The Good Place: Jason Mendoza – Forking Silence Was Golden (Review)

 The Good Place - Season 1

Rather interestingly, NBC have shuffled The Good Place from Mondays to Thursdays.  This could be because Timeless is starting on 3 October and the the network wants to give the new drama some breathing space.

Overall The Good Place is performing well with an average of over 6 million viewers per show. (Although moving the show to Thursday cut their viewing figures almost in-half.)

Slipping into episode four, which takes up right after Jianyu confesses he does slipped the note under Eleanor’s door, we learn that the Taiwanese monk is really a Filipino wannabe DF from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He too is a very square peg in a round hole.

He wants help from Shellstrop who is panicking at the idea of being caught and chucked out of the forking place.  Eleanor is stunned that Jianyu knows she does not belong.

He reveals that she drunkenly told him the night of the welcoming party. “I kind of vaguely remember that,” she admits.  Eleanor realizes that if she wants to stay in the Good Place, she needs to form an alliance with Jason.

While those two head off to his “bud-hole” Tahani is recruited by Michael to host the new restaurant opening. The “Good Plate” will be the event of the neighborhood and Al-Jamil is up for the challenge. The two engage in excited small talk and Michael reveals he is thinking of wearing suspenders.

(Sidenote to the writers here:  Tahani never flinches when Michael uses the term suspenders. In England the items used to hold up one’s trousers  are called “braces.” Suspenders have to do with garter-belts and hose.  So come along chaps, if writing for an English bird with a cut-glass accent, do your homework.)

The Good Place - Season 1

Later, Tahani comes home to swap her gloves and Jianyu speaks. Tahani decides that Chidi and Eleanor are helping her soulmate to talk.  (Another odd “English” phrase is used here, “Whisper in your snicker box .” A phrase never once heard over a 32 year period in that country. There are plenty of real quirky, to American ears anyway, British sayings that would have sufficed.)

At the gala event Jianyu just starts speaking when Eleanor destroys the chef’s three tier cake.  At the exact same time a giant sinkhole appears in the restaurant. People panic and flee the venue.

Tahani believes this to be her fault but Michael talks her into re-hosting the re-opening.  Meanwhile Chidi is invited into Jason’s bud-hole and he joins Eleanor in trying to talk the imposter into taking ethics training.

Back at the Good Plates eatery, the sinkhole (that Michael said would repair itself in a matter of days, is getting bigger.  Eleanor is overjoyed when Jianyu joins the class and she discovers she is the smartest student in the class.

Apart from the English gaffes, there were two outstandingly funny gags in the show. Eleanor’s obsession with “knowing yourself” meaning masturbation and Chidi’s exasperated reaction to it. And the “bud-hole” gag.

As the show continues a couple of  things become clear. Michael is a novice in every sense of the word and there must be more “mistakes” in The Good Place.

It would not be surprising to learn that all the occupants are “boo-boos”  After all, would these extreme examples of “good-two-shoes” be so quick to blow their own horns? So far the only person in the place who seems genuine is Chidi.

The Good Place - Season 1

Kudos to Jameel a Jamil for channeling her inner Penelope Keith. (Keith played upper class neighbor Margo in the 1970s sitcom The Good Life) Although Tahani is a tad more bubbly than Margot…

The Good Place is great fun and hearing  Eleanor call someone a “shirt head” or say “fork” never ceases to amuse.

The series now airs Thursdays on NBC.  Tune in and see if Jianyu learns “ethnics” or not.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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