When The Good Place debuted 13 episodes ago, I found it to be a very unique little comedy. But little did I know how special it would end up being: this might be the most perfect debut season a comedy has ever produced.
The show’s creator Mike Schur famously announced before the show began that he had consulted Damon Lindelof (of Lost fame) on tips for laying out a serialized plan. With this finale, it’s easy to see just how carefully structured and plotted this entire season was. The revelation that Eleanor and the gang are in fact in the Bad Place holds up beautifully: the season is peppered with details we overlooked from Michael kicking a dog in the pilot to the fact that Tahani got into the supposed “Good Place” with her corrupt motivations. The twist is particularly inspired because it gives Ted Danson the opportunity to turn up the evil (how chilling was that sinister laugh when Eleanor uncovered the truth?) and explore even more layers next year.
The finale’s gamechanging twist allows the show to completely flip its status quo on its head (if it gets renewed for a sophomore season). Although Eleanor and the gang have been separated with their memories erased, our heroine cleverly left herself a clue (inside Janet’s mouth) that’s bound to make season two even more thrilling and complex. So many comedies coast on one-liners and one-dimensional humor, but the serialized nature of The Good Place takes it to a whole other level that completely subverts my expectations at every turn. Wow!
Bits & Places
– Notice that Tahani is on the cover of the magazine in the supermarket (in the Eleanor flashback). Also I love that we finally got to see Eleanor’s death with the shopping cart! Hilarious!
– The Medium Place with Mindy St. Claire was amusing, but I’m wondering now if she is also a Bad Place employee playing a role (like everyone else in The Good Place). Or maybe she’s real since we saw the orientation video and a woman was playing Michael’s part (a clue perhaps that he does not represent The Good Place).
– Bad Janet is downright epic (notice the fart).
– The CGI with the Judge’s cocoon was a bit sloppy if you ask me. Loved the character though.
– Does anyone else find the relationship between Janet and Jason kind of rape-y since she’s not exactly of sound mind (or any mind at all)? Did I just ruin this comedy for you?
– How evil is old Eleanor not accepting the birthday cake from her coworkers?
– Very amusing sequence with the gang speaking without emotions.
– Some of the bad stuff Eleanor has done include: screamed at Waiter (22 times), cyber bullied a pregnant woman from spin class, started fire in mailbox to get mailman to take off shirt, heckled mall Santas (9 times), sneezed on salad bar (12 times), showed a 9-year-old The Shining, had brief Instagram flirtation with Kid Rock, lifetime ban from Build-a-Bear, ruined movie endings (35 times), and took a selfie in bathroom at great aunt’s funeral.
– Clever touches that make this show special: walkie talkie protocol with the Judge speaking through Bad Janet.
– Heartbreaking sequence as we see Eleanor’s rough childhood with her irresponsible parents. Sure explains so much doesn’t it?
– The fact that you have to wear an ugly fedora to go to the Bad Place made me laugh.
– Another clue that not all is what it seems: Michael in the flashbacks coming up with the idea of “The Good Place.” He wouldn’t do that if he actually worked there. Genius touch! Also, fire monster!
– There’s a Director of Point Calculations? #DreamJob.
– Jason saying Ethnically instead of Ethically is s amusing.
– My favorite moment of the entire two parter: Michael pushing the vase so petulantly like an evil feline.
-Real Eleanor telling the gang to “Suck it” after they figure everything out was hysterical.
– Thank God Janet isn’t one of the evil employees. I knew I loved her!
– I totally get why Tahani is in the bad place with all her superficiality, but Chidi is there because his indecisiveness hurt people? A bit much if you ask me.
– Notice that it’s not two otters in the orientation video this time, but a chimpanzee and a baby tiger. I prefer the otters!
– Eleanor’s new soulmate is a mailman. Surprise surprise!
– Interestingly enough, the pilot also ended with Eleanor receiving an ominous life-changing note. Symmetry!
– Honestly I can’t wait to watch this season all over again!
Jason: Can I ask you a question about where we’re going?
Jason: Where are we going? I forgot.
Boss: I don’t know, but the meaner she is, the more it turns me on. Is that weird
Employee: You’re my boss.
Boss: Oh, say that to me again, but more disgusted with me, like I’m a worm.
Tahani: We can do this, but we must remain emotionless. I’m talking “Kristen Stewart on a red carpet” level of emotionless here, all right?
Tahani: Perhaps we could take a little break first. You know, we’ve been at it for a while, and you must be tired.
The Judge: I’ve been asleep in goo for the last 29 years, so I’m good.
Mindy: That’s not one of my books. I only have Anne Rice vampire novels with water stains, and I’ve cut words out of most of them to make pornography.
Chidi: Yeah, uh, Judge, request permission to speak somewhat emotionally?
The Judge: Ugh. Fine. (pops a pill) Dramamine. Helps with the nausea. Proceed.
The Judge: As concerning Jason Mendoza, I have heard no statements nor seen any evidence to suggest… oh, he’s from Florida? Yeah, he belongs in the Bad Place.
The Judge: Attention Eleanor Shellstrop and Jason Mendoza. This is the Almighty Judge on High of All Beings Living and Dead for All Eternity. My name’s Shawn.
Tahani: I’m gonna miss these little perks when I’m down in the Bad Place, being forced to wear a knock-off handbag and drink tap water.
Chidi: That’s what you think hell is?
Tahani: (disgusted) Ugh.
Janet: I’m sorry, Eleanor, but I engaged a ride-or-die protocol so I’m loyal to Jason forever.
Jason: I don’t wanna go to the Bad Place. It’s scary, like the movie “Ratatouille.”
Jason: Yo, I ain’t trying to have rats living in my hat and pulling my hair to get me to do stuff.
Eleanor’s mom: You’re a really interesting person, Eleanor. We should hang out sometime.
Tahani: I will miss you so much.
Eleanor: I’ll miss you too, you sexy skyscraper.
Real Eleanor: I’ve been there, I know I can hack it. Actually, I have kind of a rapport with some of the fire monsters.
Eleanor: Holy motherforking shirtballs.
Tahani: I didn’t care about helping the people I raised the money for. I just wanted to prove my parents wrong, stick it to my sister, get fame and attention. My only real goal was to snog Ryan Gosling at the Met Ball. Which I did. Couple of times, actually.
Eleanor: You saw us all on Earth… a selfish ass, an idiot DJ, a tortured academic, a hot, rich fraud with legs for days. Side note, I might legit be into Tahani.
A brilliant season finale for one of the most perfect seasons of television I’ve ever watched. I can’t recommend this show enough.