Friday, April 22, 2022

Shakespeare's in The Good Place!

"Whenever You're Ready." By Michael Schur. Perf. Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D'Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto, Ted Danson, Maya Rudolph, and Marc Evan Jackson. Dir. Michael Schur. The Good Place. Season 4, episode 13. 30 January 2020. DVD. Shout! Factory, 2020.

"Chidi Sees the Time-Knife." By Michael Schur, 
Christopher Encell, and 
Joe Mande. Perf. Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D'Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto, Ted Danson, Maya Rudolph, and Marc Evan Jackson. Dir. Jude Weng.
The Good Place. Season 3, episode 11. 17 January 2019. DVD. Shout! Factory, 2020.

Readers who know the show The Good Place may know what I'm talking about. Readers who don't may think I'm being quite presumptuous. And readers who are ShakespeareGeek may be wondering why I'm not pointing out that he's the one who called my attention to the reference in the show's finale.

Let me explain—but understand that it will involve considerable spoilers.

The Good Place is a show about the afterlife (and ethics and philosophy and relationships and frozen yogurt, and many other things). When people die, they go to The Good Place or The Bad Place (or, in at least one rare instance, The Medium Place) based on how many Goodness Points they earned while alive.

After many meanderings, our main characters final reach The Real Good Place (I'm leaving that somewhat ambiguous for those who haven't seen the show), but the problem is that no one remains happy there for long because there's no end to it. They decide to allow the people there to decide when they're ready to move on—which means walking through a door and having any distinguishing part of their identity and personality return to the universe.

In a brief moment in the season finale, we learn that Shakespeare, after a very long time in The Real Good Place, has decided to go through the door:

Before the rules were changed (way back in Season 3), Shakespeare was in The Bad Place—and it must have been tough. He's what one of the head demons has to say:

It's a minor bit of Shakespeare, but it's appreciated by the Shakespeare aficionados of the world.

Links: The Series at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest