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The Good Place: Everything is Bonzer! (Part 2)

“Well, my year started about a year ago.”

Avoiding the confusion of last season, which presented its first two episodes together as a cohesive, hour-long episode (yet still referred to it as two “Chapters”...) and the utterly distasteful habit networks have of airing two distinct episodes back to back and claiming them to be some sort of “event” or what have you, the second part of the premiere completes assembling Team Cockroach while still maintaining an independent identity. Phew that was a long sentence. Go easy on me, okay, guys? I’m rusty at reviewing.

While Chapter 27 got us caught up on how Eleanor and Chidi spent their last year, Chapter 28 provided Tahani and Jason a chance to shine. Mostly Tahani. It’s not her fault, she’s very shiny. In fact, she was vacationing with Lin-Manuel Miranda in Ibiza while he was working on the songs for Moana and he was inspired to write “Shiny” as he saw her collarbones glisten in the sun.

Following their respective near death experiences, Tahani and Jason changed their lives. Tahani opted to rid herself of worldly goods and celebrity acquaintances, retiring to a Buddhist monastery in Tibet. Jason quit crime and threw himself into his dance crew. Of course, just like Chidi and Eleanor, both returned to their old ways. Tahani, although seemingly happy at the monastery, turned herself into a self-help guru with very little intention of helping anyone and Jason eventually ran out of money for his dance crew’s rehearsal space and returned to his life of crime.

Jason’s turn seemed to be by far the most organic to me, except perhaps for Eleanor’s, which was the only one shown to be gradual. He ran out of money doing his new job (is going to dance competitions a job?) and returned to his old job. Happens all the time. Less believable was Tahani. They didn’t really show her being unhappy at the monastery so it was a little difficult to believe that one brush with the outside world could throw her back into her old ways so quickly. Unless she wrote the book with the genuine intent to help people, but that wasn’t implied. It was just same old Tahani using a new schtick for glory and attention. Not that I don’t adore her just as she is. (Check out the Quotes section and try to guess who my favorite character is)

Michael risks it all (again…and again) to turn Jason and Tahani onto Chidi’s newfound vein of research: the ethical ramifications of having a near death experience. Michael manipulates Tahani easily by poking at her insecurity but needs to take a different tack with Jason. Jason balks at free tickets to Atlantis Australia and ends up spilling out the slow moving heartbreak of his last year to Michael, giving the two some genuine bonding like we saw in last season’s “Dance Dance Resolution.” Jason’s never been my favorite character. He’s hilarious but I’ve never really found a lot under the stupidity. Here, Manny Jacinto is given more to do as he confesses to Michael that he really did want to change his life and things didn’t work out. He was so vulnerable and honest, it really wasn’t something I was expecting but I enjoyed it immensely.

Our four friends are now down under together but (oh no!) Michael’s meddling has somehow opened up a door for the Bad Place demons!

Even with the whole ‘it’s all crazy magic no need to wonder about stuff’ thing the show’s mythology has going on I have to wonder how Trevor got down to Earth. Did he go through the Doorman? Doesn’t one need signed permission from the Judge? Did Gen give Trevor permission for some reason? Like she found out about Michael’s meddling and decided it was only fair to let the other side meddle too? In any case I hope Gen doesn’t spend all her time in her chambers watching Mark Harmon. Maya Rudolph is too much fun (although I know she has other projects going on too).

The return of season one’s Trevor played by Adam Scott is going to be amazing I’m so looking forward to it. I hope whatever door he went through is still open. GIVE ME MORE VICKY.

Even with all of the Tahani fabulousness, I did have a couple complaints about the episode. First being that we didn’t really get to see Team Cockroach interact, which, I mean, there’s only 22 minutes in half an hour, I get it. But I want to see them together! Second, okay. So here’s the thing. The previous seasons worked because of the ensemble dynamic the show had going on. Now we’ve taken two characters (Michael and Janet) and locked them in a room away from the other four. Yeah, Michael got to pop in with a horrible Australian accent and check up on them but I really think you need the ensemble element to make the show work. And forget about Michael for a second. JANET. The show’s not going to be the same with Janet just cheering from the sidelines. Either something is going to have to change in the experiment quickly or the division of the team is going to be a big drag on the season.

Ethical Bits

We got a little more Chidi/Simone, fully endorsed by Eleanor. I love Simone and while the romance is cute it’s just inevitable they breakup to allow Eleanor to get with Chidi so the whole thing feels a little pointless.

After being pushed out of the way of Kamilah’s statue, Tahani is very curious as to who saved her (the only one of the four to show that curiosity). Now that they’ve all gotten a good look at Michael (although Eleanor was quite drunk at the time) I wonder if they’ll ever piece together that one guy did all that. Might be an interesting development.

Also in Tahani’s phone: Taika Waititi, Taylor Swift (remember, she’s Taylor Swift’s best friend but Taylor Swift isn’t her best friend), The Queen, The Rock, Thom Yorke, Tilda Swinton, Tiger Woods, Tim Cook, Tim Gunn, Tom Brady, and Tom Cruise.

Eleanor made a little face when Chidi says that “Charles Brainman” recommended Tahani for Chidi’s study. I wonder if she’s going to figure things out this time.

Michael, seemingly with no ulterior motive, bought the Doorman a frog thermos and was happy when he liked it. That’s one changed demon.

Who is paying for all the airfare to Australia?

The Good Quotes

Eleanor: “Oh! You’re Kamilah’s sister!”
Tahani: “I am, yes…if you want an autograph or something, I can probably arrange it.”
Eleanor: “Eh, I was never really that into her. No offense.”
Tahani (utterly delighted): “Oh, I assure you, there is none taken.”

Tahani: “First I cleansed myself of all the worldly possessions that had been weighing me down like anchors. The dresses, the jewels. I gave them all to Good Will. That’s what I call Prince William. Since he’d married a commoner, I assumed he’d know some needy people they could go to.”

Tahani: “Goodbye Bono. Goodbye, The Edge. Goodbye, The Edge’s real phone number that even Bono doesn’t have.”

Tahani: “Book me a flight to Tibet. I’m going to live in a Buddhist monastery. I need to get out of the spotlight.”
Tahani’s Assistant: “Copy that, I’ll see what jets are available.”
Tahani: “No, I’m flying commercial.”
Tahani’s Assistant: “Okay, first class, I assume?”
Tahani: “No. I’m a woman of the people now. Comfort Plus.”

Tahani’s Assistant: “Also, they want you for Oprah.”
Tahani: “Oprah is off the air.”
Tahani’s Assistant: “No, they want you to take over for Oprah.”

Tahani: “And how dare you insinuate that I’m not authentic!”
Tahani’s Assistant: “I finished signing your headshots.”

Michael: “But wait, whoa, whoa, whoa, you heard what my name was, right? Zach Pizazz?”

Janet: “Oh, hey, you know what you would love if you like Mark Harmon?”
Gen: “Yeah?”
Janet: “Stealing Home. He is very sexy in Stealing Home according to the private thoughts of more than seven million Caucasian women.”

Jason: “Claustrophobic? Who would ever be scared of Santa Claus? Oh! The Jewish.”
Eleanor: “Are you from Florida?”

Three and a half out of four celebrity phone numbers


1 comment:

  1. I was also wondering about who was paying for all that airfare. :)

    Also in Tahani’s phone: Taika Waititi, Taylor Swift (remember, she’s Taylor Swift’s best friend but Taylor Swift isn’t her best friend), The Queen, The Rock, Thom Yorke, Tilda Swinton, Tiger Woods, Tim Cook, Tim Gunn, Tom Brady, and Tom Cruise. And those are just the T's.


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