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The Good Place
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

I do have a feeling that



we're going to find out this is actually Michael's Bad Place.


Based on the premiere, I think they’re setting up


Michael cutting a deal with the group around midseason where he will let them be happy together in exchange for them pretending the torture is working during a visit from Shaun or whenever the other demons are watching to avoid being 'retired' because it just isn't working.  That way, we can get 'genuine' interactions between Michael and the group again while Shaun, 'real Elanor' and the other actors take over as the villains.

I like yours too, though.  I hadn't thought of that.


I really like that some of the growth for each character seems to stick even when they get reset.  Eleanor didn't drink, Tahani was actually being more honest about her motivations, Chidi was ready to make a choice about the soul mate within a day, and Jason and Janet found each other again almost immediately.  Jason even did something moderately clever with taking apart his fake soul mate's bike.


Maybe...


we eventually find out that this is neither the Good nor the Bad Place, but actually a Medium Place/Purgatory that tests whether someone has the capacity to grow, allowing the group to eventually earn their way into the Good or Bad place in the end.  Michael could be a part of that as well, similar to your idea that this is his Bad Place.
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That's not a bad theory either.  Although I could also see...



Eleanor and company deciding this place is going to be what THEY make it, not what whatever supernatural overseer decides it is.
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However things turn out, I think this will be a happy ending show for the main group barring an unexpected cancellation on a cliffhanger.
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I was worried that we'd spend a few episodes rehashing the first season with minor differences. I needn't have worried. Seeing behind the curtain with the Bad Place villains was a great new addition -- especially the former "real" Eleanor trying (and failing) to recapture her connection with Chidi, while overburdening her new underdeveloped character Denise with a surplus of backstory and affectations.

And right out of the gate, Michael makes some critical miscalculations:



  • He again underestimates Eleanor. First, by not anticipating the note. And, more crucially, by continuing to misunderstand how Eleanor responds to adversity. She lived a selfish, negative life that created chaos for everyone around her. But she was a survivor, resourceful and self-reliant. It's the reason she trusted the note so completely when she recognized her own handwriting, and it's the reason that she was able to disassemble the lie of "The Good Place" so quickly with only one scant clue to go on.
  • Chidi's inability to make decisions is his fatal flaw, but Michael again made the mistake of thinking that's his sole defining quality. He's also smart and committed and good at adapting his knowledge in constructive ways. He and Eleanor bring out the best in each other, and that unanticipated truth would seem to ultimately doom any iteration of this scenario that has them both in it.
  • If Michael underestimated Eleanor's resilience in the face of adversity, he overestimated Tahani's resilience in the face of adversity. She lived a life of privilege and comfort, and her fragile facade of humility and selflessness depends on those underpinnings. By making her new scenario TOO unpleasant, he set her on the path to prematurely self-destruct.
  • With Jason, Michael failed to account for his inexplicable special connection with Janet. He also seemed to think Jason would demonstrate far more commitment to maintaining the "Jianyu" identity. Jason wasn't thrilled with being paired with Tahani the first time around, but the Jianyu-persona was a useful way to avoid conversations with her. Without that incentive, he had no reason to stick with the lie.


Eliminating the note addressed one of those issues, but did nothing to address the others. Keeping the four of them apart unbalances the scenario, and causes more problems for Michael and Shawn than it solves.

I don't know what comes next, but I'm no longer worried about a rehash. Each new iteration reveals intriguing new facets of these increasingly-rich characters. And the demons don't have their minds wiped, so it's not a complete reset, either.

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It may be too early to nail down "Denise"'s motivations. Is she actually attracted to Chidi or is she just trying to break out of being a newly-demoted background player?



Unrelated: I can see how Eleanor, Chidi and Tahani qualify as bad people. Each typifies a different failing: Eleanor resents and undermines other people's success (envy), Chidi considers himself above the impossible standard he sets for everyone else (pride), Tahani assumes everyone else exists to make her look good (vanity). But what exactly is the core of Jason's badness?

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"It's a rare occurrence, like, uhh, like a double rainbow, or someone on the internet saying, 'You know what?  You've convinced me.  I was wrong.'"

I think I love this show.

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http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/the-good-...rview.html

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

It may be too early to nail down "Denise"'s motivations. Is she actually attracted to Chidi or is she just trying to break out of being a newly-demoted background player?



Unrelated: I can see how Eleanor, Chidi and Tahani qualify as bad people. Each typifies a different failing: Eleanor resents and undermines other people's success (envy), Chidi considers himself above the impossible standard he sets for everyone else (pride), Tahani assumes everyone else exists to make her look good (vanity). But what exactly is the core of Jason's badness?



If you're sticking to the Deadly Sin archetypes, he most closely represents sloth.  He's generally coasting through life with no real ambition to help himself or others.



Looking back, Michael's words to his boss about how they're keeping most of the old stuff but adding in some new stuff is a nice bit of meta commentary on how shows change themselves from season to season trying to tweak their formulas to improve their ratings.

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Watched the premiere and found it so good that I feel compelled to rewatch the first season.
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ASo, can we bite them?
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I like the switch from all frozen yogurt places to all Hawaiian pizza places.

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AJust started watching this and am staying away from the earlier discussion until I catch up. I came for Kristen Bell after loving her in House of Lies and I stayed for all the rest of the cast - I have such a crush on Janet - the fun, and the featherweight examination of ethics. Deconstructing the idea of goodness and heaven can be clunky but it skates along and still does the concept justice. It reminds me a bit of Breaking Bad in that plot points you think are going to be stretched out are resolved quickly to keep things fresh. Really enjoying it so far.
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Real Eleanor was the MVP by a mile.

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A[quote name="Schwartz" url="/community/t/155858/the-good-place/90#post_4369296"]Real Eleanor was the MVP by a mile.
[/quote]

This is such a goddamn weird show. My wife and I are huge Veronica Mars fans from The Time Before, so we tuned into this on principle last season. One of the most pleasant surprises in network TV since I'm not sure when. The concept is so bonkers I'm continually amazed it was ever greenlighted in the first place, and the fact we're getting a second season is an embarrassment of riches.

Favorite random scene plucked from a million:

When Jason and Janet try to consummate their marriage.
Janet, in her plucky upbeat voice: "It was weird!"
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AI really like William Jackson Harper too. I'm buying Chidi 100% and am also all in on his double takes and "What?" reactions. Danson is also pure gold. Someone above mentioned the moment he dropped the facade and gave a "pointed" grin. Brilliant. He rounds Michael out in so many subtle ways.

I loved the twist at the end of the first season for freshness and recontextualising the whole show up to that point, and the development and expansion of the show is a welcome thing overall especially given the opportunities to mine the wider cast for comic relief. I do feel I miss something of the mystery and I'm not sure I completely buy the underlying conceit that anyone would think the torment the characters suffered before the reveal is even close to having your fingernails ripped out and therefore Michael's experiment makes any sense, but there is so much to enjoy in this I can't hold on to that complaint for very long.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

It may be too early to nail down "Denise"'s motivations. Is she actually attracted to Chidi or is she just trying to break out of being a newly-demoted background player?



Unrelated: I can see how Eleanor, Chidi and Tahani qualify as bad people. Each typifies a different failing: Eleanor resents and undermines other people's success (envy), Chidi considers himself above the impossible standard he sets for everyone else (pride), Tahani assumes everyone else exists to make her look good (vanity). But what exactly is the core of Jason's badness?



I got into the show late last season, but is the "Good Place" and "Bad Place" literally supposed to be Heaven and Hell? Don't they operate on their own, unique set of rules?

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So far, all we know is that there is a Bad Place that apparently tortures souls in the popular Dante's Inferno fashion, and that Michael created a test environment within it that was falsely presented as a "good place." We haven't seen an actual Good Place yet, although it seems to have been confirmed that Janet is a "Good Janet."

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

So far, all we know is that there is a Bad Place that apparently tortures souls in the popular Dante's Inferno fashion, and that Michael created a test environment within it that was falsely presented as a "good place." We haven't seen an actual Good Place yet, although it seems to have been confirmed that Janet is a "Good Janet."



Ah, I thought they positioned Janet as a non-normative Janet, i.e. without intrinsic ethical or behavioural bias. Perhaps I need to watch the season opener again.

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Somewhere along the way, Michael mentioned that they stole a Janet from the real Good Place. And I think it was before the season finale, but one of Jason's underlying terrible qualities they pointed out was that he was a DJ, which is hilarious.

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AJust started this on Netflix. I'm 4 episodes in and so far my favorite part is, "You broke the world. That is not a compliment."
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Quote:

Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post
 

Ah, I thought they positioned Janet as a non-normative Janet, i.e. without intrinsic ethical or behavioural bias. Perhaps I need to watch the season opener again.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Misfit View Post
 

Somewhere along the way, Michael mentioned that they stole a Janet from the real Good Place.



Janet does seem to be utterly non-judgmental. Maybe that's a quality of the real "good place" itself?

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A[quote name="dynamotv" url="/community/t/155858/the-good-place/90#post_4366932"]Fantastic premier.   I was sort of right in my prediction that they would figure it out quicker this time around.   I'm guessing next week will be the 4 figuring things out over and over again.
[/quote][quote name="Mangy" url="/community/t/155858/the-good-place/90#post_4367568"][/quote]

This is one of the greatest moments of my life. I called it! This season is moving fast. Loved it when Jason was the one to figure it out and Michael said that this was a personal low.

At the pace this is going, I no longer have a clue what will happen. Love the new dynamic that's set up and can't wait to see where they go with it.
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Yeah, Michael's reaction to Jason figuring things out was the best.

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"This is your soulmate Tahani."

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AMichael's suit during the giraffe attack deserves its own Emmy.
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Oh, and if there's not a band called Busty Alexa formed in the next week, we have failed as a species.

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ASo much great stuff this week. I especially loved the food/restaurant gags.
The chowder fountain, aka ‘hot ocean milk with dead animal croutons.’
From Schmear to Eternity
You do the Hokey Gnocci and you get yourself some food
Lasagne come out tomorrow
Knisch from a Rose
Biscotti Pippin
Beignet and the Jets
And of course the all-time great Hot Dog on a Stick... on a stick.

Also Janet begging for her life. ‘I have two Hamilton tickets for next week! And they said Daveed Diggs may be coming back!’
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Sushi and the Banshees wins though.

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I think someone called this turn a few pages back.



Fun episode. They're going hell for leather on not letting the plot get bogged down. Given how high the concept is, I'm almost enjoying watching the writers' high-wire act as much as the show itself. Jason was the MVP this time around.



I was rewatching the first season and I really enjoyed how much was being foreshadowed right in front of our noses. Things that popped the second time included the litany of "good behaviours" that were shown to accrue points in the presentation in the early episodes, and Michael's questoinnaire. Some of the good behaviours and questions were clearly silly and came over the first time as simply a broad satire on the arbitrariness of goodness. Second time around it is pretty clear the silliness within the story is justified because it's all an invention of the Bad Place who would have no real idea what goodness and therefore the line between good and bad actually is.

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AYeah that first season is tight. I think I heard they started with the end and worked backwards. This second season is off the charts though.
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Schur's pitch to both Danson and Bell involved telling them the end of the first season, so that was baked-in from the get-go.



Also, Megan Amran, the writer of last night's episode and the Good Place's resident pun-master, posted an abridged list of initial 1st-draft pun restaurant names and it is amazing:



https://twitter.com/meganamram/status/91...9834090497



Personal favorites include: "Udon Own Me," "Pie Antwoord," "Ponzu Scheme," "We Ciabatta Zoo," "Colby Maybe"

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A[quote name="Dent6084" url="/community/t/155858/the-good-place/100_50#post_4372355"]Schur's pitch to both Danson and Bell involved telling them the end of the first season, so that was baked-in from the get-go.

Also, Megan Amran, the writer of last night's episode and the Good Place's resident pun-master, posted an abridged list of initial 1st-draft pun restaurant names and it is amazing:

https://twitter.com/meganamram/status/91...9834090497

Personal favorites include: "Udon Own Me," "Pie Antwoord," "Ponzu Scheme," "We Ciabatta Zoo," "Colby Maybe"
[/quote]
Thank you for that. Those puns were like an entire season’s worth of Bob’s Burgers opening credits gags and Burgers of the Day condensed into a single, glorious episode.
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My wife mentioned that they missed an opportunity to put "Low Cal Calzone Zone" as one of the restaurants.   Maybe that's in the real Good Place?

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A[quote name="dynamotv" url="/community/t/155858/the-good-place/100_50#post_4372822"]My wife mentioned that they missed an opportunity to put "Low Cal Calzone Zone" as one of the restaurants.   Maybe that's in the real Good Place?
[/quote]
As much as I personally would like to try it, a rousing round of Cones of Dunshire would probably be a pretty effective torture for this group.
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AI laughed for about 10 minutes at the one that failed because Michael left the door open.
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