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ElectricBoogaloo

S04.E07: Help Is Other People

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3 hours ago, jacehan said:

My guess is that the 21st will be the Fall Finale, and then we'll get the final 5 episodes in January.

5 hours ago, edhopper said:

How many episode do we have left before we say goodbye to this wonderful show?

The series finale airs January 30th per the NBC winter schedule posted by Deadline today

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2 hours ago, bros402 said:

The series finale airs January 30th per the NBC winter schedule posted by Deadline today

You were holding out on us by not saying that that same article mentions that the finale will be 90 minutes long.

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13 hours ago, sharifa70 said:

I thought "Princess Kate" sounded weird, too! But then I thought of Princess-by-Marriage Diana and assumed it must be ok.

Technically she was Diana, Princess of Wales. The media were wrong whenever they referred to her as Princess Diana.

If Charles ever becomes King, allowing William to become Prince of Wales then Katherine can be referred to as Katherine, Princess of Wales. But she still will not be allowedto be officially referred to as Princess Katherine. The only time she will get to put the royal title before her name is when William becomes King and she becomes the Queen Consort (Queen Katherine), like William's great grandmother Queen Elizabeth, later known as The Queens Mother.

In regards to the episode, it was an improvement over last week But I was shocked it was the end of the experiment. I really don't know how they are gonna fill in the rest of the season. I imagined the experiment was going to last longer from a season point of view.

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1 hour ago, AnimeMania said:

You were holding out on us by not saying that that same article mentions that the finale will be 90 minutes long.

The 90 minutes includes an aftershow hosted by Seth Myers. The finale itself will be approximately 1 hour. 

1 hour ago, Bill1978 said:

If Charles ever becomes King, allowing William to become Prince of Wales then Katherine can be referred to as Katherine, Princess of Wales. But she still will not be allowedto be officially referred to as Princess Katherine. The only time she will get to put the royal title before her name is when William becomes King and she becomes the Queen Consort (Queen Katherine), like William's great grandmother Queen Elizabeth, later known as The Queens Mother.

She actually spells it Catherine. 

1 hour ago, Bill1978 said:

In regards to the episode, it was an improvement over last week But I was shocked it was the end of the experiment. I really don't know how they are gonna fill in the rest of the season. I imagined the experiment was going to last longer from a season point of view.

I feel the same way but I think that it is a really good thing. I’m excited to see what the second half is going to be.

I think this show is at it’s best when it reaches the point where I have no idea where it is going. Eleanor’s confessions in season 1, the destruction of the neighborhood in season 2 and the soul squad going into Janet’s void in season 3 felt like a similar transition to this episode and led to some of the show’s strongest episodes. 

Edited by Dani
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1 minute ago, Dani said:

She actually spells it Catherine. 

Thank you. I always stuff up. I blame my obsession with Henry VIII's wives for never being able to remember how each royal KCatherineyne spells their name. 

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1 hour ago, Bill1978 said:

Technically she was Diana, Princess of Wales. The media were wrong whenever they referred to her as Princess Diana.

Ah. I had no idea. Thanks for the clarification!

7 minutes ago, Bill1978 said:

Thank you. I always stuff up. I blame my obsession with Henry VIII's wives for never being able to remember how each royal KCatherineyne spells their name. 

Hi, fellow Tudor Nerd! I frequently swap Howard (beheaded) with Parr (survived) when referring to them in isolation.

Back to the show: I think I missed the part about calling a train and fleeing to Mindy. I know that’s what the Soul Squad expected/hoped for, but why? That was a very specific outcome. 

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16 hours ago, Roxie said:

Except that Vicky is now blue goo.  But it could be a different, just-as-heinous demon.

We can rule out Chris; Tahani didn't deck anyone or take off her shirt.

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As shallowly written as Brent is, John might be even more superficially imagined -- a stereotype of the bitchy, gossipy gay man.

If this is the last we see of Brent and John, then they were the final season's most disappointing feature. I would have liked to see their characters examined in the light of Chidi's moral philosophy seminars.

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Quote

I thought "Princess Kate" sounded weird, too! But then I thought of Princess-by-Marriage Diana and assumed it must be ok.

Quote

Technically she was Diana, Princess of Wales. The media were wrong whenever they referred to her as Princess Diana.

Technically wrong to call her Princess Diana during her marriage to Charles, but Prince and Princess of Wales is a special designation beyond just being a child or grandchild of the monarch, so it was "less wrong" than saying Princess Kate or Princess Megan. 

On the other hand, after she divorced Charles she settled on the title Princess Diana, so it was correct to call her that afterwards. She was just no longer an HRH.

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14 hours ago, Corgi-ears said:

He's obviously going to say, "I'm sorry...you feel that way." That's in our real life world the classic non-apology, and the writers will then have fun making that point, because that's Brent's function in the show.

That might be true if this wasn’t the last season.   Plus that actually goes against the basic moralistic message of the show that everyone who isn’t Hitler, a serial killer or in a boy band is basically salvageable.    Brent is the perfect representation of that message.   The person we are all predisposed to hate and in the very last minute shows that little bit of humanity that may put the experiment in flux.   

Edited by Chaos Theory
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On 11/7/2019 at 7:13 PM, JessDVD said:

Tahani wondering if Jason was a demon in a Jason suit was actually exactly what I was wondering. And all her stuff about black tie style is everything I love about Tahani

Is it next week yet??

Being a London nerd, I loved the line about the London neighbourhoods - that was fabulous.  "Knightsbridge, not Kensington and certainly not Brompton."  I looked them up on my always-at-hand London map, and was reminded that the three of them are literally contiguous.  You could throw a pebble from one and hit the other, or walk in all three in twenty minutes.  That's the pinnacle of Tahani-type snobbery. 

Edited by Chippings · Reason: Spelling
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I come here and read everyone pulling out the highlights, and I really wish I was enjoying this season as much as all of you seem to be.  This whole experiment thing has been dragging, IMO.  We simultaneously get not enough of the new recruits to really have a sense of who they are beyond caricatures, and at the same time there's too much of them for us to have time for our base group to have any really interesting developments.  I'm sooo glad it is over and we will hopefully be moving on to some new and interesting twists.

I hope Chidi is given his memory back, since it's clear that he and Simone are not compatible.

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6 minutes ago, McKinley said:

I come here and read everyone pulling out the highlights, and I really wish I was enjoying this season as much as all of you seem to be.  This whole experiment thing has been dragging, IMO.  We simultaneously get not enough of the new recruits to really have a sense of who they are beyond caricatures, and at the same time there's too much of them for us to have time for our base group to have any really interesting developments.  I'm sooo glad it is over and we will hopefully be moving on to some new and interesting twists.

I hope Chidi is given his memory back, since it's clear that he and Simone are not compatible.

I pretty much agree with all of what you've said, but I am still enjoying this season (minus last week's episode) and I think it's because despite the aforementioned issues, the writers are still really good and write some literally LOL lines. Still, I am very glad that the experiment is over and we're likely to not spend much time with Simone, Brent, and John henceforth.

2 hours ago, Chippings said:

Being a London nerd, I loved the line about the London neighbourhoods was fabulous.  "Knightsbridge, not Kensington and certainly not Brompton."  I looked them up on my always-at-hand London map, and was reminded that the three of them are literally contiguous.  You could throw a pebble from one and hit the other, or walk in all three in twenty minutes.  That's the pinnacle of Tahahi-type snobbery. 

Ha! That's hilarious. Thanks for the enlightenment there because it makes it even more funny than I already found it!

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43 minutes ago, McKinley said:

I hope Chidi is given his memory back, since it's clear that he and Simone are not compatible.

What we have seen in the repeated reboots suggests that Chidi should not need his memory back in order to bond with Eleanor. I want him to get his memory back ultimately, but I would prefer to see signs that he appreciates Eleanor first. I would have liked to see more of their interactions this season, but I remind myself that he sees her as a functionary of the afterlife and doesn't get to see the human side of her. 

It makes me so happy every time I see the title of this episode. 

Edited by SomeTameGazelle · Reason: Corrected a word and added an afterthought.
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52 minutes ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

What we have seen in the repeated reboots suggests that Chidi should not need his memory back in order to bond with Eleanor. I want him to get his memory back ultimately, but I would prefer to see signs that he appreciates Eleanor first. I would have liked to see more of their interactions this season, but I remind myself that he sees her as a functionary of the afterlife and doesn't get to see the human side of her. 

Yes. This. I felt like there was a little bit of this in terms of Chidi's determination to believe Eleanor even as Simone pounded away at all the problems with the Good Place, but I've really missed the Eleanor/Chidi dynamic this season.

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On 11/8/2019 at 5:52 PM, whiporee said:

And Jamila keeps candy and chocolate in her dress pockets. 

I truly did not need one more reason to love Jameela Jamil, but you gave me one anyways!  OK, you gave me two - one, she has dresses with pockets, and two, the candy/chocolate in said pockets.  She's so awesome!

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8 hours ago, Chippings said:

Being a London nerd, I loved the line about the London neighbourhoods was fabulous.  "Knightsbridge, not Kensington and certainly not Brompton."  I looked them up on my always-at-hand London map, and was reminded that the three of them are literally contiguous.  You could throw a pebble from one and hit the other, or walk in all three in twenty minutes.  That's the pinnacle of Tahahi-type snobbery. 

I love that. I also loved that her complaint to the others was that they looked good enough to work the coat check at the Met Ball. She may be a truly good person but she’s still a snob. 

1 hour ago, Quilt Fairy said:

Surely one "I'm sorry" isn't enough to tip the balance? 

Maybe not but it was the first sign of genuine improvement which is the only parameter for the experiment that we know about. Based on what we’ve seen the soul squad doesn’t even know what constitutes improvement in the judge’s eyes. 

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21 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

You were holding out on us by not saying that that same article mentions that the finale will be 90 minutes long.

Well part of it is an aftershow hosted by Seth Meyers. So it's a 60 minute finale, then a 30 minute Seth Meyers talking show

5 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

Surely one "I'm sorry" isn't enough to tip the balance? 

It's enough to show that humanity can improve - it wasn't to show they could earn enough points in a year to get into the Good Place - it was to demonstrate that the humans could improve. Eleanor improved - she passed her test.

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4 minutes ago, bros402 said:

So it's a 60 minute finale, then a 30 minute Seth Meyers talking show

Followed by, in another year or so, The Good Place Movie, just to tie up any loose ends like Deadwood did.

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On 11/8/2019 at 2:13 PM, JessDVD said:

I never liked Simone much but I really don't like her now. John's lines to her by the sinkhole were all mine. But then, they had John go with Simone, interested to see how that'll turn out.

Oh my god, there's someone else!  Thank you!  I've never liked her and can't stand her.  The first time I saw her, I was like, no freaking way, please don't let her become a regular.  Then they did THIS!!!  A main character this season.  WTF.

I love magic, please don't judge me people!  So I loved all the 'earth magic' they did, as well as Tuxedo In A Can!  That actually made me laugh.

This sounds strange coming from an Aussie, but it really grates me when I hear an Australian accent in American shows, whether it's a fake accent or real.  There's only one type of Australian accent I hear on shows and that's not how most Aussies talk.  Also, most Aussies don't really say 'G'day' or 'Crikey' to others, especially in shops or on a regular basis.   The last time I heard someone say Crikey was by a person over 80 years (yes, I know that there will be Aussies here saying "I'm 25 years old and I say Crikey and G'Day all the time"). Then having to hear someone FAKE that broad Australian accent had me cringe so hard.  If you want to hear a properly-spoken Aussie accent by an actress, listen to how Yvonne Strahovski speaks in interviews. 

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Hey, clever play on the title - 'Help' instead of 'Hell', since The Good Place is based on Sartre's play 'No Exit', where the saying is "Hell is other people."

On 11/8/2019 at 2:11 PM, phalange said:

Quote of the episode: “We do nothing. We hope our earlier successes make up for the embarrassing mess we’ve become. Like Facebook. Or America.”

Eleanor got to do the evil laugh! And did it masterfully, I might add. 

I kinda wanted to see Janet eat the Janet-babies... 

I loved Bad Janet's from last week - "Women in $400 yoga pants refusing to vaccinate their children.  Vindictive nerd at Apple are changing the charger cable shape.  AGAIN!!!"

I wonder how many times Kristen practiced doing the evil laugh.  I can actually see her doing that.

If they got 100 babies dressed in Janet's clothes all in one place, that would my absolute favourite scene of the entire series for me!!!

On 11/8/2019 at 2:37 PM, Ohiopirate02 said:

I absolutely loved Kristen and D'Arcy in this episode.   From Janet's attempt at breaking into the obelisk to "what do you know", "I know everything," to Janet's look of appreciation after Eleanor says she has bounced quarters off of Chidi's ass, to the final pitcher of margaritas. They were both on fire in this episode. 

Bouncing a quarter off Chidi's butt is totally something Eleanor would do (just to see that it bounced) and it would be even better if she did that at Mindy's place, since she taped them having sex. 

On 11/9/2019 at 5:20 AM, iMonrey said:

She is a princess by marriage only which makes her the Princess William. You are only called "Princess your first name" if you are a princess by birth. Tahani of all people would know this.)

Well, she DID eat a Cheeto, so....
I'm guessing that was a gateway snack to being a commoner.

On 11/9/2019 at 8:44 AM, PityFree said:

Very good catch, and it makes me think that Tahani has been replaced by demon Vicky wearing a Tahani suit!!!

... who tried to divert the attention from herself by blaming Jason for knowing more than he should and saying that HE is the demon in a Jian-yu suit.

I'm still not convinced that Chidi should be in The Bad Place.  Yes, his indecisiveness made people frustrated, but does that make him a bad person?  Bad enough to be in the same place as someone like Brent?  I say no.

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On 11/10/2019 at 3:12 AM, SarahPrtr said:

I'm still not convinced that Chidi should be in The Bad Place.  Yes, his indecisiveness made people frustrated, but does that make him a bad person?  Bad enough to be in the same place as someone like Brent?  I say no.

I think the show agrees with you. Isn’t that the entire point of the experiment? That life has become so complicated that it has made the point system obsolete. That good or bad has become irrelevant.  Chidi didn’t get in because no one gets it. 

We were initially told that Chidi went to the bad place because of his indecision but that was just because Michael believed it at the time. He was operating under the false premise that the point system was infallible. 

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On 11/8/2019 at 6:36 AM, Wanda said:

I think the ultimate experiment though was to see if the original 4 could pass the judges tests to get into the good place personally. All showed they would now. Jason proved he has impulse control when they rescued Janet. Tahani has moved on from the person only interested in throwing parties and being the center of attention. Chidi, that fine assed mailman, certainly grew more decisive and authoritative as evidenced by punching Brent when he needed to be punched and confronting Simone when they had a deep philosophical difference. Elinor, who had already passed the original test, illustrated multiple times she could put her selfishness aside. 

I agree with all of this. I don't think the real test was about Chidi, Simone, John, and Brent improving at all. 

On 11/9/2019 at 12:34 PM, Chaos Theory said:

Plus that actually goes against the basic moralistic message of the show that everyone who isn’t Hitler, a serial killer or in a boy band is basically salvageable.   

I thought it was managing a boy band, not being in a boy band that made someone ineligible. 

20 hours ago, McKinley said:

I hope Chidi is given his memory back, since it's clear that he and Simone are not compatible.

Chidi doesn't need to get his memory back to figure that out. He realized he couldn't be in a relationship with Simone when she refused to help Brent. 

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I just hope Eleanor didn't somehow LOSE points during the experiment. This is the kind of thing that worries me! The system is fubar, and it would be SO like it to say the one who passed before failed this time.

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I didn't hate this episode, but I didn't love it either. I feel like the writers could never figure out how much the 4 newcomers should matter versus being plot devices for comedy. But I think they did end up mattering, and it frustrates me that I never really got to know them or see what they were doing over the experiment. 

I wish Simone had been the only one to walk away because John had seemed to grow so much. But there is something unforgiveable to me about just not caring about a human being in need. Brent was annoying, but he wasn't overtly malicious from what we saw. He didn't deserve to be abandoned in a sinkhole. I'm not sure what the point was of showing us John improving and changing (he kept Jason's secret for a year!) only to have him ultimately leave.

Simone and Chidi's relationship has always been montaged, which is frustrating. I was also annoyed that there was an actual answer to her soulmates question, which is that Eleanor only told Chidi as a way to get him to help Simone when she had decided nothing was real. There was no need for Simone to know because Chidi was adjusted. But there also was not reason for Simone not to know, so why Eleanor didn't use the soulmates concept is a mystery. After all, why else would Tahani and Jianyu the Monk be so close if not for soulmates?

The more the show tries to tell me that Brent is horrible, the less I mind him. He doesn't seem that different from s1 Eleanor or s1 Jason to me. I've seen him be self-absorbed and clueless, but not intentionally hurtful. 

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21 hours ago, SarahPrtr said:

Also, most Aussies don't really say 'G'day' or 'Crikey' to others, especially in shops or on a regular basis.

When I travelled overseas I noticed I hardly said G'Day. But when I came back to Australia I said it far more often. I worked out that it's because I'm a parrot. If you say Hello to me I will say Hello back etc. So naturally I would say G'Day more often in Australia, I also find G'Day is said more in the country regions than the city.

21 hours ago, SarahPrtr said:

Then having to hear someone FAKE that broad Australian accent had me cringe so hard. 

Simone's accent does my head in. I'm not sure if it's terribly bad on purpose, cause surely there are hundreds of Aussie actresses they could have hired for the part if they wanted a true accent.

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1 hour ago, Bill1978 said:

Simone's accent does my head in. I'm not sure if it's terribly bad on purpose, cause surely there are hundreds of Aussie actresses they could have hired for the part if they wanted a true accent.

Yes!  I always think that, especially if the actor is not a big name.  I just wonder, "They could have just gotten any actor who could play that part, so why get someone who has to learn a new accent if they're doing it so terribly?" It's really rare to hear a genuine Aussie accent done well by a non-Australian.  Something about our drawl and the way we pronounce the vowels that makes it difficult for people to copy.  Or it kiiiiind of starts off as a version of Ocker Aussie accent and morphs into some type of Cockney accent.

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I wanted to be fair because  people forget what they actually thought during shows runs.   Season 1.7. Was “The Eternal Shriek”. Where Eleanor publicly  announces to everyone she doesn’t belong in the good place which throws the show into flux.

Also people where in fact getting suspicious that the neighborhood wasn’t what it seemed and the guesswork was pretty good.

I didn’t check on Tahani and  I am curious what people thought of her early on.  

This episode is perfectly on schedule to shake things up with a change in direction.   We just don’t know quite yet what that direction is .  We have Bad Janet questioning herself.   We have Brent’s apology.  The possibilities are endless with this show

Edited by Chaos Theory
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11 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

I wish Simone had been the only one to walk away because John had seemed to grow so much. But there is something unforgiveable to me about just not caring about a human being in need. Brent was annoying, but he wasn't overtly malicious from what we saw. He didn't deserve to be abandoned in a sinkhole. I'm not sure what the point was of showing us John improving and changing (he kept Jason's secret for a year!) only to have him ultimately leave.

I truly expected John & Simone to come back with a rope or ladder or something to help Brent with.  Sort of a "no way am I going to risk falling in the hole to hell for him, but I know there's a large rope right around the corner and that will do" type of thing.  I thought them leaving was a fake out for that type of set up. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 11:34 AM, clack said:

As shallowly written as Brent is, John might be even more superficially imagined -- a stereotype of the bitchy, gossipy gay man.

If this is the last we see of Brent and John, then they were the final season's most disappointing feature. I would have liked to see their characters examined in the light of Chidi's moral philosophy seminars.

Yeah, it's kind of incredible to me that the same writers who created amazing characters like Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason couldn't come up with new humans who were funnier or more interesting than Brent and John.

(As always, if they go somewhere incredible with these characters, I'll feel differently. But even then, I still think they could have made John a lot more humorous than he is. Imagine how entertaining it would have been if the new character had been someone as hilarious as, say, Titus from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.)

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I don't think it was ever the writers' intentions to make John or Brent funnier or more interesting.  First, it would detract from the 6 main characters.  But second, part of the challenge for the original 4 is that John and Brent are so uninteresting.  They're flawed people, John's flaw (being a hopeless gossip) is boring, so it makes it harder to figure out how to get him to improve.  You can't just say "stop gossiping".  Same with Brent - he has soooo many flaws where does one start?  (I personally find the character funny, though.)

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6 minutes ago, chaifan said:

I don't think it was ever the writers' intentions to make John or Brent funnier or more interesting.  First, it would detract from the 6 main characters.  But second, part of the challenge for the original 4 is that John and Brent are so uninteresting.  They're flawed people, John's flaw (being a hopeless gossip) is boring, so it makes it harder to figure out how to get him to improve.  You can't just say "stop gossiping".  Same with Brent - he has soooo many flaws where does one start?  (I personally find the character funny, though.)

I don't know which speaks worse for the writers -- that they tried to create interesting new characters and failed, or that they thought it a good idea to spend much of the precious screen time of their final season with new characters that they purposely made in order to bore the viewers.

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2 hours ago, clack said:

I don't know which speaks worse for the writers -- that they tried to create interesting new characters and failed, or that they thought it a good idea to spend much of the precious screen time of their final season with new characters that they purposely made in order to bore the viewers.

But not all the viewers are bored. Every episode of this show makes me think and reevaluate how I view people. The fact that it is so much harder to like the new characters makes them interesting because their actual actions on Earth are pretty similar to the original four. For me it raises all kinds of interesting questions about compassion and people’s capacity for change. 

At the end of the season I may look back and agree with you but for the moment I am looking forward to seeing where this goes. 

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2 hours ago, chaifan said:

part of the challenge for the original 4 is that John and Brent are so uninteresting.  They're flawed people, John's flaw (being a hopeless gossip) is boring, so it makes it harder to figure out how to get him to improve.  You can't just say "stop gossiping".  Same with Brent - he has soooo many flaws where does one start?  (I personally find the character funny, though.)

Banality of evil personified.

I wasn't as bored as it seems most were, but I also think part of the problem is that we've kind of been here before, and it's like the reboot of a reboot. So it's less exciting (because it's less new) and less twisty-- so far....

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1 hour ago, Dani said:

But not all the viewers are bored. Every episode of this show makes me think and reevaluate how I view people. The fact that it is so much harder to like the new characters makes them interesting because their actual actions on Earth are pretty similar to the original four. For me it raises all kinds of interesting questions about compassion and people’s capacity for change. 

At the end of the season I may look back and agree with you but for the moment I am looking forward to seeing where this goes. 

This is definitely part of why I am enjoying the fork out of this season.  I've watched this episode three times so far--and I've been out of town and had to sign up for the NBC app and then paid for the season on Amazon to watch it in a hotel room on a tablet.

I also just noticed that when Brett starts to say "So..." there is a long moment of silence, and the next line is Janet popping in with the margaritas, and she says "Sorry."  Was this supposed to be another clue to what Brett was going to say?  It's not a complete sentence and it picks up seemingly from where Brett left off.  Just something that struck me.  On the third rewatch.  

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On 11/10/2019 at 2:59 AM, Dowel Jones said:

Followed by, in another year or so, The Good Place Movie, just to tie up any loose ends like Deadwood did.

Six seasons and a movie!

I kind of wish the boring lady had been an actual person and not a demon in disguise, I think thats an interesting kind of person to try and get to improve as a person. Not a bad person, not a good person, just a meh person who never did much good or bad and has no desire to change, or even engage in the world. 

I really do hope that Brett was actually going to apologize and show some growth, because I think its really interesting to have the person like Brett, who is basically the personification of what the writers (and I must assume more than a few audience members) cant stand in a person and has all the "wrong" views, be capable of positive change, while Simon, who until recently, seemed to be the avatar of everything the writers (and I must assume more than a few audience members) like in people and has all the "right" views, still struggle with positive growth. I think it lines up with the shows thesis, that even the seemingly worst people (other than murderers and tyrants and such) are products of their environment, and if given a chance, can change for the better. 

That would be way more morally and thematically fascinating than them doing a dumb joke about him actually saying something dickish like "sorry...you feel that way" or something and them just continuing to use him as a joke character who exists for the writers to take shots at people they dont like. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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It occurs to me that this season as been addressing the question that has come up over and over again. What do we owe each other? That question came to ahead when Brent was in the hole. What obligation do we have to each other and is there a point where we are freed of that obligation. Those questions are the hardest to answer when dealing with people like Brent or John who have no sense of obligation to the rest of the world. 

14 hours ago, chaifan said:

I don't think it was ever the writers' intentions to make John or Brent funnier or more interesting.  First, it would detract from the 6 main characters.  But second, part of the challenge for the original 4 is that John and Brent are so uninteresting.  They're flawed people, John's flaw (being a hopeless gossip) is boring, so it makes it harder to figure out how to get him to improve.  You can't just say "stop gossiping".  Same with Brent - he has soooo many flaws where does one start?  (I personally find the character funny, though.)

I’m not sure if it that they are supposed to be uninteresting as much as our view of the new characters is deliberately more remote. In the first season we saw the world from the group’s perspective. Every scene involved one of the four original humans and we saw flashbacks.  Seeing the neighborhood through their eyes automatically made them more sympathetic. This time we are seeing a very similar group of people in a very similar situation but it is still from the perspective of the original group (minus Chidi). There have been no flashbacks and we never see them just casually hanging out. As a result the new humans are less sympathetic. 

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There have been no flashbacks and we never see them just casually hanging out. As a result the new human are less sympathetic.

And to me that's the greatest flaw of this season so far. So much hinges on what Simone, Brent, and John do, but we never really see them doing. That's why I've pointed out that while we are TOLD (over and over!) about how uniquely horrible Brent is, what we've actually seen IMHO is not actually any worse than Eleanor and Jason. 

Personally, I think all of the stuff with the Bad Place interfering should have been cut to let us actually see the Simone, Brent, John, Chidi foursome interact with each other and Team Cockroach and return to the ethical questions of what do we owe each other. I'm not sure why Simone's disbelief couldn't have been the main driver of conflict and comedy.

 That question came to ahead when Brent was in the hole. What obligation do we have to each other and is there a point where we are freed of that obligation.

But even here... Simone claimed that they metaphorically ran the experiment of helping Brent over and over only to have him remain horrid. However, based on what we saw, they absolutely did not. Simone was always mean to Brent in the scenes we saw--arguably justified some of the time, but still mean. It was very different than the interaction between Tahani and John where some genuine vulnerability on Tahani's part made a huge change in the relationship. We also saw Michael use a polite but firm approach to create some small-but-seemingly-genuine change in Brent at the end of Chip Driver Mystery.

Eergh, the more I'm thinking about this, the more horrid I think Simone's behavior was and the less I believe that the character we met in Australia would actually be that horrid. I think the show could have developed Simone to that point by showing how her disbelief kept her from viewing the other residents as people (and she would have been correct that the overwhelming majority were not). But we needed to see that.

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11 minutes ago, Zuleikha said:

And to me that's the greatest flaw of this season so far. So much hinges on what Simone, Brent, and John do, but we never really see them doing. That's why I've pointed out that while we are TOLD (over and over!) about how uniquely horrible Brent is, what we've actually seen IMHO is not actually any worse than Eleanor and Jason. 

Personally, I think all of the stuff with the Bad Place interfering should have been cut to let us actually see the Simone, Brent, John, Chidi foursome interact with each other and Team Cockroach and return to the ethical questions of what do we owe each other. I'm not sure why Simone's disbelief couldn't have been the main driver of conflict and comedy.

I agree that would have made us more invested in the outcome of the experiment but I’m kind of glad they didn’t go in the direction. It would have been too much of a retread if season one. The challenge here is to see their humanity when you don’t have that emotional connection. I think it’s an interesting issue but I understand why many people are unsatisfied with choices the show has made. 

21 minutes ago, Zuleikha said:

Eergh, the more I'm thinking about this, the more horrid I think Simone's behavior was and the less I believe that the character we met in Australia would actually be that horrid. I think the show could have developed Simone to that point by showing how her disbelief kept her from viewing the other residents as people (and she would have been correct that the overwhelming majority were not). But we needed to see that.

I don’t she think is actually that different than we saw her on Earth. In her first conversation with Chidi she ends up telling him that he’s “so weird”. The difference is that she was intrigued by Chidi so it was done with genuine humor. After briefly interacting with the other three she said to Chidi with glee that she couldn’t wait to study their brains and it wasn’t a compliment.

When Eleanor has her meltdown at Tahani’s engagement party Simone was unyielding and dismissive. She made snarky comments about Eleanor needing a child psychologist and wanting a binkie. She ended up really helping Eleanor but she did not mince words even when dealing with a friend.

Now with Brent she doesn’t like or respect him so she is not going to bother with him. For her even being in the same room as him is giving him a chance. 

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On 11/10/2019 at 11:39 PM, possibilities said:

I just hope Eleanor didn't somehow LOSE points during the experiment. This is the kind of thing that worries me! The system is fubar, and it would be SO like it to say the one who passed before failed this time.

Yes! This would be a hugely good plot twist. 

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John and Brent are stereotypes -- bitchy gay man, country club Republican. And that's all the characterization they get. 

Flat characters -- Mindy, the demons -- work just fine as long as they remain minor characters. My problem with John and Brent was that they were asked to pull too much thematic and plotting weight for how flimsily portrayed they were.

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But how well defined are Tahani and Jason, really? We like them -- they're fun -- but aren't they just a different kind of one-not character that Brent and John are? The difference is we've spent more time with them, and we know their motivation because they are in on the secret. But Brent and John have no motivation; they both think they ended up in heaven. Maybe not the best heaven, but heaven none-the-less. S1 Tahani (even multiple reboot Tahani) had no doubts she deserved to be where she was, and behaved as obnoxiously as Brent (albeit in a more writer's-room-socially-acceptable sort of way). S1 Chidi never doubted for a second he was where he was supposed to be. Jason just figured it was a prank show. The only one who knew she was in the wrong place was Eleanor, and that's because she was given proof a mistake had been made. 

There was a moment where Brent got it -- we actually saw Brent going through his life and saying "no no no no no" as he tried to rationalize that he'd been told he was in the Bad Place.  We never saw that from John or Simone, because they have no reason to doubt they are in TGP -- Simone thinks there are hijinks going on, but she doesn't doubt her life. In fact, by leaving Brent behind she doubles down on her inherent belief that she's in heaven. And John does what he's always done -- follows the most attractive leader that's there.  

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I've always had a problem with Jason's lack of dimension, but he's entertaining comic relief. Seems like every comedy has to have the dumb guy. And there's a sense that the writers have affection for him.

Tahini is fleshed out a bit more. She's a snob, but insecure. And her ethnicity -- Indian? Pakistani? -- gives a novel twist to the British upperclass snob stereotype.

Jason and Tahini are types, but not stereotypes. John and Brent are stereotypes.

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If Simone doesn't think it's real, her lack of desire to help Brent is a little less awful than if she does. But her coldness toward Chidi when he was concerned, to me showed that she wasn't just acting on the idea that it was all an illusion. Also, I'd think that if it was just a dream or a game, it might inspire her to be MORE brave. How many risks you take might reasonably depend on what the stakes are.

I don't think being irritated by someone and expressing it directly, when they are being directly rude and condescending themselves, constitutes "being mean". But I did think Simone was mean in that last scene at the edge of the sinkhole. Even aside from her detachment about Brent being in peril, I thought she was mean to Chidi when he was genuinely upset about the situation and she didn't give even the slightest care about his feelings or his conflict.

I have no idea where they are going, but I like that there are a number of directions that seem possible, and all of them are somewhat interesting to me.

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Weren't Simone and John also reacting in terms of the threat that the ground might suddenly open up and swallow them as well? I feel like I cut them some slack for being afraid that now that they have revealed that they suspect they are in the Bad Place they could be in danger. They don't know that Eleanor has their best interests at heart.

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1 hour ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

Weren't Simone and John also reacting in terms of the threat that the ground might suddenly open up and swallow them as well? I feel like I cut them some slack for being afraid that now that they have revealed that they suspect they are in the Bad Place they could be in danger. They don't know that Eleanor has their best interests at heart.

Even putting aside the last sentence, here's my problem with this - if it was someone else, say Chidi, who was hanging on, would they have tried to save him? Even though the potential danger is the same. They don't have to like Brent. They don't have to hang out with him. They don't even have to acknowledge him if they pass by on the street. But if they have the chance to try to save him, just walking away is troubling and I would say wrong.

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On 11/10/2019 at 10:32 AM, Sarah 103 said:
On 11/8/2019 at 3:36 AM, Wanda said:

I think the ultimate experiment though was to see if the original 4 could pass the judges tests to get into the good place personally. All showed they would now. Jason proved he has impulse control when they rescued Janet. Tahani has moved on from the person only interested in throwing parties and being the center of attention. Chidi, that fine assed mailman, certainly grew more decisive and authoritative as evidenced by punching Brent when he needed to be punched and confronting Simone when they had a deep philosophical difference. Elinor, who had already passed the original test, illustrated multiple times she could put her selfishness aside. 

I agree with all of this. I don't think the real test was about Chidi, Simone, John, and Brent improving at all. 

I fully agree with the both of you. I kind of think that, in addition to original four being the real experiment, the newbies were the control for the experiment. Because I don't think everyone who gets put in "The Good Place" will automatically improve - it's more that some people are capable of change when prompted and some people aren't capable of change because they choose not to be.  

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On 11/12/2019 at 2:56 AM, Dani said:

I don’t she think is actually that different than we saw her on Earth. In her first conversation with Chidi she ends up telling him that he’s “so weird”. The difference is that she was intrigued by Chidi so it was done with genuine humor. After briefly interacting with the other three she said to Chidi with glee that she couldn’t wait to study their brains and it wasn’t a compliment.

I would agree.  The difference is on  earth, Simone had her office and lab and was basically in her comfort zone.  Once that was stripped away, and she is in the Good Place, her first resort was to doubt its existence.  She has a rigidness to her thinking, which is why she makes snap judgements.  Her conclusion that Brent is not going to change so therefore it was not worth risking her life to save him.

On 11/10/2019 at 3:10 AM, SarahPrtr said:

This sounds strange coming from an Aussie, but it really grates me when I hear an Australian accent in American shows, whether it's a fake accent or real.  There's only one type of Australian accent I hear on shows and that's not how most Aussies talk.  Also, most Aussies don't really say 'G'day' or 'Crikey' to others, especially in shops or on a regular basis.   The last time I heard someone say Crikey was by a person over 80 years (yes, I know that there will be Aussies here saying "I'm 25 years old and I say Crikey and G'Day all the time"). Then having to hear someone FAKE that broad Australian accent had me cringe so hard.  If you want to hear a properly-spoken Aussie accent by an actress, listen to how Yvonne Strahovski speaks in interviews.

I learned a long time ago there is how we (in America, at least) think Aussies sound and how they actually sound.  My theory was that it goes back to the Australian Craze in the 80s and Aussie actors who came to the US tailored their accents to what was popular then (think Paul Hogan) and it's just kind of stuck.

It also makes me think of a job I was at one time when an Australian family came in (parents, grandfather, little kid) and we got talking and finally Grandpa nudges the kid and says "give 'em a G'Day!" but the kid was too shy.

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