‘The Good Place’ changed its understanding of what it means to be a good person for a good reason.

Yesterday was NBC’s turn at the TCAs

The Good Place will end with “exactly the story we wanted to tell under the wire,” according to creator Mike Schur. Schur explained that he was inspired by Breaking Bad‘s brevity and wanted to tell this story “really fast,” hence short (too-short in my book) seasons, and only four of them. I GET IT BUT I DON’T HAVE TO LIKE IT.

More interesting to me were Schur’s comments on goodness and what it means to be a good person. He explained that the show was originally going to be about what it means to be a “good” person, but then that question became …. complicated:

Schur said that during the run of the series, they presented a lot of options in how to be good — and plenty that they didn’t describe. He said that it wasn’t necessarily about being good, but more about the effort.

“The newfound belief about being good is that you’re trying,” said Schur. “As long as you’re trying, you’re on the right path.”

Schur also discussed the difficulty of keeping Trump’s bullshit out of the series: “I was like ‘We can’t function as a show if all we’re doing is talking about this.’ So we have like appointed times where we discuss current events and what’s going on — and then we work,” he continued. “And we’ve tried to keep the ethics that our characters are discussing and the ethics of modern-day America [separate].” Our country is so fucked.

In other news, I’m going to miss this little show.

Also on the panel, Kristen Bell commented on the possibility of more Veronica Mars, and she basically said it’s an issue of just lining up everyone’s schedules. Make it happen, kids!

At the Bluff City Law panel, Jimmy Smits said some boring things about returning to a law drama and then revealed that his former NYPD Blue co-stars were trolling him (and his dead character) from the set of the reboot: “He received pictures from the set from the cast saying, ‘Wish you were here, but you’re dead!’” It sounds like NBC is feeling good about Bluff City Law: they’ve ordered six more scripts ahead of the premiere.

Fascinating: Sunnyside, the new immigration comedy from Kal Penn, is written entirely by immigrants or children of immigrants. Also, Penn’s character was inspired by Anthony Weiner — just not the creepy stuff.

At the Perfect Harmony panel, Bradley Whitford had some hopeful things to say about the state of TV: “Reflecting on the changing TV landscape since his Emmy award-winning stint on West Wing, Whitford said, ‘a show of the West Wing’s aspiration used to be an anomaly. I actually think we’re living in this amazing time where those kind of aspirations are no longer anomalies. I think network TV is reacting to that elevation of the aspiration.’” I mean, kinda. I don’t know that TV has become more aspirational, there are just more spaces available for aspirational programming.

In Non-TCA News

Interesting — the Daytime Emmys are merging Outstanding Young Actor and Young Actress into one category. The guest actor category is already gender-neutral. Considering there are only four soap operas left, this makes sense. However, there is an argument out there that all awards ceremonies should follow this gender-neutral trend in all acting categories. The TCAs already do it as do the MTV TV & Movie awards (in fact, they were the first to do so). It’s an interesting argument.

The upcoming Amazon Lord of the Rings series is going to be 20 episodes long in its first season and will take place in Middle Earth’s Second Age, following Sauron’s rise to power. In an interview, Tolkien scholar and supervisor to the series, Tom Shippey, revealed that the Tolkien Estate requires that specific details of the story not be altered:

“The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, and returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same.”

“You can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated?” Shippey said. “Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain ‘Tolkienian.””

Hey, here are a bunch of season 10 The Walking Dead photos, if you’re interested:

 

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Time’s Up

No, you can’t go to Europe, Harvey Weinstein, are you insane?

Inspired by a cringey Dora the Explorer movie review, this is a collection of incredibly sexist reviews of movies and TV shows which serves as an argument for why diversity in criticism is so important. I need to warn you, Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News is in here twice and you won’t be able to unread either of his reviews — they are stomach-churning and as my husband said, could “constitute sufficient probable cause for a search warrant of his basement and his computer.”

Renewals

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • Good Eats: The Return will debut on Food Network on August 25.

WATCH THIS

FRIDAY

GLOW: The ladies take Las Vegas in the third season of one of my favorite little shows. Season premiere. Netflix

The Family: A documentary about a powerful but shadowy group that wants to blur the line between church and state. Netflix

The Shining: A good reminder during the hottest month of the year that snow isn’t all that great, either.  6 p.m., Ovation

SATURDAY

Aquaman: Come for the Jason Momoa, stay for the Jason Momoa. 7 p.m., HBO

My Favorite Shapes by Julio Torres: I will watch Julio Torres in anything, is the thing. 9:30 p.m., HBO

Los Espookys: For instance, Julio Torres stars in this wonderful little series which is having a marathon so you should watch it in the event you missed it when it first aired. I’m serious. 7 p.m., HBO Comedy West

SUNDAY

Succession: I don’t know why this series didn’t get the love and attention it deserved when it debuted, but this is honestly the best thinly veiled depiction of the Murdoch assholes and it is WORTH YOUR TIME, if only for Cousin Greg. Season premiere. 8 p.m., HBO

The Walking Dead: Season 10 Preview Special: It doesn’t return until October, but sure. 7 p.m., AMC

Curse of Akakor: OK, so there’s this mystical lost city in the Amazon, known as Akakor, and for the past 40 years, many explorers looking for it have gone missing. This series sends a bunch of experts into the jungle to try to figure out what’s going on. Series premiere.  Facebook

Late Night:

  • Watch What Happens Live (Sunday): Sherri Shepherd, Ashley Darby

 

FRI. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC We Day
(new)
What Would You Do?
(new)
20/20
(new)
CBS Hawaii Five-0
(repeat)
Magnum P.I.
(repeat)
Blue Bloods
(repeat)
CW Masters of Illusion
(new)
The Big Stage
(new)
Hypnotize Me
(repeat)
Local
FOX BH90210
(repeat)
MasterChef
(repeat)
Local
NBC American Ninja Warrior Dateline
(new)

SAT. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30
ABC Shark Tank
(repeat)
Press Your Luck
(repeat)
Card Sharks
(repeat)
News/Local
CBS NCIS: New Orleans
(repeat)
48 Hours
(new)
48 Hours
(new)
News/Local
FOX So You Think You Can Dance?
(repeat)
Beat Shazam
(repeat)
News/Local
NBC America’s Got Talent
(repeat)
Dateline News/Local Saturday Night Live
(repeat)

SUN. 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos
(repeat)
Celebrity Family Feud
(new)
The $100,000 Pyramid
(new)
To Tell the Truth
(new)
CBS 60 Minutes
(new)
Big Brother
(new)
Instinct
(new)
Instinct
(new)
The CW Local Penn & Teller: Fool Us
(new)
Pandora
(repeat)
Local
FOX Last Man Standing
(repeat)
Last Man Standing
(repeat)
The 2019 Teen Choice Awards
(live)
Local/News
NBC Hollywood Game Night
(repeat)
Gymnastics
(new)
Bring the Funny
(repeat)
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4 thoughts on “‘The Good Place’ changed its understanding of what it means to be a good person for a good reason.

  1. You are aware that Harry Knowles has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past. Kinda helps explain a few things, doesn’t it?

    1. Yep, I remember when that all blew up — pre-#MeToo. What a disgusting creep.

      Thanks for reading!

      -T

      1. I’ve read you for years. I gave you info on One Life To Live, my cousin worked on the show for years, all the way to the end.

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