The Good Place (season 2)
|The Good Place (season 2)|
Region 1 DVD cover art
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||September 20, 2017– February 1, 2018|
The second season of the fantasy comedy television series The Good Place, created by Michael Schur, began airing September 20, 2017, on NBC in the United States. The season is produced by Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Universal Television. The season concluded on February 1, 2018 and contained 13 episodes.
The series focuses on Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a deceased young woman who wakes up in the afterlife and is sent by Michael (Ted Danson) to "The Good Place", a heaven-like utopia he designed, in reward for her righteous life. However, she quickly realizes that she was sent there by mistake, and must hide her morally imperfect behavior (past and present). William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto co-star as other residents of the Good Place, together with D'Arcy Carden as an artificial being helping the inhabitants. Each of the episodes are listed as "Chapter (xx)" following the opening title card.
- Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a deceased saleswoman from Arizona who entered an afterlife utopia called "The Good Place" seemingly after being mistaken for a human rights lawyer by the same name.
- William Jackson Harper as Chidi Anagonye, a deceased ethics professor who was born in Nigeria and raised in Senegal. He is supposed to be the soulmate of "real Eleanor".
- Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil, a deceased, wealthy philanthropist who traveled extensively around the world. She was born in Pakistan, raised in England, and went to school in France. Her full name means "Congratulations Beautiful".
- D'Arcy Carden as Janet, a programmed guide who acts as the neighborhood's main source of information, analogous to an intelligent personal assistant. She is from the real Good Place.
- Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza, a deceased DJ and small-time drug dealer from Florida who seemingly was mistaken for "Jianyu Li", a silent Buddhist monk from Taiwan and Tahani's alleged soulmate.
- Ted Danson as Michael, the architect of the titular "Good Place" neighborhood that the other main characters inhabit. At the end of season 1, Eleanor deduced they were really all in the Bad Place and Michael was tricking them into torturing each other, at which points he wipes their memories to repeat the experiment.
- Tiya Sircar as Vicky Sengupta, a resident of the Bad Place whom Michael has hired as an actress for his experiment. In season 1, she pretended to be the "real Eleanor Shellstrop".
- Marc Evan Jackson as Shawn, Michael's boss in the Bad Place. He supports traditional torture and believes that Michael's plan will go down in history as a colossal failure.
- Maribeth Monroe as Mindy St. Claire, the only resident of the Medium Place, a neutral plane of existence between the Good Place and the Bad Place.
- Jason Mantzoukas as Derek Hoffstettler, an artificial "rebound guy" that Janet creates to get over Jason.
- Dax Shepard as Chet, a demon in the Bad Place responsible for torturing people guilty of toxic masculinity.
- Maya Rudolph as Judge Hydrogen ("Gen" for short), an impartial inter-dimensional judge who rules on matters involving the Good Place and the Bad Place.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|14[a]||1||"Everything Is Great!" (Part 1)||Trent O'Donnell||Jen Statsky||September 20, 2017||5.28|
|Eleanor's, Chidi's, Tahani's, and Jason's memories have been erased and they start over in the Bad Place. Shawn believes Michael's project will fail and Michael's existence will be ended through "retirement". Janet gives Eleanor the note she wrote to find Chidi. Chidi is forced to choose between two potential soul mates; just as he chooses Angelique, who seems ideal for him, Michael determines that the other woman, Pevita, with whom Chidi felt no connection, is his accurate soul mate. Eleanor finds Chidi, but he is distracted by his own situation and is unwilling to help Eleanor. Tahani is dissatisfied that her soulmate Tomas is very short and has unrefined taste and that their home is small and cramped. Michael plans for Eleanor to get drunk and behave badly at the welcome party, but instead Tahani gets drunk and makes a scene.|
|15[a]||2||"Everything Is Great!" (Part 2)||Trent O'Donnell||Joe Mande||September 20, 2017||5.28|
|Jason's new soulmate is Luang, a monk who is meant to be his spiritual companion; Luang accompanies Jason and copies his every action, leaving Jason bored and desperate to escape. Jason quickly gloms onto Janet, who is nice to him. Vicky, who portrayed "Real Eleanor", is frustrated by her new, minor role as pizza parlor owner Denise. Chidi realizes the paper of Eleanor's note is from a book in his library; he suspects they have met before. At Eleanor's house, Eleanor admits that she does not belong in the Good Place. Michael, Janet, Tahani, Jason, and everyone's supposed soul mates arrive. Tahani and Jason openly express their dissatisfaction and Eleanor figures out that they are not in the Good Place; she reveals the note. Michael again erases the humans' memories and reboots the Good Place, but conceals the false start from Shawn, who has disallowed a third attempt.|
|16||3||"Dance Dance Resolution"||Drew Goddard||Megan Amram||September 28, 2017||4.67|
|Michael reboots the neighborhood hundreds of times, but Eleanor (and, on one occasion, Jason) eventually realizes its true nature each time. In the 802nd iteration, Eleanor and Chidi learn of the memory wipes when they discover dissatisfied neighborhood workers (including an undisguised demon) complaining about Michael's version of the Bad Place. Eleanor, Chidi, and Janet take the train to the Medium Place, where Mindy St. Claire reveals that it is Eleanor's sixteenth visit; Eleanor and her companions always return to Michael's neighborhood with a new plan to defeat him. Mindy also reveals that Eleanor and Chidi often form a sexual relationship and once mutually professed their love. In the neighborhood, Vicky and the other actors go on strike. Vicky presents their individual demands and hers is to take Michael's job; she threatens to reveal the multiple attempts to Shawn. Jason tells Michael about his dance crew being challenged to a dance-off and that they united to instead slash the other dancers' tires; when Eleanor returns and leads the humans in confronting Michael, he asks to form an alliance with them.|
|17||4||"Team Cockroach"||Morgan Sackett||Dan Schofield||October 5, 2017||4.17|
|Michael tries to recruit all four humans to his plan, in which he will reboot the neighborhood but secretly leave their memories intact and they will feign ignorance; if they refuse, Michael asserts they will again detect the ruse, Vicky will expose him, and the humans will be remanded to traditional, hellish torture, while Michael is burned eternally. Michael also claims he can get the four and himself into the real Good Place. Chidi agrees quickly, accepting that his work on ethics in life was unsuccessful. Jason is oblivious, but Michael's bow tie earns his trust. Tahani insists she belongs in the Good Place, but concedes after Michael reveals her cause of death; she was crushed by a statue of her sister Kamillah that she pulled down, demonstrating Tahani's self-obsession. Eleanor initially plans to flee to Mindy's house, but accedes to Michael's plan after Michael informs her that Chidi never refused to help her. She adds a condition: Michael must participate in Chidi's ethics classes. Even though Michael sees humans as "cockroaches", he agrees. The neighborhood is rebooted with Vicky taking on the role of the top point earner and honorary mayor. The humans and Michael meet in secret and are joined by Janet, whose programming compels her to make humans happy; thus, she will support the only real humans present.|
|18||5||"Existential Crisis"||Beth McCarthy-Miller||Andrew Law||October 12, 2017||4.05|
|When Chidi realizes that Michael's immortality prevents him from engaging with human ethics, he confronts Michael over the possibility of existence-ending "retirement". Michael becomes despondent and then replaces his existential crisis with a stereotypical midlife crisis, which Chidi determines is less psychologically productive. Eleanor explains to Michael that sadness over death is intrinsic to humanity; he thanks her and Chidi decides their studies can move forward. Tahani is tortured by having her birthday party for Gunnar overshadowed by an extravagant one planned by Vicky; Tahani is miserable despite knowing Vicky's plan and laments her character flaws that enable such superficial problems to affect her. Jason praises Tahani and they sleep together; both enjoy it, but Tahani wants to talk about it afterwards, while Jason is oblivious. Eleanor recalls formative experiences concerning death: Eleanor's alcoholic mother flippantly explaining the family dog's death to a young Eleanor, an adult Eleanor attending her father's funeral and claiming to be fine, and Eleanor crying at Bed Bath & Beyond upon seeing a toothbrush holder designed for a family's use.|
|19||6||"The Trolley Problem"||Dean Holland||Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan||October 19, 2017||3.92|
|Chidi teaches the group the trolley problem thought experiment, but Michael's practical knowledge of the afterlife scoring system conflicts with Chidi's theoretical approach. Supposedly as a learning aid, Michael subjects Chidi to realistic simulations of the trolley problem and related ethical questions, then admits he is deliberately torturing Chidi. Chidi expels Michael, who tries to placate the humans with extravagant personalized gifts that Chidi calls bribes. Chidi allows Michael to return after Michael offers an apology that consists of exact and seemingly sincere wording Chidi has pre-approved. Tahani and Jason continue their relationship, but Tahani insists on secrecy while Jason wants to go public. Janet becomes their couples counselor. Over the course of a month, their relationship improves but Janet, performing beyond her specifications, is suffering from short term errors; Janet tells Michael the neighborhood could collapse from the errors' increasing severity.|
|20||7||"Janet and Michael"||Dean Holland||Kate Gersten||October 26, 2017||3.97|
|Before beginning his experiment, Michael steals Janet from a warehouse and claims to be a Good Place architect; they build the neighborhood together. Now, Michael troubleshoots Janet while Vicki is distracted by torturing Chidi with needles. When Janet's manual suggests the glitches are caused by falsehoods, Michael blames himself for lying about the neighborhood's real purpose. But, when a glitch occurs while Janet is speaking to Tahani and Jason about their relationship, he realizes the problem is Janet's own subconscious lies – she is not really happy for the couple because she has retained her second incarnation's love for Jason. Janet advises Michael to activate her self-destruct mechanism, but he makes excuses and ultimately refuses because Janet is his friend. They solicit Eleanor's advice instead and Eleanor successfully talks Janet through processing her human emotions. Acting on Eleanor's recommendation of a rebound relationship, Janet creates a boyfriend named Derek whose mental state is infantile, excitable, and easily distracted.|
|21||8||"Derek"||Jude Weng||Cord Jefferson||November 2, 2017||3.06|
|Michael fears Derek's existence will expose him. Michael sends Jason and Tahani on a private retreat and seeks Chidi and Eleanor's advice. Janet and Derek's relationship deteriorates. After Jason and Tahani ask Janet to marry them, Chidi acknowledges that the most ethical action is to inform the couple of Janet's issue, despite the double effect that Janet might eliminate Derek. Eleanor does so and, as Janet's friend, offers to help her work through her deep emotions over time. Janet deactivates Derek. Jason and Tahani remain intimate, but are unsure where they stand. Eleanor, having secretly repeatedly viewed Mindy's tape of herself and Chidi, shows it to him; he does not feel he loves her and she claims to feel the same way. Michael asks to speak with Eleanor about ethics; she tells him that striving to do right is emotionally rewarding and that his reaching out to her was human. Shawn comes to Michael's office.|
|22||9||"Leap to Faith"||Linda Mendoza||Christopher Encell||January 4, 2018||3.08|
|Shawn congratulates Michael; Michael's falsified progress reports have earned them both promotions and the new torture plan will be widely implemented. Michael "reveals" to Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason that they are in the Bad Place, and announces the demons will destroy and abandon the neighborhood while the humans will be remanded to traditional torture the next day. The four consider exposing Michael to Shawn or fleeing to Mindy St. Clair's house, but Eleanor realizes Michael mentioned Kierkegaard as a cue for them to take a leap of faith on him, and his cruel roast of them encoded a plan: Janet retrieves Derek, who conducts a decoy train while the humans hide under the demons' train and Michael frames Vicky for the humans' apparent escape. When the demons leave, Michael, Janet, and the humans are left alone and safe in the neighborhood. Mindy is delighted when a sexually willing Derek arrives at her house with cocaine.|
|23||10||"Best Self"||Julie Anne Robinson||Tyler Straessle||January 11, 2018||3.11|
|Michael tells the humans they will travel to the Good Place in a hot-air balloon that challenges them to prove they are the best versions of their respective selves. They struggle to do so, and Michael admits he is stalling because he was actually unable to determine a means to enter the Good Place despite exploring over a billion options. Out of options, the group holds a party. Tahani ends her relationship with Jason. Eleanor admits she has feelings for Chidi, who describes his struggle to process his feelings and wishes he and Eleanor had met under normal circumstances. The humans name Michael an "honorary human", praising him for making more of an effort to do the right thing than a typical person. Tahani suggests they "demand to speak to a manager", but Michael says the Judge rarely hears cases and can only be reached through the Bad Place. Eleanor suggests they try, and everyone agrees. Michael incapacitates the Bad Janet sent to transport him, and Janet conducts everyone to the Bad Place on a train as the neighborhood disintegrates.|
|24||11||"Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent"||Alan Yang||Jen Statsky & Dan Schofield||January 18, 2018||3.00|
|Inside Bad Place headquarters, Michael works to obtain special badges that enable use of the Judge's portal. When a reception is unexpectedly held in the others' hiding place, the humans impersonate demons and Janet impersonates a Bad Janet. Chidi is unwilling to lie until Eleanor convinces him moral particularism permits it. Michael intends to use the humans' extradition paperwork as a cover, but Shawn (against regulations) sends commandos to Mindy's house and learns the humans are not there. Michael flees, stealing badges, and rejoins the humans at the reception, where a presentation about the neighborhood reveals the humans' identities. The five escape without Janet after Jason blocks Shawn's pursuit with a Molotov cocktail. Michael sends Tahani, Jason, and Chidi through the portal before discovering he is one badge short. He then gives his to Eleanor – determining self-sacrifice solves the trolley problem – and pushes a protesting Eleanor through the portal as Shawn arrives.|
|25||12||"The Burrito"||Dean Holland||Megan Amram & Joe Mande||January 25, 2018||3.65|
|Michael confesses his lies to Shawn, who rather than retire him (which would make a spectacle that would publicize the scandal) decides to imprison him. The Bad Janet assisting Shawn reveals herself to be Michael's Janet; she incapacitates Shawn. The four humans arrive at the Judge's chambers. Eleanor reveals Michael's sacrifice. The Judge, Gen, agrees to hear out Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani, and tells them they must be subjected to separate tests of their personal growth. At their own request, they will share one fate and can only pass if all do individually. Jason fails a test of impulse control, while Tahani fails when, instructed to ignore what others think of her, she maturely confronts her parents over their lifelong cruelty towards her. Eleanor is told that she and Chidi have passed while the others have failed; after Chidi tells her that it is ethical for them to go to the Good Place without Jason and Tahani, she correctly identifies "Chidi" as a construct and refuses the offer; Gen commends her. The real Chidi fails a test of decisiveness. Gen tells the foursome they have failed, and Eleanor claims to have also failed personally. Before Gen can send them to the Bad Place, Michael and Janet arrive.|
|26||13||"Somewhere Else"||Michael Schur||Michael Schur||February 1, 2018||3.19|
|Michael argues that the humans' postmortem self-improvement, which the immortal beings thought impossible, means the afterlife system is corrupt. Janet tells Jason she loves him, inspiring Chidi to kiss Eleanor. Gen offers to put each of the humans in their own, separate Medium Places while she deliberates for up to a million years, but Eleanor refuses the proposal as unjust. Gen believes the humans only improved in pursuit of moral desert, but Michael believes they would have striven to improve, regardless, if encouraged. All four humans’ memories are again wiped and Michael rewinds time; in a new timeline, Eleanor is saved from the accident that would have killed her; Michael and Janet monitor the behavior of all four humans. Eleanor has an epiphany; she quits her immoral job to work as an environmentalist, and she tries to be ethical. After six months, Eleanor loses enthusiasm for environmentalism and her kindness has opened her to mistreatment by others; she reverts to her previous lifestyle for another six months. Michael, evading Gen's notice, appears to Eleanor as a bartender and questions her morality, leading her to watch Chidi's three-hour-long online lecture on "what we owe to each other," which enthralls her. Eleanor travels to Australia to meet Chidi, pleasing Michael.|
- The second-season premiere aired as one hour-long episode, but the on-screen title identified it as "Chapters 14 & 15" of the series.
The second season has received highly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has a rating of 100%, based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 8.62/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "By voluntarily blowing up its premise, The Good Place sets up a second season that proves even funnier than its first." On Metacritic, the second season has a score of 87 out of 100, based on reviews from 10 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Television critics' top 10 lists
The Good Place ranked fifth on Metacritic's "Best of 2017: Television Critics' Top 10 Lists". The list is determined by giving a score to each show based on the number of times it appears in year-end top ten lists of various major TV critics and publications.
For the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series received two nominations–Ted Danson for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Maya Rudolph for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. For the 34th TCA Awards, The Good Place won for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, and received two other nominations–Program of the Year and Individual Achievement in Comedy for Ted Danson.
|1/2||"Everything Is Great!"||September 20, 2017||1.3/5||5.28||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3||"Dance Dance Resolution"||September 28, 2017||1.4/5||4.67||0.8||N/A||2.2||N/A|
|4||"Team Cockroach"||October 5, 2017||1.2/5||4.17||0.8||N/A||2.0||N/A|
|5||"Existential Crisis"||October 12, 2017||1.2/5||4.05||0.8||N/A||2.0||N/A|
|6||"The Trolley Problem"||October 19, 2017||1.1/4||3.92||0.8||N/A||1.9||N/A|
|7||"Janet and Michael"||October 26, 2017||1.1/4||3.97||0.7||N/A||1.8||N/A|
|8||"Derek"||November 2, 2017||1.0/4||3.06||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|9||"Leap to Faith"||January 4, 2018||1.0/4||3.08||0.9||2.03||1.9||5.11|
|10||"Best Self"||January 11, 2018||1.0/4||3.11||0.8||1.90||1.8||5.01|
|11||"Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent"||January 18, 2018||1.0/4||3.00||0.8||1.82||1.8||4.80|
|12||"The Burrito"||January 25, 2018||1.1/4||3.65||0.8||1.82||1.9||5.47|
|13||"Somewhere Else"||February 1, 2018||1.1/4||3.19||0.8||1.75||1.9||4.95|
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- NBC press release (January 12, 2016). "Ted Danson and Kristen Bell Join Cast of Michael Schur's New NBC Comedy "Good Place"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
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