The Good Place

Started by Jenniferlillian, Oct 26, 2017, 03:47 am

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Jenniferlillian

Hi everyone!

I just mainlined all of The Good Place in the course of two days and it is truly excellent television. It's like if someone took Parks and Rec and crossed it with LOST. The cast is fantastic and I can't get over how often they are able to turn the story inside out. Anyone else watching?

Chris L

I'd like to say I've watched it, because it does look appealing, but the best I can say is that every time I see Kristin Bell's photo on Netflix it occurs to me that it's something I'd like to try. Maybe after we've finished Ken Burns' Vietnam War (only two episodes to go!), caught up with Outlander (we'll need to renew our Starz subscription on Amazon Prime first) and Narcos (if we can remember where we left off), we'll take a look.

Your comparison to Lost is interesting. I remember how intensely we were both following that back in the aughts. But a comedy version of Lost? Hmm...
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

We finished watching the first season yesterday (we started the second season tonight) and I have to admit that this show is brilliant. The entire first season is an ingenious clockwork mechanism, but what makes it really ingenious is that you don't see the masterful trick they're playing on you until the very end. Bravo to showrunner Michael Shur!

For most of the season it's Kristin Bell (and her roommate Chidi, played by William Jackson Harper) who stand out, with Ted Danson playing a subtle but seemingly thankless comic supporting character, but Danson runs away with the finale. He hasn't been this good since Cheers. The entire cast is fantastic, though, and from what we've seen of the second season so far it looks like they haven't emptied their bag of tricks yet. Amy's not sure how they can sustain the show much longer, but after the first season I have confidence in their ability to keep this enterprise running. (If you've seen more of the second season than we have, try not to spoil it for us.)

Highly recommended, even for people who are neither into sitcoms or comic fantasy.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

scenicdesign71

Before the first season was halfway over, I actually did see its finale "twist" coming -- but that didn't make the show any less enjoyable.  The performances, as you say, are spot-on: I would add Jamila Jamil ("Tahani"), D'Arcy Carden ("Janet"), and Manny Jacinto ("Jason") to the list of standouts -- i.e., it's a very tight comic ensemble.

I haven't begun watching Season 2, but I think there's plenty left to mine from this premise -- in some ways, the first season was just setup for something that could become a lot more complicated and interesting.

Chris L

Quote from: scenicdesign71 on Dec 01, 2017, 10:21 amBefore the first season was halfway over, I actually did see its finale "twist" coming -- but that didn't make the show any less enjoyable.  The performances, as you say, are spot-on: I would add Jamila Jamil ("Tahani"), D'Arcy Carden ("Janet"), and Manny Jacinto ("Jason") to the list of standouts -- i.e., it's a very tight comic ensemble.

I haven't begun watching Season 2, but I think there's plenty left to mine from this premise -- in some ways, the first season was just setup for something that could become a lot more complicated and interesting.

Amy was on the verge of guessing the twist. In fact, to be fair, I think she more or less had it. I can't recall if it occurred to me or not, but if it didn't it was because this really isn't the sort of show where you expect a big twist like that. The real trick, in other words, is making you think there isn't going to be a trick. (I read that showrunner Michael Shur conferred with Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof during development, which isn't surprising. As our friend @Jenniferlillian says above, it's a cross between Parks & Recreation and Lost.) And they were pretty fair about spreading clues throughout the first 13 episodes.

And the first episode of Season Two is in some way more complicated than all of Season One put together.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

AmyG

There were two big things, and probably lots of smaller ones, that hinted at the plot twist (intentionally, I'm sure) and I think I brought these both up to Chris at the time.
Spoiler: ShowHide

  • Tahani didn't really seem good to me since she was jealous of her sister. And as I recall, envy is one of the seven deadly sins.
  • Chidi was always miserable. I think it's a bit unfair to send him to the bad place because of his indecisiveness, considering his heart was always in the right place. But the fact that he was so unhappy and always complaining of an upset stomach, gave away that he must not be in the good place.


I don't really doubt that they can sustain the premise because they clearly know what they are doing (did I really say that?) but toward the end of the first episode of season two, I said I didn't think they could keep doing what they were doing much longer. And of course I'm sure they won't. 

Chris L

Quote from: AmyG on Dec 01, 2017, 01:27 pmI don't really doubt that they can sustain the premise because they clearly know what they are doing (did I really say that?) but toward the end of the first episode of season two, I said I didn't think they could keep doing what they were doing much longer. And of course I'm sure they won't.
Ah, I get it. Yes, I'm sure they have some surprises in store for us and whole new plot arcs we haven't seen yet. Maybe we'll watch another episode tonight.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

We're caught up through the mid-season break now and the second season is, if anything, better than the first. (They've left us on a major cliffhanger that we won't see resolved until early next year.) Ted Danson just keeps getting better and it's remarkable how laugh-out-loud funny this show can be while still actually remaining suspenseful.

It's one of the best fantasy shows I've seen on TV, sitcom or not, and I hope they can sustain the current level of inventiveness for a few more seasons. It helps that they're only doing 13 episodes a year, because that really seems to be the most that a show's writing staff can sustain without bogging the story down in filler episodes. In fact, I generally applaud the current trend toward 8, 10 and 13 episode seasons because they work a lot better than the old 22 episode model did.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Jenniferlillian

I thought the show got increasingly better over season 2 and I continue to be impressed by all of their acting. I got a little nervous in the beginning of season 3 that we were losing some of the fantasy elements due to location but that fear's been alleviated:). The episode where Chidi completely flips out was one of the best episodes of television I've seen in a while. 

Chris L

The Good Place does a brilliant job of reinventing itself from season to season, so the story never gets stale. Amy commented earlier this season that they've reached the point where they reinvent themselves from episode to episode, which must be tremendously confusing for people dropping in late. Fortunately, you can always catch up on earlier seasons from Netflix and on the current season from Hulu. Alas, the early episodes from this season have already vanished from Hulu and won't be on Netflix until the season is over.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Jenniferlillian

Yeah, it's the only sitcom where when I find out someone hasn't seen it, I send them to Netflix instead of telling them to watch for that reason. 
S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

R

E

A

L

L

Y

I'm dying to know what Janet's void is like. And to find out if Derek is still there. Plus the other Janets. Like do good and bad Janets hang out? D'Arcy Carden is amazing. Also, who do you think they'll get to play the Accountant?

Chris L

Yeah, I assume the next episode, or at least part of it, will take place in the Void, which should really give D'Arcy Carden a chance to shine. By the way, I can't remember if we discussed this on Facebook, but did you catch her on HBO's Barry? That's another brilliant show, but it really made you appreciate D'Arcy Carden's role on The Good Place, because that show so completely wasted her talent in a throw-away part.

By the way, remember that you can hide spoilers

Spoiler: ShowHide

like this. Kind of like putting them in Janet's void.  ;D


But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Jenniferlillian

Spoiler: ShowHide
I don't think I knew I could do this lol. Testing it out.

DiveMilw

How many episodes are in Season 3?  Hulu only has through episode 12 and I think there are at least 13.  
I no longer long for the old view!

KathyB

I think there were 13, but one and two were kind of mashed up together, so the numbering could be off of what you or I think it should be.