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[The Good Place] Thursday 8:30 NBC

enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
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One of the two new shows I'm actually watching is NBC's The Good Place. It's on Thursdays at 8:30. Why should you watch it?

Who Created It?

Mike Schur! He made Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn 99 and again features an increasingly well developed cast of diverse characters, which based on past history will only get better with more time. Similar sense of humor as those shows.

What's It About?

It's about The Good Place, an afterlife where people are rewarded for living good lives based on a complicated mathematical formula evaluating all of their choices in life. Remaining loyal to the Cleveland Browns is a positive act, for example. People are rewarded with meeting their true soul mates in a "neighborhood" which is supposed to be perfect. Unfortunately, our main character, Eleanor was mistaken for another woman with the same name who was a wonderful person while she was... not. The good Eleanor's soul mate was conveniently a professor of moral philosophy who is trying to teach her to be a person who actually deserves to be in The Good Place.

Who's In It?

Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, stars as Eleanor. She belongs on TV and is doing great work here. She makes Eleanors journey from being a shallow, self-obsessed asshole towards being a better person believable, while also having the killer comic timing she displayed on Veronica Mars. She's why I tried this show, and I've been rewarded.

William Jackson Harper is Chidi, the aforementioned moral philosophy professor who is paired with Eleanor and is trying to teach her how to be a good person. He is basically the straight man in this show, where his horrified reaction to Eleanor drives comedy, but his reactions are funny in and of themselves.

Jameela Jamil is Tahani, Eleanor and Chidi's next door neighbor who was a philanthropist in life and is more than a little insufferable about it. Her presence questions the formula beyond the mistake of Eleanor being here.

Manny Jacinto is Jianyu, a monk who swore himself to a vow of silence which he is maintaining in the afterlife. This seems like a shitty, boring character, but trust me. He's Tahani's soul mate and since she likes talking...

(Episode 4 spoiler)
Also he's really Jason Mendoza, a Phillipino-American drug dealer/shitty EDM DJ from Jacksonville. He also should not be in The Good Place. And is pretty funny at playing very, very stupid.

D'Arcy Carden is Janet, the all knowing information resource that people in The Good Place can call on for information and favors at any time. Steals a lot of scenes she's in.

And Ted Danson as Michael, the architect of The Good Place. What exactly he is is unclear, but thinking of him as a guardian angel wouldn't be entirely off. Danson is of course an old sitcom pro and does good work here as you'd expect. Michael loves humanity but doesn't really understand it.

And?

It's a sitcom but the world is developing and trying to figure out what is wrong with The Good Place is actually a kind of interesting story in its own right. These people are considerably more flawed than you would expect the best few hundred people on Earth to be. Weird stuff keeps happening too, because Eleanor should not belong. Resolving that is the continuing story like Leslie Knope's quest to build a park was in Parks and Rec. It's more central here than it was in that show, but does not dominate the show.

Bonus: only a 13 episode order, so it shouldn't get too padded.

Concerns?
There are flashbacks to the resident's lives on Earth which generally aren't great. Some hacky jokes, especially the one involving swearing not being allowed. Also so far the usual pairings are Eleanor and Chidi with the other characters off in the B Story. Hopefully as the series matures that will be more diverse.

But You Like It, Right?

Yes. As usual, Schur has created a funny comedy with an excellent cast and solid, sharp writing. It's getting better with each episode, too. Tonight's episode marked the halfway point and was the best one yet, I thought.

Who else is watching this?

Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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Posts

  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    edited October 2016
    As an actual honest-to-God philosophy professor, I watch 50% for Kristen Bell and 50% for the philosophy jokes. Which usually aren't too bad!

    E.g., (image linked for size): https://i.redd.it/2gjbjuehmlnx.png

    Hedgethorn on
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  • MorkathMorkath Registered User regular
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    As an actual honest-to-God philosophy professor, I watch 50% for Kristen Bell and 50% for the philosophy jokes. Which usually aren't too bad!

    E.g., (image linked for size): https://i.redd.it/2gjbjuehmlnx.png

    Ok, that image convinced me to give this a shot.

    hobbessig.png
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  • Captain TragedyCaptain Tragedy Registered User regular
    I love Janet.

    EvermournA Dabble Of TheloniusAndy JoeObiFettVisskarSpeed RacerdresdenphileSleepDracomicronshoeboxjeddyTransporterKristmas KthulhuBedlamkimeTofystedethZilla360
  • EvermournEvermourn Registered User regular
    Its a good show. Enjoying it, but it already feels like it doesnt have anywhere to go. Tahani steals every scene she is in.

  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    Evermourn wrote: »
    Its a good show. Enjoying it, but it already feels like it doesnt have anywhere to go. Tahani steals every scene she is in.
    I love this show and was not expecting
    her to reveal that she is not supposed to be in the Good Place in the middle of season 1.

    Where they go from here is gonna say a lot about their writing and confidence in the show. If they weasel out of it in the next episode, then I'm gonna be worried about the future. If they stick to it and have somewhere to go afterwards, then I am totally on board.

  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    I'm guessing that the real Eleanor isn't actually dead yet.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    I hope Adam Scott's role as
    The guy who runs the bad place

    is a regular guest star thing. He amuses me.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    The thing with the cactus should not have been as funny as it was.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    Adam Scott telling her to smile was a bad touch.

    TheBlackWind
  • Captain TragedyCaptain Tragedy Registered User regular
    After years of nice guy Adam Scott on Parks & Rec, it's nice to see the return of Step Brothers-era asshole Adam Scott.

    jkylefultonHeirKristmas KthulhushoeboxjeddyTransporterRhalloTonny
  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    "Kant says you should never tell a lie, but snitches do get stitches."

    Inkstain82SleepPLAShadowhopeshoeboxjeddyTransporterRhalloTonnyJoolanderkimeTofystedethtynicjakobaggerJustTeeZilla360manwiththemachinegunMatevhanzo
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    I like the way the plot is moving forward, but the character arc in this episode seemed pretty forced.

    They kept showing how Eleanor kept refusing to be a team player all her life, and I was expecting them to tie that into a traumatic reveal regarding her parents divorce. But instead, she skipped straight to the part where she said she's not that way anymore.

    I wonder if the overall story is meant to lead to the eventual creation of a "middle" place.

    Also, did they ever explain the lack of old people in the Good Place? Did everyone here die young, or do people simply get to pick what age they appear to be?

  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    Also, did they ever explain the lack of old people in the Good Place? Did everyone here die young, or do people simply get to pick what age they appear to be?

    At least in medieval Christianity, a commonly held view was that everyone in heaven was at the "peak of life": say, early to mid 30s. I don't know if the show is intentionally riffing on that, or if they just wanted to hire a bunch of young pretty actors and actresses.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Sounds like they're done until the New Year even though I think there's only five left? BOOOO

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    HedgethornSleep
  • Inkstain82Inkstain82 Registered User regular
    I'm pretty convinced this is all some kind of purgatory put-on for some or all of our characters. Eleanor may have had more work to do, but Chidi (passive and sterile) and Tahani (vain and condescending) also have issues that the good place seems to be working on through their mistaken soul mates

    I'm guessing Michael's bumbling aura is just a put-on and everything is happening exactly as he intends.

    The explanation for how the Eleanors switched blows up when you realize the same thing must have happened to Jianyu down to the 10-thousandth of a second. If it isn't a lie, then an unknown third party is arranging these on purpose.

    Another alternate theory: this is all a plot by God to distract everyone so she can slip out and play some skeeball in New Jersey.

    FencingsaxSorceHexmage-PASleepDracomicronCommander ZoomTofystedeth
  • JimothyJimothy Not in front of the fox he's with the owlRegistered User regular

    Also, did they ever explain the lack of old people in the Good Place? Did everyone here die young, or do people simply get to pick what age they appear to be?

    1. There are middle-aged people, like the swinger couple.

    2. This is one of many neighborhoods in The Good Place. It's very possible that the architects select residents based on age-at-time-of-death or generation (more likely to make good neighbors).

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Mike Schur sure knows how to put an impromptu wedding in his shows.

    I found that episode hilarious, if totally absurd even for this show.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • RedTideRedTide Registered User regular
    Mike Schur sure knows how to put an impromptu wedding in his shows.

    I found that episode hilarious, if totally absurd even for this show.

    They certainly did a good job of starting up like five new plot threads/conflicts in what felt like was originally going to be a spinning their wheels kind of episode.

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  • SorceSorce Registered User regular
    Chidi's arc in this episode annoyed the shit out of me. Someone that indecisive can not be a functioning adult; how was he even able to dress himself in the morning, let alone have a job and be married?

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  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    Sorce wrote: »
    Chidi's arc in this episode annoyed the shit out of me. Someone that indecisive can not be a functioning adult; how was he even able to dress himself in the morning, let alone have a job and be married?

    Well he wasn't married, and I think the implication is it helped him be a good philosopher, for a certain value of good at least.
    I think this might have been the funniest episode of the show so far, the wedding was great and I loved that Eleanor and Tahani resolved their issues like grown ups.

    Shadowhope
  • SorceSorce Registered User regular
    Neaden wrote: »
    Sorce wrote: »
    Chidi's arc in this episode annoyed the shit out of me. Someone that indecisive can not be a functioning adult; how was he even able to dress himself in the morning, let alone have a job and be married?

    Well he wasn't married, and I think the implication is it helped him be a good philosopher, for a certain value of good at least.
    I think this might have been the funniest episode of the show so far, the wedding was great and I loved that Eleanor and Tahani resolved their issues like grown ups.
    I thought he was in the episode with the red boots.

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    Backloggery. It's totally updated again, I swear!
  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    Sorce wrote: »
    Chidi's arc in this episode annoyed the shit out of me. Someone that indecisive can not be a functioning adult; how was he even able to dress himself in the morning, let alone have a job and be married?

    Iirc he only ever wears white shirts and black pants. I think a lot of his life was decided for him

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  • MimMim If I look back, I am lost Registered User regular
    Oh wait this show is only 13 episodes? I began watching it thinking "How are they possibly going to extend this for more seasons?" Good to know it's a short order!

  • Captain TragedyCaptain Tragedy Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    It's only 13 episodes this season. If NBC decides to renew it, it will continue (however I think they plan to keep doing shorter 13 episode seasons if it does, rather than a full 22).

    Captain Tragedy on
  • MimMim If I look back, I am lost Registered User regular
    It's only 13 episodes this season. If NBC decides to renew it, it will continue (however I think they plan to keep doing shorter 13 episode seasons if it does, rather than a full 22).

    Oh, crap. I was excited for it to just be a 13 episode series.

    Sleep
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Mim wrote: »
    It's only 13 episodes this season. If NBC decides to renew it, it will continue (however I think they plan to keep doing shorter 13 episode seasons if it does, rather than a full 22).

    Oh, crap. I was excited for it to just be a 13 episode series.

    It would be interesting to explore different good places each season. Keep a core cast of characters but make it like a travelogue or some such.

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    Gnizmo
  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    I am in favor of anything that keeps Kristen Bell and Ted Danson on screen. I love a lot of the other cast as well don't get me wrong but those 2 are especially wonderful to me. Of course I love nearly everything Mike Schur puts on TV so I wouldn't walk away if it was an anthology series.

    enlightenedbumkime
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Ohh yea, I could see that Danson, Bell and Harper's Characters going to other good places after Michael finds out other good places are falling apart because the usual course of business to have creators leave right after creation has let problems spiral out of control. So they have to go in to help fix things, and the disparity of "good places" leads to all kinds of interesting situations.

    I would watch that.

    webguy20 on
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  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Crosspost from SE++
    The Good Place
    I dunno; I'm torn. Fake Eleanor is into Fake Eleanor/Real Eleanor, but I don't really see the chemistry in that. I mean, for a narcissist, you'd want to bang someone that LOOKS like you, not really who shares your name. Unless it all ties in to Fake Eleanor taking Real Eleanor's spot in The Good Place, like "Hah, I've screwed you TWICE now."

    Real talk, though, Tahani is clearly Fake Eleanor's soul mate.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    For as much as I like Schur's shows I should know Sean/Holt's husband/Pawnee's one attorney's name. I was expecting Offerman, frankly.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    Oh man, the end of the second last episode (the first one after the break) was so funny

    I love this show x1000

    and
    Jason has the right idea, Janet is the waifu

    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
    Es-annon NEVA 4GET
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Crosspost from SE++
    The Good Place
    I dunno; I'm torn. Fake Eleanor is into Fake Eleanor/Real Eleanor, but I don't really see the chemistry in that. I mean, for a narcissist, you'd want to bang someone that LOOKS like you, not really who shares your name. Unless it all ties in to Fake Eleanor taking Real Eleanor's spot in The Good Place, like "Hah, I've screwed you TWICE now."

    Real talk, though, Tahani is clearly Fake Eleanor's soul mate.

    I took it differently.
    Fake Eleanor is unused to people actually being nice to her and takes every compliment or slightly intimate conversation as a come-on.

    She did the same with Chidi earlier in the season. When they got into an argument of ethics and he challenged her.

    In both cases acting surprised that they where coming on to her and then doing the very Fake Eleanor thing of rolling with the punches and pretending to be in to it.

    Though the season should end with Fake Eleanor, Chidi and Real Eleanor having at threesome, because it would be such a Fake Eleanor way to avoid the emotional entanglements of the love triangle. Also Kristen Bell in a threesome.

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  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Crosspost from SE++
    The Good Place
    I dunno; I'm torn. Fake Eleanor is into Fake Eleanor/Real Eleanor, but I don't really see the chemistry in that. I mean, for a narcissist, you'd want to bang someone that LOOKS like you, not really who shares your name. Unless it all ties in to Fake Eleanor taking Real Eleanor's spot in The Good Place, like "Hah, I've screwed you TWICE now."

    Real talk, though, Tahani is clearly Fake Eleanor's soul mate.

    I took it differently.
    Fake Eleanor is unused to people actually being nice to her and takes every compliment or slightly intimate conversation as a come-on.

    She did the same with Chidi earlier in the season. When they got into an argument of ethics and he challenged her.

    In both cases acting surprised that they where coming on to her and then doing the very Fake Eleanor thing of rolling with the punches and pretending to be in to it.

    Though the season should end with Fake Eleanor, Chidi and Real Eleanor having at threesome, because it would be such a Fake Eleanor way to avoid the emotional entanglements of the love triangle. Also Kristen Bell in a threesome.

    Chidi would literally explode. Just, chunks of very ethically undecided viscera everywhere.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
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  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Crosspost from SE++
    The Good Place
    I dunno; I'm torn. Fake Eleanor is into Fake Eleanor/Real Eleanor, but I don't really see the chemistry in that. I mean, for a narcissist, you'd want to bang someone that LOOKS like you, not really who shares your name. Unless it all ties in to Fake Eleanor taking Real Eleanor's spot in The Good Place, like "Hah, I've screwed you TWICE now."

    Real talk, though, Tahani is clearly Fake Eleanor's soul mate.

    I took it differently.
    Fake Eleanor is unused to people actually being nice to her and takes every compliment or slightly intimate conversation as a come-on.

    She did the same with Chidi earlier in the season. When they got into an argument of ethics and he challenged her.

    In both cases acting surprised that they where coming on to her and then doing the very Fake Eleanor thing of rolling with the punches and pretending to be in to it.

    Though the season should end with Fake Eleanor, Chidi and Real Eleanor having at threesome, because it would be such a Fake Eleanor way to avoid the emotional entanglements of the love triangle. Also Kristen Bell in a threesome.

    Chidi would literally explode. Just, chunks of very ethically undecided viscera everywhere.

    My dream ending to the season is
    something along the lines of Chidi in bed, and as the camera keeps pulling back we see first Elaenor to one side of Chidi, then Real Elaenor to the other, and finally Tahani spooning with Elaenor. Chidi basically has a panic attack. Season two then touches a bit on the ethics of being poly (among the other ethical questions that are brought up through the season).

    But yes, Tahani + Elaenor is my current ship.

    Shadowhope on
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    Dracomicron
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    But yes, Tahani + Elaenor is my current ship.

    Which
    Eleanor
    ? Or both?

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    But yes, Tahani + Elaenor is my current ship.

    Which
    Eleanor
    ? Or both?
    I generally call Fake Elaenor "Elaenor", whereas Real Elaenor gets called "Real Elaenor."

    Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel.
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    I feel like every spoiler is talking about a completely different show than the one I have been watching.

    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
    Es-annon NEVA 4GET
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    It's in the title, but tomorrow is the season finale (maybe series? no renewal word yet) and it's an hour long starting a half hour earlier.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    That makes much more sense, though I'm not sure how interesting a second season would be.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Gnizmo
  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    I just caught up on this show this week. I hope it gets renewed.

    Apothe0sis
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