The Good Place

The Good Place 1×03 – Tahani Al-Jamil

"That nod meant no, apparently."

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During the first five minutes of The Good Place‘s third episode, I started to wonder if perhaps the show’s impressive 2-hour pilot was just a fluke and the series would fizzle out. I’m pleased to report that my hesitation was ill-advised, because this was yet another top-notch hour.

The primary reason this hour works so well is thanks to the hysterical dynamic between Eleanor and Tahani. Both Bell and Jamil are so good in their respective roles, and their chemistry is just off-the-charts. Here’s hoping the show keeps the focus of their budding frenemy relationship for a long time to come.

Less interesting was Michael trying to find something different for Chidi to do. While Michael and Janet are positively hilarious (especially the latter and her various outburst this week), Chidi is still a mighty bore in every way. This subplot could have sunk the episode, if not for the brilliant twist in the final moments. Jianyu hasn’t been much more than a passive character thus far – the so-called Buddhist monk who had taken a vow of silence – so imagine my surprise when “homie” turned out to be yet another intruder much like our heroine. It’s a brilliant turn of events, and I can’t wait to see him work with Eleanor to figure things out. Absolutely awesome!

Bits & Places

– Seeing as how I’m an Arab, I love that they brought up Tahani’s name. That is indeed true (and hilarious)!

– Seriously Janet was laugh-out loud funny; she got all of the episode’s best one-liners.

– The fact that Tahany’s diary has a forward! Also, she’s still booping Eleanor!

– The plant which kept reacting to Eleanor’s evil deeds was a fine running joke. Albeit a bit over the top.

– Not too sure about the flashbacks. They weren’t entirely enlightening.

– So Eleanor is Michael’s new assistant? This could be quite good!

Heavenly Quips

Eleanor: Did you ever, uh, skim a little off the top for yourself?
Tahani: Gracious, no, no! Every penny was accounted for. And as I raised nearly $60 billion, there was quite a lot of pennies. But I also dabbled in some other professions. I was a model, a museum curator, an “It Girl,” and… oh, I was Baz Luhrmann’s muse for a while. That was quite fun.
Eleanor: Modeling? That’s a crazy life. Want to tell me about that rock bottom you probably hit? Tahani: Oh, I didn’t really do it for long. Couture just doesn’t fit my body. I’m cursed with ample bosom.
Eleanor: And yet you soldier on.
Tahani: Oh, this is silly… so “Tahani” means “congratulations” in Arabic. And “Al-Jamil” means “beautiful,” so my full name altogether means…
Eleanor: “Congratulations, Beautiful.”
Tahani: Thanks, Eleanor. You big flirt.

Chidi: I have what doctor’s call “directional insanity.” I once got lost on an escalator. So not exactly Christopher Columbus.
Janet: Fun fact: Columbus is in the Bad Place because of all the raping, slave trade, and genocide.

Janet: I’m loving that hat on you. It would look even better on my floor.
Chidi: What is happening now?
Michael: I suggested she be friendlier; she seems to have slipped right into overt sexuality.
Janet: I got something you can slip into.

Eleanor: (to Tahani) Ugh, of course your hugs are amazing.

Conclusion
A wonderfully amusing episode with one hell of a twist. I’m impressed!

Nad Rating
B+

One comment

  1. Tahani and Janet are TOO good!! What a delightful show that really shows you comedies can still be bold and creative! This is everything I wanted The Last Man on Earth to be.

    I'm starting to get annoyed with the flashbacks though. The “real world” just ain't interesting enough!

    And epic twist, really. I love that they keep us guessing. Now that there are TWO people who shouldn't be in the Good Place, does it mean there's a defect in the system or were they ALL maybe sent here so they can become better people?

    Great review! Can't wait for more!

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