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S02.E12: The Burrito

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To who asked earlier about the significance of the names of Tahani's childhood friemds, I assumed that this need to know what everyone thinks about her existed from cildhood and even when they aren't famous.

Edited by biakbiak
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I've often thought The Good Place has some resonance with Westworld, and I could expand on this if anyone is interested, or even if no one is. (They're about constructed worlds, things are going wrong, both shows ended up having big twists in the S1 finales, etc)

But also - Chidi selecting from two colors of hats reminded me of a similar thing in Westworld. But it was a pretty quick choice on that show.

Edited by arc
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8 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

I don't think the Judge actually has any control over whether they end up going to the good place or the bad place because they just showed up and there is no paper work.

All this talk about them not having the paperwork, and needing the medallions, makes me realize Our Heroes are, essentially, undocumented immigrants. If they try to sneak into the Good Place, I think Janet would be the way, more than the portals, though. I think Jason and Tahani would be game, but not sure Chidi and Eleanor would try it.

 

12 hours ago, Lugal said:

I noticed that many stories that have even a vaguely Abrahamic concept of the afterlife, the scales seem to be weighted toward hell,

Judaism doesn't believe in Hell, so I think the generalization about Abrahamic stories is not really accurate. I've never seen a Jewish story-- liturgical or otherwise-- which fit this model, and I grew up Jewish and went to Sunday School for ages, so it's not like I just missed the memo. We have a lot of stories about tikkun olam and kosher behavior, but Hell is never dangled as a consequence of error.

I don't know what Islam says about this issue one way or the other, but I do agree that Christianity seems to talk about it a lot.

 

I wonder who case #00001 was.

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12 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

A friend of mine told another friend of ours that his fiance was basic, and thats why he shouldn't marry her. He was super offended on her behalf, but they did get divorced a few years later, so...

I've recently been hanging around with people in their twenties and not only is basic an insult, "you're extra" (as in completely over the top) is also an insult while "based" (as in grounded, having a strong foundation) is a compliment.

Initially my soul wanted to weep, but then I remembered this is the English language we're talking about... the language that doesn't just borrow a few words from other languages, it drags other languages into dark alleys, beats them senseless and steals their internal organs.

4 hours ago, DrScottie said:

Re-watching the episode on DVD, Shawn said that Eleanor's case was #00003 and the previous case was 30 years ago and as Mindy's been there for 30 years so that would have likely made Mindy's case #00002. 

The funniest implication of those numbers (and possibly a hidden clue to the show's ending) is that it implies they expect there to be at least 9,997 more cases more cases before humanity ends (possibly up to 99,997 more). At the rate they're going that could ONLY happen if there was to be some massive changing of the rules of the cosmos at some point.

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1 hour ago, Chris24601 said:

Initially my soul wanted to weep, but then I remembered this is the English language we're talking about... the language that doesn't just borrow a few words from other languages, it drags other languages into dark alleys, beats them senseless and steals their internal organs.

I adore this.  I may have to use it myself.  I have often wanted to weep at what seems like the bastardization of our language (and I still regret the words we are losing on a regular basis!), but this helps.  English is the tough street rat language, that will always survive, taking what it needs from wherever it lands to keep moving forward.  Thank you.

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13 hours ago, theatremouse said:

See I thought he should've chosen the grey hat because it looked better with his shirt. Hat choices.

I was leaning towards the grey hat for that reason as well. I wasn't feeling the brown one.

 

1 hour ago, Chris24601 said:

Initially my soul wanted to weep, but then I remembered this is the English language we're talking about... the language that doesn't just borrow a few words from other languages, it drags other languages into dark alleys, beats them senseless and steals their internal organs.

That is one of the greatest sentences I've ever read. 

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22 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Same for Chidi - his indecisiveness is almost debilitating and drives everyone around him crazy, but does that make him such a bad person he deserves to go to hell for it? It's really a sobering thought.

I think it was more how he hurt people by his rigidity. For example with the whole red boots incident. He led a fellow professor on for two years, until he couldn't handle it anymore and selfishly burst the poor guy's bubble. I feel that his indecisiveness is more of a disorder, and I'm not too comfortable with how the Show is treating it. For example, his "test" by the judge on choosing a hat was not a moral test. It seemed more like a test to see if some hypothetical prescribed therapy/treatment for his anxiety was working properly or not. 

20 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

The tests themselves were impossibly strict and left little wiggle room.  I think that is the whole essence of this version of the afterlife.  A bunch of otherworldly creatures making rigid judgements on a persons life.   ....

Maybe that is what the final episode is going to argue.  

 

I think that's what the Show is leading to.

14 hours ago, Smacky55 said:

I liked everything about this episode except the last interaction between Janet and Shawn. I thought it was unnecessarily violent and I didn’t find it funny. 

Same. I didn't like that violence. Couldn't Janet have just knocked him unconscious by pinching his nerve or using demon-strength chloroform?

Edited by Rumsy4
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2 hours ago, possibilities said:

Judaism doesn't believe in Hell, so I think the generalization about Abrahamic stories is not really accurate. I've never seen a Jewish story-- liturgical or otherwise-- which fit this model, and I grew up Jewish and went to Sunday School for ages, so it's not like I just missed the memo. We have a lot of stories about tikkun olam and kosher behavior, but Hell is never dangled as a consequence of error.

I don't know what Islam says about this issue one way or the other, but I do agree that Christianity seems to talk about it a lot.

Interesting about Judaism.  The vaguely Abrahamic thing probably is inaccurate, but I used it to describe TV shows which are largely Christian-influenced, but the explicitly Christian elements are taken out.

I think the weighted toward Hell thing might come from the idea of Original Sin, which Christianity (at least most denominations) believes in.  I know Islam does not, but I don't know about Judaism.

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1 hour ago, Ailianna said:

I adore this.  I may have to use it myself.  I have often wanted to weep at what seems like the bastardization of our language (and I still regret the words we are losing on a regular basis!), but this helps.  English is the tough street rat language, that will always survive, taking what it needs from wherever it lands to keep moving forward.  Thank you.

Ha. And remember that language—and slang—are constantly evolving. 

Back in Shakespeare’s day, many of his phrasings were considered unorthodox and downright uncouth, but now, his language is the stuff of quotes. 

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I am glad that I am not alone in not caring for Maya Rudolph as the judge.  She treated everything in a superficial joking manner (IMO).  I am glad that others enjoyed her in the role, and no pick would have made all of us happy.  I just thought it was disappointing casting when usually the casting is just amazing.

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3 hours ago, topanga said:

Ha. And remember that language—and slang—are constantly evolving. 

 

This is what my dad always says when my mom and I are griping about people using lay when they mean lie.

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On 1/26/2018 at 9:51 AM, BobH said:

Is "ya basic" a real thing, or a show thing? I haven't heard it outside of the show, but I'm not hep to all the new jive, daddy-o.

6 hours ago, Chris24601 said:

I've recently been hanging around with people in their twenties and not only is basic an insult, "you're extra" (as in completely over the top) is also an insult while "based" (as in grounded, having a strong foundation) is a compliment.

This. "Basic" would be completely unoriginal, "Extra" would be over-the-top. Eleanor did of course use the word early on in her stay so Michael's had plenty of opportunity to learn it.

On 1/26/2018 at 12:23 PM, Anela said:

I wouldn't have been able to resist entering at least one of the rooms, either. Most people I would pass, but my parents... that would be the most difficult. 

Interesting. I would put my fingers in my ears and try very hard not to even look at the nameplates on the doors, preferring to think that no one has an opinion about me at all. But then that clearly wouldn't be my particular test.

19 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Jason, on the other hand, just isn't very bright. That seems to be the root of his problem and I'm not sure he can fix that. He's not an altogether terrible person but he isn't really capable of distinguishing between right and wrong sometimes because of his limited intelligence. 

I really like it being framed as impulsiveness now. It's a lot easier to see that as a sin than just being dumb, and it was certainly set up previously but not called out explicitly. 

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13 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

Interesting. I would put my fingers in my ears and try very hard not to even look at the nameplates on the doors, preferring to think that no one has an opinion about me at all. But then that clearly wouldn't be my particular test.

Yeah, I would sprint down the hallway too fast to even see them - which clearly shows that my Final Destination test would be something different. It probably would have been more like Eleanor's, whatever that says about me...

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Tihani’s “sin” is that she’s selfish, no matter what results in her humanitarian actions. Her going through the door to confront her parents was a selfish motive, even if it meant personal growth for her by finally accepting she’d never have her parents love. The original motive was selfish. 

 

If anything, these 4 should have known how to pass the tests. Michael explicitly told them in the S1 finale why they were in the bad place. Chidi is never able to make a decision. Tihani is selfish. Jason is stupid. Michael essentially gave them the answers to the test, and only Eleanor figured that out. (Although not sure how you fix stupid for Jason)

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37 minutes ago, JessDVD said:

Yeah, I would sprint down the hallway too fast to even see them - which clearly shows that my Final Destination test would be something different.

I would do the same, except that the red door would have "The Judge" on it, leaving me with an intractable problem.  I might as well pack some burritos when I die, as I'm bound for the Bad Place.

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On 1/26/2018 at 10:39 AM, CherithCutestory said:

  I don't know what Islam says about this issue one way or the other, but I do agree that Christianity seems to talk about it a lot.

And hell is barely mentioned in the Christian bible. It's really a later fascination.

Quote

I noticed that many stories that have even a vaguely Abrahamic concept of the afterlife, the scales seem to be weighted toward hell, so you have to be a saint to get any heaven, but any mistake will condemn you to hell (as opposed to pagan traditions where if you die in battle, childbirth or some other way you get into the good place).  This show actually seems to be examining that, hence Eleanor talking about needing a medium place.  It reminds me of some tradition where hell is temporary until one's soul is cleansed.  Although it makes me wonder, if there is an omniscient being behind everything, maybe it knew Michael would design his neighborhood to help purify team cockroach and had them assigned to him in the first place.

The show definitely seems to have a specifically Christian and broadly Abrhamic framework. But they did say at the start that every religion was about 5% correct. And I do think they play with other concepts albeit less explicitly.

In the Egyptian afterlife your heart was weighed against the feather of Maat after death. They don't have strict heaven and hell as Christianity does. But if your heart was the same or equal you could journey to Aaru which was a good place (interestingly you had to journey there through gates guarded by demons to get there.) If your heart was heavier than the feather it would be consumed and your soul was condemned to restlessness.

Isn't that really just the points system like on this show? It takes a very virtuous life to have a heart as light as a feather. (The heart is really more like modern western concept of the soul.) Most won't achieve that.

There is also the concept of karma in Buddhism and Hinduism and other religions. Where the sum of your actions and intent determine your future existence. To have good karma you need both good intent and good actions. If your actions don't have the accompanying intent they are basic a net zero. Of course, you don't go to hell for eternity for dying with bad karma. Most religions that have karma as the central tenet also believe in rebirth. But I think the concept is very influential on the points system. Especially the importance of both intent and deeds.

And there is a lot of Ancient Greco-Roman mythology at play too. Of course, the creativeness and irony in the torture is straight out of Greek mythology. But in Greek mythology immortal beings can be total assholes. We would wonder why a God would create such a system because in Christianity God is essentially benevolent and a father to humanity. Even if you don't want to be on his bad side. But some religions contemplate that gods are indifferent or malevolent dicks who like to mess around with humanity at their pleasure. A god doesn't have to be good.

In Zoroastrianism at death you are judged based on your actions and can be sent to their concepts of heaven or hell. And hell is a smelly and unpleasant place but, interestingly, it's not eternal. At the end all souls will be purified. I wonder if there isn't some of that going on.

They obviously bring a lot of different philosophy into the show but I think they also play with a lot of different religious traditions. Even though the basic structure of things seems like a very specific form of Christianity (it can't even be said to be just Christian since it isn't very Catholic since there is no purgatory and it isn't Calvinist since no one seems to be predestined to their slot.)

Edited by CherithCutestory
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7 hours ago, Lugal said:

I think the weighted toward Hell thing might come from the idea of Original Sin, which Christianity (at least most denominations) believes in.  I know Islam does not, but I don't know about Judaism.

Definitely no Original Sin in Judaism.

Remember that Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale didn't get into The Good Place. The standard is not "did some good stuff" or "isn't the worst". I can easily see how Tahani, Jason, and Chidi wouldn't make it by those standards. But I was surprised that Eleanor did. I guess loyalty and self-sacrifice gets you a lot of points!

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10 hours ago, possibilities said:

Judaism doesn't believe in Hell, so I think the generalization about Abrahamic stories is not really accurate. I've never seen a Jewish story-- liturgical or otherwise-- which fit this model, and I grew up Jewish and went to Sunday School for ages, so it's not like I just missed the memo. We have a lot of stories about tikkun olam and kosher behavior, but Hell is never dangled as a consequence of error.

I don't know what Islam says about this issue one way or the other, but I do agree that Christianity seems to talk about it a lot.

 

I wonder who case #00001 was.

 

7 hours ago, Lugal said:

Interesting about Judaism.  The vaguely Abrahamic thing probably is inaccurate, but I used it to describe TV shows which are largely Christian-influenced, but the explicitly Christian elements are taken out.

I think the weighted toward Hell thing might come from the idea of Original Sin, which Christianity (at least most denominations) believes in.  I know Islam does not, but I don't know about Judaism.

I certainly can't speak for all Christian denominations, but the Protestant church I was raised in taught that it doesn't really matter what you do on Earth. As long as you accept Jesus and ask for giveness for whatever sins you may have committed, you're good. (And that's the impression that I get from Catholicism too, as long as you go to confession, you're fine. But I'm not Catholic, so there could be more to it that I don't know.) So it's actually really simple, just as long as you're able to ask for forgiveness before you die. So if you committed a sin since the last time you prayed/went to confession and then die suddenly, you're screwed. But if you're able ask for forgiveness on your death bed, you're all good. Feels like a cop out to me, but I'm no longer a Christian, so... (Of course, the church isn't encouraging you to sin and just go ask for forgiveness, and there's a lot of guilt, but you are supposed to be free and clear as soon as you ask.)

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54 minutes ago, April Bloodgate said:

 

I certainly can't speak for all Christian denominations, but the Protestant church I was raised in taught that it doesn't really matter what you do on Earth. As long as you accept Jesus and ask for giveness for whatever sins you may have committed, you're good. (And that's the impression that I get from Catholicism too, as long as you go to confession, you're fine. But I'm not Catholic, so there could be more to it that I don't know.) So it's actually really simple, just as long as you're able to ask for forgiveness before you die. So if you committed a sin since the last time you prayed/went to confession and then die suddenly, you're screwed. But if you're able ask for forgiveness on your death bed, you're all good. Feels like a cop out to me, but I'm no longer a Christian, so... (Of course, the church isn't encouraging you to sin and just go ask for forgiveness, and there's a lot of guilt, but you are supposed to be free and clear as soon as you ask.)

That was always one of my main issues with Christianity. It didn't seem fair that I could live my life being good and always doing the right thing but I wouldn't get to go the good place because I don't believe in God. Yet someone who did terrible things or who only did good things out of fear of going to hell  would get to go to heaven because they believed in god and asked for forgiveness. It always made me think that if there was a god he was clearly a narcissist if all he cares about is being worshipped. 

A points based system like the Good Place has seems fairer but obviously they should be grading on a different curve if you have to be practically perfect to get to the Good Place. 

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7 minutes ago, snowwhyte said:

Yet someone who did terrible things or who only did good things out of fear of going to hell  would get to go to heaven because they believed in god and asked for forgiveness.

Yep, that came up for me when Charles Manson died. There were Christians saying that he was going to heaven because he became a Christian and asked for forgiveness. I'm not saying that I don't think people can ever make up for the wrongs they've done/change their ways, but I don't think *just* asking for forgiveness is enough. There's no indication that Manson did any good deeds to make up for his horrible crimes. (Also, I don't believe in an afterlife, so "balancing the scales" is kind of moot to me. I just think people should do good things. And if you did wrong in the past, start doing good now.)

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1 hour ago, possibilities said:

Remember that Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale didn't get into The Good Place

You can’t take what Michael told them pre-revelation as gospel, especially who's in the Bad Place, since he was specifically trying to show Eleanor that she didn’t belong, so might have been lying about those two, every President but Lincoln, etc. and what her point total actually was.

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23 hours ago, Winston Wolfe said:

I've never been big on Maya Rudolph as a performer, but she has all my residual love for her Mom, the late, great Minnie Riperton.  Having said that, she was pretty good, Betty White may have been the better choice if she's still up to working....

If the show goes on long enough they may still need to cast the Supreme Being, so maybe it's good they didn't play that card early? I can see her saying "Oh, I made The Good Place for pets, not people!" and explaining why it's so hard to get in.

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1 hour ago, BobH said:

You can’t take what Michael told them pre-revelation as gospel, especially who's in the Bad Place, since he was specifically trying to show Eleanor that she didn’t belong, so might have been lying about those two, every President but Lincoln, etc. and what her point total actually was.

You're right! I forgot that part. Maybe it's not that hard to get in after all.

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16 hours ago, arc said:

I've often thought The Good Place has some resonance with Westworld, and I could expand on this if anyone is interested, or even if no one is. (They're about constructed world,s things are going wrong, both shows ended up having big twists in the S1 finales, etc)

But also - Chidi selecting from two colors of hats reminded me of a similar thing in Westworld. But it was a pretty quick choice on that show.

That is the first thing I thought of as well with the hats, though it had never crossed my mind this being like westworld.  In a way you are right though, it is. 

except the man in black specifically comes to westworld looking for something he can't find in the real world.  They are trying to escape this place here. 

I liked the judge. 

I am curious how long they can keep up the story though with how things are going. 

I don't want it to turn into a Gilligan's Island, or the old Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, where every week it seems like they are getting in the Good Place and it doesn't happen. 

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8 minutes ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

I am curious how long they can keep up the story though with how things are going. 

I don't want it to turn into a Gilligan's Island, or the old Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, where every week it seems like they are getting in the Good Place and it doesn't happen. 

They have to hit a new plateau, but more likely at the start of Season 3 than next episode. Like how "pretend to be tortured" version was the status quo for a while and that allowed them to explore relationships and grow.

The problem right now, in addition to what you say, is that the plot is struggling to not grow the characters. Most obviously with Chidi. Last week he couldn't lie, despite having done so through the season. And here he couldn't choose a hat for 82 minutes? Funny, but after what Chidi's seen he must be dumber than Jason if if he thought the test was actually about which hat.

I don't know how they resolve it other than a purgatory-like place. But I'm game to find out. No surprises have really disappointed me yet.

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15 hours ago, possibilities said:

All this talk about them not having the paperwork, and needing the medallions, makes me realize Our Heroes are, essentially, undocumented immigrants. If they try to sneak into the Good Place, I think Janet would be the way, more than the portals, though. I think Jason and Tahani would be game, but not sure Chidi and Eleanor would try it.

 

Judaism doesn't believe in Hell, so I think the generalization about Abrahamic stories is not really accurate. I've never seen a Jewish story-- liturgical or otherwise-- which fit this model, and I grew up Jewish and went to Sunday School for ages, so it's not like I just missed the memo. We have a lot of stories about tikkun olam and kosher behavior, but Hell is never dangled as a consequence of error.

I don't know what Islam says about this issue one way or the other, but I do agree that Christianity seems to talk about it a lot.

 

I wonder who case #00001 was.

Exactly. We have a couple of references to the world to come but basically there is NO party line about it which is why some mystics even believed in reincarnation. 

 

We also as I mentioned don’t believe that “doing good for the wrong reason” is a thing. It’s a very Christian idea  (the punchline in my favorite movie, too, the 1968 Bedazzled).  Tahani wouldn’t go to Hell for that. That is, if there were one. We get judged every year on Yom Kippur and the idea is you get punished in this life.

 

obviously that does not always happen.

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I think case #00001 was probably Doug Forcett, the Canadian stoner who got the afterlife something like 92% correct. He was mentioned as being a legend in the first episode. Then again, as pointed out, who knows how much information from Michael pre-reveal can be trusted.

Edited by Remlab
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"Chidi suffered from an obvious anxiety disorder that might have responded to psychiatric help."

Anxiety at the least. Possibly high-functioning autism. The latter would explain his absolutism in other matters as well.

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When the judge magicked them out of their Bad Place costumes, that might have been the first time Eleanor and Jason have really been comfortably dressed in the afterlife. Maybe excepting parts of the end of attempt #1. But otherwise, Eleanor has mostly been living in hiding as Fake Eleanor, and similarly with Jason-as-Jianyu. Even granting that most of the final attempt has been fake torture since flipping Michael, there’s a limit to how openly those two, esp Jason, could dress as their true selves, not while the other demons thought the experiment was finally running smoothly.

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1 hour ago, Remlab said:

I think case #00001 was probably Doug Forcett, the Canadian stoner who got the afterlife something like 97% correct. He was mentioned as being a legend in the first episode. Then again, as pointed out, who knows how much information from Michael pre-reveal can be trusted.

I was just about to say I thought it was Doug Forcett.

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I love this season, and the second half has been so clever and smartly written. I geeked out that Jonathan Dancy and moral particularism were actually and intelligently discussed!
 

It also reminded me of THIS amazing series of interviews on Craig Ferguson's TLLS (in case it's of interest, since you will actually learn about Jonathan Dancy and moral particularism in layman's terms):

Claire Danes Interview (where Craig goes nuts and invites Dancy on the show): 

 

Jonathan Dancy Interview: 

Hugh Dancy Interview (Jonathan's son):

 

 

On 1/26/2018 at 5:01 AM, Mabinogia said:

I screamed so loud when Janet revealed that she was "bad Janet" I am surprised the neighbors didn't call the cops.

Loved that Eleanor knew that wasn't her Chidi. She knows her Chidi. Speaking of Chidi, oh Jason, don't ever change. I loved when he thought Chidi's name was because people cheat off him. Brilliant.

I thought Tahani passed the test because, while she did confront her parents, she rose above and left telling them to have a nice life rather than wallowing and having a tantrum or whatever. I thought she handled herself beautifully.

I do think it's interesting and probably relevant that The Good Place's moral universe seems to be so rigid and black-and-white. To me, this implies that Eleanor and her friends (and especially Michael) will potentially affect the universe in a good way by broadening its standards for good and evil, crime and punishment, and consignment to  heaven or hell.

On 1/26/2018 at 10:14 AM, Bruinsfan said:

It does seem to me that choosing eternal torment for the good of people you care about should rack up enough brownie points to get someone into the Good Place if anything can.

I don't think this is an accident. I think it's an incredibly important and relevant moment not just for Eleanor, but for the show.

On 1/26/2018 at 12:01 PM, Charlesman said:

To be fair, the judge never said she couldn't open any other doors. She said "Your test is to go through the red door at the end of this hallway." Tahani did that. Technically. The judge did add "Oh, by the way, all the other doors are people talking about you", yes, but she never said "...and you're not allowed to open them."

Great point. I was irritated that Tahani failed (and, worse, that her growth in that conversation was utterly overlooked).

On 1/26/2018 at 1:57 PM, DrScottie said:

If it's anything like the fantastic finale to Parks and Recreation where everybody got a happy ending, I'm guessing wherever they inevitably end up, they'll be together. 

Oh, I hope so! I love all these characters and want them to end up together and in... a good place. Even if it isn't THE Good Place.

On 1/26/2018 at 2:35 PM, arc said:

In the show’s universe, both consequentialism and deontology are wrong. Tahani did amazing things for wrong reasons and wound up in the Bad Place. Chidi almost never did a wrong thing because he was so obsessed with doing right things for the right reasons, but his indecision and paralysis hurt his friends and family even so. (And there’s still that almond milk issue.) I think Schur and company are endorsing moral particularism, like Eleanor suggested last episode.

I agree with this take as well. What's interesting and fun about the show is that it's revealing to us that the system BEHIND The Good Place is just as flawed as Eleanor and the gang.

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20 hours ago, possibilities said:

All this talk about them not having the paperwork, and needing the medallions, makes me realize Our Heroes are, essentially, undocumented immigrants. If they try to sneak into the Good Place, I think Janet would be the way, more than the portals, though. I think Jason and Tahani would be game, but not sure Chidi and Eleanor would try it.

With respect to sneaking into the Good Place, in the extended cut of the Best Self episode, Michael is explaining that they are trying to slip into The Good Place by a side door and there was no guarantee they could stay. Eleanor replies that they are refugees and what kind of place would turn away refugees? Perhaps they cut that from the aired show as it relates to today's political climate or they will be turned away. If you notice, you can't find the extended cut on the NBC website anymore.  

On a lighter note from the extended cut, just after that when Michael tells them to say goodbye to the neighborhood, Tahani mentions that it would provide her the opportunity to change into a proper ballooning outfit. Eleanor appears to mock her with a faux British accent, but then says that she legitimately wants to see her in that. It's yet another example of how Eleanor is physically attracted to Tahani. According to Janet, Eleanor's make your own custom boyfriend would be the head of Stone Cold Steve Austin on Tahani's body (or vice versa). If you notice, Tahani is wearing her ballooning outfit in the next scene with them eating frozen yogurt.   

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12 hours ago, snowwhyte said:

That was always one of my main issues with Christianity. It didn't seem fair that I could live my life being good and always doing the right thing but I wouldn't get to go the good place because I don't believe in God. Yet someone who did terrible things or who only did good things out of fear of going to hell  would get to go to heaven because they believed in god and asked for forgiveness. It always made me think that if there was a god he was clearly a narcissist if all he cares about is being worshipped. 

A points based system like the Good Place has seems fairer but obviously they should be grading on a different curve if you have to be practically perfect to get to the Good Place. 

I got in so much trouble in Sunday School as a 4 or 5 year old for arguing with my teacher that it didn't seem fair that all the American Indians who never even heard of Jesus have to be in hell for that, even if they were good people.  So, yes, that has always bothered me!

6 hours ago, arc said:

When the judge magicked them out of their Bad Place costumes, that might have been the first time Eleanor and Jason have really been comfortably dressed in the afterlife. Maybe excepting parts of the end of attempt #1. But otherwise, Eleanor has mostly been living in hiding as Fake Eleanor, and similarly with Jason-as-Jianyu. Even granting that most of the final attempt has been fake torture since flipping Michael, there’s a limit to how openly those two, esp Jason, could dress as their true selves, not while the other demons thought the experiment was finally running smoothly.

I never thought of that, but you're right.  They did look a lot more comfortable and physically at ease once they were dressed as themselves.  And since we have never seen either dressed that way, it's a tribute to the character development that the costumes looked exactly right for who each was without attention being drawn to the clothes.

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1 hour ago, Ailianna said:

I got in so much trouble in Sunday School as a 4 or 5 year old for arguing with my teacher that it didn't seem fair that all the American Indians who never even heard of Jesus have to be in hell for that, even if they were good people.  So, yes, that has always bothered me!

In The Inferno, the 1st Circle of Hell is populated by good people who died prior to Jesus being born (Greek philosophers, etc.). They aren't really being punished, but they aren't able to get into Heaven because they couldn't confess their sins before dying. 

While we can't trust everything Michael has said about the rules of getting into The Good Place, in this episode Michael explains to Sean that Team Cockroach were supposed to torture each other but instead have evolved. For that reason, Michael feels it's wrong for them to suffer eternal torment. Since Michael thought he was now going to be punished for eternity, I think we should trust him. That is, unless Michael and Sean knew Good Janet was portraying Bad Janet. And, if that's the case, kudos to Sean for taking that beating to sell this ruse. 

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Basic is a pretty common (and not very new) insult that essentially means you're like everybody else/doing the same thing as everyone else. Did you get a unicorn frappuccino at Starbucks last year? Ya basic. Sometimes it's used self-depracatingly, as in, "Yes, I went to the Museum of Ice Cream because I am a basic bitch."

Loved Good Janet pretending to be Bad Janet. She got pretty good at that! Sweet dumb Jason taking Eleanor's assessment that he only understands 20% of what's happening was so Jason.

The fact that Chidi eventually chose a hat at all shows that he's had some growth. Same goes for Jason meditating. Tahani realizing that she no longer wants or needs her parents' approval was huge growth. And Eleanor!  Realizing that Chidi wasn't really Chidi AND lying to spare everyone else's feelings is not what original dirtbag Eleanor would have done.

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11 hours ago, Amarsir said:

I don't know how they resolve it other than a purgatory-like place. But I'm game to find out. No surprises have really disappointed me yet.

I am of the opinion that what Michael said about how few people make it to the good place is true and that the whole resolution of the show will be TPTB whoever they are, realizing that they have been doing it wrong this whole time and that people shouldn't be judged so harshly because they are capable of change. These four will have revolutionized the afterlife and Michael will take over as Grand Demonic Bumba in charge of Second Chances. 

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Re: Tahani's test:   I think trying to say that Tahani "passed" her test because she, eventually, did go through the door at the end of the hall misses the point.  Chidi had to pick a hat.  He did, but he took 82 minutes to do so.  So, technically, he completed the task assigned.  But taking 82 (!) minutes failed him.  (And no one here is arguing he should have passed, like Tahani.)  Likewise, Tahani went through the red door, but couldn't resist the temptation to hear what her parents were saying.  And that failed her.  It's like giving a kid a math test and saying, "you must finish the test in 30 minutes".  But finishing the test in 29 minutes, and getting all the answers wrong, won't get you a passing grade. 

Edited by chaifan · Reason: confused Tahani with tahini... oops
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14 hours ago, April Bloodgate said:

Yep, that came up for me when Charles Manson died. There were Christians saying that he was going to heaven because he became a Christian and asked for forgiveness. I'm not saying that I don't think people can ever make up for the wrongs they've done/change their ways, but I don't think *just* asking for forgiveness is enough.

I always felt that the asking for forgiveness thing was harder than people give it credit for. Because the way I see it is that you have to sincerely ask for forgiveness. Meaning that you have to admit that what you did was wrong, and many people tend to rationalize their behavior instead of admitting that they were wrong. So, the deathbed equivalent of apologizing because your mom's forcing you to won't work.

That said the older I get the harder it is to believe in 100% of what I learned in Sunday school, and The Good Place is showing one of my biggest issues. I just can't believe in the popular depictions of hell. It will be interesting to see if the end result of The Good Place is to add purgatory or reincarnation to the mix.

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On 1/26/2018 at 12:45 PM, iMonrey said:

I know it's just a sitcom, but on a fundamental level, it's kind of disturbing what this show is saying about consequences. Tahani has done a lot of wonderful things for charities, and even if she did them for selfish reasons because she's obsessed with having approval, does that mitigate the wonderful things she's done for charities, etc.? So much so that she deserves to go to hell for it? Same for Chidi - his indecisiveness is almost debilitating and drives everyone around him crazy, but does that make him such a bad person he deserves to go to hell for it? It's really a sobering thought.

The conclusion of this show is going to be that these tests and standards are wrong. That they don't always accurately measure people's intentions and what's in their heart, and they definitely don't measure or promote them getting better, which is the real conceit of this show, that people if given the right chance can be better.

But the core concept is sound. Chidi's indecisiveness isn't bad simply because it drives people crazy. It's bad because it's a manifestation of his essential selfishness. It's like Tahani in that hallway. She knew full well that going in that door would affect the others. And Chidi knew full well that dithering over the hat would affect the others. He might use the excuse that maybe he thought picking the wrong hat might fail the test and affect the others, but we all hear that and know it's nonsense. He, being posed as smarter than most people, would know that too. He deluded himself into thinking the choice of hat might be the test because it allowed him to focus on an issue in his control rather than returning to a situation sooner that was out of his control. That means on some level he cares more about his own feelings, the essential security of not making a choice and prolonging things, than he does how it affects others. Even if this is unconscious, it's a real reaction and a real moral failing. 

Jason's test is the only one I question. Is being too dumb to even question the structure of the test a signpost of his actual moral failing? Beyond his charm at times where he seems like a sweet but dumb guy, we do know that he was a bit of a thug at times on Earth. I don't know if the show has actually properly explored why he was though, other than the broad idea that "DudeBros" are inherently jackasses.

Edited by Kromm
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On 1/27/2018 at 6:55 AM, Ailianna said:

I adore this.  I may have to use it myself.  I have often wanted to weep at what seems like the bastardization of our language (and I still regret the words we are losing on a regular basis!), but this helps.  English is the tough street rat language, that will always survive, taking what it needs from wherever it lands to keep moving forward.  Thank you.

The original's by a friend of mine and dates back to the days of Usenet:

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

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38 minutes ago, Kromm said:

Jason's test is the only one I question. Is being too dumb to even question the structure of the test a signpost of his actual moral failing?

I think it is about him being too dumb to question if setting a boat on fire is good or bad, if throwing a Molotov cocktail is good or bad, etc. I think he's a good guy who was too dumb to avoid the influence of bad people. It's not exactly that Jason is dumb so much as his dumbness leads to him not thinking about the consequences. He is the opposite of Chidi. Where Chidi thinks too much about the consequences of every single decision, Jason makes impulsive decisions without giving a thought to anything except how fun it will be or what is in it for him. He was hung up on not getting to play his favorite team. He didn't think beyond that. It was all about him not getting what he wanted. 

They are all inherently selfish in very different ways, which is quite interesting. Chidi can't consider others when he is faced with a choice. Eleanor was the poster child for selfishness on Earth. Tahani cares only about what others think of her. She did good things because she wanted other people to praise her for doing good things. Jason has the selfishness of a child, not thinking about anything but the moment and what he wants. 

Eleanor is the only one who actually passed the test based on the parameters of the tests. Tahani came second because, while she failed by going into the room, when she came out of it I think she had finally had her "ah-ha" moment. She finally understood. I put Chidi third because, while he technically did make a decision I can't imagine it is actually progress since he does manage to pick out his clothes each and every day, and has made decisions in his life or he'd be dead now. Oh wait! lol Well, he would have been dead a lot sooner. Jason's test is hard to say. He did play against his team, but IDK really understand what happened there. Like, was the point to see if he would beat his team? I don't quite understand his. I just know it had something to do with the fact he is a child who makes decisions like a child without thinking of consequences. 

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I kind of think Jason failed when he wouldn't wait to hear the instructions before he started playing.  So we will never know what he ws supposed to do or not do to pass the test.

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I only just started watching this show over the holiday when I binged season 1 on Netflix and caught up on S2 on NBC.com in January.  So I’m kind of a newbie, but I just had to post that I find this show so delightful.  The absurdity of Jason playing Madden football (Titans against Jags) in some kind of battle for his immortal soul was very funny.

I’m reading along with interest with respect to all of the deep posts here about the ethics of the tests in this episode and whether the rules of the universe are fair.  I almost think that the tests and how they (Eleanor specifically) reacted to them are a further test of some sort, but maybe that is my resistance to accepting a universe that seems to be built on somewhat “unfair” rules (no matter how stupidly human the concept of fairness is!).  I can’t believe Mindy was the only middle person in all of time to warrant a middle place, and what of the billions consigned to eternal torture before Team Cockroach comes along and potentially upends the rules (as some are speculating)?

I did find it really interesting that Michael’s view of them seemed to have been altered even before the icing on the cake that was the ethics lessons:  he mentioned to Shawn in this episode that it was seeing how the humans changed for the better (which wasn’t supposed to happen) that made him rethink the appropriateness of their assigned fates.

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1 hour ago, Mabinogia said:

...if throwing a Molotov cocktail is good or bad,

"Molotov cocktails work. Anytime I had a problem and I threw a Molotov cocktail, boom, right away I had a different problem"

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3 hours ago, Kromm said:

Jason's test is the only one I question. Is being too dumb to even question the structure of the test a signpost of his actual moral failing? Beyond his charm at times where he seems like a sweet but dumb guy, we do know that he was a bit of a thug at times on Earth. I don't know if the show has actually properly explored why he was though, other than the broad idea that "DudeBros" are inherently jackasses.

His flaw is impulsiveness, according to the Judge. He didn't let her finish telling him what the rules of the task were, and that's why he failed.

They did explore how he turned out the way he did. His childhood was apparently as bad as Eleanor's, and possibly worse. I can't remember which episode it was, but I do remember the story was brutal.

You can be intellectually dim but still thoughtful and kind. Jason in life was thoughtless and destructive, hurting others, even if his motive was not TO hurt others, he didn't care about them enough to notice or care about or refrain from destructive actions. All he was able to focus on was his own  immediate gratification. If he hadn't been so dimwitted, he would have been WAY more dangerous, but even so he did damage, and fails both the intention and the impact standards.

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