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  1. I disagree; I think it's why there are so many popular slash ships to begin with, because there are so many super close, emotionally deep friendships between guys. Honestly, I think it's the "bros who like the same beer and sports teams" types of friendships that are rare in media. It's way more common that you see "bromances" (and, I'd argue, why that's even a term in the first place) where they're incredibly close and going through all this dramatic, emotional stuff together, at least that I've seen. Maybe we're watching different things, though, and interpretations vary. I do agree that deep, emotionally complex relationships that are completely platonic are more rare than they should be, but I'd argue it's a much bigger issue with male/female friends than male ones. Where I think homophobia comes in is the double standard. So much of the time, when there's even the slightest hint that two male characters might get together, people freak out, but where are all the "why can't they just be FRIENDS?!" people when it's yet another male/female relationship turning romantic? As for writers/PTB, I certainly hope there's not anyone calling Ryan Murphy homophobic because that would be ridiculous. There are cases where I do feel like homophobia on the part of the writers is a factor (including one very recent example where someone lost their job and homophobia was one of the many accusations of people who actually worked with them) but I haven't seen any evidence that that's the case here and haven't seen anyone saying it is (as with everything, I'm sure there's someone, somewhere saying it, but unless I'm missing something big, I don't think it's happening on any wide scale). Like I've already said, I'm not particularly invested in this particular friendship turning romantic because I don't like the way a lot of TV writers write romances, and these particular writers, based on past projects, fall into that category (and honestly, I've lost a lot of the enthusiasm I once had for this show), but my main point is that I don't think it would be some completely crazy, out of left field thing if it were to actually happen because they haven't actually been established as straight. Like you mentioned, they've had opportunities to establish that they weren't, but as someone who's watched almost every show Ryan Murphy's done, I'll readily admit that thinking ahead isn't always a priority. There's also no reason to assume "hasn't explictly said they're gay/bi=must be straight" because there are plenty of reasons why someone wouldn't want to say it at a particular time (although I'll admit I might be reading too much into fictional characters here!). And honestly, I get the frustration on the part of some fans who want the show to go there when many of them are desperate for representation. I feel like if a relationship is intended to be 100% platonic forever, I don't think it's too much to ask for the writers to make that clear from the beginning instead of this will they/won't they grey area, where they've actually admitted that certain things were intentionally framed in a romantic way. Why do that when there's no intention of it going anywhere? I don't think it's entitled at all to want some payoff when the writers have been intentionally adding things to appeal to those fans, and I don't understand criticizing the fans for feeling disappointed when it doesn't lead anywhere. If anything, I think it's unfair of the writers to try to play both sides, to intentionally play up the ambiguity for that subset of fans, to get views/get people talking, if they know that it's not going to lead anywhere. I mean, I get that hyping things up is a big part of advertising (it's why misleading previews are such a well-known thing, etc.) but I can't blame people for being annoyed at thinking they might actually go there this time, only to be let down yet again. No, it's not a zero sum game, as you pointed out, but can you think of even one example where a close male/male platonic friendship turned romantic? Because I can't. It seems like with same sex relationships, it always follows the formula of "well, they're both gay, so obviously they're going to be a couple" and it happens relatively quickly (at least relative to when both characters are introduced, if they're not both around from the beginning). I can't blame people for wanting the type of relationship that's common with straight couples (like Bones, The X-Files, apparently Castle although I haven't seen that one, etc.) where there's years of buildup and backstory. You never see that kind of thing with a same sex relationship, ever (which is also part of the reason I find it hard to call slash fans entitled, because they've never gotten what they wanted; all the relationships they wanted to get together stayed "just friends"). I'm not calling you (or anyone who doesn't want this particular relationship to be romantic) homophobic, because people have different tastes and different interpretations of characters and their relationships, and that's obviously fine, but there are some people who get upset every time there's even the slightest suggestion that a platonic male/male relationship could turn romantic (with the implication, of course, that it would be bad if it did). If platonic male friendships becoming romantic was some widespread thing (or those people got equally bothered when yet another male/female platonic relationship became romantic), then I could buy the "they just value platonic relationships!" argument, but when it's an ongoing pattern, I feel like accusations of homophobia might have some merit.
  2. Yeah, I also thought it was a different woman. Just like how "Random Lab Tech" was some random actress, and then once Zapata realized who she was, in the next scene she was in, it was Patterson. I thought the original lady was Asian as well (or at least had some Asian ancestry), just a different Asian lady than the one she turned into later. I'm not sure what the deal with the credits is, but she definitely looked like a different actress to me.
  3. I'm not sure how/how long a Will and McCoy relationship could work, so I kind of didn't see the point of his return. The reason things didn't work between them to begin with was that he didn't want kids, and that's enough of a dealbreaker when having a kid is some nebulous thing that exists in a hypothetical future. A kid that more or less already exists is an even bigger deal, and unless I missed something, McCoy hasn't changed his mind. (Not that he should, I don't want kids either, but I feel like it does make you incompatible with someone who wants/has them.) There's a Deadline interview with the writers (here if anyone's interested) that makes it sound (at least to me) more casual (it refers to Will and Grace having "lovers") and I guess if you don't want kids and are seeing someone who has them it's not quite as big a deal if it's a more casual thing and you don't plan on marriage or a super committed relationship or whatever (and I guess in that case it's not necessarily as much of an issue that, like Snow Apple said, Grace will always come first), but "happily ever after" (at least in the context it was said in) doesn't really convey that, in my opinion. I'm probably putting way too much thought into it, though. But overall, I liked it much better than the first finale.
  4. Definitely. Like I said, on one hand I wanted him with Danny, but I also don't think he ever really came across as being interested in romance. Danny was almost constantly in a relationship and Steve never seemed to particularly care that much (it surprised me that in the end it was Steve with a love interest and Danny single since it was the opposite of how it was for most of the show). Some people are just not the relationship type, and there's nothing wrong with that...I wish shows didn't feel the need to always pair off every character.
  5. (Replying separately here because I just realized these paragraphs somehow got left out of my reply above and it wouldn't let me go back and put them in.) I think a large part of it was due to the actress. I really disliked Catherine, although I had no issues with Quinn. I definitely thought at one point she was going to be Steve's love interest because (although they weren't carbon copies of each other or anything) I thought she was fairly similar to Catherine, but without all the baggage/bad history. Yeah. That's one of the reasons I usually am not a fan of romance in shows, they're (almost) always the same. Most of the time, even if I like two characters' dynamic and think they'd be good together, I usually don't want them to get together because most writers tend to write romantic relationships in the same boring, predictable way.
  6. Yeah, there were so many times family members should've been there. I get that they probably couldn't get the actors, or didn't want to, but I feel like there should've at least been comments about where they were/why they weren't there. Oh, that's an interesting idea! I didn't even think of her (I was thinking about women that had been love interests in the past, or that I thought the show was hinting were maybe going to be) but I think I would've liked that more than any of them.
  7. Well...I'm not sure if The Good Place had my least favorite series finale anymore. Anyone who saw my posts on that thread knows I really, really hated that finale, so even though I'm not as...super passsionately angry about this one, we had 5 times as much time with these characters so I was more invested in them, and I was just...really sad about this one (and I was not in a great mood when I watched it because of everything going on right now, so that probably influenced how I felt about it at least to some degree). First of all, I'm annoyed at Peter Lenkov's "you have to be married and have kids to be happy and fulfilled" BS (and to be completely honest, find it a little sad), although I guess I shouldn't be surprised after Joe White repeatedly telling Steve to find a woman. I mean, I would get it if the message was "don't be alone, be around people who love you" (although some people genuinely are happier alone), but I don't see why it has to specifically be a conventional romantic relationship leading to marriage and kids. I just find that so...limited, when there are so many other options and possibilities of different types of relationships. Although I feel like the show's always had a more...I want to say conservative, but I'm not sure that's exactly the right word...maybe traditional, slant, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they handled it the way they did. So I didn't like ending at all, although I'm kind on conflicted about what I would've preferred. I kind of go back and forth between thinking Steve should've ended up with Danny and thinking he should've been single. Part of me definitely wanted him with Danny. I felt like almost this entire episode (and, to be honest, basically the entire series) was spent illustrating his feelings for Danny. He's chosen him over Catherine multiple times, there was the "the person you care about most in the world" line, which he never argued, while it was shown over and over and over again throughout the course of the series that he and Catherine together did not work. One of the interviews I read mentioned that for the past couple seasons he seemed to be having a bit of an internal struggle, which I thought could've been about trying to come to terms with his (romantic) feelings for Danny, or that he liked guys in general. I feel like there was enough to support that interpretation (the boy in high school with the guitar, and his friend Freddie from the military). To me both of those relationships came across as something other than platonic, even if it was one-sided feelings on Steve's part that he may not have even been aware of at the time. Maybe I'm just imagining things, but something about the ways those scenes were played just gave me that impression. And while I knew that a show like this would never go there, I have to admit I was still somewhat disappointed. I also really don't understand why, if it was their plan all along to have them end up together, they made Catherine such an unlikeable character. I'll admit a significant part of my problem with the character was the actress (I don't want to get too much into behind the scenes happenings, but I am curious how certain actors feel about the ending), but I also had a problem with the writing and the way she treated Steve. If the show insisted on giving him a female love interest, there are so many other characters who I would've rather he ended up with (Alicia Brown would've been interesting, I thought; Quinn, which is where I thought it was going at one point; Lynn; Brooke; Emma; even Ellie Clayton, who I didn't particularly like but would've preferred to Catherine). There was just too much baggage with Catherine, and I thought them agreeing that they were better off as friends was the end of it, so the last minute reunion was kind of jarring to me. On the other hand, I never got the impression that romantic relationships were particularly important to Steve. As we got into the last part of the finale, I kept waiting for an "I already have what I've been looking for" sort of epiphany from him, for him to realize that he didn't need to go searching the world to find what he wanted because he already had it in his friends, his team, his chosen family, and to find peace and happiness there. For him to have all of these deeply emotional goodbyes with people that loved him and still feel it was necessarily to leave them (especially when it had only been a week since Danny almost died, and the episode, hell, entire series, made it so clear that Danny was the most important person in the world to him) just made no sense to me, and to be honest, I found it pretty depressing. I mean, I know Lenkov has said he's not leaving forever, that he will be back, but to me, it was played as if he was leaving for good, and I thought there was just an overall sad undercurrent to the last few scenes. I also thought there should've been a focus on Steve and Danny's relationship in the end. Regardless of how you interpret the nature of it, theirs was clearly the most important relationship in the show. There are multiple ways I think it could've played out, but they could've still had a reunion with Catherine if they wanted but still have had the final scene be Steve and Danny. (Maybe I'm crazy, but nothing will ever convince me that Steve will ever love Catherine as much as he loves Danny, even if you interpret that love as platonic.) Clearly PL just really liked the Catherine character (although, again, if that's the case, I question why she wasn't written as a more likeable character) and wanted to be very explicit about how things ended up, which...whatever, that's his right as a writer (although I'll admit I don't exactly have a super high opinion of him after reading the interviews he's done since the finale aired and hearing about what he's done on social media). I know a lot of people don't like shows ending without a definitive end (and I sometimes agree, depending on the show/situation/details) but I think it would've been an improvement here to leave things more open-ended/ambiguous, so people could interpret it however they wanted. In general, I tend to prefer more "business as usual/life goes on" types of endings, where you know things are continuing on for these characters, we just don't get to see it (like Elementary, which I kept finding myself comparing this finale to for various reasons; handling the Steve/Danny relationship similarly to the way they handled that show's main relationship in the finale would've been basically my ideal ending, to be honest) to major changes in the final episode. But even keeping the episode almost exactly the same, but without showing a person at the end, would've been a huge improvement in my opinion. Show Steve sitting on the plane, look up to see someone that the audience can't see and smile, maybe say something ambiguous like "I'm glad you came" or something, and then fade to black. That way everybody could've imagined the mystery person was whoever they wanted it to be and both camps could be happy. So I don't know...overall it just didn't work for me. There were a couple scenes that I liked (not surprisingly, the ones with Steve and Danny), but an eleventh hour "leave behind everyone who loves him to run off with someone who never passed up an opportunity to leave him" does not constitute a happy ending to me.
  8. Same. There were two things that bothered me last season (Jake changing his mind about wanting kids, and the way the storyline with Nikolaj's biological father was handled) so I was close to being done, anyway, but now that a baby storyline is actually happening, it sealed it. I also just didn't think the first episode was funny at all. So I ended up deleting the second episode without watching it and removed the show from my DVR schedule. It's also possible I'm letting my utter hatred of the Good Place finale affect my opinion here, but...I'm just over this show.
  9. What's craziest to me is how much anger I've seen on other sites. Luckily everyone here, at least that I've seen, is pretty nice and respectful of differing opinions, but I've seen some pretty intense arguments with all kinds of name calling and insults elsewhere online, which is bizarre to me. I've watched some other shows that had divisive endings that led to lots of drama, but nothing quite like this. Yeah, you're right. Religion is such a personal thing, and a lot of people are really...I want to say protective of their beliefs, but I feel like that's not quite the right word (like I mentioned before, I'm sleep deprived and my brain isn't working the greatest right now lol) which maybe explains my previous paragraph. None of those other divisive endings had anything to do with religion, so I guess it makes sense this one would lead to more vigorous debate.
  10. Haha, yeah. It doesn't make sense to me, but I'm definitely in the minority when it comes to my interpretation of this episode. I kind of had the thought last night about it not being real but can't remember where that thought went...I think my thought was that even though it's not real, it's still better than just nothingness. (I've been out sick and am just returning to work so my schedule is all screwed up right now and I'm sleep deprived...normally I'm more coherent than I am right now!) It's crazy how much thought I've put into this finale...as much as I didn't like it, I will say at least it's made me think! As for the suicide, yeah, I know that other people don't see it that way. I know I'm in the minority, but I just can't see it any other way. Like I said before, I've always seen it more as a metaphor than literal for whatever reason, and wouldn't have watched it if I'd realized how it would turn out. What the show ended up being is just not for me. I will agree with that! A topic like this is just too huge and complex and polarizing for it to be done in a way that would satisfy everyone, but I guess it doesn't need to. From what I've seen, most people loved it, so I guess that's good enough...nothing can please everybody.
  11. Ah, that makes way more sense. I've read elsewhere (and there are people on other sites still continuing to repeat it) that he had the entire show planned out all along, which doesn't make sense to me.
  12. So I keep thinking about this and trying to further analyze my thoughts, and I think for me it's actually not all that complicated. I don't know if it's because I'm not religious or what, but none of the "it's not suicide because they're not alive", "it's about enlightenment/peace/nirvana/whatever tenet of whatever religion" arguments ultimately work for me. I just can't see it as anything other than a group of people deciding that they're bored with life and killing themselves. No matter how many different interpretations I read, none of them resonate with or ring true to me. To me it's about suicide and portraying it as if it's a wonderful thing, and that makes me angry and sad. Good point about a place like that not sounding like a Good Place. And yeah, them spending thousands (or more) of years in their time trying to fix the afterlife, and then just finally essentially shrugging and saying "oh, well, everything sucks, so we'll just choose to not exist anymore" by using a door that didn't exist until the second to last episode of the show? With writing that bad, I just find it really hard to believe that all this was really planned out this way from the beginning. I don't know if NBC wasn't happy with the ratings and was going to cancel it regardless and the showrunners wanted to save face by saying "oh, yeah, it was our decision, totally, we planned it this way all along" or what. If it really was planned this way all along, it makes my opinion of Mike Schur go waaaaaaaaay down.
  13. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am that there wasn't more. I know the showrunners say it was all planned out all along, but I don't know that I believe that. Spending so much time on the "human experiment" that ended up basically leading nowhere was a bad choice in my opinion, and throwing the eternal door in so close to the end made it seem rushed to me. I felt like it could've been more balanced. Also, I'm not sure that keeping the show so short was their decision, because I feel like there's just so much more they could've done. For one example, I wish the soulmate concept from the beginning could've been explored more. I don't necessarily even believe in soulmates in real life, but I find it an interesting concept, and all of them being (mostly opposite sex) romantic couples is not interesting to me. Some people having best friends or family members as soulmates instead would've at least been something different. Yes. Everything you said. (Snipping the quote for length.) The idea of being able to do/see/experience literally anything imaginable, and choosing instead to just end it all is not something I can wrap my mind around. Even if things aren't exciting and have lost their novelty, to me that's still better than nothing. For me, just a normal day at work, having pleasant but not particularly interesting interactions with people there, eating at a restaurant I like but isn't my favorite for lunch, and then coming home to make something simple for dinner and read a few chapters of a book that's moderately entertaining but not great (trying to extrapolate to my own life a version of existence that's not exciting but that I'm not completely miserable with...but maybe I need to quit trying to compare this show to reality!) is still preferable to nothingness forever. I mean, obviously I would prefer everything to be super interesting and awesome all the time, but to me, even a mediocre life is better than not existing at all. That's a good point. I don't have kids and don't want them, but I don't think they're necessary to still be interested in humanity and seeing how things are going on earth. Like you mentioned, were war/famine/racism ever eradicated? Were the effects of climate change somehow reversed? Did they ever find a cure for cancer and all the other diseases? What kind of energy do people use now? How has government evolved? What systems of commerce do various countries run on? What do people look like now? What kinds of animals are there? What were the effects of automation? How has technology progressed? How have different countries' cultures evolved with globalization? Has humanity colonized other planets? Is there time travel? Who knows, maybe after some time, humans have invented a way to travel to the afterlife and back? (I read a book once based on the theory that the afterlife is actually just another dimension that exists alongside our own and that when people die their consciousness just travels to this other dimension...I don't necessarily find it particularly likely, but still find it interesting.) Not to mention being able to travel to any place and period in time and watch literally anything that's ever happened. The idea of getting bored when you can experience literally anything possible is just unfathomable to me. Wow, it's interesting how people are so different! I feel like "just like earth but better" is a bit of an understatement because (at least as it's portrayed in the show), it's not just fishing and eating your favorite foods, seeing/doing/learning/experiencing literally anything is possible. But even if it was just hanging out with your loved ones and doing all the hobbies you enjoy and eating your favorite foods...to be able to do those things without all the stress or worry or anxiety of life is the opposite of sad or depressing to me. To me, life is awesome and if I'm wrong and there is an afterlife, it being just like regular life but without any of the negative stuff is awesome, even without the added bonus of being able to see and do anything imaginable. What exactly does your second option entail? Because if you don't have a consciousness or independent thought, and you don't get to be with the people you love, that is what's sad and depressing to me. If you do have those things, and you're not hanging out and eating your favorite foods and enjoying your favorite hobbies, then what are you doing? Just floating around in space without a body and looking at planets and having conversations by sharing your thoughts telepathically? To me that's way more boring than being able to travel all over the world in an instant and see/do anything and everything you've ever wanted to see/do. A non-specific "peace and paradise that we cannot currently comprehend because our imaginations are limited by our humanness" is not something I want any part of if I can't know what specifically it means. I like being a human and having a mind and thoughts, and the idea of being something other than human is not something that appeals to me at all. If I can't have the things that make me human, to me it's the same as no longer existing, and I would take just hanging out with loved ones and doing mundane things over that any day. I'm okay with non-happy endings, I just feel like there was so much potential for more. (In a show that's set in the real world for example, I'm fine with characters dying. I might be annoyed with it if it's one of my favorite characters, but I'm not as bothered by it as I am here.) And Michael being born a baby was actually something I was thinking of earlier, they could've had that be an option for anyone. Once they got bored of the afterlife, they could've chosen to be reborn and lived a whole different life as a whole different person. Like I've said in other posts, I believe that in reality, there most likely is nothing after life, and that's fine, but in fiction, set in a world where there are infinite possibilities, to still choose nothing is just...disappointing, and lacking in imagination, to me.
  14. I don't know how or why I got it into my head that it was a metaphor, but that was the way I interpreted it, for whatever reason. Obviously I was wrong. It's not the show itself that I found pointless, it's the subject of the show. I mean, you could say all fiction is pointless, I suppose, it depends on your perspective. If fiction entertains someone, or teaches them something new, or gives them a new way of thinking about something, I think it serves a purpose. Religion/theology, for me, doesn't serve a purpose, and given that that's what this show was about, I ultimately felt like it was a waste of time. Obviously other people's mileage varies. I personally don't see much of a distinction. To me, having a consciousness and an individual mind/thoughts is what defines "existing". Becoming part of the universe and no longer having those things is the same thing as ceasing to exist in my opinion, but obviously everyone has their own perspective.
  15. Usually I hate the "if you didn't like it then clearly you just didn't understand it" comments that come with certain media, and that I've been seeing a lot in the discussion about this finale; I find them to be pretentious and a cop-out. No, people can understand something and still not like it. But maybe in this case they're not entirely wrong. I do feel like I understand it, but on some level, I don't really get it. Maybe it's because I'm an atheist--I actually believe that just ceasing to exist is most likely what happens (and maybe I'm wrong; obviously, like everyone, I don't really know, but I find all the endless wondering about it to be kind of a waste of time) and it's because I think that our lives right now are all we have that we should enjoy them as much as we can. Honestly, I've always seen the whole afterlife thing as a plot device more than anything, that was basically just the setup for a story about a group of characters trying to be better people, and I never really took it seriously, or at least not literally (I'd always thought it was a metaphor for something else; for awhile I thought it was about politics/the government). So through that lens, I just saw it as a bunch of people with great lives not appreciating them, and in the end it was a finale where a bunch of characters that I'd grown attached to decided to kill themselves. That's not beautiful or touching to me, it's a stupid ending in my opinion. I said before that I felt like the show was dishonest, but I guess it's my own fault for reading more into it than was intended. Personally, I find theology to be pointless. Either we die and just cease to exist, and that's it, or there's an afterlife (or reincarnation or whatever), but there's no way for us to know while we're alive, so I see trying to figure it out as a waste of time, to be honest. So I guess I'm just not the target audience for this type of show. If I'd taken it at face value that it was actually about the afterlife and not just using the afterlife as a metaphor to tell a story about a specific group of characters, I wouldn't have bothered watching it.
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