The Good Place Review: Everything Is Bonzer! and The Brainy Bunch (Season 3 Episodes 1 & 2)

Holy motherforking shirtballs! Chidi and Eleanor become each other’s confidants and support systems, just as they were. Jason and Tahani fall back into their usual habits. Trevor is still the worst. And Michael and Janet are the dynamic duo we’ve all missed so dearly. 

On The Good Place Season 3 Episodes 1 and 2, “Everything Is Bonzer!” and “The Brainy Bunch” respectively, the fearsome foursome get thrown back together, with a little nudge from Michael and Janet. The end goal comes into full focus: they need each other. And it seems like Michael has begun to need them too. As Michael tries to save the humans, Trevor and the Bad Place does everything in their power to withstand them and, in the middle of the two of them, the Judge resides, trying to keep everyone in line, as well as the universe. The battle between good and evil was never so hilarious.

Michael’s Humans

It seems that Michael’s renewed faith in the four earthly beings has led him to believe in humanity again, a solitary action in his ethereal being world. While Eleanor continues to be a monstrosity, Chidi can’t seem to decide anything at all, Tahani is still self-absorbed, and Jason is still an absolute buffoon. Michael acts as playmaker, or matchmaker, and realizes that these people can’t be good without being together. In a way, Michael’s version of reality is a simplistic ideology, one that indicates that people need one another, perhaps not in the way most people think but in the intrinsic way; there can be no building of existence without the help of someone else.

Opposites Attract

The act of getting better sometimes means you need someone else, and despite that Chidi and Eleanor could not stereotypically be more opposite (Chidi is waiting for Latin to come back and Eleanor gets a 12/12 through cheating on a Buzzfeed Kardashian quiz), they need one another. Growth cannot happen without another person, despite how unlikely they seem to fit you. In that same way, Tahani and Jason seem to fit together just as easily, despite her effortless class and his lack thereof, even and perhaps most especially intelligence-wise, they complement one another. They bring out the best in each other, as if peeling back layers to reveal better versions of themselves. Despite not being the people they’d pick to be with regularly, they’ve found compatriots in their wish to do better and to be better. Despite them acknowledging Trevor’s idea that Eleanor brought them together, it was a want to be better that brought them to one another, in the hopes of a better future. At its core, the show is about that all-encompassing idea of hope.

Society’s Mirror

The genius of the show, however, is further instilled and lies in its humor. Chidi’s inability to make decisions is reflective of the over stimulus of information that we all receive on a day-to-day basis, on deciding what is morally good or not, and how best to formulate opinions as more information is streamed to us is the crux of his humanity, as well as the butt of the joke of his character. The characters and The Good Place is very much a mirror to our own world, a reflective mirror to our own ideas of ourselves, in the choices we make, and the decisions we attempt to justify to ourselves. It’s us eternally asking the age-old question: will we be admitted to the Good Place, so to speak?

Tahani and Jason’s Mirror

In the same way, Tahani’s passion to become something more is ironic as she becomes a self-help author, reflecting on the people who are like her in real society, whose exploitation of their own troubles could be indicative of a self-serving ideology in order to get more money out of the masses, or as a purist one, in the hopes of actually trying to help people. Jason’s endearing qualities go hand-in-hand with his obnoxious ones; the reason he’s so tolerable is because he means so well, he just doesn’t know any better. They aren’t bad people, they just have bad tendencies, which begs the question: don’t we all? Will that really mean we’ll be denied entrance to the Good Place? What, exactly, is a “good” person – that seems to be the show’s main question.

The Fearsome Foursome

The biggest flaws of this foursome seem to attempt to align with sins: Jason’s stupidity, Tahani’s selfishness, Chidi’s indecisiveness, and Eleanor’s vapidity. But the underlying motion of the show, in both its humor and in its intelligence, is that everyone deserves an opportunity to be great, and that there is hope. To be better isn’t instantaneous, but it’s a journey, and sometimes you need help. Sometimes, like Jason, you need a crew. But the show has a terrific way of showing us that the world has a way of throwing a wrench into the plans. Enter Trevor. Trevor’s irony is that the over-niceness of him is the overcompensation of his character, which is something Eleanor is instantly suspicious of and vehemently against, down to Trevor’s “vlogging”.

The show seems to promise: there’s a little bit of help around every corner, even if it comes in the form of a reformed demon and an omniscient non-human robot person named Janet. Around every corner there’s hope, and isn’t that what the Good Place is all about? Welcome to Season 3!


  The Good Place Review: Team Cockroach (Season 2 Episode 4)



What did you think of The Good Place Season 3 Episodes 1 and 2? Will Eleanor and Chidi work it out and stay with each other? Will Michael and Janet be caught? And how great was the frog-loving doorman? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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