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The Good Place S4 - We Have a Group Text now (spoilers)

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6 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I'm also struggling with Michaels conversion to  actually becoming 'Good Michael' we saw in the first season after a few ethics lessons.

It was hundreds of years of ethics lessons and hanging out with Eleanor and co, not just the few weeks we spent watching it. And come to think of it, his motivation for creating the fake Good Place to start with could have been less than purely evil.

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2 hours ago, felice said:

It was hundreds of years of ethics lessons and hanging out with Eleanor and co, not just the few weeks we spent watching it. And come to think of it, his motivation for creating the fake Good Place to start with could have been less than purely evil.

It was more his realization of his own mortality, gleaned through realizing what would happen if Shawn realized how badly he messed up and also how he lied repeatedly about it, then the morality lessons.

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3 hours ago, felice said:

It was hundreds of years of ethics lessons and hanging out with Eleanor and co, not just the few weeks we spent watching it. And come to think of it, his motivation for creating the fake Good Place to start with could have been less than purely evil.

He didn't have hundreds of years of ethics lessons - at least not direct ones. He only had the last iteration's ethics lessons, and those only lasted, like, a couple years or something. 

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I don’t remember how many ethics lessons he had, however i can only say that to me the whole personality swap felt too sudden and extreme. It didn’t feel organic but more of a way to push the story in a certain direction. I’m also not that keen on how they have handled Janet in the third season.

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13 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I don’t remember how many ethics lessons he had, however i can only say that to me the whole personality swap felt too sudden and extreme. It didn’t feel organic but more of a way to push the story in a certain direction. I’m also not that keen on how they have handled Janet in the third season.

I _love_ Janet in the third season. I love how they've used her abilities as knowing everything to, well, do things she wants. I like how Janet's wants are fairly restrained, because she's never actually had desires or the ability to act on them before. 

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6 hours ago, felice said:

It was hundreds of years of ethics lessons and hanging out with Eleanor and co, not just the few weeks we spent watching it. And come to think of it, his motivation for creating the fake Good Place to start with could have been less than purely evil.

Yeah, I think this is the key to it - Michael only had the desire (and the insight for that matter) to innovate on The Bad Place model because he was already obsessed fascinated by humans and experiencing decidedly non-demonic emotions. In addition to the ethics lessons and the iterations through all the other versions and the impact they've had on him, his other closest relationship is with Janet who is irrepressibly good and that rubs off too.

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16 hours ago, karaddin said:

Yeah, I think this is the key to it - Michael only had the desire (and the insight for that matter) to innovate on The Bad Place model because he was already obsessed fascinated by humans and experiencing decidedly non-demonic emotions. In addition to the ethics lessons and the iterations through all the other versions and the impact they've had on him, his other closest relationship is with Janet who is irrepressibly good and that rubs off too.

Yeah I can see it like that too. I always took his obsession with Humans to be just part of his 'Good Michael' act. 

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On 11/27/2018 at 2:28 AM, karaddin said:

Yeah, I think this is the key to it - Michael only had the desire (and the insight for that matter) to innovate on The Bad Place model because he was already obsessed fascinated by humans and experiencing decidedly non-demonic emotions. In addition to the ethics lessons and the iterations through all the other versions and the impact they've had on him, his other closest relationship is with Janet who is irrepressibly good and that rubs off too.

My SO and I had this strong feeling around the beginning of season 2 that Michael was actually a human. We were surprised when it turned out to be false... At least for now.

I still have the feeling that these "daemons" are not that daemonic though. Most of them behave more like regular, flawed humans (just think of Glenn). If the Good Place is empty or non-existant at the "start" of the series, I would speculate that some humans become "daemons" after their death. Remember, Shawn said humans are "very reticent" to torture each other, which implied that it is perfectly possible. In fact, I still think Michael's memories of his earlier daemonic life may be false.

And it struck me that the "office work" that Michael was doing in the flashbacks would be hell for a lot of ordinary people.

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I'm still not sure where this whole "Michael isn't really a demon" theory is coming from, but it'd be a big stretch if that were the case. It'd also really kinda destroy the changes the character has gone through since S1. 

On 11/26/2018 at 7:28 PM, karaddin said:

Yeah, I think this is the key to it - Michael only had the desire (and the insight for that matter) to innovate on The Bad Place model because he was already obsessed fascinated by humans and experiencing decidedly non-demonic emotions. In addition to the ethics lessons and the iterations through all the other versions and the impact they've had on him, his other closest relationship is with Janet who is irrepressibly good and that rubs off too.

Agreed. Somewhat. I think as depicted in S1 of the show, Michael was a middling office worker who saw the Fake Good Place (FGP) as a means for upward mobility, more power, more clout, in the Bad Place--all very human motivations. So I don't think the demons are that different from people--but they're still different enough. Thus demons.

And that also raises an interesting question about Janet--is she "irrepressibly GOOD"? I know they call the Bad Place version of Janet "Bad Janet," but is just Janet really "Good Janet"? I mean, she's incredibly polite and cheery, but her main function is to be helpful not good. She was very helpful to Michael in S1--thus torturing four people for "centuries." So can that make default Good Place (i.e. S1 Janet) "good"? Now the changes/reboots in S2 and now the Earth/Human Janet in S3 are different questions though.

Edited by PetyrPunkinhead

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8 hours ago, Rippounet said:

My SO and I had this strong feeling around the beginning of season 2 that Michael was actually a human. We were surprised when it turned out to be false... At least for now.

I still have the feeling that these "daemons" are not that daemonic though. Most of them behave more like regular, flawed humans (just think of Glenn). If the Good Place is empty or non-existant at the "start" of the series, I would speculate that some humans become "daemons" after their death. Remember, Shawn said humans are "very reticent" to torture each other, which implied that it is perfectly possible. In fact, I still think Michael's memories of his earlier daemonic life may be false.

And it struck me that the "office work" that Michael was doing in the flashbacks would be hell for a lot of ordinary people.

I don't buy the 'Not a Demon' theory too much either. Much of these theories feel a bit like they are giving too much credit to the show writers, making it seem like they had it all planned all along. Seems to me that they are playing the show a little by ear and have been since the end of the first season. That doesn't mean its not good, because it is, but if there are any further twists, I doubt they would have been planned from the beginning.

Much of the change in Michaels character for me feels more like a conscious decision on the writers part to make Michael good in order to be the driver of the story. They needed someone to be there to make things happen the way they did and the only way to do that was to make Michael good. It was driven by plot necessity more than any sort of deep seated character planning, thats how it feels to me. Thats why I find his character a little off.

I'd guess almost everything we know about demons is probably true, they are all wearing human suits as Michael told us. 
 

22 minutes ago, PetyrPunkinhead said:

 

And that also raises an interesting question about Janet--is she "irrepressibly GOOD"? I know they call the Bad Place version of Janet "Bad Janet," but is just Janet really "Good Janet"? I mean, she's incredibly polite and cheery, but her main function is to be helpful not good. She was very helpful to Michael in S1--thus torturing four people for "centuries." So can that make default Good Place (i.e. S1 Janet) "good"? Now the changes/reboots in S2 and now the Earth/Human Janet in S3 are different questions though.

Well Janet has evolved so heavily since all her reboots its hard to place her as good or bad.. in another way I felt like the reboot excuse was another way to turn Janet into a more likeable, less one dimensional character. It still feels a little forced to me they way the show uses her and they haven't quite got the balance right of her as comedy sidekick and actual characterisation.

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56 minutes ago, PetyrPunkinhead said:

And that also raises an interesting question about Janet--is she "irrepressibly GOOD"? I know they call the Bad Place version of Janet "Bad Janet," but is just Janet really "Good Janet"? I mean, she's incredibly polite and cheery, but her main function is to be helpful not good. She was very helpful to Michael in S1--thus torturing four people for "centuries." So can that make default Good Place (i.e. S1 Janet) "good"? Now the changes/reboots in S2 and now the Earth/Human Janet in S3 are different questions though.

This is a fair question, I think if I changed "good" to "well intentioned" or "helpful" it would be true. Her fundamental nature is to try and assist anyone that asks her for help, and yes that leads to her aiding in the torture of 4 humans.

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13 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I don't buy the 'Not a Demon' theory too much either. Much of these theories feel a bit like they are giving too much credit to the show writers, making it seem like they had it all planned all along. Seems to me that they are playing the show a little by ear and have been since the end of the first season. That doesn't mean its not good, because it is, but if there are any further twists, I doubt they would have been planned from the beginning.

I am indeed hoping against hope that from the start the writers did plan a major reveal for the end.

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53 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I am indeed hoping against hope that from the start the writers did plan a major reveal for the end.

I get the sense that the reveal at the end of season 1 was their zenith, and they have been catching up ever since. 

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12 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I get the sense that the reveal at the end of season 1 was their zenith, and they have been catching up ever since. 

This is likely true though I don't really think they're catching up so much as re-inventing. I appreciate that.

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4 minutes ago, Mexal said:

This is likely true though I don't really think they're catching up so much as re-inventing. I appreciate that.

yeah I think that is a good way to phrase it. It is difficult to write a multi-season show if you never expected it to get this far (which is an assumption I have about the show)

Which is why I get the sense that nothing that happens at this point was thought about from the beginning, and is just being written as they go along. For such a lightweight show that isn't really a big deal.

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6 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I am indeed hoping against hope that from the start the writers did plan a major reveal for the end.

I read they had plans for 5 seasons before it even went into production. I need to dig up the quote.

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I had thought he had said that basically he knows where each season is going to end up and what's going to go from that, but not much else. 

In any case, while I don't think that they've planned some incredible arc, I do think we'll get a lot of self-referential discussions about things and we'll continue to build on what has gone on before. We're still going with how unfair it is that Eleanor is not going to a medium place like Cincinatti and how stupid the system is in general, though we haven't really interrogated what that means yet. We've just started getting into how unethical the current system as it exists really is. 

I guess I think it'll be more of a gardening situation than an architect, but I also expect things to continue to make internal sense and be mostly consistent. 

ETA: Though honestly, the fact that we're having this discussion about a comedy - as in, do they have an overarcing plot plan for 5 or 7 seasons that involves a good finale about the nature of good and evil and heaven and hell - is pretty remarkable. That it has so far managed, largely, to work is even more remarkable. 

Edited by Kalbear

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10 hours ago, Kalbear said:

ETA: Though honestly, the fact that we're having this discussion about a comedy - as in, do they have an overarcing plot plan for 5 or 7 seasons that involves a good finale about the nature of good and evil and heaven and hell - is pretty remarkable. That it has so far managed, largely, to work is even more remarkable. 

I dunno. It's a comedy that has tons of philosophical references and that tackles some of the most existential questions out there.

Quite honestly, after the big reveal of season 1 I personally feel quality has been going down, (to the point where I've recommended friends to only watch S1). The reason I've kept watching is precisely because I'm hoping they have something more in store, though as I've said I'm increasingly starting to doubt that. Imho, Eleanore and Tahani are extra fun, but apart from that it's pretty standard comedy.

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53 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I dunno. It's a comedy that has tons of philosophical references and that tackles some of the most existential questions out there.

Quite honestly, after the big reveal of season 1 I personally feel quality has been going down, (to the point where I've recommended friends to only watch S1). The reason I've kept watching is precisely because I'm hoping they have something more in store, though as I've said I'm increasingly starting to doubt that. Imho, Eleanore and Tahani are extra fun, but apart from that it's pretty standard comedy.

I really respect that the show does push these philosophical questions and that's what makes the show stand out for me as being slightly above your standard light entertainment fare. I will say often the philosophy stuff seems thrown in more than anything else however, like the writers quickly googled something before writing an episode and shoved in a reference. 

But I agree, the quality of the show has been steadily declining on all levels since S1 and I feel like the show has lost its purpose a little. Its not as funny as before, the humour feels forced, the plots make little sense, there is a lack of pacing and cohesion between episodes. Its still fine, I still watch it, but it has lost something as time goes by.

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