The Good Place: Everything is Great! Roundtable
The Good Place, 2.01 & 2.02 Everything is Great!
After last year’s crazy twist, we had high expectations going into this season and The Good Place (I feel like I should call it The “Good” Place!) got a…ahem… good start out of the gate with this unique episode with unconventional timing, different character points of view, and some interesting backstory, now that the audience is in on the secret that the Good Place has a lot in common with the Bad Place!
This show’s a Nice Girl fav, so lots of us weighing in this week!
We learned today that everyone but Chidi, Tahani, Eleanor, and Jason was just the “cast” – creatures who normally have more violent jobs in hell. How much of a role do you see these other characters being in season 2?
Roz: Given that we the audience know more than the characters we care the most about, I think we’ll have to see more of the cast and their reactions. Clearly they don’t all follow Michael’s logic.
Leah: I agree with Roz. We may not get a lot of information on all of them but now that we know they will play into the story more.
Cara: I think we’ll see more of them, and it will be interesting to see who they really are and what characters they play.
Mel: How much fun was THAT revelation? I enjoyed the cast talking back to Michael, Eleanor/Denise getting huffy about the size of her part, and the general chaos. Suddenly the show has shifted into a workplace comedy. I’m looking forward to their shenanigans.
Cay: Yeah, I could see them making some waves in Michael’s future plans, I mean….um…I need to go to the gym!
It seemed like Eleanor got off easy this time while Chidi, Tahani, and Jason got more torture. One could even say she got the reward of seeing her “soulmate” rip off his shirt every 5 minutes.
Roz: I think she’ll find a way to suffer more later, but it might have been to her advantage to write that note that Janet delivered. She has to find out first and then help the rest of the quartet.
Leah: I felt like the first go around was pretty hard on Eleanor. I know this is Hell but it must go in waves. In a “Fake Hell” scenario. Maybe? I am just guessing.
Cara: I agree with Leah, the “Hell” seems to come in waves. I do think Eleanor has it a little easy right now, but who knows what’s coming.
Mel: Yeah, she got off easy because her “soulmate” was an idiot. I wonder who Michael will assign to her next…
Cay: If Michael wanted to torture me, he’d assign me Tahani. I just want to smack her most of the time!
What did you think about the structure of this episode? How it showed the POV of each character from the beginning and then kept jumping around?
Cay: It took me a couple of minutes to get in my head that we weren’t seeing things in order – we’d get to the overlap point and I’d be surprised because I’d thought the events had taken place after that point, not before. I think it worked for this one episode, though.
Roz: We had to have something different for all of the audience not to be bored and I liked how interconnected the four were even if they weren’t soulmates and neighbors this time.
Leah: I like the different viewpoints. I don’t want that every episode but every once and awhile it is fun to see.
Cara: I agree. It’s nice to see things from the perspective of some of the other characters. Now that we know that everything revolves around them, it will be fun to see how the 4 navigate the world around them.
Mel: I agree with Leah and Cay. I enjoyed the structure this time, but I don’t want to see it in every episode. I get frustrated by repetitiveness. However, I think this structure heralds the show’s pivot from being all about Eleanor to being an ensemble show, which has a lot of potential.
Who do you think got the best [worst] torture, Chidi, Tahani, or Jason?
Roz: I think it went to Tahani. Her soulmate is her polar opposite.
Leah: I’m going with Jason. He is so not a silent Monk. Having one follow him around in complete silence was terrible, funny but terrible.
Cara: Yeah, Jason seems miserable, and he doesn’t get a break. I’ll admit that it’s entertaining to watch the torture.
Mel: I’m going with Chidi, especially if Eleanor hadn’t figured out what was going on so quickly. Can you imagine him stuck knowing Angelique was his true soulmate but he couldn’t have her for all eternity? Also, do you think their connection was real? I’m not sure Angelique is a good enough actress to be as convincing about her feelings as she was.
Cay: Yeah, I was thinking Chidi, too. For someone as indecisive as him to be ready to make what seems like a clear choice, but then be told that the choice isn’t his anymore and he gets what he didn’t want, is really evil…and awesome.
Roz: Jason talking about the yurt!
Leah: Eleanor “knowing” Chidi wasn’t a soup!
Cara: I think you two picked the best ones. Both gave me a pretty good chuckle.
Mel: Ha! The yurt! My favorite scene was when the cast was gathered for a meeting with Michael and wouldn’t stop asking questions and complaining.
Cay: Eleanor’s soulmate constantly ripping off his shirt and running off to the gym, because, why not? Then Michael’s exasperation that he seemed to think that one action was appropriate to so many situations.
Roz: Michael is not going to last all season.
Leah: They can’t keep resetting this every episode – sooner or later Shawn (or is it Sean) is going to find out and shut it down.
Cara: I am also wondering about what is coming long term. It’s a whole new show now, but where do we go from here.
Mel: I love the reset for this season, and that Eleanor figured it out so quickly this time. How can they keep that up, though? They’ve been playing with narrative and structure and tropes from the beginning of the series; I’m curious to see what they do next.
Cay: Michael’s boss is a major d$#%! Makes me wonder if Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason are the only ones being punished. What is his backstory? What did he do to get this gig?
Watch The Good Place on Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC!