NBC really pushed its fall comedy lineup, with veteran battleships The Good Place
looking to boost newcomers Sunnyside
and Perfect Harmony
(notably, Brooklyn Nine Nine
's seventh season will be coming a bit later). The first two are great shows, and they inspired Jill and I to give the pilots of the latter two a try. So ... quick thoughts on all four!
*Potential Mild Spoilers*
The Good Place
- I actually don't really have much to say about this show, other than Mateo's ICE detention is heartbreaking and terrible and a really good storyline but also just makes me very sad.
- Seems like a whole bunch of our favorite guest-stars are going to get return appearances this season. I'm always here for more Marc Evan Jackson in my life. The sexy mailman who's always "going to the gym" shows up, much to Eleanor's side-eyed delight. We haven't seen Vicki yet (though to be honest, Tiya Sircar was much, much better as Real Eleanor). But the real stretch goal is if Trevor (aka Adam Scott) and his crew stage a return.
- This show has earned a ton of trust, so take what I'm about to say very lightly, but ... if the show is serious about following through on using these random (or "random") four humans as test dummies to see if humans generally can get better in the Fake Good Place, then they're forgetting an important point of their premise. It's not that being in the (Fake) Good Place improves people. It's that particular elements of the original quartet, in conjunction with being in the Good Place, ended up bringing out the best in each other (under conditions of adversity). But that doesn't apply to any random four people, not the least because not all of them will necessarily experience this iteration of the Good Place as "adversity".
- I've missed Bradley Whitford on my TV screen. Trophy Wife, you were gone too soon. With respect to his probably drunk, deeply embittered character, Jill comments: "Josh Lyman in the Trump years."
- Somebody identified Whitford as being from "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and I almost tossed my computer across the room.
- I know Anna Camp is from South Carolina, but boy that accent she's putting on feels broad, doesn't it (and yes, I know that South Carolina and Kentucky are different places with different accents, but that's just it -- it feels like a caricature of "backwoods hick")? It's testament to just how gosh darn likable she is that I can look past it.
- Dwayne's voice -- real, or put on by the actor?
- That "Eye of the Tiger/Hallelujah" mashup was pretty damn good, I'd say! Seems like a lot for the choir to throw together on a few days notice without their star director, though.
- The evil megachurch pastor definitely has engaged in some serious sexual misconduct, right?
- Kal Penn! Remember that time he got a job in the Obama administration and so they just had his character commit suicide out of nowhere on House?
- I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that the actress who plays the councilwoman who took Kal Penn's seat is an AOC looklike. And by "not the only one", I mean "everyone noticed, immediately, it's incredibly on the nose".
- Man, between Mateo on Superstore and Drazen (a Moldovan immigrant and disco music fan) on Sunnyside, network TV is all of the sudden actually willing to tackle the fact that a bunch of people who are just living their lives in America are at constant risk of being plucked off the street and thrown into detention.
- I really hope we haven't seen the last of Drazen -- his dynamic with Brady (also from Moldova, but came to America at two years old and doesn't even know where Moldova is) is fabulous. Save Peggy!
- Best running gag on Sunnyside is Griselda working a job at every single place the group meets. Probably can't carry for a whole season, but it absolutely worked in the pilot.
- Whoever plays Kal Penn's sister can get it.