of the bus and decided to give it a three show audition.

The pilot ("ep" 1 + 2?) didn't grab me, but ep 3 sold me.
posted by porpoise at 6:39 PM on January 7


began to post social media post about David Bowie dying and then thought "the world doesn't need to hear what I think about David Bowie" +225.05

Hey, I earned some points!
posted by skewed at 10:21 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


Finally getting around to this show. Love it so far. Does anybody else get a serious The Prisoner vibe, though? Like, The Good Place feels a lot like a slightly more surrealistic Village, with Michael as Number Two.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:59 AM on October 23


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