The Good Place: Season 1, Episode 11 “What’s My Motivation” (B+)
I’m really not happy with the way some of the networks this year are airing shows, giving them long breaks between December and January only to finish up only immediately upon their return. This episode was great and made me look forward to a whole long rest of the season, only to discover that the two-part season finale is airing this coming Thursday. That’s truly devastating to me, since I’m worried that NBC might not renew this show. Back to more positive things, however, since there’s nothing to be done about that right now. Eleanor trying hard to achieve real points for doing good things was fun, and recreating the party that made everyone start to hate her was a brilliant idea. It’s great to see that Tahani is getting excited about helping Eleanor become a better person and win favor among the other residents of the Good Place, and that they’re starting to genuinely care about each other. Eleanor making everyone laugh by saying “Pobody’s nerfect” was hardly the most sophisticated act of repentance, but it seems to have partly done the trick. Chidi struggling with what to do when Real Eleanor told him that she loved him in an extremely sweet way during their breakfast routine was nothing new given his crippling indecision last week, and it’s at least good to see him connecting with someone on an intellectual level. Jianyu finding out how Jason died was an eye-opening moment for him, and realizing how dumb he is motivated him to inspire Janet, of all “people,” to process that she didn’t want to be rebooted and have to start over. I laughed at the way in which Jianyu and Janet were unable to hide their marriage from Michael for more than a second and his constant recalling of Janet when Michael kept trying to dismiss her. Her sudden suggestion of Mindy’s house as a place to go - the medium place that Eleanor has been looking for - is enticing, and Eleanor really has to leave now that the judge is there. I imagine we’ll see more of him in the season finale, and I’m excited because he’s played by Marc Evan Jackson, who was the lawyer on “Parks and Recreation” who requested Tom’s thinking pajamas on behalf of his client.