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The Good Place

post #1 of 195
Thread Starter 

I adore Mike Schur's work on The Office and Parks and Rec, think Ted Danson is TV's funnest uncle and Kristen Bell is a national treasure. 

 

That said, someone please explain to me how this will not be a complete and total flop.

post #2 of 195

I'll give it a shot, but they'll really need to expand on the premise if they want to go full seasons.

post #3 of 195
It looks terrible.
post #4 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

It looks terrible.

 

It's not terrible.  It's just strange, complicated, and inherently pretentious.  I can't imagine it gaining any sort of audience. 

 

So I'm in for the entire season, including the burn-off after the midseason move to Fridays. 

post #5 of 195

I liked it well enough, but it is so "sweet". It's getting pretty good reviews across the board. The cast seems diverse-ish. By the end of Chapter 2, they make it pretty clear how they are going to stretch the concept into an entire season. I cannot fathom how this show could go 6 or 7 or more seasons though.

 

The cast and and the whimsy are certainly enough to provide the show with some goodwill, but the cartoonish aspects, soft humor and light tone is really going to be a tough thing to overcome. This show is perfect for your mother though!

 

ETA: The Good Place seems to have gotten very good ratings. Not great, but certainly enough to make it a hit if they don't drop like a rock in coming weeks. If the comments sections of the TV ratings sites are any indication, "people" loved it.

post #6 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
 

I liked it well enough, but it is so "sweet". It's getting pretty good reviews across the board. The cast seems diverse-ish. By the end of Chapter 2, they make it pretty clear how they are going to stretch the concept into an entire season. I cannot fathom how this show could go 6 or 7 or more seasons though.

 

The cast and and the whimsy are certainly enough to provide the show with some goodwill, but the cartoonish aspects, soft humor and light tone is really going to be a tough thing to overcome. This show is perfect for your mother though!

 

ETA: The Good Place seems to have gotten very good ratings. Not great, but certainly enough to make it a hit if they don't drop like a rock in coming weeks. If the comments sections of the TV ratings sites are any indication, "people" loved it.

 

Having The Voice as a lead-in helped as much as anything could, but it's moving nights next week, and I'm guessing the numbers drop like a stone.  Not that I'm rooting for it, as I like the principles a lot and didn't hate the premiere, but cartooniness and highest of concepts make Arrested Development seem simple and relatable.

post #7 of 195

I loved this. I think the arc of the show is going to change pretty quickly from "Elizabeth learns to be a good person and earn her place in The Good Place" into "actually, most of the people here don't really deserve it and the system is arbitrary and inherently flawed as it allows for the possibility of an incredibly bad person doing one incredibly good act and ending up in The Good Place."

post #8 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

It's not terrible.  It's just strange, complicated, and inherently ppretentious.
That's more interesting than the ads made it look. Admittedly, a lot of great sitcoms don't look great in 30-second ads.
post #9 of 195

I was enjoying this a fair bit - both Bell and Danson are bringing it, and it's enjoyably loopy in its depiction of the afterlife.

 

And then there's a joke involving Danson's character and a puppy, and I'm in for the season.

post #10 of 195

I'm in.

 

I particularly like the idea of Bell's badness causing glitches in the perfect-world environment.

post #11 of 195
Wife and I enjoyed this. It's no Veronica Mars, (but then what is?) but if the show goes down the road of showing that Heaven is full of assholes who don't really deserve it while Mozart et al are in Hell and really commits to that, I'm in for the long haul.

One thing that threw me (because I thought it would be THE CENTRAL issue of the show and it didn't even get a mention): if she's here by accident, WHERE'S THE PERSON WHOSE LIFE SHE'S GETTING CREDIT FOR? I thought that would be the whole deal.
post #12 of 195

It looks like something they would make you watch in the Bad Place. 

post #13 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post

Wife and I enjoyed this. It's no Veronica Mars, (but then what is?) but if the show goes down the road of showing that Heaven is full of assholes who don't really deserve it while Mozart et al are in Hell and really commits to that, I'm in for the long haul.

One thing that threw me (because I thought it would be THE CENTRAL issue of the show and it didn't even get a mention): if she's here by accident, WHERE'S THE PERSON WHOSE LIFE SHE'S GETTING CREDIT FOR? I thought that would be the whole deal.


This is NBC. A network that I think it notorious for several spinoffs of a mildly successful show. I think there are a good 3 or 4 "Chicago"-something shows on NBC right now.  Point is, I would not be remotely surprised if we got The Bad Place, The Medium Place, The Pet Place...

post #14 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post


This is NBC. A network that I think it notorious for several spinoffs of a mildly successful show. I think there are a good 3 or 4 "Chicago"-something shows on NBC right now.  Point is, I would not be remotely surprised if we got The Bad Place, The Medium Place, The Pet Place...

Those are dramas. NBC's comedy factory has hardly been pumping out the hits since Friends went off the air.
post #15 of 195

I wasn't remotely serious.

post #16 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post

Wife and I enjoyed this. It's no Veronica Mars, (but then what is?) but if the show goes down the road of showing that Heaven is full of assholes who don't really deserve it while Mozart et al are in Hell and really commits to that, I'm in for the long haul.

One thing that threw me (because I thought it would be THE CENTRAL issue of the show and it didn't even get a mention): if she's here by accident, WHERE'S THE PERSON WHOSE LIFE SHE'S GETTING CREDIT FOR? I thought that would be the whole deal.

 

If you're looking for a Veronica Mars fix, Rob Thomas' current show iZombie is pretty damn great.

 

As for the missing do-gooder, I expect we'll be getting to that. What if she's in the Bad Place, and her goodness is causing similar glitches there? Turning lakes of fire into vanilla pudding, etc?

post #17 of 195

Question. If Chidi is the real do-gooder's soul-mate, shouldn't he be fine with giant clown murals and such? Or is he actually Eleanor's soul-mate, fully equipped to guide her with moral philosophy?

post #18 of 195

Moments of funny, but they are driving plot a bit too hard right now for me. It just doesn't feel quite natural.

post #19 of 195

I enjoyed the Janet glitches, if you can call them that.  Everything else, not so much.  Fully expect some reveal where none of them actually belong there, and Michael having to sort it out is his own "bad place."

post #20 of 195

Love the reveal that while Chidi was an uncommonly dedicated moral philosopher, he wasn't very good at it.

 

Question. Does Michael spend this much time with everyone in the Neighborhood? Can he be in more than one place at a time?

post #21 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
 

Moments of funny, but they are driving plot a bit too hard right now for me. It just doesn't feel quite natural.

 

See, I think they have to be hitting the plot hard, because it's such a complicated and conflict-killing premise.  If everyone and everything else is per se perfect, and the only hitches come directly and obviously from Eleanor's presence, there is no room for real conflict or tension.  Opening it up to make it clear that there are problems with the entire system is the only way to keep any sort of dramatic/comedic conflict going. 

post #22 of 195

I do feel it was a bit early to reveal that there are other 'accidental' newcomers in the Neighborhood. Could turn into a Galactica hey-who-isn't-a-Cylon type deal.

post #23 of 195

Yeah, Hammerhead put it better. I can just feel the writer's room seeping out of every scene.

post #24 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

I do feel it was a bit early to reveal that there are other 'accidental' newcomers in the Neighborhood. Could turn into a Galactica hey-who-isn't-a-Cylon type deal.

 

See, I think they need something like that to counter how the Good Place is designed specifically to negate any conflict or tension.  The place needs to be screwed up from the ground up, or else there's nothing to but berate Eleanor for not being perfect.

post #25 of 195

The glut of Fro-Yo places is evidence enough of that. "I don't know what to tell you..."

post #26 of 195

I think there's some fascinating theology going on with this which I think belies the seemingly simplicity of the "Eleanor learns to be a better person" plot.  Like the way all the artists, no matter how inspiring, seem to be in the Bad Place.  Or how there's apparently no Purgatory-like Medium Place.  Or how porn is not only freely but happily available, something which doesn't seem to jibe with a pure afterlife.

 

Or how the Good Place seems INCREDIBLY elitist.  The 1% of the 1%.  There's such an impossibly high standard, it's amazing there's that many people there.  And Eleanor being there is proof that either the system isn't as foolproof as they think it is or (and more interestingly) someone realizes this is screwed up and has deliberately gummed up the works via Eleanor to bring the whole thing crashing down.  The note slipped under her door at the end of the second chapter may not be so much a threat as it is someone saying, "I know you're not supposed to be here, and I also know why."  Maybe there's a group in the Good Place who realize things are wrong.  That there are undeserving souls here, as well as undeserving souls in the Bad Place.  That capital S Someone isn't nearly as infallible as they appear to be.  And maybe it's time to do something about that.

 

We could be seeing Paradise Lost as an NBC comedy.

post #27 of 195

Haven't watched this but I cant remember the last time I saw a new sitcom generate this amount of posts with its first episode. Must be doing something right.

post #28 of 195
Thread Starter 

Well, it's certainly doing something weird and different.  "Right" is still an open question.

post #29 of 195
To be honest, I was on board when Michael reveals some stoner got the afterlife 92% correct while the other religions got about 5% correct.

I'm in.
post #30 of 195

Caught up on this last night. It kind of reminds me of "Last Man on Earth," with a crazy high-concept premise the writers don't seem to have a complete grasp on. As with LME, I'll keep sticking with it and probably be annoyed half the time.

 

I also think Kristen Bell is miscast in this. The role seemed clearly written for Amy Poehler's brand of optimistic spunk, and Bell seems a little too cynical to pull that off.

 

I find the show intriguing, yet I've laughed maybe 5 times over the course of 3 episodes. An odd thing to say about a comedy I kind of like.

post #31 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

 

I also think Kristen Bell is miscast in this. The role seemed clearly written for Amy Poehler's brand of optimistic spunk, and Bell seems a little too cynical to pull that off.

 

Huh?  That's not the character at all.  She's supposed to be Sweet Dee from Always Sunny, crashing the Pearly Gates.

post #32 of 195

I thought her character was especially Poehler-y in the pilot.

post #33 of 195
Thread Starter 
I mean, the whole point of the show is that she was so shitty and cynical. It's a fundamental aspect of the text.
post #34 of 195

Yeah, she's so bad, she knows she doesn't belong there, scratch that, in "the good place".  I say it like that because I have some ideas about this show, especially after the last episode. I'm not sure any of them belong in the good place, or that it actually exists. Like, they are all freaking out. thinking Michael made a mistake, and we'll find out one by one, or at some point all of them don't think they belong there. either Michael is in on it, or probably not, and it turns into a kinda afterlife they all create for themselves, together, or something. It's not completely thought out, but something like that. I'm probably waaay off base. I usually am. Heh.

post #35 of 195

I heard David Lindelof was consulted by Michael Schur on the world building of this show and it shows.   You want to discuss the world this show builds ad nauseum which is pretty amazing for a sitcom when you think of it.

 

  One of the more intriguing aspects of the show seems to be the idea that you can possibly game the system and get into heaven.   For example, it's revealed that Tahani raised 60 Billion for charity in her life but has some less than perfect character traits.   So it's implied you don't necessarily have to be a good person.   Just do more good things than bad and you're in.   Very interesting ground that's being covered in a comedy.

post #36 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post

I heard David Lindelof was consulted by Michael Schur on the world building of this show and it shows.   You want to discuss the world this show builds ad nauseum which is pretty amazing for a sitcom when you think of it.

  One of the more intriguing aspects of the show seems to be the idea that you can possibly game the system and get into heaven.   For example, it's revealed that Tahani raised 60 Billion for charity in her life but has some less than perfect character traits.   So it's implied you don't necessarily have to be a good person.   Just do more good things than bad and you're in.   Very interesting ground that's being covered in a comedy.

Yeah I'm loving the "God's Algorithm" scoring system. Who decided that holding the door open was +5 points but wearing makeup was -1? The micro-accounting that can land shitty but rich folks in The Good Place for giving to charity while poor people who swear a bit because their lives suck go to The Bad Place has the potential to be a huge problem, one that I hope ends up with a Robin-Hood of the Afterlife solution.
post #37 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post
 

 

  One of the more intriguing aspects of the show seems to be the idea that you can possibly game the system and get into heaven.   For example, it's revealed that Tahani raised 60 Billion for charity in her life but has some less than perfect character traits.   So it's implied you don't necessarily have to be a good person.   Just do more good things than bad and you're in.   Very interesting ground that's being covered in a comedy.

 

I'm struggling with a definition of "good person" that doesn't mean doing more good things than bad.  All it's saying is that it's more important to be good than a chill person to hang with.  Which I don't think is very controversial, as far as ethics go.

post #38 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

 

I'm struggling with a definition of "good person" that doesn't mean doing more good things than bad.  All it's saying is that it's more important to be good than a chill person to hang with.  Which I don't think is very controversial, as far as ethics go.

 

Not the best worded.   What I mean is that it looks like it's possible to be a shitty person with these algorithms and still get into Heaven by doing some good things that are worth a lot of points.   Case in point: Mark Zuckerberg getting into heaven due to donating 99% of his wealth to charity when he might or might not be a shitty person in other aspects of his life.

post #39 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post
 

 

Not the best worded.   What I mean is that it looks like it's possible to be a shitty person with these algorithms and still get into Heaven by doing some good things that are worth a lot of points.   Case in point: Mark Zuckerberg getting into heaven due to donating 99% of his wealth to charity when he might or might not be a shitty person in other aspects of his life.

 

Maybe I'm just being thick, but this all seems like common sense to me.  Like, of course any moral judgment system would have to be both holistic and weighted so that big stuff means more than little stuff.  But the scoring system does mean that everything matters, big and small, just big stuff means more than small stuff. 

 

I think what you're circling is the idea that it appears to be possible to buy your way in to the Good Place, if you have a lot of money.  And while I do think that donating 99% of your wealth to charity should make up for an awful lot of road rage or being rude to waiters (and conversely, molesting one kid should cancel out a whole lot of good tipping and being supportive of friends' bad karaoke), I can see how it could seem objectionable for there to be some sort of indulgence system.  Ultimately though, I would agree with the premise of the system.  It's there to judge morality, and works far outweigh words on that scale.  So I have a hard time accepting any system where Tahani doing a bunch of good deeds would not outweigh her being kind of annoying to be around.

post #40 of 195

It's kind of like a voting system where 1st place is 5 points, 2nd is 4, etc.  And while three or four different people get first place votes, you end up second on every single ballot.  Nobody thought you were the best, but the scoring means you got more points, so you win.

 

Spoilers:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I expected Jianyu to break his silence, but by confiding to Eleanor that he couldn't stand Tahani and that he was keeping silent so he wouldn't have to talk to her.  I did not expect him to be the note writer.  And this development definitely underlines the fact that something is up with this place.
post #41 of 195

The points system laid out in the show is inherently screwed up, and the show knows it. Chidi is probably the best example: Michael pretty much says outright that Chidi never actually did anything with his life. He was a professor of ethics and moral philosophy, and wrote a ridiculous book about it that he never even finished, but we're not given any evidence that he actually did anything concrete to make the world better. By the criteria laid out in the very first episode he probably shouldn't be in the Good Place. The orientation movie says that you have to be in the top 1% of the top 1% of Good people to get in.

post #42 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
 

The points system laid out in the show is inherently screwed up, and the show knows it. Chidi is probably the best example: Michael pretty much says outright that Chidi never actually did anything with his life. He was a professor of ethics and moral philosophy, and wrote a ridiculous book about it that he never even finished, but we're not given any evidence that he actually did anything concrete to make the world better. By the criteria laid out in the very first episode he probably shouldn't be in the Good Place. The orientation movie says that you have to be in the top 1% of the top 1% of Good people to get in.

 

You're probably right about where the show is going, but so far we haven't seen anything to suggest that Chidi did anything remotely bad at any point.  So his book could be worthless, but he could have a tone of other small points adding up, with nothing much to count against him.

post #43 of 195

Or his singular devotion to writing his book was enough to get him in, because his intentions were pure. But you know what they say about good intentions.

post #44 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post
 

 

Not the best worded.   What I mean is that it looks like it's possible to be a shitty person with these algorithms and still get into Heaven by doing some good things that are worth a lot of points.   Case in point: Mark Zuckerberg getting into heaven due to donating 99% of his wealth to charity when he might or might not be a shitty person in other aspects of his life.

I wish people would stop saying that people like zuckerberg, gates and buffet are giving their wealth to charity. They are establishing foundations that hopefully will do charitable work but ultimately just protect their vast fortunes from the taxes that affect the rest of us. 

 

That 'charity' will be immune to death taxes, pay little to no taxes, preserve the family wealth for as long as the system holds up, contain all of the family properties, jets boats islands etc. It will be run by the family and will pay out a far less amount to charity than it would have paid in taxes. 

 

Do people actually believe that this is charity? Or are people cynical enough to just want to make sure the middle class feels guilty if they try to pass on anything to their children?

post #45 of 195

I'm impressed with how fast this show moves. Jianyu's true identity isn't going to be secret from anyone much longer.

post #46 of 195

Jianyu's personality was annoying as hell and hilarious to me. I know too many people like him.

post #47 of 195

I sort of love the fact that Eleanor found someone actually worse than her.  It's nice little dynamic.

 

I was totally expecting something to come up out of that sinkhole at the end.

post #48 of 195

I actually thought she was going to fall into the hole and end up in The Bad Place

post #49 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

I sort of love the fact that Eleanor found someone actually worse than her.  It's nice little dynamic.

 

 

 

Also very necessary.  In order for there to be any mileage in this premise (and for Eleanor herself not to be categorically unsympathetic), they need there to be more wrong with the afterlife than our protagonist.

post #50 of 195

Well, they went there last night.  Totally didn't expect them to play that card so soon.

 

And Janet was the MVP.  Her alternating her calm reassurances that she was just a construct and could feel no pain and her pleas for her laugh was fantastic, as was the way she acted when she rebooted.

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