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  • ♪♪

  • -Today we're talking about chapters 27 and 28,

  • the season three premier "Everything is Bonzer!"

  • Directed by Dean Holland, written by Jen Statsky,

  • including guest cast Andrew Bering,

  • Dominic Burgess, Matthew Foster, Keston John, Mike O'Malley,

  • Lisandra Tena, Jama Williamson, Harvey Guillen,

  • Josh Siegal, Eugene Cordero, and Adam Scott.

  • Michael goes to Earth to save the four humans

  • from their various accidental deaths.

  • We see the last year in each of their lives

  • between their near-death

  • and Michael illegally giving them a second nudge.

  • Chidi asks a neuroscience professor,

  • Simone, to study his brain

  • and agrees to help Eleanor become a better person.

  • Eleanor inspires Chidi to start a cross-departmental study

  • on the effects of near-death experiences

  • on ethical decision-making.

  • Tahani's near-miss with sister's statue causes her

  • to travel to a Tibetan monastery

  • to shed her desire for attention.

  • She backslides, writing a book about the trip,

  • and creating a lifestyle brand,

  • until Michael shows up as a hippie investor

  • who loves her scam, which prompts Tahani

  • to accept Chidi's invitation for his study.

  • Michael saves Jason from the safe,

  • inspiring Jason to attempt a series of dance competitions

  • with his 60-person dance crew.

  • He ultimately goes back to a life of petty crime

  • until Michael poses as a talent scout

  • and nudges Jason to join the study.

  • Meanwhile in the Bad Place, Shawn and his demons

  • hack the Judge's system

  • to see if the humans are getting better,

  • and they realize Michael has also been cheating.

  • Just when Michael and Janet think they've gotten the four

  • together without the Judge catching them,

  • they realize that a demon, Trevor,

  • has infiltrated the group.

  • My guests today are cowriter of the episode Jen Statsky

  • and Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani.

  • Jameela and Jen, welcome.

  • "Everything is Bonzer!"?

  • -Hi. -Well done.

  • That was quite a read.

  • -Thank you. -Really impressive.

  • -Do you need to lie down? You all right?

  • You need a hug? -Yeah, I need a little break.

  • Let's talk about general things to begin.

  • -Sure. -First of all,

  • did you have this experience? I had this experience.

  • I missed these people. -Yeah, no.

  • -Did you feel that at all?

  • -Yeah, I felt very emotional watching it again.

  • -Yeah. -I watched it on the way over

  • and felt real sadness.

  • -You watched it while you were driving.

  • -Yeah, yeah, yeah. -You had it on your dashboard,

  • one eye on the road, one eye on --

  • -Exactly. -I live on the edge, people.

  • I was being driven, obviously.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • -I love how you do stuff like that,

  • and you still insist any time I bring up, like,

  • not a lot of blue sky between Tahani and Jameela,

  • you're like, "How dare you?"

  • -No, I don't mind how dare I, I just think if I -- You know,

  • I haven't brushed my teeth in like two days.

  • I feel like there's just like, "Don't look, but it's bad."

  • You know, I don't bathe regularly, I'm uncouth.

  • -You can't say that and then say, "Don't look," right?

  • -I'm disgusting. -That's an invitation.

  • -Yeah, it's tough.

  • It's a tough -- -And so, I aspire

  • to actually be more like Tahani, 'cause I feel like

  • it would be a more hygienic and healthy life.

  • -Mm-hmm. Anyway, these characters, you missed them.

  • -Yeah, I miss these characters.

  • So glad I talked about brushing my teeth.

  • I really did.

  • And, also, this season, we are much more separated,

  • especially in this episode.

  • There's so much that I didn't get to see.

  • -Right, I was gonna ask you about this.

  • -And so, it really felt like I was just watching it as a fan.

  • And I was giggling and clapping, and, like...

  • -Yeah. -...I had my hands, like,

  • clasped around my mouth.

  • Is that the right word? Yeah. That's fine.

  • And I -- it was just a very emotional experience.

  • I feel so proud of this season.

  • I'm so excited for everyone to see it.

  • -I can't imagine how fans of the show that don't work on it

  • must feel, because I miss them,

  • and I've read lots of these scripts.

  • -Totally. -And I've been on set

  • for lots of it.

  • We wrapped a month, month and a half ago,

  • something, like, not that long ago.

  • -Yeah, end of July, yeah. -But watching this episode,

  • I legitimately find myself thrilled to find out

  • what happens with these folks and get back to it.

  • -Yeah, and it's so funny that you say that because --

  • I was on -- I mean, obviously I wrote it,

  • but I was also on set, so seeing stuff shot.

  • But then, yeah, you guys were kind of siphoned off, you know?

  • -Mm-hmm. -So abstract.

  • -Very much so on your own story.

  • You have, like, a scene with Ted,

  • but so all the other people,

  • you didn't really get to see what was happening with them.

  • So, yeah, that's kind of cool that, as a fan, you were like,

  • "Oh, wow, Jason's doing an insane dance."

  • -Even having read the scripts, you want to see

  • which takes that they used and how it turned out. -Totally, yeah.

  • -I can remember being in a table read

  • about halfway through season two,

  • and Morgan Sackett, the executive producer,

  • one of the executive producers, had his sort of Mona Lisa smile.

  • This one was particularly wry, and I was like, "What's up?"

  • And he said, "Do you want me to tell you?"

  • And I said yes. And he said,

  • "If there's a season three, it happens on Earth."

  • When did you guys begin discussing that,

  • how did that come up?

  • -Man, that's a great question.

  • We definitely knew, again, like Morgan

  • saying it then, we knew pretty early on in sea--

  • like, when we were trying to figure out season two,

  • where we were gonna go and what was gonna happen,

  • at some point very early on in talking about season two,

  • the idea of going back to Earth came up.

  • -Mm-hmm. -And I remember specifically

  • one day, Mike being like, "I'm so excited about them

  • going back to Earth, I just want to get to that."

  • Like, we knew that that was kind of at the end of the runway

  • and there was still, obviously, so much

  • to deal with in season two.

  • But we definitely, pretty early on,

  • had that morsel of an idea, of, like,

  • "Wait, what if they went back?" -Right.

  • -And so, it's been in the works for a long time.

  • So it's very satisfying to see it finally happen.

  • -Jameela, when was it first presented to you?

  • -I really actually just found out today.

  • -Oh, God. -The whole time,

  • I didn't understand what was going on. -You're not really

  • paying attention to the scripts, are you?

  • -I think we found out just before.

  • I think there was a muttering of it the year before,

  • but, really, about three weeks

  • before we turned up to start filming,

  • Mike sat each of us down and broke down the whole kind of --

  • in a two-hour speech that he gave individually to all of us.

  • -Right.

  • -He broke down the entire season.

  • So this time, it was the exact opposite of season one,

  • where we weren't told anything,

  • including our names, our characters,

  • whether or not we would be fully nude for the whole season.

  • Nobody knew. -Were you disappointed?

  • -I was so sad.

  • 'Cause, as you know, I'm just big on...

  • big on getting this body out.

  • But, yeah, season three,

  • we knew exactly what was going to happen.

  • It was really, really exciting.

  • And such a new experience to be out and about in the world.

  • -Now, in order to record this podcast today,

  • the episode doesn't drop until the 27th,

  • so we're about two weeks before that.

  • In previous seasons, have you ever had

  • advanced screeners of the episodes,

  • or do you watch them on television like a normal human?

  • -No, I watch them on television.

  • Sometimes we get -- I think we're given them

  • a couple of hours before the episode runs

  • so that we know how to live-Tweet along

  • so we know what's coming. -Oh, very good. Okay.

  • -But I don't like to do that,

  • so I just watch it with everyone else.

  • In fact, season one I didn't watch at all.

  • -Really? -Yeah.

  • Not until the very, very, very end.

  • So I would just read other people's Tweets,

  • about what they were talking about,

  • sort of copy and paste those onto my own Twitter,

  • 'cause I was just mortified.

  • -Were you not watching 'cause you were like,

  • "I can't watch myself?" -No, yeah.

  • I can't watch myself destroy Mike Schur's comedy.

  • And then when I heard it had gone okay

  • and I hadn't been fired,

  • I then watched season one just before season two.

  • -Jen, were there any changes in the writers' room

  • between these seasons?

  • -Yes, we -- between season two and three, yes.

  • We added a couple people.

  • We added Kassia -- writer-wise you mean? -Yes.

  • -Yeah, we added a really great writer named Kassia Miller.

  • She had been on "Last Man on Earth."

  • -Oh, great. -Great show.

  • And also, like, really cool in that both,

  • I think something we share with --

  • or shared with -- "Last Man on Earth,"

  • it's unfortunately not on the air anymore,

  • is, like, a kind of like a show, a comedy,

  • a network comedy that is a cliffhanger show.

  • -Yeah. -Like, really, plot and story

  • is such a big part of the DNA of both of those shows.

  • So Kassia's great.

  • She's super funny and smart and great.

  • And then a stand-up named Rae Sanni.

  • She came, yeah, from the stand-up world.

  • She had written on

  • "The President Show" back in New York.

  • -Oh, great, yeah. -Yeah, which is great.

  • And so, yeah, it was --

  • This was, I think, our biggest writers' room year.

  • I think we had like 13 or 14 people.

  • I remember you coming up and just being mortified

  • at how many disgusting writer bodies

  • were crammed into a small room.

  • -That is not the nature of my disgust.

  • -I read your face, I read your face.

  • I knew what it was. -No, it was --

  • -Do you have resting disgust face?

  • -I have resting "I'm not welcome in this room" face.

  • -Oh. -That's how I enter a room.

  • -Are you English? -I'm Scottish.

  • -That's such an English trait. Okay, sure.

  • -Yeah, yeah. That's what you were reading.

  • -Okay, got it, got it. -Not that there were so many --

  • And I felt like I was interrupting,

  • 'cause Mike was like, "Oh, here's Marc.

  • Let me briefly tell him

  • what we have until episode 11 of season three."

  • -Right, yeah.

  • -So it was simultaneously a ton of information, and also,

  • I felt like I was not invited to this dinner.

  • -You're always invited.

  • -And I'm not gonna eat the soup until I do it.

  • -Both of you, always invited.

  • -Let's get into the episode a little bit.

  • We open on this mysterious, weird bridge,