The Good Place: Everything is Bonzer!
September 27, 2018 4:47 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

 
TREVOR!?!?!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:58 PM on September 27, 2018 [11 favorites]


That is an interesting setup for a season, or at least part of a season given how plot hungry this show is. Simone is super delightful. Like super duper delightful and the part where Eleanor got those two together was my highlight (there's probably a lot of details I missed given the watch on a tiny tv in a combination deli / hotel in small town Nova Scotia).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:02 PM on September 27, 2018 [10 favorites]


So I missed the first 15 minutes because my computer crashed exactly at 8 PM, I think the karma is basically because I'm trying to work while watching at the same time and this computer is telling me to pick one, but goddamn if I'm going to let a machine tell me what to do! Anyway everything is finally running just fine now, but I'll have to catch the beginning on Hulu later.

- Michael's aussie accent is hilarious, and I can't tell if Ted Danson just can't do it right, or he's purposefully doing it badly. Janet's "uh huh" is great.
- I forgot that Shawn can seal others in cocoons whenever he wants
- Bryan Adam "Wherever You Go" being a deeply terrible song is on point
- BURRITO!
- Awkwardness, for science!
- I'm liking Simone
- The judge as Janet's mom is a thing I didn't know I wanted
- I guess you could hack superdimensional things as long as there are... computers?
- So... many... cocoons
- I love that she's still questionably tying stuff in life to ethic lessons
- Go Chidi! Finally some action for him
- I would actually read that thesis
- Dammit Reginald, such a party pooper
- Tahani!
- Ugh, Kamillah's just the worst
- I'm surprised Tahani didn't also shave her head
- That filmmaker dude Colby is also just the worst, like terrible af
- Michael being an asshole investor is right up his demon alley
- "your whole thing" is not motel pull-out couch style
- Zach Pizazz is kind of a great and horrible name at the same time
- Pillboi really wants to kill Jason
- Jason really is dumb. 20 thoughts, four minutes! But that speech was... inspiring?
- So that's what Donkey Doug looks like
- Exploding Tercels are never not funny
- He took the name of the episode for the dance crew!
- We win we win we win!
- Florida dance scene is harsh, and violent, and full of terrible names.
- I like that Jason is so true to himself that it took him a year to come around to the whole life-changing thing
- I really wanna see the gag reels of everything Manny Jacinto said for how The Demons dance crew died, even though hammerhead shark in a hot tub is pretty great
- Are vicodins and laxatives really that similar?
- Remind me to bring a frog thermos to heaven with me when I die, might help me get places
- Janet's so into Jason, so cute!
- Does CSI even have that many episodes? I wouldn't be surprised though
- I wonder if Mark Harmon watches The Good Place
- Oh no! Trevor!
posted by numaner at 6:03 PM on September 27, 2018 [11 favorites]


We Crumb From A Land Down Under
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:06 PM on September 27, 2018 [42 favorites]


Well that was perfection, as usual.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:09 PM on September 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


I have so many thoughts, but I'll just put this one out: I kind of love Michael's little souvenir manipulative? Yeah, a little. But, it's also really thoughtful!

I mean, I'm not sure how plastic reacts with anti-matter, but it was still really thoughtful.

ALSO: Be aware, that Vulture read has spoilers for episode three which has not aired.
posted by absalom at 6:12 PM on September 27, 2018 [9 favorites]


God, I've missed this show.

Names on Tahani's cell phone:

Taika Waititi
Taylor Swift
The Edge - private number
The Queen
The Rock
Thom Yorke
Tilda Swinton
Tiger Woods
Tim Cook
Tim Gunn
Tom Brady
Tom Cruise
posted by Aznable at 6:39 PM on September 27, 2018 [38 favorites]


So forking happy this show is back!

Ted Danson's smile continues to astound me. When the Judge agrees to the reboot (s2 finale/"previously" segment of s3 premiere), Michael turns to the camera, breaks the fourth wall, and grins evilly. I don't know what trick he has up his sleeve, but for God's sake, give that man an Emmy.
posted by basalganglia at 6:45 PM on September 27, 2018


"I've made my decision: I want to start crying"

Chidi speaks for us all.

"What's the secret? Is the secret more books? How many more books do I need?"
posted by jeather at 6:50 PM on September 27, 2018 [58 favorites]


Dunkin' Spiders!
posted by rewil at 7:01 PM on September 27, 2018 [9 favorites]


I laughed when they opened Chidi's scene with explaining the language differences. Does the judge already know Michael went down? I kept waiting for her to bust him. I'm assuming that the Michael v Demons thing is going to blow up and eventually attract her attention.

Apparently Simone is supposed to be a significant new character so that could be fun.
posted by Query at 7:03 PM on September 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


I love these dorks so much. I can't wait to see where this is going.

I love this show's literal last second plot twists, but I less than love that this is not the first time the twist gets spoiled forty seconds before the reveal because I can't help but read all the names scrolling by in the cast credits. ("But Adam Scott wasn't in this episode...oh.")
posted by mixedmetaphors at 7:56 PM on September 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm holding out hope that Shawn also sends down Vicky to mess with Michael's plan, since Tiya Sircar's other sitcom got cancelled.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 8:19 PM on September 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize this was a one hour episode, I'm glad my DVR knew. Simone was fantastic!
posted by Marky at 8:37 PM on September 27, 2018


I wonder if Tahani had Ted Danson's phone number.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:17 PM on September 27, 2018 [18 favorites]


"- Bryan Adam "Wherever You Go" being a deeply terrible song is on point"

Not Bryan Adams. Richard Marx. Took me a minute to remember though.

Gah, Shawn is such a stinker. I thought it was super nice and great how Michael brought back the cup for the doorman, the guy looked so excited. He must get forgotten a lot :( It seems like Michael is having to do a lot more than just save them from death, seems more like "meddling" in their lives a bit deeper. It worries me.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 9:24 PM on September 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


So, is every season going to start with Eleanor getting directed to find Chidi?

The only food pun I noticed was the food stand Chidi frequented, but I forgot to write it down and now it is lost forever or until the episode shows up on the NBC website.

He took the name of the episode for the dance crew!

The name was mentioned in Dance Dance Resolution, when Jason told his story and convinced Michael to join a new dance crew and slash some tires, metaphorically.
posted by ckape at 9:37 PM on September 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


i loved so many little things but i am also sad that actual demonic hell is better than irl reality these days

if ONLY i could be sealed in a cocoon at any moment
posted by poffin boffin at 9:51 PM on September 27, 2018 [12 favorites]


Michael brought back the cup for the doorman

Dang, that scene...is it strange to want to hug a TV show?
posted by MrBadExample at 10:43 PM on September 27, 2018 [10 favorites]


Also, Michael ships Eleanor and Chidi. This is canon.
posted by ckape at 10:44 PM on September 27, 2018 [15 favorites]


JIF JIF JIF JIF JIF JIF
posted by rhizome at 10:56 PM on September 27, 2018 [21 favorites]


Janet's "uh huh. Flawless," in response to Michael's Australian accent was hilarious.

Richard Marx, Right Here Waiting for You. Perfect choice.

I love Simone. I did notice while watching that I think Chidi is a weird mixture of every guy I've ever liked and/or been in love with.

I'm so happy this show is back, y'all.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:26 AM on September 28, 2018 [9 favorites]


After I finished watching I realised I was smiling from start to finish and my face was a little sore.

i love this show.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:35 AM on September 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


I hope the setting isn't too claustrophobic by trying to pretend they are in Australia if they haven't done much actual filming down there.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:59 AM on September 28, 2018


I'm still helpless over Chippitottle.
posted by mochapickle at 4:18 AM on September 28, 2018 [28 favorites]


I hope the setting isn't too claustrophobic by trying to pretend they are in Australia if they haven't done much actual filming down there.

Pretty sure they have done no filming in Australia as the accents are a hair’s breadth away from a war crime, especially Simone, except for the muffin guy. But he’s an actual Australian - I actually know him and he lives in LA.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:38 AM on September 28, 2018 [34 favorites]


Yes we all know each other. So what. Fite me.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:39 AM on September 28, 2018 [43 favorites]


Being located in Australia doesn't bug me because I kind of assume there will be twists and that they may not be there for that long? I mean, I figure the judge is already wise to the fuckery taking place with Michael and now Shawn and Trevor. Also wondering what the Doorman's deal actually is.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:46 AM on September 28, 2018


Who played the "can I just ask?" demon?
posted by jeather at 4:56 AM on September 28, 2018


Oh, yeah, speaking of demon cameos: Glen is still the worst!
posted by absalom at 5:39 AM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Part of Eleanor's moral growth before truly deserving to go to The Good Place will be learning how to say 'gif' with a hard 'g'.

Jason just about to suffocate to death and worried that he was almost out of whippets was the highlight of the episode for me.
posted by skewed at 6:31 AM on September 28, 2018 [21 favorites]


if ONLY i could be sealed in a cocoon at any moment

But it's... very gooey.
posted by Etrigan at 6:51 AM on September 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


Per the (now near-real-time) podcast, We Crumb From a Land Down Under was not written by Megan Amram, which means that she has a blood feud with Cord Jefferson now.
posted by Etrigan at 6:56 AM on September 28, 2018 [9 favorites]


Squalor Media covers the poverty/drug lords/gun running/skateboarding/weird-ass restaurants/genocide beat.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:06 AM on September 28, 2018 [9 favorites]


Also, I rarely prefer my headcanon to what the writers actually come up with, but I'm still disappointed that the early S3 reveal wasn't that Jason was actually quite smart and had a pretty good life, but the loss of oxygen in the safe rendered him stupid for the afterlife.
posted by Etrigan at 7:09 AM on September 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


Also! I love Tahani immediately becoming friends with Eleanor entirely because of her distaste for Khamilla!
posted by absalom at 7:42 AM on September 28, 2018 [16 favorites]


Pretty sure they have done no filming in Australia as the accents are a hair’s breadth away from a war crime

Nails on chalkboard levels of bad. I was writhing on my couch.

There was some minor payback in that Tahani's assistant is played by an Australian actress who was mangling a British accent herself.

Oh my god though that line about the blueberry pickers being exploited made me choke on my water, because it was probably the only genuine Australian detail in the episode.
posted by Panthalassa at 7:55 AM on September 28, 2018 [12 favorites]


Vicky needs to come back, if only so we can evaluate that Australian accent she worked on for reboot #801.
posted by expialidocious at 8:13 AM on September 28, 2018 [29 favorites]


I really wanted the demonic ringer to be Vicky, but probably just because Vicky is so dreamy (like Eleanor, I also imagine everybody in a story somebody's telling me as sexy or I just lose interest). On a related note, Simone as the manic pixie neuroscientist has won my heart -- she's SO too good to be true that I figured she was the demonic ringer until Trevor arrived, and I'm still not sure they aren't in cahoots.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:53 AM on September 28, 2018 [8 favorites]


Also, I LOVE how quickly they've recreated the 'experiment/ system is tainted, better hide it from the boss' dynamic from the previous seasons. It's structurally pleasing in so many ways.

AND makes me wonder how long before chidis experiment is flawed but they're trying to cover it up while Michael's doing the same...
posted by litleozy at 9:21 AM on September 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


From NPR:

"And then she found that no matter how good she was, the world around her did not treat her better. Eleanor was honest about having hit a parked car, and in return, she was sued by someone who was trying to take advantage. She came clean with her friends about the bad things she'd done, and they abandoned her. For all its whimsy, for all its food puns, for all its dance crews and genuinely great jokes and surprising deployment of Ted Danson as a physical comedian, for its genius writers and stupendous cast and silly effects, The Good Place turns on sensations that are deeply, painfully real: Who wants to be the last fool grasping at decency? Nobody else seems to care about it, so why is it up to me?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:30 AM on September 28, 2018 [34 favorites]


After the first competition where Dance Dance Resolution is disqualified for having more than eight members on stage, Jason's crew appears to still have more than eight members at each of the later competitions.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:15 AM on September 28, 2018 [18 favorites]


JIF JIF JIF JIF JIF JIF

YES omg i'm so glad to finally have a specific and clear understanding of why eleanor went to hell.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:30 AM on September 28, 2018 [56 favorites]


Sore losers!
posted by rhizome at 10:45 AM on September 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, I rarely prefer my headcanon to what the writers actually come up with, but I'm still disappointed that the early S3 reveal wasn't that Jason was actually quite smart and had a pretty good life, but the loss of oxygen in the safe rendered him stupid for the afterlife.

But we saw him being dumb before the safe.
posted by Pendragon at 12:26 PM on September 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


But we saw him being dumb before the safe.

We saw him remembering being dumb before the safe, in certain circumstances. Maybe he was actually a NASA exophysicist who liked being in the dance crew and got caught up in something horrible by Pillboi, and his dumbened brain remembered everything wrong.

I mean, we know it's not the case, but I think it would have been amusing.
posted by Etrigan at 12:56 PM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


but if he was smart he wouldn't have thought the snorkle would work inside the safe, so the endumbening would have to take place before the safe incident.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:13 PM on September 28, 2018 [12 favorites]


maybe pillboi left him the snorkle instead of scuba gear bc he didn't know the difference and jason didn't realize until the door was shut?

so more like a NASA intern
posted by poffin boffin at 1:14 PM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


ok I finally watched the first 15 minutes. and basically the whole thing again. it's so great!
posted by numaner at 1:16 PM on September 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


also if tahani and eleanor make out i will declare 2018 saved
posted by poffin boffin at 1:53 PM on September 28, 2018 [20 favorites]


Also, I rarely prefer my headcanon to what the writers actually come up with, but I'm still disappointed that the early S3 reveal wasn't that Jason was actually quite smart and had a pretty good life, but the loss of oxygen in the safe rendered him stupid for the afterlife.

That would be perfectly plausible headcanon up to now if not for all the flashbacks to his life during the previous seasons that already showed him to be stupid.
posted by kenko at 2:55 PM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm holding out hope that Shawn also sends down Vicky to mess with Michael's plan, since Tiya Sircar is also terrific.
posted by Grangousier at 3:43 PM on September 28, 2018


It’s amazing how an episode with that much work to do could be that graceful. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was damn good. Also Jason got off some amazing one-liners:

“Oh, I’m sorry, are these your rocks?”
“My year started about a year ago.”
“I shouldn’t have used my one phone call to prank the police department.”
“Sure, I once did a wheelie through an entire Waffle House, and I was interviewed on TV for finding a foot on the beach. But other than that, I’ve had no truly great accomplishments.”
“A year ago, if you had asked me to run a dance crew in Atlantis...”

That said, my favorite was the Doorman’s response to the frog: “that is amazing! Aw, this guy’s a jumper, you can tell.”
posted by argybarg at 4:24 PM on September 28, 2018 [36 favorites]


I always enjoy Jason, but I think this was the first episode where his lines were my favorite ones.

Did anything explain how Eleanor is making a living? Like, what's her residency status since she's not a student, and given that, could she get a job?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:08 PM on September 28, 2018 [7 favorites]


Seems like we, the audience, have moved up to Moral philosophy 301 -- Morality and neuroscience.

Chidi's brain scan seemed to be a response to comments from previous seasons where people asked, doesn't this guy just have some kind of mental illness?

To be honest, I thought the answer the show gave was going to be "yeah, the points thing is bullshit," not, "no, here's an MRI scene," but I trust that this show is going to somewhere thoughtful with it all. The introduction of neuroscience is a very interesting element in the show. I also like Simone a lot. When she said the thing about peeling back chidi's skull I thought, uh, demon alert. The way she's gotten in the way of Chidi and Eleanor also makes me wonder. But maybe she's from the real good place, or just human.
posted by Rinku at 6:19 PM on September 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


What if Simone is actually Vicki in disguise?
posted by guiseroom at 6:57 PM on September 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


"I'm still helpless over Chippitottle."

My children laughed so hard at Chippitottle we couldn't hear the next three lines.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:02 PM on September 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


> Part of Eleanor's moral growth before truly deserving to go to The Good Place will be learning how to say 'gif' with a hard 'g'.

to quote another great line in television history: "Oh, is that what we're gonna do today? We're gonna fight?"
posted by komara at 7:42 PM on September 28, 2018 [7 favorites]




I love this show and I love all of you.

Chippitottle....
posted by tzikeh at 8:11 PM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm still helpless over Chippitottle.

Have you seen the Jack In The Box chipotle commercials from the early 00's? They're probably on the youtubes.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:20 PM on September 28, 2018


Chippitottle nothing. Aristot-lay!

Also I confess, I shrieked when Moshe Kasher showed up at the monastery to interview Tahani.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:21 PM on September 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


oh my god I missed this show so much

SO MUCH YOU GUYS

like i've just been watching seasons 1 and 2 on a loop for the past week because i needed soothing so bad

i am both very happy that this gem is meted out to me one morsel per week, and very angry that i cannot binge it all right this goddamn second

anyway, that 582 questions video with tahani was pure perfection. the dalai lama texted me that.
posted by palomar at 9:06 PM on September 28, 2018 [16 favorites]


I had no idea we were due for a new season now, and I'm so delighted. Grinned a lot of the way through this episode. I really hope Simone's a demon, both for plot and discomforting accent reasons. What with the whole bending actual reality/spawning a new timeline thing, I'm getting highly sceptical of there being a real Good Place, surely those guys would notice.
posted by threecheesetrees at 2:27 AM on September 29, 2018


- Does CSI even have that many episodes? I wouldn't be surprised though

I believe she watching NCIS, which is at a ridiculous 350+ episodes and counting.

If she was watching CSI, she might have seen someone familiar. (And holy crap, looking it up now I didn't realize CSI was at 337 when it ended.)
posted by kmz at 4:42 AM on September 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


I loved the nearly microscopic inclusion of Eleanor's soft-G "gif," because it's illustrative of how even the little throwaway bits in TGP are thoughtful little reflections of life's big ponderables and ongoing arguments that really aren't that important. It's supremely like religion in that I'm a soft-G guy, learned it that way, followed the example of the format's creator, just like it better that way, and honestly, I don't care how you say it...but the increasingly doctrinaire hard-G team seems set on convincing the soft-Gs that there is only one objective and inarguable path and here's why...

It's organized religion against agnosticism in three letters. Perfect.

Love TGP so much for all these little throwaways. So rare.
posted by sonascope at 5:29 AM on September 29, 2018 [15 favorites]


Here is a fun question:

Will the demons Shawn sends to mess with our fave cockroaches be able to keep being evil? Or will they end up like Michael, too?

Also: Michael is genuinely a good person now. He didn't have to get that gift for the Doorman. He was done interfering. He just did it because he knew it would make the Doorman happy. And he's doing all of this because he wants to help his friends, knowing he's fucked if he gets caught, knowing he won't be rewarded if he succeeds-- no moral desert for him.
posted by nonasuch at 8:03 AM on September 29, 2018 [18 favorites]


Wait, also also, here is a theory of mine:

Simone is a representative from the real Good Place.
posted by nonasuch at 8:04 AM on September 29, 2018 [14 favorites]


Simone is played by the amazing British actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste! Was so happy to see her in this. And yes the Australian accents were terrible. Love this show so much, back at the perfect moment.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:47 AM on September 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


I had a couple thoughts last night:

First: how do you make heaven funny? Having a demon listen to cheesy 70s rock is just way, way funnier, than, say, having an angel listen to Abbey Road, or whatever.

Second: in this universe, what do people do in the real good place? It seems like the people who go to the good place in this universe wouldn't just want mai tais on the beach forever, they would want to help people -- if they knew about the bad place, wouldn't the residents of the good place attempt to change the system?

If I was writing this show, here's where I'd go with it: Simone is a good place agent, either an "angel" or a well-meaning human spirit who's come to earth attempting to help our cockroaches pass their test. But, in doing so, she's risking her own spot in the good place in some way; there are stakes. The cockroaches do get to the good place, but Simone, due to Shawn or something, goes to the bad place for some minor slip-up in getting them there.

Twist: the good place is empty. Simone's gambit to put herself on the line to help them has happened many ways, many times, by so many residents of the good place, that it's a ghost town. The bad place, you see, plays a dirty version of the game. You see the cockroaches attempt to enjoy heaven alone, but they can't. They're too good. Next up: back to hell.
posted by Rinku at 9:33 AM on September 29, 2018 [19 favorites]


Rinku: how do you make heaven funny? Having a demon listen to cheesy 70s rock is just way, way funnier, than, say, having an angel listen to Abbey Road, or whatever.

I'd say a lot of the first season, when it was still ostensibly the actual Good Place, fit the bill on this. For example, while frozen yogurt turned out to be an example of intentional mediocrity, I don't think the flavor "Full Cell Phone Battery" was meant to be (but maybe it was).
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:43 AM on September 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'd say a lot of the first season, when it was still ostensibly the actual Good Place, fit the bill on this. For example, while frozen yogurt turned out to be an example of intentional mediocrity, I don't think the flavor "Full Cell Phone Battery" was meant to be (but maybe it was).

Sure, there's jokes there. But what's funnier, frozen yogurt that tastes the way a full cell phone battery makes you feel, or, "we're testing out our new butthole spiders, they're enormous?" Granted that's not a super fair comparison because the latter is such an off-the-charts ridiculous joke, but I think you have to have an edge, you know, high stakes, to the plot of the show. It can't all be labs making friends with baby tigers and water slides that never end. So if our characters do get to the good place -- and I think they might, it's such a major part of this cosmology we've never seen -- and the show isn't just flat out over, there has to be some kind of serious sinister complication. And that complication has to present them with a moral dilemma.
posted by Rinku at 10:10 AM on September 29, 2018


Rinku, there may be the even larger issue that “good” evaporates in the absence of “bad.” The Good is just too static to exist when not in tension with its opposite. Just as movies of happy people without conflict are unwatchable, maybe all-good without suffering is unliveable.
posted by argybarg at 10:27 AM on September 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Huh, I think I have an entirely different subjective experience. A joke amounting to "This is a terrible song" fell way more flat, to me, than the otters-holding-hands stuff; moments of gentleness make the show stand out in modern TV. "He's a jumper, you can tell!"

The very sharpest jokes simply maximize that contrast, like everything with the Trolley Problem, which isn't just "Here's an example of ridiculous torture" but specifically about Chidi's complicated virtue-driven personality.

I'll grant that the show could never depict a literal paradise and remain interesting. But it's clear that the afterlife system is messy and subjective anyway, so I think it would still work to have jokes about what these sorts of people might think a utopia would be.

I like that twist idea (unlikely as it is) that all the genuinely good people spend their time helping others outside the Real Good Place.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:03 AM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wish Terry Pratchett were still alive, so that we could read the joint article he and Neil Gaiman would have written about watching this show.
posted by tzikeh at 11:41 AM on September 29, 2018 [21 favorites]


Also I like that they very quickly put paid to "But Chidi's native language is French!" right at the start, explained it away, and moved on. Bravo and thank you. I know plenty of bi-lingual people who spoke one language at home and another in school and they spoke both perfectly, as far as I could tell.
posted by tzikeh at 11:44 AM on September 29, 2018 [15 favorites]


TIL that if someone quits your dance crew, you're legally able to rob their house.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:50 AM on September 29, 2018 [23 favorites]


obliged, even.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:06 PM on September 29, 2018 [8 favorites]


I thought this was a really good start to the season. I'm excited to see where this goes. I also loved everything that came out of Jason's mouth.
posted by codacorolla at 3:11 PM on September 29, 2018


      JIF JIF JIF JIF JIF JIF

  YES omg i'm so glad to finally have a specific and clear understanding of why eleanor went to hell.


FLAGGED AS OFFENSIVE
posted by sylvanshine at 4:02 PM on September 29, 2018 [13 favorites]


Flajjed, surely.
posted by Etrigan at 5:00 PM on September 29, 2018 [44 favorites]


HEY IN SEASON TWO EPISODE TEN (BEST SELF) CHIDI WISHES HE COULD MEET ELEANOR IN A NORMAL WAY "Like at a philosophy conference, or after one of my philosophy lectures.
Or you came knocking on my office door asking for help with philosophy."
"Is that how you think people meet?"
"I don't know how normal people meet."

THAT'S HOW THEY MEET IN SEASON 3.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:30 PM on September 29, 2018 [70 favorites]


Please let Simone be an agent, there needs to be a rational explanation for her appalling accent.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:44 PM on September 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Look, reintroducing even four people is going to cause some small changes to the timeline, such as simultaneously altering the accents of an entire nation of people in such a way that nobody notices.

That's just science.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:12 PM on September 29, 2018 [33 favorites]


The dolly zoom in on Chidi's "GAAAHHHH" in the hospital was perfection.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:54 PM on September 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


1) I like the "intangible things as flavor" bit, and as a compulsive phone-charger I think the full battery flavor would be more soothing than vanilla.

2) I hope Simone isn't a twist (I know, unlikely on this show) because she's really cute! And...also because this clears a path for Eleanor/Tahani, c'mon Mike, please!!!

3) Trevor! I forgot about him, this is so great.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:00 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


The "rom-com scene" (as they put it on the podcast) with Simone, Chidi, and Elanor was one of my favorite bits from the show. Elanor is a talented wingman!

Love that Tahani was basically Goop-ing it up with a book and a lifestyle cruise.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:12 PM on September 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


The Carmen Electra Auditorium in the Smith & Wesson Performing Arts Center and ATV Repair Shop. Holy shirt I’ve missed this show.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:48 PM on September 29, 2018 [24 favorites]




The way she's gotten in the way of Chidi and Eleanor also makes me wonder.

One of my favorite things is Michael pointing out that in some of the reboots Chidi and Eleanor were able to help each other become better people without being a romantic couple. That's a welcome contrast to the usual Hollywood story that falling in love with the right person is what turns your life around.

And the show is much more interesting if we don't assume Chidi and Eleanor are fated to be together. (They're totally fated to be together.)
posted by straight at 11:51 PM on September 29, 2018 [18 favorites]


I know plenty of bi-lingual people who spoke one language at home and another in school and they spoke both perfectly, as far as I could tell.

I don't think anyone would have particularly struggled with the idea that a person could speak both French and English well if it hadn't been specifically explained in S1 that Chidi, a Senegalese, was speaking French and it was autotranslated by the Good/Bad Place into English. Naturally, hearing him speaking English in the exact same way on Earth would distract people into wondering if Earth was really Earth, or some other simulation. I mean, I know many many people who speak two or more languages fluently, and I went "Hey..." when I first heard him speak English on Earth.

Jason's crew appears to still have more than eight members at each of the later competitions.

That appears to have been for the violence purposes!
posted by praemunire at 12:51 AM on September 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


P.S. There is no Good Place, you heard it here first.
posted by praemunire at 12:53 AM on September 30, 2018 [8 favorites]


I've been listening to the Good Place Podcast via iTunes subscription all this time - I only just this morning discovered there's a video version on YouTube! (I guess it's just snippet promos for other episodes, but, it's the full hour for this S3 premiere podcast.)
posted by oh yeah! at 8:33 AM on September 30, 2018 [7 favorites]


I love the podcast so much! Am nearly caught up, been listening almost exclusively to it for a month.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:42 AM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yes, Richard Marx Approved That ‘Right Here Waiting’ Joke on The Good Place.

I was 12 when that song came out, and I got the Richard Marx tape for my birthday, and I loved that song. I'm so happy that Marx has a sense of humor. I think Statsky said on the podcast that they played Blues Traveler, "Run-around" when they shot the scene.

Simone is a great character, and I love Chidi and Eleanor bonding with her as his wing-man. I would love to get more Eleanor/Tahani this year. That was one thing missing from last season: not many Eleanor/Tahani focused stories.

Something is going on with Michael and Janet. They're changing a lot, and I feel like it's going to be important later. Janet trying to figure out how she relates to other people; Michael's delight in Earth, getting a personal gift for his Doorman friend. It wasn't even a bribe because Michael gave it to him on his return trip.

I missed this show so much, and I missed these Fanfare posts!
posted by gladly at 10:53 AM on September 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


P.S. There is no Good Place, you heard it here first.

There's no Bad Place either, which introduces a lot of questions.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:40 AM on September 30, 2018


There's no Bad Place either, which introduces a lot of questions.<>
There's only you and me, and we just disagree.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 11:57 AM on September 30, 2018 [12 favorites]


Michael's delight in Earth, getting a personal gift for his Doorman friend

we saw this before though, with the whole "smell ya later" bit.
posted by rhizome at 4:17 PM on September 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


There's no Bad Place either, which introduces a lot of questions.

I'm no theologian, but I'm guessing that means it's either limbo or purgatory.
posted by rhizome at 4:18 PM on September 30, 2018


Folks, I'm nervous about Australia because it's "The Land Down Under."
posted by straight at 4:25 PM on September 30, 2018 [9 favorites]


Michael's delight in Earth, getting a personal gift for his Doorman friend

Seriously, though. Convincing a demon to repent and learn to love other people ought to be worth so many Good Place points that Team Cockroach should be riding first class on The Number Nine all the way to The Land of Eternal Rest by now.
posted by straight at 4:31 PM on September 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


P.S. There is no Good Place, you heard it here first.

Perhaps TGP is going to go in for the allegory of the long spoons? Both heaven and hell are what we make?
posted by Justinian at 5:24 PM on September 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


> Convincing a demon to repent and learn to love other people ought to be worth so many Good Place points that Team Cockroach should be riding first class on The Number Nine all the way to The Land of Eternal Rest by now.

galaxy brain: Team Cockroach doesn't even exist. This show is about a human who has been convinced he's a demon and his personal journey to the good place based on his actions.
posted by komara at 7:03 PM on September 30, 2018 [7 favorites]


I know Season 1 set the precedent, but I’m not convinced there are any more massive switcheroos coming. Season 2 did great without one.
posted by argybarg at 9:42 PM on September 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


> This show is about a human who has been convinced he's a demon and his personal journey

okay I love Michael and if this turned out to be the case I would still love this show but I would also be cranky af that they took a show led by women and POC and flipped it to center the old white guy
posted by Vibrissa at 9:16 AM on October 1, 2018 [9 favorites]


I am skeptical of the dream theory.
posted by rhizome at 9:44 AM on October 1, 2018


I know Season 1 set the precedent, but I’m not convinced there are any more massive switcheroos coming. Season 2 did great without one.

So you missed the part where Season 2 ends with all of them alive and back on Earth, then.
posted by tzikeh at 10:39 AM on October 1, 2018 [10 favorites]


Interview with William Jackson Harper (Chidi): The Good Place’s Eleanor is ‘super bisexual’ and a romance with Tahani is not off the table

Filed under "Yes, good, please continue."
posted by tzikeh at 10:48 AM on October 1, 2018 [11 favorites]


As a former Glee fan, I firmly believe that Mike O'Malley should be cast in all shows and also get all the frog related merchandise his Doorman heart desires.
posted by Julnyes at 11:23 AM on October 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


galaxy brain: Team Cockroach doesn't even exist. This show is about a human who has been convinced he's a demon and his personal journey to the good place based on his actions.

What, like a Jacob’s Ladder scenario?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:40 AM on October 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


I know Season 1 set the precedent, but I’m not convinced there are any more massive switcheroos coming. Season 2 did great without one.

So you missed the part where Season 2 ends with all of them alive and back on Earth, then.


A "switcheroo" isn't just "Wow, I didn't see that coming!", it's "Oh shit, what we thought was the basic premise here is wrong!", i.e., "This isn't really the Good Place" or, as suggested, "This has been a test for Michael all along!"
posted by Etrigan at 11:56 AM on October 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


The whole show is taking place inside Tommy Westphall's coma dream, just like all other television shows.

Michael brought back the cup for the doorman

I was expecting that to come up as a plot point, like he did it to allay the doorman's suspicions or whatever... But it makes a lot more sense for Michael's character development through last season if he genuinely just did that to be nice because he's learned to be considerate of other people. (Didn't Eleanor have a similar moment in season one? Not the Senegal thing, a real, genuine gift that she gave to Chidi at some point.)

The moment where Eleanor said she never cared much for Kamilah and Tahani kind of blushed convinces me that we'll FINALLY get that ship going for real this season. Plus, Chidi and Simone are clearly going to be a thing. And we've already established that Chidi and Eleanor had plenty of reboots where they never got romantically involved but still helped each other to become better, so a Chidi-Eleanor romance is canonically unnecessary to either's spiritual/ethical growth.

Did anything explain how Eleanor is making a living? Like, what's her residency status since she's not a student, and given that, could she get a job?

90-day tourist visa? As long as the university isn't paying her, that should be legit. If she needed to be paid (to continue affording her crappy motel), then presumably the university has resources to obtain a different visa. But maybe the university doesn't want to compensate her, so she has to stay in Tahani's hotel suite or winter mansion or whatever.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:09 PM on October 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


But maybe the university doesn't want to compensate her, so she has to stay in Tahani's hotel suite or winter mansion or whatever.

Oh please please please please please

I have been so good
posted by schadenfrau at 12:19 PM on October 1, 2018 [16 favorites]


Team Cockroach doesn't even exist. This show is about a human who has been convinced he's a demon and his personal journey to the good place based on his actions.

I'd consider this straight-up bad storytelling, given how much of the show has explicitly been from Eleanor's POV. A twist like that would not be playing at all fair with the audience. It'd be like getting through all the Harry Potter books only to be told at the end that all that close third person POV on Harry didn't matter, because Harry wasn't real and the whole series was actually about Dumbledore testing out a possible prophecy scenario or something. It's meta to the point of meaninglessness.

Thus far, The Good Place has done a very good job at not frustrating the audience with its twists and resets, because there are enough hints to figure out the twists, and the characters and setting remain internally consistent given those twists. Even the resets are still playing fair and not just undoing half the show for no reason: Team Cockroach may not remember all the times they've been reset, or their time in the Bad Place now that they're alive again, but their experiences still inform their choices and our understanding of them now, and they inform the choices of other characters like Michael, Janet, and Shawn. Any twist or reset that compromises any of that runs the risk of throwing audience investment down the toilet.
posted by yasaman at 12:25 PM on October 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


(Didn't Eleanor have a similar moment in season one? Not the Senegal thing, a real, genuine gift that she gave to Chidi at some point.)

That rings a bell! And all I could remember was a rowboat, but I found a recap from episode 5, "Category 55 Emergency Doomsday Crisis", and this was one of my favorite moments from the first season:
It’s not just that Chidi’s stuck keeping a huge secret (an act that carries unknown consequences, should his aid to Eleanor be discovered). Or that that secret comes with a frustrating full-time job trying to whip Eleanor (and now Jason) into moral shape. Nor is it that his paradise comes complete with stress tummy-aches, the occasionally natural disaster, and the revelation that his life’s work was an unreadable mess. As Harper puts it with Chidi’s signature unostentatious plainness tonight, “I was so excited, and it isn’t exactly what I thought.” When Eleanor, whose stabs at decency are proceeding in fits and starts, figures out the truth behind what Chidi says, it’s more of a heartbreak still.

Chidi’s never met his soulmate. Not on Earth—where, he reveals, he never had a single meaningful romantic relationship—and certainly not in the good place. Looking back to Chidi’s first meeting with Eleanor, it’s especially painful thinking about how bashful and hopeful and open Harper’s face was when Michael introduced Chidi to his supposed true love. After a lonely life of decency and hard work, true, eternal, unconditional love was to be his reward, and instead he got a foul-mouthed, crude, selfish jerk—and heaven seemed to be broken on top of it all.

But Eleanor’s working on it, as her sweet surprise that ends the episode shows. Chidi probably would have been just as happy that Eleanor did the dishes for once (especially since his off-the-cuff fantasy of reading French poetry on a rowboat didn’t take into account his inability to row a boat). But Eleanor’s realization that they’re both in the same boat (metaphorically) is clearly most welcome, as she tells him she finally figured out that her mistaken admission to the good place means that she took the place of the one woman in the world who was destined to love him. And that, by helping her stay, he’s robbing himself of the possibility of ever meeting her. “I’m basically a utilitarian nightmare,” says Eleanor, “every ounce of my happiness leads to a ton of pain for you.” When she gives him permission to tell her to get lost every once in a while (complete with a lovely “Fork off, Eleanor” card to play when necessary), she tells him, “I know we’ll never be soulmates, but we’re friends.” It’s sweet without being cloying, and deepens both characters as it similarly draws us deeper into just what the hell heaven is playing at.
posted by gladly at 1:11 PM on October 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


If Michael turns out to be actually a human, then the only way that reasonably works is if nearly everyone who works in the Bad Place is actually a human as well.

Like, the only way the "Michael was a human all along" twist works is if it turned out that the really, truly, irredeemably bad people get sentenced to an eternity of repetitive, meaningless work torturing unthinking, unfeeling simulations (like the dog from S1).

That wouldn't necessarily be incompatible with any of the stuff currently going on with The Judge or the show's complicated, humanist approach to good and evil. When souls first come in, they get tested the way Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason were. If they fail, they get sent to the Bad Place to work as a demon. If they pass, they... go to the real Good Place to do Good Place stuff or whatever, I guess?

I don't think this is how the show is actually going to go, mind, it's just a way I think they could make that particular twist satisfying.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:17 PM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


That said, my favorite was the Doorman’s response to the frog: “that is amazing! Aw, this guy’s a jumper, you can tell.”

Anybody else think that the self-described "frog guy" doorman is going to turn out to be a literal Guy Who Is A Frog?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:41 PM on October 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


What with the whole bending actual reality/spawning a new timeline thing, I'm getting highly sceptical of there being a real Good Place, surely those guys would notice.

I'm certain we've heard the Bad Place representatives talking about the Good Place representatives without any humans around to potentially overhear them. (Assuming that the Medium Place is legit, we also saw one on a videotape at Mindy St Claire's - which I think might be the only time we've seen one so far.) But I definitely have some questions about how the system works. Such as: they all seem to work in the same building/complex/extradimensional space, along with 'unaligned' beings such as the doorman. (Judge Maya Rudolph might be located somewhere else, since getting to her requires a portal.) So... what IS that place? I mean, what would we call it? It's not the Good Place or the Bad Place - those are both "projects" of the Whatever-It-Is Place. And who is in charge of that place? Is anyone? Or is it all just sort of happening, the way it's been happening for all time, without anyone behind the wheel of the trolley, so to speak?

I hope the endgame for this show is "blow up the entire thoughtlessly unjust system and damn the consequences," it's a very Now theme
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:55 PM on October 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


So... what IS that place?

Somewhere Else. :)
posted by tobascodagama at 2:07 PM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


So... what IS that place?

Sounds like we're gonna have to get Doug Forcett stoned.
posted by Etrigan at 2:52 PM on October 1, 2018 [10 favorites]


I'm hoping for some sort of God-Emperor Janet remaking everything at the end. Wait, what if the Bad Place reboots a Bad Janet? Would she reach unheard-of levels of sarcasm?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:03 PM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


I remember at some point in the first season, Eleanor says something like "I just want a medium place." Watched it last week and noticed...it felt a little presagey.
posted by rhizome at 4:31 PM on October 1, 2018


Simone is played by the amazing British actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste!

Kirby Howell-Baptiste told the story of the Suffragettes in the Civil Rights episode of Drunk History earlier this year. Spoiler alert: she was delightful.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:05 PM on October 1, 2018 [6 favorites]


> > This show is about a human who has been convinced he's a demon and his personal journey

"okay I love Michael and if this turned out to be the case"


> "I'd consider this straight-up bad storytelling"

> "Like, the only way the "Michael was a human all along" twist works is"

I'm sorry, my comment was a dumb joke and I really truly didn't mean for y'all to have to talk about it at all. It was the dumbest thing I could think of for a third-season twist and all the reasons you're saying that it's dumb are true, because it is dumb.





[they are totally going to do it]
posted by komara at 6:39 PM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


LISTEN OKAY the plot twist on the eventual series finale is gonna be that jason was god all along, thank you and good night
posted by poffin boffin at 9:43 PM on October 1, 2018 [11 favorites]


Oh, God! You Devil 2
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:10 PM on October 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


I stand by my theory from last season, which--carried to its logical conclusion--ultimately means our heroes/cockroaches end up blowing up the whole system, proving it to be unjust and illogical and other not-good things.
posted by Superplin at 12:20 AM on October 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


I have to assume it is set in Australia for a reason yet to be revealed, maybe it won’t actually turn out to be Australia? Simone’s accent was distactingly bad, it was like watching a sketch show. If it turns out it’s not really Australia that would be a relief because whhhhhhhy.
posted by liquorice at 4:26 AM on October 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's set in Australia because that's where Chidi was teaching when he died.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:38 AM on October 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


Gosh, this all was great. Different and great.

I'm mostly on board with the "Simone isn't a human" possibility here; we've only seen demons on earth thus far (and isn't that the truth) but no one from The Good Place just yet that we're aware of. Given how tight the plots are on this show I have confidence in where this season will go.
posted by hijinx at 9:25 AM on October 2, 2018


I stand by my theory from last season, which--carried to its logical conclusion--ultimately means our heroes/cockroaches end up blowing up the whole system, proving it to be unjust and illogical and other not-good things.

This gets all sci-fi nerd here and I think TGP is smart enough not to trouble itself too much with making everything metaphysically consistent. But. The problem I have with that is that apparently the not-earth place (let's call it the afterlife but that is problematic given all the stuff going on there) seems to exist outside of time. Team Roach goes through a hundred or so years of subjective time yet they just do some hand-waving and prevent them from having ever died at all. The doorman protects a portal that takes you anywhere and when you need to go. The afterlife is filled with people who lived and died and then came there and the beings in the afterlife interact with them and, presumably, they interact with each other. Michael and Janet sit and watch events on earth unfold in some sort of progression.

Some amount of fudging seems to make sense, but blowing up the whole system? Does the afterlife not just exist outside of time but lack any actual coherent time itself? Because everyone who ever died is in it, and just blowing it all up... when does it blow up? Blowing it up after conscious beings have been tortured for eternities already... is that really an acceptable solution?

This is where my thoughts on this dissolve into too many what-ifs to continue but the time thing is really troubling me with regards to any way to upend the how-things-are outside ongoing earth time.
posted by phearlez at 10:53 AM on October 2, 2018


It's set in Australia because that's where Chidi was teaching when he died.

Yes but the only explanation for the accents is a season long troll of Australia
posted by schadenfrau at 10:56 AM on October 2, 2018 [5 favorites]


So... what IS that place? I mean, what would we call it?

"Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.
Think’st thou that I who saw the face of God,
And tasted the eternal joys of Heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells,
In being depriv’d of everlasting bliss?"
posted by praemunire at 11:33 AM on October 2, 2018


For the record, the main reason I don't think the Good Place exists is that the show is all about moral effort, and more and more about the limitations of any system that attempts to assign the "good" or "bad" label to living, changing beings. I feel that the conclusion that Goodness is an ongoing struggle, not a state of being, and is ultimately its own reward would work very well here. (Also for the record, I suspected they were in the Bad Place from the first ads for S1 and was surprised more people didn't.) But I'm sure there are many twists and turns still to come. This show pleases me.
posted by praemunire at 11:36 AM on October 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


phearlez: Some amount of fudging seems to make sense, but blowing up the whole system? Does the afterlife not just exist outside of time but lack any actual coherent time itself? Because everyone who ever died is in it, and just blowing it all up... when does it blow up? Blowing it up after conscious beings have been tortured for eternities already... is that really an acceptable solution?

By "blowing it up" I don't mean "all go BOOM," but abolishing the massively unfair credit system that assigns people to an eternal fate without allowing the possibility for change. Figuring out a way to allow those who have passed an opportunity to improve themselves if they so choose.

I think there will be ripple effects from a lot of what's happening this season, both on earth (with Team Cockroach assembled but an added Trevor twist) and in the afterlife (that thoughtful gift Michael leaves the doorman will have consequences). For change to be possible, time has to come into play somehow.

They are altering the very structure of the physical and metaphysical universe.

On preview, what praemunire suggests would also fit here, but I think the show will do more than just reveal that The Good Place is about moral effort. The Bad Place will be transformed as well. That's my guess, anyway.
posted by Superplin at 12:04 PM on October 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


By "blowing it up" I don't mean "all go BOOM," but abolishing the massively unfair credit system that assigns people to an eternal fate without allowing the possibility for change. Figuring out a way to allow those who have passed an opportunity to improve themselves if they so choose.

I understood what you meant and meant the same thing. My point was just that from a storytelling standpoint that's fine that we're focused in on these four individuals (six if we include the growth of Michael and Janet) and if they upend an existing awful system and leave something better in its place, great. But once the story stops being about these few people and their fate and moves on to changing things for everyone we have to reckon with the larger reality that we sort of all agree not to look directly at because otherwise we'd be screaming in horror the whole time. The stomach aches that Michael's setup gave Chidi sort of fall by the wayside when we think about the fact that Fred Rogers has been spending the years since his death being burned by a walking lava monster.

Then aside from the fact that we need to stop this insanity, we have an afterlife with workers who have the capacity to dip back into "reality" at whatever historical time they want and twiddle things. They don't, normally, out of concern for the repercussions. But if they can and we actually finally fully face the torture being dumped eternally on 99.99999% of everyone who ever lived, how do you show a solution that doesn't go back to the very beginning and undoes it all? If you don't it's a tragedy beyond human comprehension.
posted by phearlez at 1:30 PM on October 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


Okay, a few points:

1. Mr. Rogers is definitely in the Good Place, how dare you suggest otherwise

2. We do know that at least some people do make it into the Good Place-- Michael says all the presidents but Lincoln didn't, so Lincoln is in, and I feel like there were a few other names dropped.

3. Given that Team Cockroach has had their memories erased over 800 times, there is actually an easy fix for the people already in the Bad Place, if it comes to that.
posted by nonasuch at 4:36 PM on October 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


how do you show a solution that doesn't go back to the very beginning and undoes it all? If you don't it's a tragedy beyond human comprehension.

Yeah that's why I'm hoping their (the writers') ultimate goal is to get The Big Whatever to admit that any kind of punishment after death is ridiculous and completely abolish the Bad Place, in all its forms, for all belief systems, forever.

When they get the inevitable shitstorm of criticism from religious nutcases who never watched the show, but heard that it was somehow "offensive to religious people" from someone who read on InfoWars that The Good Place finale said that "faith is stupid and wrong" (which is not what it will have said), they can trot out the "it's just a silly TV show" excuse that infuriates me when it's used by, say, the writers of something that looked like it was GOING to make sense (the list is too long to include). In that particular instance, and in no others, I would be behind them 100%.
posted by tzikeh at 5:25 PM on October 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't know that there ever needs to be a coherent structure to the narrative universe, frankly. The point of the show isn't an exploration of the world the characters inhabit, like say, LOST: it's about how the humans help each other grow no matter what universe they inhabit.

Hell isn't other people: Other people is the only chance we have.

It'd be like getting through all the Harry Potter books only to be told at the end that all that close third person POV on Harry didn't matter, because Harry wasn't real and the whole series was actually about Dumbledore testing out a possible prophecy scenario or something. It's meta to the point of meaninglessness.

*cough*

I don't want to spill Harry Potter in your Good Place but... uh... in Harry Potter Lore or whatever, it's actually kind of significant that the destruction of Voldemort's final Horcrux came didn't come from Harry Potter at all. It came from a sweet-natured, fat, little moron that also fit all of the "child that survived" prophetic checkbox but people never really considered as all that important because they were clearly all part of Harry Potter's story.

To bring it back around to the Good Place: I hate theorycrafting and speculation, but I'm also not a huge fan about arguing over unwritten scripts. That said, so far I would trust the writers to pull of anything.

Is the idea that a demon that is literally antagonistic to humankind can grow to love them and be changed by them simply by living along side them and understanding their experiences a compelling one? It is, especially in Times Such as These.

But, so far these writers continually are smarter and funnier than me, so I'm not going to expend a lot of calories on trying to guess where they are going, and fewer still taking the tongs to potential forks they might possibly take.
posted by absalom at 5:56 PM on October 2, 2018 [4 favorites]




FURIOUS
posted by rhizome at 7:17 PM on October 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


Furious is excessive, but I did find it distractedly bad, which is why I was pondering if there was actually a "real" reason for it being set in Australia (not just that that is where Chidi was based) that would explain why the accents are so bad.
posted by liquorice at 7:34 PM on October 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


All your sins count backwards in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s just science.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:44 PM on October 2, 2018 [5 favorites]


I love terrible Australian accents. I do one myself!
posted by rhizome at 8:11 PM on October 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


It came from a sweet-natured, fat, little moron

HOLY COW, FIGHT ME!!!!
posted by praemunire at 9:43 PM on October 2, 2018 [5 favorites]


> "The moment where Eleanor said she never cared much for Kamilah and Tahani kind of blushed convinces me that we'll FINALLY get that ship going for real this season"

Yeah, me too. I mean, the attraction has been clear for a while now, but that was some SERIOUS vibe there.
posted by kyrademon at 7:50 AM on October 3, 2018 [3 favorites]


I just noticed that Tahani is wearing cargo pants in this episode!
posted by expialidocious at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2018 [9 favorites]


I just noticed that Tahani is wearing cargo pants in this episode!

She'll also be wearing flats all season, because Jameela screwed up her ankle playing tennis like a week before they started shooting.
posted by Etrigan at 7:53 PM on October 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


"The moment where Eleanor said she never cared much for Kamilah and Tahani kind of blushed convinces me that we'll FINALLY get that ship going for real this season"

Yeah, they're gonna shake that up a bit. I think this is the season!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:33 PM on October 3, 2018


There is no Good Place, you heard it here first.

Then where does Janet come from?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:56 AM on October 4, 2018


Then where does Janet come from?

When a Judge and a demon love each other very much, they share a special kind of hug...
posted by Etrigan at 7:28 AM on October 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


Then where does Janet come from?

The *best* place.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:41 AM on October 4, 2018 [12 favorites]


we'll FINALLY get that ship going for real this season

Honestly if we don’t and instead we just get an entire season of queer baiting it will ruin the entire show for me

Like it has raised my expectations to the point where I expect TGP to treat marginalized groups like actual people, so now...I expect them to treat marginalized groups like actual people
posted by schadenfrau at 7:57 AM on October 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


Then where does Janet come from?

The storage area in a neutral pocket dimension over near accounting.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:00 AM on October 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


Then where does Janet come from?

The storage area in a neutral pocket dimension over near accounting.


But "neutral" implies that it's between "good" and "bad". If everyone goes to the Bad Place, then there's no need for Good Janets.

I think the most likely twist-type reveal of the Good Place is Rinku's theory that it's empty because all good people want to save everyone else, or possibly because the requirements to go to the Good Place are functionally impossible. (for example, James Morrow wrote a novel based on this (I think it was Only Begotten Daughter) -- its rule was that the only requirement to go to Hell is that anyone believes you should go to Hell; because there is more than one religion that says "Only adherents of this religion go to Heaven", then everyone goes to Hell).
posted by Etrigan at 8:16 AM on October 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


Honestly if we don’t and instead we just get an entire season of queer baiting it will ruin the entire show for me

Like it has raised my expectations to the point where I expect TGP to treat marginalized groups like actual people, so now...I expect them to treat marginalized groups like actual people


To be fair, how long were Ross And Rachel drawn out for? HIMYM?
posted by rhizome at 9:20 AM on October 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


NYT article on the show.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:10 AM on October 4, 2018 [9 favorites]


The article above is fantastic!!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:57 AM on October 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


NYT article on the show.

I love the intro bit about how hard Ted Danson (or, as he is referred to later, "literally Ted Danson") thinks through and practices his hand movements. It makes sense both from acting and character standpoints -- we've seen that Michael doesn't have the same spontaneous movements that humans do, so his mannerisms are very... mannered, in the sense that he has to consciously create every little fluttering of his fingers.
posted by Etrigan at 12:04 PM on October 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


that article is amazing. not the least of which is the jibe at TBBT about using science as a cliche for jokes, which is one of many reasons i detest that show, and why TGP is so wonderful.
posted by numaner at 2:05 PM on October 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


From The Verge's Noah Berlatsky, The Good Place is really about rethinking policing and prisons:
The Good Place, though, asks its fans to interrogate the morality — not of the imprisoned, but of the forces that want to lock them away, out of sight and mind. Do we imprison people to help them become better human beings? Or do we imprison them because, like the demons, we get pleasure out of moral superiority and having power over those we’ve dismissed as beneath us?

Prisons, both on and off television, are a primary means of enforcing morality and achieving justice. They’re where we separate wrong from right. They’re how we bring our plot arcs to a satisfying resolution. It’s as though society has designated prison as a form of The Good Place where debts are paid and stories end righteously. But maybe, the show suggests, the truth is more complicated, and society needs to rethink whether it’s possible for prisons to help criminals reform, learn morality, or otherwise improve themselves. Maybe they’re just The Bad Place where the punishments are arbitrary, cruel, and incapable of creating meaningful change.
posted by yasaman at 3:03 PM on October 4, 2018 [9 favorites]


That Verge article is really interesting. I'm not sure I concur that it's what TGP is really about, but certainly the question of what the point is of the afterlife (and any structure in it) has to come up at some point. Maybe? Maybe we can all just tilt our head to the side and rest on our assumption that consciousness is so ipso facto valuable that of course it must continue on after death, so you have to put those minds somewhere. I'd bet it's something Schurr is keeping in his back pocket, though.
posted by phearlez at 11:01 AM on October 5, 2018


Interview with William Jackson Harper (Chidi): The Good Place’s Eleanor is ‘super bisexual’ and a romance with Tahani is not off the table

Best news ever!

OMGWHATISWITHTHOSEAUSTRALIANACCENTS
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:43 AM on October 6, 2018


I'm extremely disturbed by the useless things that I remember... but the first time I actually died laughing trying to pronounce Aristotle and Chipotle the same way was after a comment by Greg Nog:

*Whose bust was it? the captioning obscured it, I assumed Dante?

It's partially-obscured by blood but ends in "otle" so it's probably either Aristotle or Chipotle
posted by Greg Nog at 12:55 AM on June 5, 2015 [−] [!]

posted by bobobox at 9:51 AM on October 6, 2018 [9 favorites]


Then where does Janet come from?

When a Judge and a demon love each other very much, they share a special kind of hug...


Everytime a windchime rings, another Janet is born
posted by littlesq at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


littlesq, good call. But I think a Janet is born every time Derek's wind chimes ring thanks to Mindy St. Clair. Well, not really but I like the idea.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:20 AM on February 2


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