The Good Place: What's My Motivation
January 12, 2017 6:40 PM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Tahani comes up with a plan for Fake Eleanor's defense. Jason confesses to Michael. Chidi has conflicted feelings towards Real Eleanor.

Shawn arrives. Janet starts a gambit.
posted by Small Dollar (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have to say, I love that this show keeps doing interesting things (in this case, Janet's evolution) that I do not at all expect.

And I cannot remember ever seeing a show on network tv this beholden to being watched in order. Even shows with heavy season arcs like Babylon 5 or Buffy had non-arc episodes and had some slop in order watching. There's basically no episode out of the last 5 you could reverse without it being somewhat confusing.
posted by phearlez at 8:21 PM on January 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

And it's nice to finally know what Kevin's doing while Raymond is at the precinct. I enjoy the actor but it would be nice to see him do something where he's not expressing all the emotions from A to B.
posted by phearlez at 8:22 PM on January 12, 2017 [10 favorites]

Damn, those are fantastic looking (world class tiger) prawns in that cocktail glass.

Love Janet's evolution.

Notwithstanding, "I can't hack into the mainframe, I am the mainframe!"
posted by porpoise at 11:46 PM on January 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I genuinely wonder why the two-month (three-month?) hiatus was followed by a mere three weeks of new eps.
posted by Etrigan at 9:02 AM on January 13, 2017

My thoughts on Janet are colored by my thoughts on Aida from Agents of Shield.
posted by amtho at 10:25 AM on January 13, 2017

Yeah, Janet has been an unexpected delight as the show progresses. I also appreciate the gentle, deft hand the show is made with. It would be real easy to go overboard with the campiness, but it manages to stay pretty pure to itself.

I genuinely wonder why the two-month (three-month?) hiatus was followed by a mere three weeks of new eps.

How are the ratings doing? Maybe they're producing episodes close-ish to air, in case they get canceled, so they can put together a quick wrap-up episode? That, or, they were already on the bubble, and NBC only bought three new episodes to see how it goes?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:47 PM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Michael Schur says the 13-episode season was intentional, but having nine in the fall and then four in January is unexplained.
posted by Etrigan at 1:14 PM on January 13, 2017

Michael Schur was the guest on Jonah Keri's podcast* a month or so ago and they discussed the long break in the season. Schur said that the network picked up all 13 episodes from the beginning, and the entire season was plotted out all at once. He said that the 9 episodes, long break, 4 episodes was due to Thursday night football. CBS and NBC split Thursday night football games this season, with CBS taking the first half of the season. When NBC's half of football started in mid-November all of NBC's Thursday night shows went on a break.

*Though the podcast was more wide-ranging than just the Good Place or even Schur's tv work (lots of baseball discussion), I thought it had an interesting discussion of the show.
posted by Caz721 at 7:36 PM on January 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

This one was harder to watch for me than usual. So many cringe moments. Chidi trying to react to Real Eleanor's confession of love. The crowd's reaction to the Pobody's Nerfect joke (Hello, Simpsons reference!!!). I mean the joke was so intentionally bad, the laughter hurt to listen to. And watching Jason be so stupid...let's just say, I empathized a great deal with Michael's frustration. Still a good episode. Just had a bunch of things that didn't work for me, personally.

Also, technically, Janet and Jason were stealing the judge's train. Fake Eleanor was just hitching a ride.

I'm really interested to see where Jason's arc goes.
posted by dry white toast at 9:34 PM on January 13, 2017

not a girl
posted by ellieBOA at 11:45 AM on January 14, 2017 [19 favorites]

For me, Janet is the real star of the show.
posted by Pendragon at 1:27 PM on January 14, 2017 [13 favorites]

Re: Pobody's Nerfect, the show walks an interesting fine line with that stuff, where it gets a bit of sharpness out of the little hints that actually, hanging out for all eternity with 300 literally, absolutely, perfectly nice people might set your teeth on edge a bit, if you were in fact a medium-person such as Original Flavor Eleanor. Imagine. All eternity with the kind of people who were so wrapped up in altruism that they've never chanced to hear that joke, and don't groan at it.

The show's got a silverfish quickness which has sustained it thus far, but if they do get a second season I hope somebody's thought out ahead on how this universe really works. Like, every good person's idea of heaven can't be Southern California with endless frogurt, right? This is a very particular type of heaven, for a rather bland type of person. There's a bit of a hint of that this episode with Janet's off-hand mention of a neutral place. I hope there's more there, otherwise it seems like it'll fall apart.
posted by Diablevert at 6:24 PM on January 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

Though the podcast was more wide-ranging than just the Good Place or even Schur's tv work (lots of baseball discussion), I thought it had an interesting discussion of the show.

I just finished listening to the Jonah Keri podcast, and there was a great discussion of the show, including that they have been given informal leave to start meeting about the second season without an official notice that they're picked up (seems like good news). I have faith in Schur and his team to continue the story, and I feel like he knows where this is going.
posted by gladly at 8:53 AM on January 18, 2017

I love Marc Evan Jackson SO much (SPARKS NEVADA!!!) and I squeaked with joy when he walked in.
posted by Aquifer at 7:16 AM on October 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

So, this episode establishes that the points rankings take motivation into account. But Tahani was portrayed in prior episodes as being heavily motivated by a desire for esteem, which probably nulls out most of the good stuff she did.

While the show made a big deal earlier about Tahani being near the bottom of the rankings, I think it goes deeper than that. Almost any act of altruism can be rationalised as ultimately having a selfish motivation, if you try hard enough.

I'm starting to suspect that the show intends to lean in to the idea that the supposedly-objective moral rankings are just arbitrary nonsense.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:58 PM on November 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

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