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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.
-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,
the out-est outskirt of the nether realms of the afterlife.
And there's a doorman.
A doorman played by Mike O'Malley.
-The Doorman. -Yeah.
-Oh, my God.
-This show is, as we've said, the smartest, dumbest show.
And to give such high stakes to a key --
a key made with the very first atoms
created in the universe and it can't be duplicated
and then to make it so mundane that it's printed on the key
like we've all see every day, "Do not duplicate."
Do you remember whose joke that was?
-Oh, my gosh. I don't.
I believe "do not duplicate"
was Mike's joke. -Okay.
-And then I'm pretty sure the frog key chain
was Matt Murray's joke, I want to say.
-Okay. -That is what I'm remembering,
and if I'm wrong, I'll have an angry Joe Mande
texting me when this episode airs.
-We are at a weird impasse.
This is the first place in this new generation
of "The Good Place: The Podcast"
where I want to ask about the significance of frogs
and I don't want to ask about the significance of frogs.
-Oh, right. -If it makes a --
-If it pays off or not. -If it gets a call-back, yeah.
-I will -- I won't say anything.
All I'll say is, like, yeah, just enjoy the frog joke
for being a frog joke in this episode.
-For however long it may last. -Yeah, yeah.
Live in the moment.
-I was -- sorry. -No, go ahead.
-I was just gonna say I was so starstruck
when I saw Mike O'Malley.
-Is that right? -Yeah, fully starstruck.
I love him.
We get the best, like, guest stars for this show.
-Oh, forget it. -Yeah.
-I mean... -It's too much.
I don't even know how I recovered from season two
with Maya Rudolph.
I don't know how I made it through.
-I know, it's still kind of a dream, right?
-Yeah. I was sure I would be
murdered shortly afterward.
I was like, "This is it."
This is, "I've peaked, and now it's over, and good-bye."
-And he does so such an amazing job of this episode
of being so low, so flat.
-So flat, yeah. -And we knew,
'cause that was the direction Dean gave him for sure,
and when we wrote it, that's the intention, like,
"Be as flat as you can, 'cause then that's gonna make
the frog joke pay off so much funnier."
And he did such a great job with it.
-This show is super nonlinear anyway.
We go back and forth in time, we go back and forth in reality
and what can and what's happened.
In one sense, this episode is no different.
In another sense, it's different in the sense
that we jump around,
we go back in time to their first times on Earth.
-We revisit their near-death experiences.
Certainly, you didn't restage
the statue scene with Kamilah, right?
That was something that you shot how long ago?
-So we shot that season two,
episode four, is "Team Cockroach."
That's the episode we learn about Tahani's death.
And at that point, we were already kind of
figuring out this thing of going back to Earth.
And so, we knew then that we should also
shoot Ted in disguise, saving her.
-Ted as her -- yeah.
Is the same true of Jason?
Did you restage the safe scene? -But -- yeah.
So with Chidi and Jason, those were shot --
Season one, we find out how Chidi died.
And we also find out how Jason died.
So in season one writing, we had not come up with this idea yet.
Tahani was kind of the only character we saved
till season two to reveal how she died.
And so, Jason and Chidi, we both had to go back
and reshoot the scene on the sidewalk
where Chidi is arguing with his friend and then --
or trying to decide on what bar to go to.
Excuse me, not arguing.
And then the air-conditioner, he gets crushed.
Or in this version, gets pushed out of the way.
-Doesn't, yeah. -And then Jason, yes,
we also had to go back to the Mexican restaurant
and shoot in the parking lot.
-So those things were restaged.
-Those things were restaged for the shooting of this episode.
The only death-saving thing
we didn't have to restage was Tahani's.
-Because the brilliance of you guys and Mike knew a year ago
that you were gonna maybe need that, might need that.
-It wasn't explained to me why we were doing it.
I wasn't told, I was completely kept in the dark.
-But imagine how brilliant we'd seem if we had known season one
and we hadn't had to reshoot any of the Chidi and Jason stuff?
-But I think it's credit to you guys that you write this
not having a clean,
like, blueprint of everything that's gonna happen.
-Yeah. It would be cool if we did.
-Yeah. -It might be easier.
-Much less stressful, yeah.
-It would be much less scary, yeah.
-It's daunting to talk about this season three premiere
because it's almost a series premiere.
I mean, it's a "we're learning," you know,
"meeting these people all over again." -Totally.
-I'd be remiss, though, if I didn't point out
the banner on a blueberry muffin cart --
"We Crumb From a Land Down Under."
-Sure. -Is that who I think it is?
-What is crazy is it actually isn't Megan.
-Wow. -It isn't Megan.
It's -- -So it's catching.
-Yeah, the disease is spreading.
-Oh no. Are we safe? -No one's safe, yeah.
It's actually Cord Jefferson.
-Was it Cord? -It was Cord.
There was some -- Ian Phillips came in one day and was like,
"We need signage for the muffin cart,"
and so we're all pitching.
And, obviously, when this happens, we all go,
"Well, Megan's got it. She'll handle this."
-I mean, she's been important. -And I think we're all pitching,
and then we actually ended up going with one of Cord's, but --
-Was Megan okay when that happened?
-She's furious. She's gonna ruin Cord.
Cord's in trouble, yeah. -She's already going through so much.
-She's going through enough. -Yeah, losing two Emmys,
Cord gets a pun in the show.
It's a nightmare for Megan.
-Jameela, you did an International Sophisticate
582 questions kind of thing.
-Mm-hmm, my favorite play on the "Vogue"
73,000 questions or whatever they do.
-That's great. Yes. -Is the number 582 significant
in the numerology of the show?
-I'm okay with saying that that, I think, is just a joke.
-Okay, it's just an excessive reference.
-Yeah, so we, in the writers' room, became --
as Jameela says, those "Vogue" 72 questions,
we became -- Is it 72 or 73?
-Oh, God, I don't know. -Doesn't matter.
Now, 582 is in my brain.
But we became obsessed with watching these celebrity --
Have you seen them? -I've seen a couple,
and they're so staged that I -- -So staged.
-They make me furious. -We, yeah --
-They're the opposite of candid.
-Yes, it's so funny.
And the fake trying to pretend it's off the cuff and candid.
-Right. -Kills me, yeah, kills me dead.
-It's so mortifying. -But I can't stop watching.
I cannot look away from the accident.
-They're addictive. So we were like,
"Oh, yes, please, we have to do this with Tahani.
It's so Tahani."
And it, yeah, turned out awesome.
-We haven't yet spoken about the monastery.
-Right. -Are we going to get on to that?
-We are.
-Should we talk about it later when you were gonna talk
about it, or should we now talk about it?
-I guess later. I don't know.
I want to talk, first of all --
-No, fine. Yeah. -Getting there.
This might be the purist distillation
of a Tahani name-drop, though,
because it's a misdirect where they say,
"Who is the most famous person in your phone,"
and you sort of deflect and say, "It's not about that.
The Dalai Lama texted me back."
I mean, that is the perfect-est version.
-It really is such a perfect Tahani joke,
'cause it's like she's trying so --
and especially with where she goes with this,
the whole get out of the spotlight.
-Yeah. -She's trying so hard to pretend
to be earnest and above it all, but she's not at all.
-No. -She can't do it.
-No. -I mean, she is who she is.
-A douchebag, yes.
-Bleep that.
-Oh, sorry. -No, it's fine.
There's so much in this episode.
I love that Jason proposes to the police officer
and calls her "Kay"
'cause I think the name tag says "K. Ramirez." -Yeah, "K. Ramirez."
-And he inadvertently confesses.
But then we see, you know, throughout this episode,
we find Michael and Janet
monitoring the ticker tapes of what's happening back on Earth,
and it's not going well.
This is a very interesting Janet, though.
It's a new Janet. -Mm-hmm.
-It's a very human Janet. -Yeah.
-It's the humanist Janet I think that we've seen to date.
-She's kind of mothering Michael at the beginning of this episode.
-Yeah, yeah. -I really enjoyed their dynamic shift,
'cause it always felt like he was her dad and her baby.
And despite the dialogue that then occurred,
her mannerisms with him and her general way
is, she's looking after him, which I think is really nice.
-Right, and he's trying to push the envelope and keep cheating,
and she's really trying to rein him in.
Yeah, it's really interesting.
I mean, just always with Janet across the three seasons,
it's just she's getting more and more,
you know, human as we go.
And so, pretty much every episode,
unless it's a flashback,
Janet's more human than ever when you see her.
-There's even a little bit of fear there.
Like, she's going, "Now, Michael,
don't forget the Judge," who's the judge of --
like, there are stakes to Janet. -Yeah, yeah.
-Janet didn't have stakes before.
-Exactly. She's internalizing, like,
now his goal and the group's goal is her goal, too.
-Yeah. -Which is really cool.
'Cause that, again, like you said, that's not
where she started from and now she's part of the team.
-We flash back -- Michael is gonna nudge-nudge these people.
So we flash back to season two, we see Eleanor in the bar,
and then we, you know, follow her
to Chidi's office in Australia.
You've written the joke that the two biggest exports from Arizona
are racist sheriffs and HPV. -That's right.
-Are those the meanest jokes you wrote,
or were there worse ones that you decided not to use?
-I think that those...
I would say meanest, but, also, there's truth to them, right?
They don't ring false when you hear it, right?
You're like, "Yeah."
-Oh, no, I think everybody knows.
I think Joe Arpaio knows.
-Yeah, he knows. -Yeah.
I'm sure he's a huge fan of the show.
-We get a little bit of explanation
about Chidi's languages. -Yes.
-And accent. -Yeah.
-Is there more of that coming, I feel like, Mike has said?
Or is this the --
-This is kind of... -Okay.
-I think this is kind of our main --
-I'm not trying to trap you, I just...
-This was kind of -- It was something we were aware of
that, in the pilot, he says -- the pilot of the show, he says,
"I'm speaking -- What you're hearing is English,
but I'm actually speaking French."
-French, right. -And so, we always knew
going forward that that was a loose end to tie up.
And so this was kind of our way of explaining
what the deal is with that.
And then Eleanor, of course,
has a very Eleanor response to it.
-We learn that "zonkatronic" is Khloe's word for "crazy."
Is "bonzer" a Kardashian word? That's like an Aussie word, right?
-No, that's an Aussie word.
That's an Aussie word which kind of is colloquial.
It means, like, good, great, you know, so it's --
-I think about it in terms of, like, waves.
-Awesome. -Like good waves, surfing.
-Like a bonzer -- -Yeah.
-You hit a -- you got a bonzer wave.
-I think so. -Okay.
-Why do the writers know what the Kardashians' words are?
-That -- I gotta be honest, that's actually just a joke.
That's not actually a Kardashian word.
-Oh, is that true? -Yes.
-'Cause she knows the actual Kardashian words.
-I was going to say, she knows the cannon.
-I will say, I wrote this whole Kardashian joke
because I have a pretty extensive Kardashian knowledge.
-Do you? -Yes.
And this is not part of their cannon.
-Eleanor says "jiff" for "gif" in there.
Was that a topic?
-This was a whole discussion in the writers' room.
-It has to have been. -I'm so glad you brought it up.
-I found it really jarring. -Yeah, I did, too.
-I couldn't even hear -- I couldn't hear anything else
that was said for a couple seconds.
-So we had a very heated debate in the writers' room,
'cause a lot of -- like, I remember, I think, Cord was like,
"No, it's gif, it's gif."
But Mike was firm on this,
and I agreed that the creator of the jiff is like,
"No, it's jiff."
-Right. -So we -- I kind of,
and I agree with Mike, have gone with -- We're like,
"Well, he created it, it's jiff."
But you guys say "gif"?
-I say "gif." -I say "gif."
-Interesting. I say "jiff."
-But I also say aluminum, so...
-Yeah, you do. -What do I know?
-We can't go by that.
So weird and charming.
-It's very charming.
So Chidi, we see his life.
We see -- First of all, it's very charming to see
Ted riding a bike and trying to yell at the same time.
-Oh, yes. -'Cause it was 90% solid,
and there was just a little bit of, like,
acting while riding a bike! -Totally, totally.
-Like, there's a little bit of --
That was kind of great and fun to see.
-Yeah. -Chidi is still Chidi.
You know, like, we haven't gone back in time --
I mean, we've gone back in time, but it's a different timeline.
I don't know how any of you keep this straight.
But his takeaway is that he, you know,
shouldn't be more decisive, it's that he shouldn't use
Freon in air-conditioning because it's bad for the environment.
His friend tells him that his brain is broken.
And I do love that in this rejoined, revisited timeline,
he's still working on that tome, that 3,600-page thesis.
-Oh, yeah, yeah. Yep, yep, we're -- Yeah,
you're basically going back as if he had --
You see if he had never been crushed by that air-conditioner.
So he's still the old Chidi,
hasn't made any of the progress or gotten out
of his insane brain. -Mm-hmm.
-So, yeah, he's still typing away at a 3,000-page thesis.
-And he's still Chidi in the sense
that he can't choose a chair when he's talking to Simone,
played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste.
-The opening shot, where he's sitting there
straddling each buttock on an armchair of each chair,
was unbelievable.
I laughed so much when I saw that.
-So that's joke enough, right? -Yeah.
-But then you have him move to the one at left
in the middle of the his own dialogue, he goes, "Nope."
-Yep. Yeah, and that was a Dean pitch on set,
and it was such a funny,
smart addition, that, yeah, he was like,
"Can you just not even break stride with the line?
Can you sit down and then be like 'nope'
and move to the next one?"
-Will's execution of that is --
-Will nailed it so perfectly. -Perfect.
-Oh, good heavens.
So his brain is broken, they're gonna put him in an MRI.
Let's throw to a clip.
-Okay, I'm all set.
-I'm just gonna ask you some basic questions, Chidi.
What is one plus one? -Two.
-What color is the sky? -Blue.
-What color are Simone's eyes?
-Brown. Uh -- uh, what?
-If you could take Simone anywhere on a date,
where would you take her?
-Sorry, is this part of the experiment?
-It is now, yes. Please answer the question.
And keep in mind, we can see your brain.
-Next question -- You're into Simone.
-That's not a question. -So you agree, it's a fact.
Next question's for Simone.
Simone, are you annoyed at Chidi
for waiting so long to ask you out?
-Yes, I am. -Chidi, same question for you.
Are you annoyed at yourself
for waiting so long to ask out Simone?
I mean, I'm annoyed with you,
and I've only known you three weeks.
-Yes, I am obviously very annoyed with myself.
Can I get out now?
-No, you can't, it will ruin the science.
There's only one question left...
and you gotta ask it, bud.
-Simone, would you like to have dinner with me?
-Wow, that is highly inappropriate.
-Uh... -I'm just kidding. Yes, I would.
Thank you for asking.
-"No, you can't, it will ruin the science."
Jen, that's...
that's world-class rom-com.
-It's very rom-com, yeah. -But, I mean, it's perfect.
-Well, thank you. It's very --
I mean, it's all -- Kristen and Kirby
and Will do such a good job in that scene.
And what's crazy is this scene and kind of this story line
where Eleanor pushes Chidi towards Simone
wasn't really in our -- I believe,
when we outlined it and kind of broke the episodes,
that wasn't really part of it.
There was an earlier version of this episode
where when we checked in with Chidi
and he has his kind of epiphany, your brain is broken,
et cetera, he and -- the Simone and Chidi relationship
kind of, like, that was --
he did that on his own. -Mm-hmm.
-And then in rewriting and re-breaking
and talking about the episode, like the premiere,
you know, I think we -- Every episode in various forms
goes through a lot of rewriting and re-breaking
and talking about it, and every episode is different.
But we definitely -- This episode,
because it's the premier,
because we had so much to catch up with, there was --
We just were working on it a really long time.
And that kind of developed.
We changed the story to have it be more
of an Eleanor/Chidi story,
where she is the one who pushes him to ask her out.
And it just -- Yeah, I love --
that scene is my favorite scene, I think, in this episode,
and I'm so glad we kept working on it,
'cause we wouldn't have gotten it.
-I love that scene. -It's great.
-But I also -- I didn't like seeing Eleanor push.
-I know.
-I felt it was fine in the read-through,
'cause it all feels very abstract.
But when I saw it, I felt angry.
-Yeah, yeah. -And I felt disappointed.
I was -- I wanted to break stuff.
'Cause it just didn't feel right. I didn't like it.
It was very well-performed and executed.
I can understand why it's happening,
but I feel territorial of them as a couple.
-Yeah. -I've become like
a real psycho fan of the show.
-Oh, yeah. I mean, that's real.
And I think that when you look at this episode,
there's a moment and it's --
Some of it might be a little bit of Kristen Bell
knowing the previous seasons of the show,
but it's definitely Eleanor just being territorial.
When they're walking down the park,
the sidewalk in the park or what have you
and Simone comes up,
at first, there's a little bit of like, "Oh, hold up.
"Like, who's this?"
And then she softens and goes, "Hey, dork, she's into you.
You guys should get together. I promise I won't get you two together."
-Cut to, "So you're into Chidi." -"You're into Chidi, right?"
Yeah. Yeah. -But you can feel a little,
I don't know, a hint, a whisper,
an echo of a past life of her going,
"I'm jealous of this person and I don't know why yet."
-Well, it's interesting you say that because we were really,
in writing it, we really --
one thing we were very cautious of
was we did not want this to turn into a story of a love triangle,
of two women fighting over a guy.
-'Cause why, right? -'Cause why?
'Cause I think it's been done, pretty sure.
-I don't know, has it? -I don't think so, actually.
-Yeah. -But that was also avoided
in season one between Tahani.
-Totally, exactly, exactly.
-Like, Mike and the writers, they all veer away from --
-Yeah, yeah. One of --
and I think you would maybe agree -- for me as a woman,
who has other female friends, I'm like,
"No, my girlfriends and I, we're not fighting over men.
That's -- It just doesn't happen, sorry."
-Then you're doing it wrong.
-I know your experience is different, Marc.
But it's interesting. I think, of course, there is always
this supernatural element to our show, which is like,
"Oh, these people's brains have been erased,"
but is there any --
you know, we know what they've been through.
But it was important to us, and Kristen really nailed it
and got it right away, that she should play this --
She's Chidi's friend,
and she's genuinely helping him. -Right.
-And even though she's only known him three weeks,
Eleanor has no boundaries with people, so she's gonna do that.
So I think it's interesting. For us, I really --
And Mike agreed and everyone agreed
that we didn't want it to feel like any kind of two women
fighting over a guy, basically. -Right.
And you address it so well because in the next scene,
I think, Janet and Michael, there's concern that now there's
this jam-car of a third party
and that they're not going to get together.
And I think it's Janet that says there were plenty of reboots
where Chidi and Eleanor weren't soul mates,
and he still agreed to help her, which, of course,
he does in this, given the nudge from Michael.
You have Janet calling the Judge "Mommy," which is...
it feels a little inside writers' room, maybe.
-Oh, yeah, "Daddy." -And also, trying on Michael as "Dad."
-Yeah, I mean, yeah.
It's still just Janet, I think, evolving
and being like, "Oh, yeah, relationships.
People have moms and dads.
Who's my mom, who's my dad?"
-And I feel like, as a reminder of the timeline
of the previous two seasons, we do see Shawn and company
in the situation room going back to things.
The song that made it -- When I say, "Put something on
that's deeply terrible to put us in the mood,"
you played Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting for You."
I've forgotten what song you played on set
that broke me completely.
Do you remember that?
-God, what song was it? I'm trying to remember.
-Dean thought it might be Blues Traveler or something.
-Oh, it was "Run-Around" by Blues Traveler.
-That's what he thought, okay, yeah.
-So I think it's okay to say this -- Basically --
-How does that song go? -Oh, I'm not gonna sing it.
-I played it in the car on the way here, and I don't...
-Do you remember Blues Traveler? -No.
-Harmonica. -I'm only 15 years old.
-Right, right.
Your great-great-grandmother remembers Blues Traveler.
Basically what it is
is when they have to clear these songs for the episodes...
-...the person giving the rights to the song
has to be okay with saying, "Hey, is it cool to say
this is a song literal demons use
to psych themselves up 'cause it's so bad?"
-Same thing with Puddle of Mudd and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
-Exactly, exactly.
So I think that we're always dealing with what's funny
and, also, who's gonna be down for the joke.
And I think, from what I've heard,
Richard Marx is a very funny --
gets comedy and is totally down for his music to be made fun of,
which is cool.
-Shawn goes on a bit of a cocooning spree,
and others join,
I suppose, Vicky, wherever she is --
somewhere in a cocoon.
I do love that you have Chidi thanking Eleanor
for bullying him into asking out Simone kind of thing.
-Yeah. -That seems like a really
baseline dynamic for those two.
-It's totally a baseline dynamic.
Eleanor is -- -So infuriated.
-Jameela's upset. She's upset about it.
Yeah, Eleanor. But she's all action, you know.
Chidi's -- Obviously, his greatest flaw
is that he overthought everything and never took action.
And Eleanor is such a like, "All right, man, let's do this.
What's the plan?"
And so they make each other great in that way.
And, unfortunately, she's made him great in a way that is --
or fortunately, however you want to look at it --
looking at Jameela, who's devastated
by this couple being broken up.
-Don't... Don't look at me.
Don't forking look at me. -Don't forking.
-It's so interesting to hear you say that,
'cause, like, you know, we all writing it,
we're like, "Wow, how are people"--
I'm very protective of the Eleanor/Chidi relationship.
You know, like, I love them together.
So it's interesting, people's reaction to this premiere,
I'm really interested in how they're gonna feel about it.
-Am I wrong in saying that apart from, obviously,
like, towards the end, I guess, of season two,
this is palpably the warmest I've seen Eleanor so far?
She's the most, like -- -Interesting.
-I think that's true.
-She's still pushy, but she's warm and affectionate
and doing something for other people.
Like, she's a giver.
-Yeah, this is the first time you've seen her not...
like a caged -- like, with her back against the wall,
season one, season two.
-Like a caged animal? -I was going to say
like a caged animal, then I was like,
"That's not exactly the right metaphor.
Let me try something else."
But, you know, she --
in season one, she's so scared she's gonna get caught.
-Her antenna is that she's gonna get screwed.
-Her antenna -- exactly.
All her instincts are saying, "Fight, fight, fight,
self-preserve, self-preserve."
So I think, you know, she's suspicious of Tahani
when she first meets her.
And that was something that was really cool for us
to explore, in them being on Earth.
-This one's totally different, right?
-Yeah, totally different.
-They meet in different circumstances.
-Yeah. -Was that weird playing --
meeting your character meeting Kristen's character
for the first time
when you, the actor, knows
that you've been together for several years?
-Yeah. And I feel like we played it
in slightly different ways
on set to kind of see what would work later.
-Yeah. -We tried a variation.
I'm really glad they went with the kind of,
like, warm, open, like -- -Yeah.
And in that first scene when you guys meet, it's immediate.
Like, she's like, "No, I'm not that into Kamilah,"
and you're super happy,
and your reaction of it is so, so funny.
-That was so genuine and dear, for real.
-But, yeah, you guys -- She has no reason
to feel anything but like, "Oh, cool.
Here's this really interesting British woman
who I've never met anyone like before,"
but she's not worried about getting caught.
She doesn't think you think you're better than her,
and that's bad in the Good Place.
-Also, I'm not the only person in a village
that has an English accent by choice.
-Exactly, exactly. So it's really cool to --
I can't think of any other show
where you get to explore relationships
from so many different angles
over and over again with characters.
It was very fun to write.
-That's also a fun scene to -- When we flash back
to your near-death, Tahani's near-death,
it's fun to see Tahani out of control, going,
"Who was it that saved me? It was a man, I think."
They're like, "No, it was Kamilah."
And you're like, "No, it was a man, I think."
-I love that scene so much. -That scene is great.
-I love the writing of that so much.
And then how everyone just starts chanting,
"Kamilah, Kamilah, Kamilah!"
And how broken I had to look.
-So good. -That was really fun.
That was a really fun scene to shoot,
and we almost took out Ted in that scene,
'cause, like, one of the takes, we both missed the mat.
Almost definitely my fault.
-Oh, you mean you almost killed a real-life actor Ted Danson.
-Oh, my gosh, you almost, like, clipped his knees?
-He'd just had a knee operation,
so we had to be really careful with him.
And I think, like, I just --
I lack spacial awareness. -That's true.
-I'm taking the full blame for this.
You know, I'm Bambi on ice.
And so, I think I missed the crash point,
and I think, therefore, I took him down with me and just --
-Oh, no. -I was like Rose on the Titanic.
Like, I think I took up the whole crash mat
when there was space for two, Rose!
There was space for two!
-There was space for two, yeah.
-And so, yeah, Ted landed on the ground.
And there was, like, a couple of minutes where we were like,
"Have I re-broken Ted Danson's knee?"
-Oh, my God, I never heard that. -Yeah, it was very stressful.
It was nice to see it all work out.
-Tahani decides to find herself again
and goes to a Buddhist monastery.
Did you want to talk about that? -Yes.
I have photographic proof of what I'm about to say right now.
-Oh, interesting. I wondered what this was about.
-Oh, my gosh, I remember this.
-I just didn't want to forget.
So we'll put this out with the episode.
-You don't know that.
-But I don't know if you can see.
We're gonna -- yeah, I run things.
I'd like to speak to your manager.
-Oh, please.
-So I am in crutches in this photograph,
and Dean Holland is also on crutches.
-Oh, that's right.
-Because the week before filming --
'cause I've had two seasons now where Ted Danson,
who is several decades older than me, runs rings around me.
-Sure. -And his energy is just, like, beyond --
way beyond whatever I could even contemplate for myself.
So I was like, "You know what?
I'm tired every year, and we do these long hours.
And I'm sick of seeing someone 40 years older than me
just run rings around me. I'm tired of it."
So I thought, "I'm gonna start taking up sports
so I can be more energetic."
-Oh, boy. -So I decided to try sports
for the first time in 20 years one week before filming.
That sport was tennis.
Tennis seemed -- no, why is every--
Now I know that everyone's like, "You idiot."
I thought tennis seemed very civilized,
I associated it with champagne and strawberries and cream.
You know, it just seemed like -- -Again, nothing like Tahani.
Nothing like Tahani. -Yeah, you know.
But I haven't played since I was 12,
because when I was 12, I played, and I went to swing the racquet,
and the racquet, I just never stopped.
You know, you just, like, stop your arm,
but I brought my arm all the way back 'round
and smashed myself in the face and broke my nose.
So I never played tennis again for 20 years
until a week before the show.
Played it, was in a warm-up round with
my just unbearably competitive boyfriend, who, even though --
-James Blunt. -Yeah, James Blunt.
Who just kept on spinning the ball, and I ended up,
because I'm also competitive,
tried to meet him and impress him.
And just ended up falling over my ankle to the point where,
if you're watching this, you can see what my ankle did.
It just went way the other way
that it was supposed to in nature.
-Yeah. -And I heard it snap
from five foot, 10 inches in the air, like, loud.
It sounded like a...
And I'd snapped, like, a ligament
and damaged it so badly that I could not walk again
without some sort of aid for about two months.
So it was fun for me that the first thing I --
I had the first day of filming
all on my own, and it was all day,
and it was up a mountain that I had to keep --
-Where were you? -Malibu, I believe.
-Yes. -Yeah.
-Is that a hill, then? -Yeah.
-I've exaggerated with a mountain.
-No, no. -It was mountainous.
-We were at --
I mean, the place we shot at the monastery
was this really interesting property in Malibu
that someone owned, and we shot there.
And it was -- there was a lot of, like, dirt hills
that we were walking up.
And you and Dean Holland, our director, was --
they were on crutches. -Yeah.
-I made him do everything that I had to do.
I was like, "If I'm doing this
and I'm risking my ankle, you're risking yours."
-You made him play tennis? -And we had to keep going up
and down these different hills at different parts of the location.
-It was an interesting first day
of season three shooting. -Yeah.
I was in agony for a couple of weeks.
-Oof. Ooh. -But Tahani is wearing flats
in season three, and that is my bad.
And I'm sorry to all of my fashion followers
who feel let down by this decision.
Shame on me.
-Let's listen to another clip.
-You should be selling whatever crap you can think of,
'cause these people will buy it.
-That is quite enough! -Hmm?
-And how dare you insinuate that I'm not authentic.
-I finished signing your head shots.
-Oh, not now! -Miss Al-Jamil, it's okay.
You and I are the same.
I love what you're doing here.
You get to be rich and famous
and not have to do any of the work of helping people.
-But I am helping people.
You need to go, right now. -Suit yourself.
Look, if you change your mind, I'm online.
Just Google "crystals that prevent erectile dysfunction."
-[ Scoffs ] -I'm sorry,
but Miss Al-Jamil doesn't have time to participate
in an ethical study at some random university.
If you want to meet her, you can sign up
for the "Get Out of the Spotlight" cruise,
with special guest Deepak Chopra and Will.i.am.
This is Tahani Al-Jamil.
-Oh, hi.
I didn't think I'd actually get you.
My name is Chidi Anagonye, and I'm doing an academic study
on near-death experiences and ethical decision-making.
I read an article about you -- -Will it help people?
That's all I want to know.
Will this help people? -Yes, I-I-I think so.
I mean, that's the goal.
-Send me the info. I'll be there tomorrow morning.
-"Will it help people? That's all I want to know."
Maybe there's no blue sky between Tahani and Jameela,
'cause that sounds like you to me.
-Oh, sure! -Yeah.
That and mouthing off on Twitter.
It's a sort of combination of the two.
I lack Tahani's grace and class when I try to help people.
That is a thing that we have learned about me
in my private life.
-Also about dental health.
That's such a wonderful scene because, you know,
she's become this major brand, Tahani has.
-Yeah. -And Michael shames her
into realizing it.
She's, you know, in the course of trying to be humble
and shed fame and things material.
She's made a business out of it.
-Totally. -Yeah.
-Oh, that moment where you see her say,
"And that's why I decided to get out of the spotlight,"
and we come in, and she's on a stage
in front of hundreds of people on her book tour.
So, so funny.
I love the writing of this show so much.
This is my favorite season.
-Oh, great. -Oh, this season.
-My favorite season, yeah. -As I said,
I can't wait for viewers to see this season.
-Yeah, it's exciting. -It's special.
It's special.
I also love that this show is so ambitious.
Like, you got an auditorium and lit it and put,
I don't know, a hundred extras, a hundred background actors
into that scene to shoot a two-second TED Talk.
-All of whom had a copy of my book.
I have a photograph that I took of all of them holding it up.
-Yeah, they are. -So the props department made --
-Oh, yeah, props department,
they're so amazing, yeah. -Oh, yeah.
-Every extra had a copy of the book, yeah.
-Yeah. No, I was gonna say, really pay attention
to the book launch that you can see,
because there's all these different amazing photo setups
that I had to do photo shoots for of just different takes
of me pretending, essentially,
to be Gwyneth Paltrow, which was really fun.
And also... but it was worth it.
-I -- this is, because we're doing this
so quickly with the tight turnaround
because we're doing these, you know, next to live,
near live, I haven't zoomed in on
every back of every book, of every magazine.
-Sure. -I'm sure there are Easter-eggy jokes
that I haven't gotten on this episode yet.
-I forget if there's anything on the actual book jacket.
Again, our props department, like Gay and everyone,
is so good that I guarantee you there are jokes on that.
But, like, when Tahani's giving the TED Talk,
there's a quote from, yeah, I believe it's --
I wrote it, I should know.
It's basically, like, "This book
is some of the best writing I've ever seen.
It's made me decide to quit writing completely,"
and then the next quote is "Ditto," Cormac McCarthy.
[ Laughter ]
-It did not escape my attention--
-I'm trying to see if I've got the photos here.
-Yeah. -But I'm not sure,
you're going to have to look out for it.
It's an unbelievable book cover. Really is.
-It's really good. -Ridiculous.
-I also like the use of the name Charles Brainman.
-Oh, my God.
That is one of, I think, all of the writers.
One of favorite running jokes in this episode
is Michael's fake names when he goes and meets everyone.
-Yeah. -It's so good.
Gordon Indigo for you.
-Oh, Gordon Indigo is my favorite.
What a creep. -Charles Brainman.
-Charles Brainman.
-And we're coming up on Zach Pizzazz.
-Zach Pizzazz.
-So Jason meets Michael on a pier.
He's throwing rocks and says, "Are these your rocks?
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to."
And one thing...
production design-wise, art department-wise,
the pier that Jason's on feels a lot like the bridge
that Michael walks out to meet the Doorman on.
-Ooh! -Like, the lights are sort of similar.
-Interesting. -The spacing of the lights.
-I love this... -It's gotta be deliberate.
-...film student read into the --
-I don't know, it felt -- it struck a visual chord.
-No, you're right, you're right.
All I remember from that is that it was so cold that night.
That's what I remember.
But, yes, an artistic reading is that it's kind of a nice bookend
to where we start the episode.
-You've done another nice misdirect here.
Jason's had a rough year.
His year started about a year ago, and he --
you know, we see everything that's gone wrong in his life,
and he decides -- he says aloud, "I need to change my life."
He then sees a poster that says "Change your life!"
And he zeroes in on the completely wrong poster,
and it's about dance competitions.
-Yeah, yeah. The Swamp Stomp.
-I mean, that's such a -- such a Jason Mendoza.
-It's so Jason, yeah.
-You've also mentioned the Carmen Electra Auditorium
in the Smith & Wesson Performing Arts Center and ATV Repair Shop.
Is this a statement on gun violence?
-[ Laughs ] Yeah. You nailed it.
It's our statement.
I'm glad you read into the subtext of this episode.
If you take one thing away from this episode...
No, I think it's, we had so many alts,
and I think Manny did a bunch of them,
and I wish we could have used them all.
But it was like -- it was always Smith & Wesson,
but then it was like ATV Repair Shop.
I think I pitched him Sex Toy Depot.
Just so many stupid Florida jokes
that I wish we could do all of them.
-Getting to see him dance,
'cause Manny is such an extraordinary dancer.
-Oh, we get to see what he can do.
-Yeah, it's really --
And I really hope that there's some, I don't...
-Manny Jacinto is a real-life hip-hop superstar, right?
-Yes. When we were casting the show,
Manny's audition was -- I'm sure people talk about it --
so good, so incredible.
His take on Jason was so unique and special, and it was like,
"Yes, this has to be Jason." -Yeah.
-But in addition to that, we Googled him.
We're like, "Who is this guy? We've never seen him."
And so many, like, hip-hop dance videos,
and we were like, "He's an incredible dancer
in addition to being a great actor."
-Which is so funny for Jason. -Yes. It's so perfect.
-So perfect and funny that his brain works
so beautifully in one way
but doesn't work at all in any of the others.
-Totally, totally, totally. -Yeah, he's incredible.
That dance scene was longer.
I hope there's a longer cut. -Yes, I was gonna say,
I hope that on NBC
or an extended cut or something we see,
'cause they, I mean, they did -- You know,
Manny and the rest of those guys were in rehearsals for,
like, a day -- a whole day and a half
before that, learning this dance.
And it's pretty intricate.
Like, so even what we see is amazing,
but there's a longer version that's even...
-Oh, I can't wait. -Yeah, he's great.
-It's so incredible. He's so ridiculous.
-I feel like they get disqualified
because they've got lots of -- they've got 40 people
and it was meant to be eight or something.
-Yeah, I think Jason's not
a great rule-reader. -Sure.
-He's not -- -Not generally a good reader.
-Yeah, not a great reader. Yeah. -Not big on reading.
-We meet Donkey Doug.
Have we met Donkey Doug before?
-We've never met Donkey Doug.
We've heard -- -We've spoken of him.
-We've heard Donkey Doug. I believe he --
Jason had his girlfriend, Sheila,
he framed her for boogie board theft or something.
-That's right. -So Donkey Doug
has been mentioned as one of Jason's kind of --
other than Pillboi, one of his best friends.
But we've never seen him until now.
-We've never seen him until now.
He says, "You know, you're my boy,
but I can't handle it," and he bugs out.
Little Peanut also bugs out.
-Yeah, and we've mentioned Peanut.
So in my mind, Little Peanut is Peanut's daughter.
Yeah. -That's lovely.
-A wonderful rapper name.
-Yeah, Little Peanut is good. -Little Peanut, yeah.
-We hear about the license plate "Got Milf," which is...
-So lovely. -...so Florida.
-I would 100%, if I ever learned how to drive,
would 100% make that and will make that.
I vow to make -- I vow on air to make that my number plate.
-Yeah, if you're driving around L.A., you see "Got Milf,"
you know it's Jameela. -So this plan doesn't work out.
They don't win any of these contests,
that's how he was going to fund his trip
or get his life back on track.
We see Pillboi, Eugene Cordero, and Jason
sharing a drink at a bar.
I was half expecting Michael to show up as Sam Malone again
behind that bar to be the Cyrano,
to be the -- -Oh, yeah. No, no.
-You know, the deus ex machina there.
-No, what I kind of love about the Jason part of this premiere
is that when Michael first comes to him,
I think Michael, and we talked about this in the writers' room,
and there was also even kind of a scene at one point,
and it got cut, but Michael, I think,
is very much, though, underestimating Jason.
He's left him for last, he's like, "This will be easy.
I can get this guy to Australia.
-I'm just gonna say, 'Hey, dance crew.'"
And then when Jason says no, you see in the scene,
and Ted acts it really beautifully, he's taken aback.
He's like, the line is, like, "But you heard my name.
I'm Zach Pizzazz." -"I'm Zach Pizzazz."
-And Michael takes a step back
and then really actually listens to Jason
and has this nice moment where he connects with him.
And he's like, "Yeah, I get it.
I used to run with a crew who had different values
and morals than I did, and then I had to change."
And they have -- I love that scene,
'cause they both did such a great job.
-It's a great job. I also love Jason going, like,
"I guess I could go to Atlantis."
"It's Australia." -Yeah, yes.
-He has a giant realization that there might be more to life
than amateur street dancing.
-I do like that Michael has to cover himself
and say that his crew is the Demons, too.
-Jason totally knows that group. -Right, right.
-Turns out to be a different group.
-They all died when someone brought a hammerhead shark
into their hot tub.
-Into their hot tub. -Yeah.
A lot of Florida --
a lot of good Florida stuff in this episode.
-Every time have to -- like, we went to
Comic-Con over the summer. -Yeah.
-And we asked if anyone was there from Florida,
and I made it a point to apologize to all of them,
anyone from Jacksonville. -Yeah.
-People -- Yeah.
I guess people from Arizona are like, "Well, we don't have" --
Like, fans of the show from Arizona are like,
"We don't have it as bad as Florida fans."
-[ Laughing ] Also, the French really
get it from us in this show. -Mm-hmm.
-Yeah. -Yeah.
-We see Michael return.
He sees the Doorman once again.
He's brought him, in this case, a travel mug,
I guess, right, for his antimatter.
-Yep. -Travel mug's got a frog on it.
-Yeah. -Like, it's such an endearing
and weird, dorky thing that you see
Mike O'Malley's character of the Doorman be like, "Oh, boy.
Oh, gosh." -It's so good.
It was like we -- -It's still subtle.
-Yeah, it's subtle, but it's one of those scenes you write,
and you're like, "I have this idea."
Like, we all had the idea in our head of how he'd play it,
and then he did it exactly the way we hoped.
And it's so funny.
He's so good doing it, and he's like -- when he goes,
"Oh, this guy's a jumper," you can tell.
His voice kind of goes up, and it's great.
-We then see Janet and Michael and the Judge.
The Judge is checking in, the stakes are very high.
Janet's panicky, Michael's panicky.
We find out the judge is super into "CSI" or "NCIS,"
rather, and Mark Harmon.
-Yeah. -But they get by with it.
Like, they sneak her away from the ticker tapes,
and they get her out of the room.
-Yep, they get away with it. -Yeah.
-You're also in this episode.
And you're wonderful in this episode.
-Oh, yeah. -Oh.
-I really, really loved your performance.
I feel like this is the most vile you've been so far.
-It's getting darker, right? -Yeah, no, for sure.
-I tell Glenn to straight up shut up.
Shut up, Glenn. -Yeah.
-I hope we release a super-cut, 'cause every "Shut up, Glenn"
you did was so funny,
and Dean and I were cracking up every time.
And I would love to see a super-cut of "Shut up, Glenn."
-Thank you.
That's one of those things that, as an improvisor,
especially, you're like, "Well, they got that, and they
got it in the close-up." -Totally, yes.
-"So I'm going to do it differently."
-Yes. Yeah. -Yeah.
-Like, sometimes you put periods
in it with a "Shut.Up.Glenn." -Yes.
The different versions of it were very impressive.
-That's a really -- I would really genuinely love that.
-Oh, yeah. -That would be my ringtone.
-Okay, we gotta release that, yeah.
"Shut up, Glenn."
-Also, how adorable is Glenn? -Oh, my gosh.
-How adorable is Josh Siegal as Glenn.
-Oh, my gosh. Josh Siegal is so good.
-He's just so lovable, even when he's, like,
trying to suck up from inside the cocoon.
That's one of my favorite things.
-It's so funny.
-"Good one, boss," or whatever he says.
-Yeah, yeah. -Yeah, yeah.
-So Michael has succeeded.
He got these four humans together.
That was always the recipe in the previous 802 reboots
towards getting them to work together
and become better people.
And everything is perfect, until we hear this.
-So this is our MRI machine.
Ooh, don't -- don't touch that.
Um, each of you will get a chance in here, eventually.
Hopefully, none of you is claustrophobic.
Who would ever be scared of Santa Claus?
Oh! The Jewish!
-Are you from Florida?
-Jacksonville. -Yeah.
-That should be fine for me. It's roughly the same size
as Nicole Kidman's cryogenic anti-aging chamber.
And I've never had a problem in there.
-I'll be okay, too. It kind of reminds me
of the home tanning booth I lost my virginity in.
-Wow. I cannot wait to take a look at these three brains.
-Oh, forgot to mention,
there's one more person who will be joining us.
Sounds like a really interesting guy.
He was almost run over by a train a few months ago.
Heard about the study, e-mailed me last night.
-This doesn't make any sense.
They're all there.
What's going on?
Oh, no.
-What is it? -Something bad, Janet.
very dark...
and evil.
-Oh, yes! Come on in.
Everyone, this is Trevor.
-Hey, guys! It is so great to meet you.
-"Claustrophobic? Who could be scared of Santa?"
Who got fired for writing that joke?
-I wrote it, and I very much so remember
that Mike did not want to do it.
-Yeah, it was one of those -- it's like -- it's right there.
-I really loved it.
I thought it was really clever and nuanced and funny.
-Do you have a word for this, do you have a category for this?
It's on par with, like, "We have to cheat off of Chidi.
Oh, that's why his name is Chidi."
-Totally, yeah. -Like, it's on that level.
-Yeah, it's on that level of stupid for Jason,
where it's like, "Wow, you're really just taking
everything at, like, face value, man."
You think, like...
But it's also one of those jokes, I think,
that sometimes, in a take, like, people hear it
and think maybe it's, like, edgier than it is.
Like, it's not actually a --
it's just a joke about Jason being stupid.
-I thought it was very edgy.
-I was so surprised.
I remember writing it, and I was like, "Mike's gonna cut this."
And I was so surprised that it's still in the episode.
-It's right on the edge. It's right on the edge.
It's -- it's a different --
it's a cousin of the restaurant puns for me.
-In that you don't like them?
-That I'm not sure how it makes me feel.
-A second cousin. -Yes.
-Here for you, man.
-I do love, though -- this is another dig
at the American South --
is that upon hearing that, Eleanor goes,
"You from Florida?" -Yep.
-Like, "Something about you says Florida.
I'm from Arizona, so I kind of know."
-Yeah, yeah.
They're of the same -- they get each other.
-Of the ilk. -What's that?
-Of the ilk. -Of the ilk. -Yes.
-So the thing that gets the four humans back together
is Chidi's experiment.
He decides to put together an experiment measuring
the effects of near-death experiences
on ethical decision-making.
Did you meet with philosophers on this subject?
-Yeah, kind of with all things that we explore in the show,
we try to have some background
in terms of a philosopher we talk to, a professor --
you know, Todd May has been invaluable to the show.
And so, for this season, going into season three,
Mike kind of e-mailed all the writers, he said,
"I read this book 'Moral Tribes' by Joshua Greene,"
which is a really interesting --
so much smarter than I am -- a book written by a person
so much smarter than I am that it was hard to understand.
But I got through it.
And he is a philosopher and a neuroscientist.
And so, he kind of -- The character of Simone,
you know, has some of that in there.
We were interested in, "Okay, Chidi comes from,
you know, a moral philosophy standpoint.
What about someone who's a neuroscientist,
who loves being a neuroscientist,
who loves looking at the human brain
and having really, like," --
You know, it's in the premiere, when she's like,
"Yeah, you guys ponder one question your whole careers."
-Right. -"Science is all about
getting answers and moving on to the next thing."
And so, definitely that study kind of came from a mixture
of us reading "Moral Tribes," talking to Joshua Greene,
exploring that angle to things that we hadn't really before.
And so, that was kind of -- And then also just the fact
that morality, you know, it's such a thick --
When you're discussing the concept of, like, death
and that we know our lives are only so long,
how does that affect how we treat other people?
That's always been a part of the show,
and so that kind of came to a head.
It's like, "Oh, four people,
they've had near-death experiences,
how does that affect how they behave?"
And so, that was kind of all rolled into,
what if it was a study?
-Jameela, you've had lots of near-death experiences --
tennis, that sort of thing. -Yeah, yeah.
-Why aren't you a better person?
-I am not a better person for it.
I did -- I have had a couple of actual
proper near-death experiences,
but I found that they did make me more decisive,
and I swear more.
-Oh, interesting. -Like, progressively
with each one, I swear more and more and more.
So, yeah. -Give us an example.
-Of the swear words?!
No, you told me not to.
You know, I -- Did we discuss this on air about the fact
that I got chased by a swarm of bees
in season one, into traffic, and I got hit by a car?
-What the fuck are you talking about?
-Three weeks...
-On this television show? -Yeah, while I was on season one
of "The Good Place," I -- Again, this happens every time.
I was like -- -Chidi gets chased by bees.
-Yeah, it was very triggering.
It was very triggering for me to watch that.
-But this was -- This wasn't on set.
-No, this wasn't on set.
No, don't worry, the insurance is covered.
-Okay. -No, again, exactly
the same with the tennis thing.
I was like, "Oh, I'm an actor now,
I should be active and start exercising."
And so I went for a run, which I hadn't ever done before.
-Yeah. -I went for a run,
I was, thankfully, dressed like a ninja, which...
-That raises more questions. -As you do for running?
-Well, no, 'cause there's some scary people in the evenings
out on the streets in Los Angeles.
-Right. -So you wear black and a mask?
-Yeah, yeah, I run with a big sword.
-If you're running at night,
wear full black, that's what they say.
-Yeah, basically showing --
I sort of had my track suit was done up kind of like Kenny.
And I had gone for this jog to try and get, like,
fit to be a strong actor.
And I stopped at this traffic stop in La Cienega,
which is six -- six lanes of traffic. -Mm-hmm.
-There's three lanes on either side.
-We know how six breaks down.
-All right.
Soak my deck, Marc.
-"Soak my deck." -Um...
so I'm standing there, and as I'd been jogging through,
there's a little tree
on this little island, this traffic island.
-Mm-hmm. -And I must have, like,
touched one of the branches by accident with my head,
'cause I'm so tall.
And as I'm standing there waiting for the light to change
so I can cross, I --
Because my music is so loud, I don't hear anything.
But this sort of dark cloud... -Oh, my God.
-...appears around me.
And it takes me a second to process what it is,
because you just don't expect in the middle of the street,
in the middle of, like, a city that you're going to have a swarm of bees.
As soon as I realize, I start screaming,
and they're all around me.
And I don't know if they're trying to sting me.
They must be, but I'm covered from head to toe,
and I can just feel them, like,
just like coming at my track suit.
-Sure, yeah. -And so, I run --
I just run into oncoming traffic.
-Sure, yeah. -Which is how my first-ever --
When I broke my back, it was one bee chasing me.
Wasn't even chasing me, I just saw a bee and ran into a car.
This is -- Anyway... [ Exhales sharply ]
-Are you scared of bees? Is this like --
-Very scared of bees. -You have a phobia of them?
-Yeah, no, I have a phobia of bees.
-Did you before? Or, I mean, you do now.
-Yeah, now we get. -And so, I ran into traffic,
and, thankfully, it was light enough for someone to see
that there's a woman with a cloud of bees around her
running into the road.
And they slowed the car down.
So when the car hit me -- two years ago --
it just hit me kind of coming to a halt.
So it just knocked me over.
But the bees didn't, like, leave. They came down with me.
I had to get back up, keep running, all the way to --
from Wilshire to 3rd, which is -- -Oh, my gosh!
-Yeah, it's a very long way.
Like, these are the most persistent bees ever.
And I'm running down this -- I'm running down 3rd,
and I see lots of people standing outside,
smoking in a smoking area outside a nice bar.
-Terrible habit. -And I was just like --
I swear to -- I swear my brain just went,
"They don't care about their lives."
So I ran at them with the bees.
I ran at a crowd of people.
There will be people who were there at that place
that will remember the time... -Oh, they wouldn't forget.
-...that the ninja ran at them, covered in bees.
And I got down on the ground, left these people,
probably being stung, and then crawled into a nearby juice bar,
which is now a juice bar that I frequent.
-I... [ Both laugh ]
I love you.
You have too many of these stories.
It is -- My life is "Final Destination."
-Trevor. -Mm-hmm.
-Is anyone creepier than Adam Scott in this show?
-I think what makes it so creepy is that it's low-key Adam Scott.
He's not being creepy here, which makes it worse.
-Yeah, he's being, like, dork Adam Scott... -Yeah.
-...which is, like, really creepy.
It's when you know what's truly going on.
-It's an interesting thing because it's --
We're reminded of this sort of sleeper faction of the Bad Place
that we'd sort of forgotten about.
At least I had.
I had read this script months ago
and had forgotten that he's the cliff-hang of this.
-Yeah. -Like, we're about to see --
We were kind of at that, "Okay, here we go" thing.
And then he walks in, and, you know,
this is gonna get difficult.
-Yeah, it's --
I'm pretty satisfied with this as a cliffhanger,
'cause I think it is a good level, hopefully,
that when you're watching the episode,
you see you, Shawn, be like, "Michael pushed his luck,
and that allowed him to see, like,
'Oh, Michael's going back down to Earth.
What have we got here?'" -Right.
-And that's where Michael kind of screws himself.
That allows you to be like,
"Great, we'll send down one of our worst that we've got,"
and that's -- You know? -Right.
-But I think it's far enough away
that you kind of almost do forget.
But then when it happens, you're like,
"Oh, of course that was gonna happen."
You know, it's always weird with, like, twists like that.
You don't want it to be so out of nowhere
that it feels just random and not earned,
but you don't want it to be so telegraphed
that people are like, "Yeah, of course.
I knew that was gonna happen." -Right.
-'Cause I think if it was you showing up -- Shawn --
it would have been a little bit like,
"Oh, of course, I knew that was gonna happen."
-Right, he was right on their heels. -Yeah, exactly.
So I hope that it hits a good middle ground of that.
-Oh, it certainly does. It's shocking, and it's scary.
It's one of those things where you're like, "Oh,
I can't wait to see what happens in this new timeline."
And then you're like, "Oh, this is an instant thorn."
-Yeah, yeah. -"This is gonna be so difficult."
-And, hopefully, it's rewarding, too, I think,
as a fan of the show, that you're like,
"Whoa, I haven't seen Trevor in so many episodes."
Like, it pays off in that way.
-Also, that thousand-yard stare-smile that he does.
Even when he's being low-key, even if he's playing a nerd.
I have never seen -- And he looked into
each of our eyes in every single take.
And I froze from the inside out.
-Yeah, it's so creepy. It's so good.
-There's a wonderful theme running through this,
which is that we are not alone.
We are not in this alone. We need one another.
-I mean, I suppose that's been the theme for everything,
but with these people beginning again as strangers on Earth,
it feels heightened to me.
Like, it feels like the teamwork aspect of it.
-Yeah, there's a certain chemistry
these four people have together.
There's something intangible about it
that when they get together, they make each other better
and they work in a really specific way.
It is, it's kind of like a very nice sentiment
that I think, yeah, is even more heightened the fact that,
"Oh, they were in such,
like, such different parts of the world
and had to be brought together for this to work."
But now... -Yeah, I think that's kind of
why people are drawn to our show,
because in a time where we are being constantly manipulated
to separate and distrust each other...
-Totally. -...and not work together,
this message of, like, with unity,
we would be able to defeat evil.
-Right, and with unity with people
who are different than you are.
-Exactly. People who are so different.
-So different, yeah.
-And people who are from another place,
but also people who trigger you, people who are annoying.
This encourages empathy,
the exact opposite of what we're encouraged to think about in,
you know, the news or on social media.
-Right. -And I think that there's something,
that there's clearly a hunger out there
for that level of empathy that people look towards in our show.
-Yeah, yeah, that's nice. -We are not in this alone.
-Just a joke I wrote.
Sorry. -That was beautiful.
-I didn't mean to get so serious.
-Marc and I are crying.
-We are not in this alone. All we have is one another.
In a sense, "Okay, here we go."
-Yeah. -Mm-hmm. It's on.
-Jen Statsky, what's good?
-Okay, this is a weird one. -Yeah.
-I don't know why this popped into my brain today.
-I'm ready. -[ Laughs ]
Kind of this great actress who's on our show...
-Oh. -...D'Arcy Carden.
-No, I'm -- This is so weird.
Zoe Saldana's husband, whose name I don't even know --
You can look it up if you want.
This is why he's good, is because I recently learned
that Zoe Saldana's husband
took her last name when they got married.
-Oh. -And I think that is
really cool and bad-ass.
And I was like, "That rules."
More-- -I like that.
-I'm all about -- I don't know if you know me.
I'm all about smashing the patriarchy.
You get it. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it.
-So, but that's cool, right? -It is.
-Why -- why have -- Let's change it.
We don't need to -- There's a lot of women
who don't take their husband's names, great.
You know, but why can't a man take a woman's last name?
-Why can't he?
Why can't Marco Perego take Zoe Saldana's last name?
-Yes, that's his name! Great, perfect.
I hope -- What if he listens?
What if he's, like, a huge fan of our show?
-Yeah. -He should come and guest.
-He should.
-Jameela Jamil, what's good?
-Season three of "The Good Place."
-Ooh! -The whole thing.
The whole thing is good.
-I'm excited. Are you excited?
-No, I'm genuinely -- I cannot wait.
This is my favorite season.
This is where the writers know us the best,
we know the writers the best, we know each other the best.
This just felt -- It felt --
Honestly, I didn't even feel afraid.
I'm not afraid.
I'm not afraid to say it, put myself out there.
This is, like -- It was just -- Palpably, we were just --
There was so much chemistry, it was so much fun to film.
All of them have, obviously, been fun to film.
But this was with no fear.
It was just the best experience.
And the writing is absurd.
I bow down to all of the writers on the show.
So I don't care if I sound like a kiss-ass, it really is.
It's the best. And spooning.
-I'm having a memory of the season three
wrap party from a month or so ago.
Mike Schur got up and gave a nice toast
and a thank you to the cast and crew
and everyone involved in "The Good Place."
At the end of which, he said, "See you next year."
And I was standing next to David Miner,
one of the executive producers,
and one of the partners at my management company,
and Mike said, "See you next year,"
and I whipped around and said, "Oh?"
And he said, "That's not a pick-up,
that's not a pick-up."
And I said, "Eh.
Sounded like"...
And he said, "We'll be fine.
We'll be fine."
So, here's hoping.
I can't wait for people to see season three.
This is an unusual half-hour of American network television.
-It's a weird one, and it gets progressively weirder.
Definitely top -- Yeah. -So weird. Yeah.
-Not to sound like I've drank the Kool-Aid too much,
but I think this season truly tops itself in weirdness.
-Oh, it's so weird that I frequently wondered
what's wrong with all of you.
That frequently.
It's brilliant. I love it so much.
-This has been "The Good Place: The Podcast."
I'm Marc Evan Jackson.
Thank you for listening.
Now go do something good.
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The Good Place Podcast - Season 3 Premiere with Jameela Jamil & Jen Statsky (Digital Exclusive)

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meryem published on May 4, 2019
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