The Good Place: Employee of the Bearimy

“Let’s begin with slide one of 7000.”

I’ve had a bit of trouble getting into this season of The Good Place. I’ve loved each previous revision/reboot/reconceptualization of the show, but this one isn’t quite working, and it took me until this episode (and Sunbunny’s review of last week’s episode) to realize why: many of the plots seem contrived. And there’s not enough interaction between Chidi and Team Cockroach—real interaction, that is, with Chidi on the same page as everyone else.

This week’s A-plot was all about Hell: Michael and Jason rescuing Janet, Sean and Vicky working out the kinks of the Michael Suit (and Vicky’s method acting), Jason’s desire to make things explode. It was all well and good, and some of the in-jokes for anyone who’s sat through a meeting (7000 slides!) really hit home. If all PowerPoint presentations could end with turning people into big piles of goo then I’d be as happy as Jason reunited with his not-a-girlfriend.

But the B-plot, in which Derek’s AI capabilities aren’t up to the task of managing 300 creations, felt a little blah. Just as Eleanor invented a puzzle-hunt for Chidi to distract him, the farcical plot of getting the humans to the lake house, distracting Chidi, getting Chidi to the lake house, and Tahani working through some low-key issues about her own contributions felt like a set of tasks meant to delay some inevitable something.

Because I really love Chidi, and while I understand that he needs to be sidelined for most of this season’s logic to work, I’m having a hard time engaging in the team’s attempt to improve the two new guys (whose names I can’t even remember). And I miss Chidi agonizing about philosophy. Perhaps the show wants us to feel that lack, to feel it as much as Eleanor does. But the show, for me, has lost some of the spark without Chidi as part of the main group.

It’s More of a Delighted Giggle:

• Sean: “Humans are worse than ever. We have to innovate. Sure, poking sticks works great, but should those sticks be sharper or hotter? Should they, counterintuitively, be less hot?”

• Jason: “This part of your plan seems risky.”
Michael: “This was not part of my plan.”
Jason: “Oh, thank goodness. I thought you had a bad plan.”

• Jason: “I love you, girl.”

• I do love Vicky, so it was great to see her again.

Two and a half out of four whatever spoons (and their accompanying festive jellies).

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

1 comment:

Lynda said...

Sometimes it just takes a while for the story to come together, i remember almost checking out at this point in season one until some of the twists became more apparent.

I do agree not enough Chidi so far this season and too much Derek.

I struggle because the Good Place is one of the few netflix shows that meters out new episodes weekly, instead of dropping a whole season at once (yes i know it is because it is a network show). This forced patience permits too much time to overthink what is going on and what isnt working.