Let's talk about The Good Place and blur spoilers while we do it


I was surprised to find there was no topic about this yet even though it was this forum’s #2 voted show in the GILM awards last year.

So I created one, and because of the nature of the show I’d really appreciate it if spoilers were kept behind a blur, no matter how far they go back.

I adore this show and I hope nothing happens to it to make me change my mind, because it’s just been so long for me that I’ve been so invested in a show. There’s been a lot of good TV, a lot of stuff where I’ve really enjoyed it or been into what it does, but I spend so much time thinking about this show, it has surprised me.

It helps a little that I’m literally a philosophy graduate who did a lot of ethics and so I get a lot out of that angle, but mostly it’s that cast of characters who I think were just so well cast, work so well together. And, of course, the writing itself which, while not toothless by any stretch, also rarely gets mean and seems to actually understand how to target jokes, which feels like a blessing right now.

With season 2 over with, I’d love to talk about where it has gone, and where it might go next.


I ended up watching it on a friends recommendation recently and blazed through the entire show in about 2 days. Its really good.

the Janet killswitch is maybe the funniest thing to me ever


the good place more like the good place
because it’s a good show

I did not expect it to move as quickly as it did. sitcoms are supposed to return to the status quo. there’s been like five seasons worth of arcs, right? god.
incredibly enjoyed spending the entire first season going “well this system sucks, this is awful. this is supposed to be paradise? this is the worst paradise ever”.
the (early s2) episode that is essentially just one long montage of eleanor figuring it out over and over again was, perfect. god. I loved it.

I’d say my favourite is jianyu but this is probably just because he’s incredibly pretty.
my favourite is janet.


Janet is the gift that keeps on giving. When I think about how good the performances are in this show, I think about Janet a lot. And all the others, actually, but Janet is where my mind goes first.


I really adore this show and a large part of that is just Janet being Janet. There’s so much excellent writing and performance with her whole deal that it makes me happy EVERY time. Sometimes I think I might have a different favorite in this show, but then I remember: no, it’s Janet.

I think this might be a Janet Appreciation Thread.


Hell yeah, let’s do this!


Chidi might be a close second to me at the moment. Recently learned that this is William Jackson Harper’s first comic role and by heck you wouldn’t know it for all his facility with timing, perfect reactions.

Just the ease with which he can get his voice to do -exactly- the right thing it needs to do to to turn what in other hands might just be to <incredulous reaction that the audience also feels, in their whole body>


Everyone is fantastic in this show, but Chidi is cemented as my favorite if only for that inner struggle over the ethics of almond milk products is too real!


Recently learned that the show was made by Michael Schur, then learned he also helped make The Office, Parks & Rec. as well as Brooklyn Nine Nine which I also think are all very good but it makes me really uncomfortable now knowing that I’ve been following their work without even knowing I have been & feel very targeted.

Also Elanor is good. Also Chidi is very good.


So I gotta ask after the s2 finale, who is on team ‘they’re actually back in time’ and who is on team ‘it’s just a simulation’? Most people I’ve talked to say simulation but I’m going with real. I have reasons but I want to know what others think


I think that the main argument for it being a simulation is that Chidi & Elanor can speak to each other despite episode 1 establishing that they are speaking different languages. However, Chidi is also teaching in Australia & if I recall correctly he also knows multiple languages. I think sending them back to reality complicates the world of The Good Place way too much because that implies that theoretically you could just go back &
fix all your previous mistakes & that gets away from the overall messaging of the show they are going for.


Yeah, I just don’t buy the languages thing - he’s teaching in australia, it was never established that he can’t speak English, just that his native language is French. His accent can be good too, know lots of Europeans for example with very good english or american accents.

But the main arguments for real as far as I see it are:

  • The discussion that Gen and Michael have beforehand suggest that doing this would be a huge deal, and that makes less sense to me if it’s just a simulation and there aren’t really any potential consequences. (See Michael’s ‘it’s only four people!’)

  • It seems like the powers of the afterlife folk have had some limits so far in what they can create. So, for example, to create a neighbourhood and even to dismantle one it seems to take a bunch of time and a Janet to do it all, although their simulations can be pretty convincing as shown in the Trolley Problem. So I wonder about this ability just to simulate the whole world in all its complexity. So far all their simulations have been much smaller in scope.

None of this is a complete gimme, really I could flip a coin, but the thing that right now flips me onto team it’s real is:

  • The show has never previously shied away from making the more disruptive choice. This is actually the bad place. We’re going to reboot it 800 times. We’re going to completely destroy the location the entire show was based in. Etc etc. This strikes me as the bolder choice. If history truly can be revisited that opens up a whole lot of possibilities, and questions - after the test, do the four of them just get yanked back to the present? Will they remember? Does time operate on the same scales inside and outside the afterlife etc? I think the show is up to the task of addressing these, and I don’t really see how it goes against what they have established so far.


While I absolutely agree (and love) that the show doesn’t shy away from the disruptive choice, I think that for character storytelling reasons it has to be a simulation. It’s plausible enough for Eleanor to have ‘naturally’ made her way to Chidi, but how will Jason and Tahani similarly ever meet? Having built up such good character interactions based on such great cast interaction, I don’t think I see a splintering back to real-life working out. That’s despite also agreeing that it doesn’t make sense for them to be able to simulate that much, based on the complexity of the neighborhood world-building.

However, now that I’ve said that, damn, I bet they can pull off that exact story and make it not seem contrived. Damn, they’re good.


Right, I’ve kinda given up on having small-c conservative opinions about where they might take the plot, and I think that’s why I land why I do right now. I think the end result still probably needs to be they end back in the afterlife, probably before the first half of S3 is done, but I’m still excited about the possibility that they take this bit of the plot and just run with it.



(s2 finale) if it were a simulation michael wouldn’t have had to go down himself he could have just had a simulation barman nudge eleanor in the right direction (that would have been vague both narratively and character-wise tho) okay, yes that’s fair
I don’t know it never occurred to me to think it wasn’t real. I suppose it might, not be real, but:
given the (potential) wizard of oz analogues and the judge talking about the end of the rainbow like immediately before… I’m inclined to believe eleanor was really sent Home


i just watched episode thirteen, i’ll talk more when i figure out why spoiler tags aren’t working for me. :V


I want to say simulation, but only because of weird logistics that only people like me care about. While they never really spell out the passage of time in the afterlife, presumably some time has passed between everyone’s death and the current day.
People since have lived their lives, been judged, and died. These people are in their respective afterlife based on the choices they’ve made. If Eleanor and co. are suddenly back in the real world, then suddenly all of these other people are out too. The entire afterlife has to be emptied of everyone who died after them because who knows what effect these four will have on their ultimate fate? People may never be born, new people will be born that weren’t before, it’s just not possible for these people to all be themselves.


So I saw this going around yesterday.

And then Art, of Friends of the Table, made this point.

That makes sense to me because only a demon could come up with the idea of Ice Town.


Spoiler tags can be tricky, but it’s basically this:

If you are writing a continuous thing with no line breaks then it works fine just to highlight and blur spoilers

[spoiler]However if you break across multiple lines it doesn’t like it,

like this[/spoiler]

The way to get around it is:

put the tags on their own line
like this (except with the usual square brackets instead of braces that I used to demonstrate with)