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Film Theory: The BAD Truth about The Good Place Ending (ft. Pitch Meeting)

Film Theory: The BAD Truth about The Good Place Ending (ft. Pitch Meeting)
Come on in. Welcome to The

Theory

Place

. Hello internet! Welcome to

Film

Theory

! The greatest forking show on the whole Dame-Helen-Mirren internet! I know we're all children of digital video and streaming services at this point, but sometimes, sometimes traditional TV surprises us and produces something that is really special. Enter "The

Good

Place

", which is probably better titled "The Great

Place

" 'cause it's an awesome show. And I'm not just saying that
film theory the bad truth about the good place ending ft pitch meeting
because Kristen Bell has been my celebrity crush since her appearance in the musical "Reefer Madness". No, I'm saying it because "The

Good

Place

" is one of the best most heartfelt, well written and original sitcoms I've ever seen. I can't even imagine what the

pitch

meeting

for this one must have looked like, but I'm gonna try... *dream sequence- dream sequence- dream sequence* "So you have a sitcom for me?" "Yes, sir, I do. It's about
people in the afterlife, delving deeply into moral philosophy." "Sorry, did you say moral philosophy?" "Yeah, you know like Aristotelian virtue ethics and Kantian Deontology." "And you expect people to watch this?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean who doesn't love moral philosophy?" "Pretty much everyone!" Wow, that was a shockingly vivid dream sequence. But somehow, that formula's been amazing. managing to both teach its audience about
deep philosophical

theory

, while also making unique jokes on the subject. "It's like, who died and left Aristotle in charge of ethics?" "Plato!" And a big part of the show's appeal has been its ability to shock, surprise, and fake out not just its characters, but also the audience at home watching. Nothing demonstrates this better than the first season's arc. Season 1 starts telling us the story of Eleanor Shellstrop, a recently deceased, who finds herself in
paradise. We're told by one of heaven's architects, Michael, that she is in "the

Good

Place

". "In the afterlife, there's a

good

place

and there's a bad

place

." "You're in the

good

place

." Except there's one problem here. Something's wrong, Eleanor wasn't a

good

person on Earth. "You need me to lie to old people and scare them into buying fake medicine, I get it man." She was, as she describes herself "an Arizona
trashbag" "Those aren't my memories." "I wasn't a lawyer, I never went to the Ukraine." "I hate clowns." "I'm not supposed to be here." But that isn't the twist of the season, and neither is the reveal three episodes later, that silent Buddhist monk Jian Yu is actually a failed DJ from Jacksonville, Florida named Jason Mendoza. "Is your real name Jian Yu?" "It's Jason Mendoza." "And by the way, everyone
here thinks I'm Taiwanese. I'm Filipino." "Heaven is so racist." No, the big twist comes in the season finale, when Eleanor figures it all out, that this is not the

Good

Place

, but rather the Bad

Place

. "Holy mother-forking shirt balls." "Just now as we were all fighting, I thought to myself: Man, this is torture." "and then it hit me." "This is the Bad

Place

!" "Oh, it looks like paradise, but it's actually a filthy dumpster
full of our worst anxieties." *laughs* "Oh man, I can't believe you figured it out!" We learned that Michael, our heavenly guide from the very first scene of the show, is actually a bad

place

architect. A literal demon in disguise, who wanted to create a unique torture chamber for humans, rather than inflicting just physical pain all the time, Michael devised a system that used psychological torture, by placing four people in a fake

Good

Place

and having them torture each
other. It's a huge mind blow that, when you go back and re- watch the season again in this context, was hidden in front of your eyes from the very start. The lack of steps in Eleanor's house, the creepy clown pictures that populate everywhere, the fact that the only restaurants in town serve frozen yogurt, "What's a food that people think they enjoy, but that's also kind of a bummer?" "Frozen yogurt." And that's only one of several massive reveals that
occur throughout the series. It's a smart show, one that's a bit bigger brained, and it holds its cards close to its chest. So close, in fact, I believe that there's one final reveal the show has left for us to discover. True, the last episode of "The

Good

Place

" just aired, and yes, I wept ugly, ugly tears at Chidi's "Waves on the sand" speech, but through it all, I also remained skeptical. Because if you look at the series as a whole, even up to it's
very final episode, It's pretty clear that this show wasn't just the tale of four humans and a heck demon learning moral philosophy and becoming better people. No! This show from chapter 1, all the way through chapter 53 has always been the story of one man's eternal torture. That's right! While we were all watching Eleanor and her friends trying to get out of The Bad

Place

and save the afterlife, what we were actually witnessing was Michael's torture. This isn't
film theory the bad truth about the good place ending ft pitch meeting
Eleanor's afterlife, it's his. This is Michael's eternal suffering. He's the real one in The Bad

Place

in this series. And if I'm wrong, well, then that's just a big ol' pile of bull-shirt. If you follow Michael's journey throughout the series, you clearly see that it's a repeated string of failure and insecurity. Even before the humans come into his neighborhood, he's already freaking out. "That was the last... pudding shop..." "No, no, no,
wait, wait, wait! This is all wrong! "Pudding won't work!" "Whoa, I'm way out on a limb here- and I'm all alone." And it doesn't help that he can't afford to fail. Sure, he got his boss Shawn to agree to this revolutionary torture experiment, but if the plan fails, he'll be retired. And not like cool retirement, like taking Greyhound buses to Vegas to sit at slot machines all day, No, this is demon retirement, which is slightly worse. "My soul
will be disintegrated," "my essence will be scooped out of my body with a flaming ladle" "and poured over hot diamonds, and then what's left of my body will be endlessly beaten with a titanium rod." "Like a pinata." "Yes, except you have the string around my waist, but instead it will definitely be around my genitals." But not only is he having to deal with the stress of being all alone with a literal burning ladle waiting for him, his plan fails.
Eleanor figures out that they're in The Bad

Place

ruining all of Michael's work. He had promised his boss that they'd be able to torture people like this for a thousand years. Instead, he barely gets six months out of it, forcing him to beg for just one more try. Shawn grants him one more attempt. "

Good

luck with attempt number two." "There will be no attempt number three." And yet over and over, time and again Eleanor figures out that they're in The Bad

Place

. Michael ends up rebooting his neighborhood over 800 more times, trying to figure out the way to get it right. And he can't. It is a literal torture for him as he learns that no matter what he does, he isn't

good

enough to make his plan work. His dream of revolutionizing The Bad

Place

is shattered. his life is on the line, which then results in him having to beg the humans for help. "Suffice to say I tried more than two times." "If he finds out we're all in hot
water. Literally." "We will be the main ingredient in a chowder of pain." He devises a plan where the humans pretend like they don't know what's going on to fool all the rest of The Bad

Place

, the only catch is that now he, Michael, has to take moral philosophy classes with the rest of them, and again, this is another form of torture for Michael. not just because Kantian Ethics is so dry and boring, and why did I spend a senior year college semester learning it when I
didn't even need the credit. What was I thinking? Erm, but learning human morality literally sends Michael into a spiraling existential crisis. In short, by the first couple episodes of Season 2, he went from a confident nearly immortal being living his life, to an insecure mask contemplating his own demise. Definitely not a

good

trajectory for the guy. As team cockroach works to fool the demons, Michael becomes attached to the humans, which only makes it worse because he can't figure
out a way to help them. He's made friends he's growing emotional attachments to them, and yet he's been lying to their faces about his ability to help them the entire time. It's torture. Yet again putting Michael at an even lower low than he was before. "So not only did I fail at getting us into The

Good

Place

, I also learned the error of my ways." "Real rock-bottom for a demon. I'll tell you." And it just doesn't get any better for him. For the final
two seasons, there is literally noone in the universe willing and able to help him save himself and the humans. When he learns that there's a problem with the afterlife's point system, he petitions the accountants to help, they don't. "Neil, be logical. The bad

place

has hacked your system!" "No it hasn't. How dare you!" When he calls on the Leadership Committee of The

Good

Place

trying to lay out the problems with the system, they again are useless.
"Michael, we have rules, procedures." "We're the

good

guys, we can't just do stuff!" Even after Michael overwhelmingly proves that humanity has the capacity for self-improvement in the final season, the intergalactic judges verdict is that humanity needs to be wiped clean. "You came to me and said the point system was flawed, and I've come to the conclusion..." "...That you're right." *cheers* "Now, in terms of how we handle this
film theory the bad truth about the good place ending ft pitch meeting
moving forward, obviously, Earth is cancelled." "All humans on Earth in and the afterlife will be extinguished." "And we will start the entire human race over from scratch." Then even when he finds a solution to that problem, someone better than him takes over and removes his sense of purpose. "I have to roll a rock up a hill!" "Over and over, and then Vicky comes along with this rock lifter thing and just lifts up to the top of the hill." "Who
am I if the rock is gone?" Not even The

Good

Place

is a safe

place

for Michael. Michael eventually earns his way to heaven and is greeted by the

good

place

leadership committee, only to then immediately be swindled by them. "Now you are officially in charge of The

Good

Place

." "I'm sorry, in charge?" "Yep, you're the boss now, that was all legally binding and we all quit, effective immediately." "So it's all your problem now, don't try to
find us, no take-backs, okay, bye-bye!" Yet again Michael is faced with a seemingly impossible problem. How do you make eternity palatable for the people living there? Paradise isn't Paradise if it goes on forever, it just becomes mind-numbing and boring, It's a problem that The

Good

Place

committee couldn't solve, and so they just dumped their problems onto, you guessed it, Michael. I think this quote from his former boss Shawn sums things up best. "You won, and you still
somehow failed. Classic." The long and short of it is that time and time and time again throughout the series, Michael is put into impossible situations and is given zero help. He's given his dream job opportunity, only to see his ideas fail hundreds of times, with his life on the line, He forms emotional bonds with people on the premise of lies. He becomes aware of, and immediately scared by his own ability to die. He's trapped in a perpetual cycle of ineffectual bureaucracy. Even
the arbiters of heaven themselves dump their problems onto him. It sucks for Michael constantly in the show, and it never once lets up. That is the type of torture that Michael was trying to create for his human subjects, but in reality, it's just him undergoing it the entire series. Add to that all the small little inconveniences, with demons being uncomfortable in their human skin suits, "The suits are really itchy for us." "Every part of my body's either too dry or too
wet." "I got to say it took me a long time to get used to the hanging bits." "Gross." "Get your mind out of the gutter, Eleanor, I was talking about my testicles." And it's clear that Michael is miserable the entire time, but what's really suspicious is that Michael is never retired. You see he is captured, there are multiple opportunities for him to be dispatched with, and yet he never is. In fact, the whole retirement thing is just a bunch of smoke
and mirrors. "Retirement is a spectacle." "Everyone would see the flaming ladles

good

on your throat." "Then they'd ask me what you did." "I don't need that kind of scrutiny right now." It's an odd wrinkle of the show that gets explained away. If Michael is actually the person in the bad

place

getting tortured. You see, he finds himself in a catch-22. They can't kill him, because he's being tortured. It would be the end of his eternal
torment, so instead they scare him with the prospect of retirement until he gets too close to it, at which point they need to make up some excuse to delay it, and get him back on track with the ceaseless misery. And wouldn't you know it, it's the exact same loophole that helps Eleanor figure out that the humans are trapped in the bad

place

"They're never gonna call a train to take us to The Bad

Place

." "They can't, because we're already here." "This
is the bad

place

." And here's my favorite part: like all the best twists in the series, the show outright tells us what it's doing. In Season 3 Episode 7, Eleanor outright predicts this: "Maybe there's a mega demon who built a torture chamber for demons, and this whole thing is just him torturing you." When I first saw this episode, I thought, "Aw dip! They wouldn't actually call attention to a major plot twist like this." Except, they totally would. Way
back before anybody knew what was going on, in the very first episode of the show, Eleanor practically guesses what's really going on. "My parents were divorced when I was a kid. They're probably in the bad

place

." "Maybe they're being used to torture each other. It would work." And they don't just pull that trick once, they do it twice. "I think we might be in an alien zoo or on a prank show." "No, Jian you are dead." They even call back
to it after the big reveal to show off how clever they were. "Oh, dude I told you that first night that we were in a prank show." "Oh, yeah, you did! Great job, man!" So it seems like The

Good

Place

(the show) was in the habit of giving up the ghost before we know what's going on. But this time, we have enough information from which to draw our own conclusions. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, I'll probably just wind up doing another episode on the
topic. Now admittedly, the final episode of the show is a bit hard to explain away under this

theory

. Michael gets his ultimate wish and gets to live out his life as a human, and our hearts are warmed as he learns the guitar without the help of Janet, and finally gets to say to someone that iconic phrase, "Take it sleazy." But put aside the sappy music for a second, and let's be clear here, Michael is a human now, and as this show has made patently clear, being on Earth kind of
sucks. "That was rough!" "Sheesh! Earth is a mess!" And being a human is a lifetime full of sadness. "You're learning what it's like to be human." "All humans are aware of death, so we're all a little bit sad, all the time." "Sounds like a crappy deal." "Yeah, it is." Not only that, but he loses all of his friends. At the end of the show, he sees all of his friends leave and become space dust. He's separated from Janet.
Sure he'll meet new friends now, but when he returns to the afterlife, all his new friends will eventually dust as well he'll perpetually see people he cares about leave and leave and leave, but he never can. It's only a matter of time before he breaks in. In short, Michael's existence is one of ceaseless torment, insecurity and constant disappointment. He's perpetually forced into positions where he's the only one who can solve a problem, and even when he does, someone
steps in and does it better than him. Even heaven itself tricks and abandons him to figure out an eternity of unsolved problems, which in and of itself is pretty darn suspicious, since you know, it's heaven, probably shouldn't be doing stuff like that there. Any way you slice it, it seems like Michael is the one in the Bad

Place

here, If The Bad

Place

is truly a

place

of ceaseless misery and torment. Well, that is Michael's experience throughout the course of this show. But it all
wraps up happily ever after, right? He gets to be human, a creature, that is always uncomfortable, Always sad, and always one margarita mix away from getting run over by a train of shopping carts. The

ending

of the show is meant to be happy, but really it just shows that humanity is the pinnacle of torture. But hey! That's just a

theory

! A

Film

Theory

! Aaand... Forknuggets! I forgot to send a special thanks to Ryan from Screen Rant for his little

pitch

meeting

cameo at the top of this
episode. If you enjoyed that or this

theory

, then make sure to check out him and his series

Pitch

Meeting

over on that channel, link is right on screen right now. They have over a hundred

pitch

meeting

s for you to binge and enjoy like I have multiple times. And hey, if you did like this episode, let me know. Honestly, I have another really

good

idea for another "

Good

Place

"

theory

. but wasn't sure if you guys would actually care about this show at all, So let me know if that was
fun for you. And with that, my friends, I'm off. Keep it sleazy guys! "I wanted to eat a Saltine." "Pretty dry." "And too salty." "Going out on a real low note here."