‘The Good Place’: Everything We Know About Season 3
It’s not often that a TV comedy gets us as invested in the plot as a drama, but that’s definitely the case with The Good Place, which ended its second season with an excruciating cliffhanger: Eleanor has returned back to Earth with no memory of her time in the afterlife, and she’s about to reunite with Chidi.
The show’s third season is now in production, so what do we know about it so far? Let’s take a look at every detail we’ve learned.
It premieres on September 27th
We’ll start with the most important question: when is the show coming back?
NBC has announced that The Good Place will return on September 27th. As usual, the third season will consist of 13 episodes.
It kicks off with an hour-long episode
On September 27th, The Good Place will be airing at 8:00 p.m, as we’ll be getting a special, hour-long episode, according to TV Line. Season 2 also kicked off with an hour-long episode, so the series will continue that tradition.
However, the following week, the show will move back to its 8:30 p.m. timeslot and remain there.
We’ll find out that Eleanor and her friends really are back on Earth, not in a simulation
When Eleanor returned to Earth in the Season 2 finale, fans weren’t sure whether she literally was back in the real world or whether she and her friends were being placed in a simulation to see how they would behave if given another chance at life.
In Season 3, we’ll discover that they really are back at Earth. That’s according to creator Michael Schur, who confirmed as much in an interview with Rolling Stone. He said:
“Normally I don’t like to just flatly state what’s going on, but here I don’t see the benefit of people experiencing ambiguity: The four of them are straight-up back on Earth, in a new timeline where they didn’t die.”
There will be some new characters
In a recent preview of the season, Entertainment Weekly shared some details about new characters joining for Season 3. For one, guest-star Mike O’Malley will be playing a guard who protects the door that connects the afterlife to Earth. Apparently, he really likes frogs for some reason.
Killing Eve‘s Kirby Howell-Baptiste will also have a recurring role as Simone, one of Chidi’s co-workers at the university, EW reports. Evidently, she’s a neuroscientist, and Chidi goes to her to help him figure out if something’s wrong with his brain.
Chidi is once again in emotional turmoil
The last we saw of Chidi, he was back on Earth and about to meet Elenor, not knowing that they fell in love in the afterlife. According to Entertainment Weekly, when we pick up with Chidi in Season 3, he’s in emotional turmoil, and he turns to an unlikely source for help.
“When Chidi doesn’t know what to do, he goes to the library — that’s basically his move,” creator Mike Schur told EW. “He’s a person who is pretty sure that the answers to the questions that plague him can be found in books. So, at one point he goes to a library and he takes out, like, 12,000 books, and one of them is ‘Chocolate Rain’ singer Tay Zonday’s book, Chocolate Book. It’s one of our favorite jokes from the premiere.”
Tahani makes some changes in her life, and Jason gets reflective
According to Entertainment Weekly’s preview of the season, Tahani will be making some major changes in her life.
We don’t know what those changes are, exactly, but in a promotional photo, she is seen wearing a sweatshirt and baggy pants. She is also seen passing through a large set of doors, which Mike Schur teased will “lead directly to the rest of her life.”
Meanwhile, Schur says that Jason’s near-death experience makes him question a lot of things. “When he almost dies he comes to question whether or not anything he’s done really matters,” Schur told EW. “What are his accomplishments?”
In a promotional photo, Jason is seen performing with his dance group.
There will still be a lot of fantastical gags
In that same interview with Rolling Stone we cited before, Schur was asked if he was worried that by returning to Earth, there wouldn’t be as many opportunities for the surreal humor that characterized the first two seasons of the show. He teased that Season 3 will still have a lot of that.
“Yes, frankly, we were worried about that,” he said. “One of the things we set as a goal for ourselves in the first two seasons was to have at least one weird magical thing in every episode that could only happen in the afterlife. I think we’ve found some good ways to sustain that idea even when they’re on Earth.”
We’ll find out why Chidi is still speaking in his American accent
We found out in an earlier episode of The Good Place that other than Tahani, Eleanor hears everyone in the afterlife as speaking English with an American accent, even though in reality, Chidi speaks French. However, when Eleanor meets Chidi at the end of Season 2, he’s speaking English in an American accent.
Schur told Rolling Stone there will actually be an in-universe reason for this. “Because we’re continuity/backstory nerds, we give the audience an explanation for his accent/non-accent very early in the season,” he said.
There will be a reference made to time moving differently in the afterlife
Finally, Schur was asked in that Rolling Stone interview if time works differently in the afterlife and why, for example, characters like Gen make references to modern pop culture even though it’s theoretically hundreds of years into the future.
Schur simply responded, “Oh, does it ever. Enjoy episode five!”
There will be an episode that has never been done on TV before
We’ve gotten a few teases about the upcoming season from The Good Place: The Podcast, which is hosted by Marc Evan Jackson and features interviews with the cast and crew.
In one recent episode, Kristen Bell and producer Morgan Sackett were talking about episodes that take place entirely in one location, and they teased that there’s another one like that in Season 3.
“We have one coming up in Season 3 that’s very confined,” Sackett said. “It will make these confined ones feel like nothing.”
Kristen Bell chimed in to say, “It’s so good! We can’t talk about it, but it’s so good. And maybe it’s never been done on television?”
The season will be about playing chess with people
Fans have been wondering how long, exactly, The Good Place‘s third season will spend on Earth with Michael and Janet looking over everyone in the afterlife.
It does sound like it will be a substantial portion of the season, if not the entire thing. After all, Kristen Bell told The Los Angeles Times,”I think we can reveal that, metaphorically, this next season is about how you can play chess with people who don’t know you’re playing with them and doing so in a way that doesn’t affect the greater universe.”
It’s ‘slightly filthier’
In that same Los Angeles Times interview, Jameela Jamil said, “I will also add that the scripts we’ve read so far are even funnier. And slightly filthier.”
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