The Good Place: The Brainy Bunch
October 4, 2018 5:49 PM - Season 3, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Michael is forced to take drastic measures when his grand scheme hits a snag.

So this is technically episode 2, based on IMDB and NBC. But if you go by actual chapters of the show, this is the 3rd chapter of this season, and we've followed this in the past, so I'm going with that precedent.
posted by numaner (91 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
- "the lemon bars are just sinful", oh Trevor!
- It's fact now, you're a demon if you sincerely say "dank meme" unironically
- pure gold bra! I guess Tahani didn't take her retreat from possessions very seriously
- hahaha Mrs Teacher
- "The power to swell up my hands!"
- Michael needs to work on his comeback against Trevor-- oh he's working on it! ... He still needs to work on it.
- Oh my god that sounds like the worst restaurant. "I think the gun is real!"
- Unwanted team sweaters, Trevor is truly evil.
- JANET
- "Humans spend so much of their lives just waiting for things to be over!"
- Jason is like the perfect pet for Trevor to play with
- I thought Janet would show more jealousy for Jason and Tahani
- Our soft feet are pretty useless I guess
- Chidi's not gonna question why the librarian is dressed like Dick Tracy?
- Wow it's all falling apart so quickly!
- ewwww poop hands
- awww Jason, you dumb gentleman
- Simone is so great. I love Simone.
- I missed the brand on the chips! Was it funny??
- Dammit I ship Chidi and Eleanor so bad but this friendship is also so good!
- Reeeeally needs to work on that comeback Michael
- Oh no Judge Gen! Oh wait doorman. Faucets are pretty cool when you think about it.
- AAAHHHH YES JUDGE FLICKED TREVOR INTO A VOID
- HAHAHAHAHA the ripple effects are our real world!
- BORTLES!
- those shoulder arm shrugs!
- "Is that bad?" "I don't know! But it's weird man!"
- The frog mug worked!
- I forgot his name is Jeff! Go Jeff!
posted by numaner at 6:02 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Seasons really do go by in episodes on this show, huh
posted by flatluigi at 6:04 PM on October 4 [15 favorites]


There has never been a more comforting phrase spoken than "I'm Janet. I'll be taking care of you tonight."
posted by MrBadExample at 6:15 PM on October 4 [20 favorites]


The manifest destiny package! England left Europe...and the Jacksonville Jaguars are good now! Janet has a printer queue! As with last season, the premiere was a great welcome back, but episode 2 is where the plot-exploding engine really starts to get going. I'm not a big fan of the repeated love triangle setups, but I have faith this show will exceed my expectations in the matter.
posted by karayel at 6:26 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


Also I love that Jason is so dumb and pure that he alone can turn Trevor's awful presence into fuel for delight. I'm concerned about all those Australian spider bites, though.
posted by karayel at 6:27 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


Holy accelerando Batman! And a shout out to Byron Allen owning the Weather Channel!
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:34 PM on October 4


Holy wow I was NOT enjoying the whole Trevor-Michael-Janet dynamic on earth (plus it made me so nervous, what can I say, I take Judge Gen's directives seriously) but I kept telling myself "it's okay, it's The Good Place, they'll move past this soon" and I was right. Masterful, masterful writing.
posted by mosst at 6:58 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


I love that Eleanor didn't take any of Trevor's bait. My heart sank when Chidi being susceptible to Trevor made Eleanor give up. Eleanor is so close! And she's come so far!
posted by Monochrome at 7:09 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


I love that Trevor is a formidable opponent; it's so much more fun seeing Michael and Janet up against someone clever. It's absolutely masterful writing! The payoffs are so gratifying, and they usually are so quick.

I wonder if Janet can eat on Earth? That would be nice for her!
posted by gladly at 7:13 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


I love that the two “couples” still find themselves drawn to each other in the bizarro post-resurrection scheme. Michael utilized the soulmate device as a torture tool but it seems to be rooted in truth.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:41 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


AUS Weekly, featuring the Hems-worthless brother (who appears to be a doctor).
posted by Etrigan at 7:54 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Given that, from the judge's chambers, Michael steps out onto the middle of the bridge, any guesses on what's on the opposite side of the bridge from the Earth door?
posted by Rinku at 8:07 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


This felt like a table-setting episode. They’ve taken so much away they have do a lot of work to reestablish a recognizable dynamic among the characters. It’s more effortful than any Good Place episode so far.

Also some of the gags with the “American” restaurant were funny enough, but they felt like gags. That’s a problem. Trevor being cringeworthy and annoying was, well, annoying. Also a problem.

Overall, the little fake universe of season 1 and most of season 2 was a perfect setting. It was inherently satiric, because it was made by demons. I’m not sure why Australia is satiric, though, and I’m not quite sure why the 4 are there, or that they know why they are there.

Lots of time to regain its footing, though. Fingers crossed.
posted by argybarg at 9:28 PM on October 4 [9 favorites]


I’m not sure why Australia is satiric, though, and I’m not quite sure why the 4 are there

It just happens to be where Chidi died, and having the 3 go to him works out better for their moral lessons because at least 2 of them, Jason and Eleanor, need to be away from their home environment. It's not satiric, but Trevor was purposely bringing The Bad Place to them, via that horrible restaurant.
posted by numaner at 11:37 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


I think I saw the Church Lady on a table. Truly that restaurant is a microcosm of the Bad Place.
posted by rewil at 11:56 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


So now Michael and Janet are pretty much stuck on earth, right? If they go back, they are the metaworldly version of dead.

This could play out in SO MANY WAYS. I am so excited!
posted by tracicle at 1:10 AM on October 5


I am sort of worried if Janet ever does go back that she and anyone nearby will get crushed by her printer output.
Given how much there was from just this short visit...
posted by nat at 1:54 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Trevor made me have to cringe and pause a couple of times like I was watching the UK Office. But that's my own weakness. These people getting tortured is much better TV than them getting along and we musn't weaken our resolve to have them be made miserable by whatever means necessary.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:32 AM on October 5


So now Michael and Janet are pretty much stuck on earth, right?

I mean... They were handed the Doorman's keys, after all... Must be good for something? ;)
posted by bigendian at 4:03 AM on October 5


The doorman is reluctant police officer and aspiring bowling pro Stuart from My Name is Earl and it's always good to see him.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:10 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]


I have to admit I'm not as enthralled by this season so far. I'm not feeling quite the sense of wonderment as I did before. There's less of that "surprise around every corner" or "blink and you'll miss it" feeling that I felt in the previous seasons. Maybe it's because the team are back on Earth?

One (really tiny) instance that started me off on the wrong foot came in the first episode with the "We Crumb From the Land Down Under" gag. It struck me as being too in-you-face. In the past, the signage gags were viewable but more in the background. Like easter eggs, in a small way. The "Crumb" gag was shot more like the sign was the focus of the scene, with the camera pretty much aimed right up at it. You couldn't miss it. It's a funny gag, of course, but it kind of felt more like fan service to me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying the show. I guess it's just that the story doesn't seem quite as magical as before? There's less of that "peeling the layers of the onion only to discover it's a banana" aspect. I guess I feel less like I'm on the roller coaster with the team and more like a viewer this time around?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:19 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Per the podcast:

A) They all think that Simone's Australian accent is excellent. No, really.

2) I didn't even notice, but Simone says to Chidi, "You didn't sleep at all last night", indicating that they're essentially cohabiting.

C) Eleanor is staying at the "Waltzing Motel-da".
posted by Etrigan at 6:11 AM on October 5 [9 favorites]


I'm fine with whether or not Eleanor/Chidi date or stay friends, it's all good for me*, but this made me feel sad a bit when Eleanor wanted to hang with Chidi alone more and he didn't.

* though we should probably note that "GP" hookups were limited to a very few options.


Trevor was working it tonight, and then there were his hands.

Poor Michael isn't good at devastating burns, for a demon.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:04 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


re devastating burns, none of the demons are actually that good at them (though Trevor is better). They use things like "dummies" "idiots" etc. which are pretty weaksauce.

I mean, they can't go into creative profanity on NBC, but also I like to think that creativity is a human thing and demons just aren't that creative. (Maybe angels aren't either?)

Which is why Michael's neighborhood idea was so out of the norm, and why I can't decide if he's really a demon that's changing, some incarnation of the Almighty on a lark, or something else.

Janet looked a little haggard in her waitress garb. Because she's on Earth or because pigtails are just unflattering for her? I felt sad about that and then relieved when she was back in her 1970s Stewardess Janet garb.

The most creative bit this time was the revelation that her powers back up like a printer queue.
posted by emjaybee at 7:25 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]


I mean, they can't go into creative profanity on NBC, but also I like to think that creativity is a human thing and demons just aren't that creative.

There was a conversation on the podcast about how Trevor's line about blowing and blasting etc. made it past the censors. The conclusion seems to be that "fork" and "shirt" bought them a lot of free space to experiment with not-technically-profanity. Also that Kristen Bell has a "What's up, dongbait?" T-shirt.
posted by Etrigan at 7:30 AM on October 5


AV Club Review.

"Rudolph makes Gen a figure of genial, even sentimental amorality in the service of supposed impartiality. Remember when the Judge teared up at the Facebook video she made of her brief time together with the four people she was about to send to hell? That chilling mix of personal mushiness with institutional coldness runs through the episode here, just as it’s lurked through every episode of The Good Place. If the so-called arbiters of good and evil can recognize, and even embody, human faults without sympathy for those struggling against them, then we have to ask again, what the fuck sort of moral system is this?

Gen, hurling Janet’s heap of human wishes after Trevor into the void, is cast as the villain, not because anything she’s done is wrong, but because the system she’s enforcing appears rigged against anyone who steps out of line. (Remember, we have never received reliable information about a single person who’s racked up enough points to make it to the Good Place.) And so The Good Place blows itself up again, and, as it’s done repeatedly throughout, it does so by leaping through a door before we expect it."

posted by jenfullmoon at 7:31 AM on October 5 [8 favorites]


I love this show so much. They set the bar so high in the first two seasons that any drop-off in quality is barely a problem for me, and I'm definitely one of those annoying people who rate shows with "After episode $NAME the quality dropped off." TGP has bought a LOT of spare room in my heart and I'm just happy it exists.
posted by tzikeh at 7:47 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Jameela Jamil: 'My Career Is Not Reflected By The Size Of My Body' - Alyssa Edes, Ari Shapiro for NPR
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:19 AM on October 5 [7 favorites]


The doorman is reluctant police officer and aspiring bowling pro Stuart from My Name is Earl and it's always good to see him.

That's Mike O'Malley, who was also wonderful as Kurt's devoted father on Glee.

(Also he had one of the lead roles on Yes, Dear, an early 2000s sitcom which ran for six seasons, but from the few episodes I saw of that it looked like a pretty standard sitcom, so don't feel bad if you missed that.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:40 AM on October 5 [9 favorites]


That's Mike O'Malley, who was also wonderful as Kurt's devoted father on Glee.

If you dont know him as the host of Nickelodeon's GUTS, i dont want to know you.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:47 AM on October 5 [16 favorites]


“Every part of my body is either too dry or too wet”

Mine too.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:18 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Was Maya Rudolph improving? Her character seemed off, but not in a good way.
posted by codacorolla at 9:43 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


dat look

amazing

a bunch of the acting has been a tiny bit off, like they're rushing takes or something??
posted by zeek321 at 9:56 AM on October 5


Her character seemed off, but not in a good way.

I'd buy an unflappable immortal being getting really flapped for the first time in eternity by unexpected Brexit, Bortles, and/or Byron.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:16 AM on October 5 [12 favorites]


I loved Megatron in this episode but I'm glad they didn't stretch that out.
posted by Query at 10:26 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I felt like this one had more "improv" in it, or maybe just seat-of-pants directing.
posted by rhizome at 10:36 AM on October 5


"We librarians have an old saying: you can only have one male in a study, so you should keep the one who showed up first."
"Catchy."
posted by Mogur at 10:37 AM on October 5 [12 favorites]


If you dont know him as the host of Nickelodeon's GUTS, i dont want to know you.

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:37 AM on October 5 [9 favorites]




Trevor induces a crisis in Chidi's mind by raising the ethical question of interfering in an experiment, reflecting exactly what Michael and Janet are doing.

I feel like they are just trolling us with the accents now, with Trevor's deliberate bad takes and Michael seemingly forgetting to turn on his Australian Librarian accent until he is three to five words in.
posted by mikepop at 11:19 AM on October 5 [15 favorites]


Janet looked a little haggard in her waitress garb. Because she's on Earth or because pigtails are just unflattering for her?

She has to WALK and GET THINGS and WALK BACK; that's what we all look like here on Earth because it absolutely does suck and we're all waiting for it to be over.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:16 PM on October 5 [42 favorites]


Sorry, you guys think that's the real Australia? The place where Eleanor is staying has a huge picture of a koala on the wall. C'mon! No chance it's not some supernatural construct IMO.
posted by runcibleshaw at 1:18 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Sorry, you guys think that's the real Australia?

There aren't places in Indiana where people put their whole mouths over water fountains, or that consider HBO to be a utility. It's a Mike Schur show. Shirt's just weird all over.
posted by Etrigan at 1:24 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


I'm not super feeling the 'back on earth' plotline, but I trust they'll make it work. My ultimate wish is for Team Cockroach to get all the memories of all the reboots back.
posted by lovecrafty at 2:39 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Agreed, to have the Good Place thrown out and never revisited feels sad. It was such a sweet off-kilter jewel box of a setting, and it bound the characters together. Earth feels mundane and scattered by comparison.
posted by argybarg at 2:48 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


I was really hoping the American restaurant was going to be an Outback Steakhouse.
posted by stet at 2:59 PM on October 5 [28 favorites]


pigtails are just unflattering for her

YOU SHUT YOUR WORD HOLE. Horrible American Restaurant Waitress Janet is perfection and my new imaginary girlfriend.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:07 PM on October 5 [15 favorites]


My favorite thing about this episode was probably Chidi with the gun pager.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:16 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


But if you go by actual chapters of the show, this is the 3rd chapter of this season, and we've followed this in the past, so I'm going with that precedent.

Have we though? The chapter numbers aren't in any of the Fanfare thread titles, seems like it's only the podcast episodes that are using the chapter #'s as titles. I think it's going to be problematic being one episode number off of imdb and any recap/review sites as the season goes on, or for people catching up via Netflix after the season is over.

I still love this show enormously, but I agree with the criticisms of the Australia setting, especially after listening to this week's podcast. The writer joked about the writers' room not knowing anything about Australia, and I guess they think that doing things like having a koala poster on Eleanor's wall just hangs a lamp on it, but, it doesn't really work. Like, they can pull off all of the ridiculous Florida jokes because 'Florida Man' is a thing and Jason's spectacularly wonderful stupidity has been established. But they can't really pull off a heightened/satirized version of a place they know nothing about, and unless this is all leading up to some big twist reveal, it just pulls me out of the story a bit.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:55 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Agreeing with others that this episode felt a little bit more strained and labored than any other episode so far. I tried to figure out who directed it, because it felt tonally different. But I guess that has as much to do with the writing and editing as the directing, and both of those are pretty controlled by Schur. And really, they were trying to do A LOT in one episode, which is not usually what the show does (even with the fast-paced plotting in Season 2, it was pretty much one big theme plus cliffhanger per episode). This episode had Trevor meddling, Michael and Janet on earth, Eleanor and Chidi growing apart AND the return of Judge Gen all in 21 minutes.

Hopefully it's just a one-episode blip, because I really enjoyed last week.
posted by lunasol at 5:29 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Agree with the comments above. Not quite feeling this season right now and it seems mainly to do with the Australian setting. The environment still feels so artificial and satirical (and hopefully that’s intentional for a reveal later...) but it currently pulls me out of the story they’re trying to tell.
posted by liquorice at 5:29 PM on October 5


"England left Europe"
If only it was just England leaving. Also, they clearly chickened out of the obvious Trump joke here.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:15 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


My favorite thing about this episode was probably Chidi with the gun pager.

Harper was so good in this episode, especially his tired line readings. Chidi answering the phantom knock in Eleanor's hotel room was such a funny moment, and I feel like I didn't get a chance to appreciate all his bits.
posted by gladly at 6:40 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]


I loved this episode. Jason trying to take a spider into the MRI machine? Trevor being utterly vile. That restaurant was such a beautiful send-up of offensive theme restaurants everywhere. And I can't wait to see how things play out now that Janet and Michael are fugitives on earth without their powers.

Plenty of people seem a tiny bit disappointed with S3 so far. I'm not one of them: it's absolutely living up to my high expectations of the show.
posted by simonw at 7:48 PM on October 5 [15 favorites]


My problem with this season is less to do with the over-the-top version of the Australian setting and more to do with some character habit stuff and it feeling like the human characters have become the best versions of themselves without having done the work.

I don't think Chidi could be making decisions so quickly, involving so many unknowns. I can see a simulation existing where Chidi wants to think he is capable of quickly making decisions and sticking to them, though.

Eleanor seems like she's a version of herself she'd want to be without having done the work too. Earthly Eleanor was never shown to have the type of money or credit to fly to Australia on short notice and stay for weeks/months on end. She 100% would have told Trevor to fork off. Her reaction to Chidi not being her friend or not spending one on one time with her would have been bigger and way less reasonable.

If Gen as The Judge is above Michael in the hierarchy then I don't know why she wouldn't do a simulation where the humans get to be better/best versions of themselves and put Michael in it with them and make him do the heavy lifting for once.

Of course, I also keep hoping Janet is actually the supreme being character.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:53 PM on October 5


"England left Europe"
If only it was just England leaving. Also, they clearly chickened out of the obvious Trump joke here.


It actually bothered me that they did this as a throwaway joke in a show whose worldbuilding is set up around ethical examination. Like, if the ripple effect consists partly of decade-definingly terrible things, why isn't that what the episode is about?
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:42 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Of course printers work the same way in the Bad Place as they do on Earth.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:12 AM on October 6 [10 favorites]


> "My problem with this season is less to do with the over-the-top version of the Australian setting and more to do with some character habit stuff and it feeling like the human characters have become the best versions of themselves without having done the work."

But they have done the work. We're not watching them restart from zero at this point. We're watching them after a full year of work trying to be better people. Then they backslid, sure, but that year still exists. Eleanor is being played as a lot nicer than start-of-season-one Eleanor, Chidi is a lot more decisive than start-of-season-one Chidi, etc., and that is clearly a deliberate choice.
posted by kyrademon at 2:44 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


My problem with this season is less to do with the over-the-top version of the Australian setting and more to do with some character habit stuff and it feeling like the human characters have become the best versions of themselves without having done the work.

But we've seen them do the work. They hinted all through S2 that, despite the reboots, the characters were retaining a little bit of their improvement. We saw Eleanor's post-near-death year, and right from the start, she was different from how she'd been before she spent 802 iterations in "The Good Place". Sure, it didn't last, but she was much more willing to change, long after her near-death experience should have faded. As little as we saw of Chidi and Jason and Tahani's years, they all obviously wanted to be different, in ways that were clearly informed by months, years, decades of unknown-to-them evolution.

And they're still not quite the best versions. Chidi is still hesitant. Jason is still thoughtless. Tahani is still a name-dropper. Eleanor is still a little too quick to take offense.
posted by Etrigan at 2:45 AM on October 6 [7 favorites]


Eleanor is eating shrimp chips in her hotel room! SHRIMP CHIPS!
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 6:55 AM on October 6 [12 favorites]


I agree we've seen them do a lot of work and I haven't discounted that because clearly some of the work and changes do stick with the characters through all the rebooting.

There are things that are super in character for Chidi - wanting to get his brain looked at for actual issues, being nervous and worked up about the ethics of hanging around study subjects, etc., Chidi is logical and analytical and feels duty bound by ethics in everything. Old habits die hard and I feel like the way they've leapt forward on him dropping his boring life's work thesis AND jumping into a relationship is kind of a super lot for him and there's no way it doesn't blow up in his face. (To be fair, Simone did check him on not sleeping so maybe it's just that we're only three episodes in to this timeline and I'm annoyed because I feel like there's no way Chidi doesn't get dinked by these two huge decisions.)

Even with all of Eleanor's development I still think she would have told Trevor to fork off with his grossness - the difference would have been that unlike so many instances in the past timelines, Eleanor would have been right. That guy IS horrible.

Jason's character development has been handled more quietly (partially because we haven't been able to see as much of him yet) but it also rings truer to me. He's doing sweet and reflective stuff but it's at the Jason level. Making sure Tahani gets home, sleeping in a dumpster.

I hope we get more Tahani next week. The thing with her not being able to find a calligrapher and doing her own letters was great. Some of the wardrobing on her has been great as well.

The Gen speech was clunky AF. I don't know if that was a mix of scripted and improv or what. (Maya Rudolph is typically better at improv than that?)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:18 AM on October 6


Jason labelling Trevor as Megatron is another in a series of him speaking the truth before anyone (including Jason) knows it.
posted by cardboard at 2:17 PM on October 6 [19 favorites]


“When your table is ready, this gun will go off!”

I haven’t laughed that hard out loud in a while.

And oh man the creepy guy in a group dynamic thing is seriously making my skin crawl
posted by schadenfrau at 5:53 PM on October 6 [8 favorites]


Have we though? The chapter numbers aren't in any of the Fanfare thread titles, seems like it's only the podcast episodes that are using the chapter #'s as titles. I think it's going to be problematic being one episode number off of imdb and any recap/review sites as the season goes on, or for people catching up via Netflix after the season is over.

On the show page we did episode 3 as the second post of the season for seasons 1 and 2, so I was following that. But on review it seems the inconsistency is that season 1 had episodes 1 and 2 in the same hour, and episode 3 was the next week. For season 2 and now season 3, looks like episode 1 is an hour long, with episode 2 being the next one. This also matches up with what Netflix has, which is 13 episodes for season 1 and 12 for season 2. I'll get a mod to fix.
posted by numaner at 12:36 AM on October 7


"England left Europe"
If only it was just England leaving


I'd give me vote for "attempting to be supernaturally prescient" rather than "geographically ignorant" for TGP writers. Let's see where we are in 6 months .
posted by rongorongo at 4:08 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]


This season definitely had two chapter names during the hour-long premiere (as did season 2), and the podcast follows that.
posted by jeather at 8:20 AM on October 7




As usual I was sucked in and only regret that this episode was so short.

My favourite thing thought was the giant Stars and Stripes flag made out of soda cans in the American themed restaurant.

The Props department went above and beyond this episode.
posted by Faintdreams at 7:25 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


I loved Megatron in this episode but I'm glad they didn't stretch that out.

I guffawed by Jason's name dropping of the Transformers, as he gave everyone a name from the show. What made it great was that the only Decepticon name that Jason used was Megatron (top bad guy), which he gave Trevor. OMG. That was damn clever. It made me giggle I loved it so much.

I adored Jason's hope of being bit by a radioactive spider.

I'm still enjoying this show quite a bit.
posted by Atreides at 7:38 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


It actually bothered me that they did this as a throwaway joke in a show whose worldbuilding is set up around ethical examination. Like, if the ripple effect consists partly of decade-definingly terrible things, why isn't that what the episode is about?

If this universe's sorting system is so heinously tilted that most good people still end up tortured with flames and butthole spiders, why are we focusing on these four who have caused legitimate harm to others? We use metaphor/science fiction to examine big things through small things.

Baby Mike O'Malley hosting GUTS yt (1:00 mark)

He is blinking so much in that clip that I wonder if he was actually being held hostage in order to make him do that show.
posted by phearlez at 7:55 AM on October 8


Ahem.

Jason was not giving people those names. He was giving himself those names, for them to call him.

Which makes his use of "Megatron" as the name Trevor should call him all the better -- not only does he "know" that Trevor is bad, but he knows that Trevor isn't the Big Bad. The real question now is... is Jason the Big Bad?
posted by Etrigan at 8:04 AM on October 8 [18 favorites]


I enjoyed this episode. Stand out moments for me were the terrible American themed restaurant, Tahani's apology letters, everything Jason did and The Judge literally flapping about because of all the weird.
posted by Julnyes at 10:48 AM on October 8


That's Mike O'Malley, who was also wonderful as Kurt's devoted father on Glee.

And shooting his friend in the head in Justified.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:26 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


And shooting his friend in the head in Justified.

He's just famous enough as a portly-comic-actor / affable-dad-adjacent-figure that when he wants to get the tiniest bit menacing, it really lands.
posted by Etrigan at 11:27 AM on October 8


Which makes his use of "Megatron" as the name Trevor should call him all the better -- not only does he "know" that Trevor is bad, but he knows that Trevor isn't the Big Bad. The real question now is... is Jason the Big Bad?

OMG.
posted by Atreides at 11:29 AM on October 8


Maybe asking Trevor to call him Megatron implies that Trevor is actually Starscream, i.e. inevitably bound to betray him.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:45 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


My favorite from the menu:

The Mount Rushmore Salad

Four crisp heads of iceburg lettuce, batter dipped and fried, garnished with a 32 ounce chicken fried steak slathered in our world famous rancheeto BBQ gravy. Served with a cup of fruit.

posted by CheeseLouise at 12:37 PM on October 8 [13 favorites]


Wow, the official Good Place podcast is way better than I expected.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:02 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


A) They all think that Simone's Australian accent is excellent. No, really.

The thing about it - speaking as a Londoner with roughly the same experience of Antipodean accents as Kirby Howell-Baptiste - is that it sounds more or less the way Australians I know speak (perhaps a bit less than more), and similarly Dominic Burgess who plays Henry. If you're actually Australian, I'm sure it's unbearable. And it's not clear why they couldn't just cast someone Australian, but Howell-Baptiste seems genial enough and I'm sure she's glad of the work.

(Basically, I suspect she's trying to sound like a character from Neighbours.)

Everybody else is making sounds like people "doing" Australian accents (which, to be fair, they are, even in the context of the series).

Essentially, she's like a middling Hollywood actress putting on an English accent for a cheapo romcom, while everyone else is Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
posted by Grangousier at 1:45 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Trevor isn't the Big Bad

I think Trevor is more at Michael's level than Shawn's, which would mean there's at least a couple of layers above all this that we haven't seen yet
posted by rhizome at 4:05 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


My hardest laugh within this episode was the Manifest Destiny joke.

jenfullmoon, thank you for the link!
Ol' Faithful: $18.50

Every 10 minutes your waiter will fire a blast of our world famous beefy beef chili into your mouth from a fire extinguisher. We will keeping [sic] firing until you tell us to stop!
This is brilliant.
posted by brainwane at 7:06 AM on October 9 [6 favorites]


THERE IS A PAUNCH BURGER ON THE MENU.

Pawnee exists!!
posted by cooker girl at 7:49 AM on October 9 [19 favorites]


Is it just me, or have Janet's and the Judge's speech patterns started to emulate Eleanor's? Lots of "look, man" which I didn't notice in previous seasons.
posted by basalganglia at 5:55 PM on October 9


Mike O'Malley was apparently pretty terrific to the kids who won the Nickelodeon Super Toy Run as well.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 6:58 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


The link to the Nickelodeon interview is broken because of a dumb url shortener; here's the story. Both kids had very positive things to say about Mike O'Malley.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:18 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Pronoiac. I should also note it was featured on the blue as well.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 6:26 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Listening to the podcast, where they play the clip of Trevor revealing he made sweatshirts (which apparently say on the back "I went to Australia and all I got was this lousy sweatshirt, a cross disciplinary study, and a ton of new best friends") and with just the audio I was kind struck how Tevor's enthusiasm plays as sort of a twisted version of Park & Rec's Leslie's (who I could see making sweatshirts in this situation), Jason's unbridled enthusiasm could mirror Andy's and Eleanor's repeated "no. nope. stop talking" a muted April.
posted by mikepop at 8:42 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Sorry, you guys think that's the real Australia? The place where Eleanor is staying has a huge picture of a koala on the wall. C'mon!

Also revealed in the podcast that the name of the motel (never shown) is "Waltzing Motelda" so i think a koala poster fits in, assuming it is a motel that caters to Americans who are expecting stereotypes.
posted by mikepop at 8:51 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Pawnee exists!!

Also, Megan Amram just tweeted "there is LITERALLY a new #TheGoodPlace episode tonight at 8:30 on NBC."

A guest appearance by Rob Lowe would be great on its own. But I'm just going to spend a couple of minutes wishcasting that they'll have him appear as Chris Treager and tie the two worlds together.
posted by dry white toast at 1:56 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


so I'm rewatching season 2 while I get stuff done and I just realized Tahani mentioned Larry Hemsworth before! in The Trolley Problem, when she's having Janet act as a therapist so she can talk to someone about not wanting to talk to anyone about shagging Jason.

"I had a fling with a non-famous Hemsworth brother. But even Larry Hemsworth had more status than Jason."
posted by numaner at 8:14 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


I'm finally catching up on this for the first time and I really, really need an explanation of what visa they're on because it's bothering me (it's my job, ok)

I also would like a flashback of Jason getting his passport photo and applying for his passport and/or anything else that's remotely bureaucratic, thank you in advance show creators
posted by lesser weasel at 9:32 PM on October 19


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