The Good Place: Most Improved Player
October 27, 2016 8:16 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Michael tries to get to know the real Eleanor before his Bad Place counterpart Trevor (special guest star Adam Scott!) claims her.
posted by Small Dollar (28 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, that episode. Just wow.

I do wonder what the heck this show is going to do in the future. Like what would it do in a season 2?

Poor Eleanors.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:50 PM on October 27, 2016 [8 favorites]

I honestly don't know if this is good parenting or not, but my seven-year-old is OBSESSED with this show, between the bright poppy colors and the surreal chaos (giant sky shrimp!) and the absurdism of Michael and Janet. He's been having a lot of questions about morality from watching the show and is very interested in whether Eleanor is a good person or a bad person, and whether she's allowed to change from a bad person into a good person.

Also we spent all evening offering one another cacti.

(Also the afterlife has a steam train so what's not to like?)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:25 PM on October 27, 2016 [33 favorites]

Oh boy, that last scene was a doozy.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 1:25 AM on October 28, 2016

Curious whether The Bad Place has sanded some rough edges into the "real" Eleanor, as it were.

Possibly this is also an indication that I am a bad person. But also feel like Chidi getting stuck with someone as pure and saccharine as the real Eleanor is supposed to be might begin to wear on him now that he's got used to the taste of adventure.
posted by Diablevert at 8:12 AM on October 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

I think more like it's instilled or awoken in him a sense of justice that he didn't act on very much during his time on Earth, and he isn't going to be able to ignore the suffering that goes on in The Bad Place.
posted by Small Dollar at 9:01 AM on October 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Is this the most novelistic sitcom ever produced in the US? The structure of it is so unexpected.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 9:59 AM on October 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

This the kind of great, enigmatic comedy Pushing Daisies would have been, if not for that writers' strike.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:51 PM on October 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

Such a great episode. I still think we're in the Medium Place where everyone's supposed to become better.

I loved Janet's cactus gag!

And Adam Scott was great. That whole speech on the train was one of the most delightful pieces of writing I've seen in a long time: innumerable stops for no reason, the temperature bumps one degree every time you think about how hot it is, the dining car only serves room temperature manhattan clam chowder (ewwww) and it's closed (ha!).

Curious to see how the new Eleanor works in.
posted by mochapickle at 3:21 PM on October 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh! Oh! I almost forgot! When Trevor told her to SMILE, I mentally high-fived the writers. Because people who tell you to smile really do belong in the Bad Place.
posted by mochapickle at 5:15 PM on October 28, 2016 [39 favorites]

Mini McGee Review: "My favorite thing was when Janet was murdered and kept saying Hello [last week] and then kept giving everyone cactuses."

"Is Eleanor a good person or a bad person?"

"Eleanor is pretty nice now. She was a bad person on earth. But I think she should get to stay in the Good Place because it seems nice but I don't know if she's a good enough person to be in the Good Place."

He says his favorite character is Eleanor, although "Chidi is cool too."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:04 PM on October 28, 2016 [12 favorites]

Last week, when Eleanor got up and confessed at the very end of the episode, I was really annoyed I had to wait a week to see what happened. The one thing I would have put money on was I'd seen the biggest finale of the season.

Nope, they topped it this very episode. I have no clue what they do now . . .
posted by mark k at 9:06 PM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

It may be just me but I was struck by how 1% of people get all the spoils and the rest get screwed---in the afterlife, that is.
posted by Monochrome at 11:41 PM on October 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wait, if he was bringing the Good Eleanor back, why was the train already moving?
posted by Etrigan at 1:12 AM on October 29, 2016 [12 favorites]

Well, Michael didn't specifically ask for her back, in which case he'd have handed her over. I expect he thought it was more fun to keep her and then use her as a bargaining chip. It's not as if he's under any obligation to be nice.
posted by Grangousier at 4:08 AM on October 29, 2016 [16 favorites]

Or maybe it's a fake good Eleanor. Trevor clearly likes to mess with Michael.

When Janet finally handed Michael the files on Eleanor, did anyone else expect it to just be a bunch of photos of cacti?
posted by bjrn at 11:50 AM on October 29, 2016 [16 favorites]

If it's not a fake Eleanor, when was the handoff going to be? Would Demonic Adam Scott just throw her out of the moving train?

..... Probably, yeah.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:49 PM on October 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've been wondering about Jason (Jianyu). He was all set to confess how he doesn't belong, but after being prevented just seemed to forget about it. It finally made sense when he offhandedly mentioned that Janet can get weed -- he's been stoned the entire time. I kinda can't believe I didn't see it sooner. He was always vaguely happy, out of it, and just didn't care deeply about anything.

Eleanor had her big "I don't belong" announcement, but I think Jason will just finally blather something that doesn't get covered up.
posted by Margalo Epps at 6:29 PM on October 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

...which means his supply might be cut off, unless those cacti have special properties.
posted by amtho at 8:28 AM on October 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was already in love with this show and then they went ahead and wrote me a love letter back, because YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT HAWAIIAN IS THE WORST PIZZA.

(I also love that the unacknowledged Bad Place people had (a) a bluetooth phone, (b) a selfie stick, and (c) what looked like a vape pen/fur coat twofer with them.)

Also also, has anyone counted how many Beyoncé references there have been so far?
posted by psoas at 7:26 PM on October 31, 2016 [12 favorites]

Even if this show was just its cliffhangers, I'd be on board. But it's so much more. All the people who will discover this on a streaming service at the end of the season are so lucky because they will get to binge.* We're way behind in TV this fall because of new jobs and baseball and such, but this is the show we always chose to watch if there's an episode in the queue.

* Because of that, it really does feel like a show made for Netflix, which is really funny considering NBC actually picked it up. (see: the production history of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt )
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:48 AM on November 2, 2016 [6 favorites]

I went out and bought a little cactus and when my seven-year-old came home from school and said, "Mom, can I have a snack?" I pulled it out from behind my back and handed it to him. There was a long pause, then he shouted, "THAT'S A CACTUS JANET!" and collapsed laughing. My whole afternoon has now been children offering me objects that all turn out to be a cactus, high comedy. :D
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:56 PM on November 8, 2016 [116 favorites]

You have introduced a 7 year old child to the concept of adsurdism, soon he will be growing and waxing a pencil moustache and melting all the clocks.
posted by Diablevert at 3:06 PM on November 8, 2016 [27 favorites]

(I would just like to pop in here to note that for my birthday, my 7-year-old gave me an oddly-wrapped present which, upon opening, turned out to be a cactus. "THAT'S A CACTUS, JANET!" I shrieked in delight. The circle is complete.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:22 PM on March 13, 2017 [50 favorites]

This show just keeps on giving!

(And happy birthday!)
posted by mochapickle at 9:38 PM on March 13, 2017

A+ parenting and childing. Gold cacti stars for everyone!

And a belated happy birthday from me too!
posted by bjrn at 1:26 PM on March 20, 2017

Oh! Oh! I almost forgot! When Trevor told her to SMILE, I mentally high-fived the writers. Because people who tell you to smile really do belong in the Bad Place.
posted by mochapickle at 8:15 PM on October 28, 2016 [13 favorites +] [!]

In the pilot, when they're showing all the positive and negative point values, asking a woman to smile loses one the exact same amount that a lifetime devotion to the Cleveland Browns earns one.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:04 AM on September 30, 2017 [7 favorites]

Evil Asshole Adam Scott is the best Adam Scott. It's like he's doing an extended riff on that weird Emo Jerk Peter Parker scene from Spider-man 3.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:36 AM on November 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

Ugh, right? What kind of monster would go and ruin a perfectly good pizza with HAM?
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:01 PM on February 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

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