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10 Best Lessons The Good Place Taught Us

THE GOOD PLACE -- "Somewhere Else" Episode 213 -- Pictured: (l-r) D'Arcy Carden as Janet, Manny Jacinto as Jianyu, Kristen Bell as Eleanor, William Jackson Harper as Chidi -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

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For a show focusing on what happens after death, it sure has a lot to teach us about life.

The Good Place was bursting with lessons and teachable moments that were thrown at us in a variety of ways: Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason’s experiences in the faux Good Place, Chidi’s philosophy lessons, Michael’s trial-and-error of understanding humanity, and several hundred Janet reboots.

Not all of the lessons were equal but they were equally as important, and we’ll forever be grateful that the show put them on our radar and helped us become better people.

Join us in reflecting on the lessons we’ve learned from the best, smartest, and most well-written show of the 2010s.

Lesson #1 – Whatever you think you know about your life, you’re probably wrong.

Time after time we thought we had The Good Place figured out, only for it to pull the rug out from under us again and again. Take a moment and you’ll notice the same thing tends to happen in our real lives. Did you schedule out your entire week? Too bad an ant colony is planning an invasion on your kitchen Wednesday. Did you finally find the best pizza in the city? Just wait until you find out it’s a drug front. Think your successful friend is trying to help you move up in the office? Sorry, he’s actually an evil demon relentlessly torturing you.

The Good Place taught us that not only are things not always what they seem, but that reality is not even close to what we think. Apples to oranges is really more like apples to your insurance card. So get ready to roll with the punches and stay on your toes – you never know what’s coming next.

Lesson #2 – Change is possible, but it’s work.

Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason each had to change themselves if they wanted to earn a spot in the Good Place. It wasn’t easy, though. They had to continually work at improving over 800 years of time, with demons, both personal and literal, trying to drag them down. But they put in the work and time to improve, and most importantly, they didn’t leave each other behind.

They never jumped on each other from slip-ups or told the other they were worthless because they were bad people in the past. They worked hard, both individually and together, to change for the Good. Even Michael, the demon who began the series torturing them, became a force for good, and if Michael can do it, so can you.

The Good Place Lessons

NBC/The Good Place

Lesson #3 – Just because you think you’re a good person doesn’t mean you are.

Chidi and Tahani both completely believed they had earned paradise, as did our recent buddy Brent in season 4. Unfortunately for them, they were secretly in the Bad Place all along, proving definitely that just because you think you’re a good person, doesn’t mean anyone else does. Tahani and Brent both need some more self-awareness and a better understanding of what being “good” entails, but Chidi only ever had the best intentions at heart and he still constantly caused pain and dismay to those around him through his indecision. We certainly took a look in the mirror after these revelations, not to make sure we were good people, but to find out what parts of ourselves weren’t good and how we could adjust them.

Lesson #4 – We make our own meaning.

Whether it’s helping other people, partying like there is no tomorrow, or building a relationship, we make our own meaning in life. The humans of the Good Place are perpetually screwed, and yet they continue helping each other, comforting each other, laughing together, and building their bonds. When demons are coming for them, they celebrate. When they’re bound for hell, they spend time trying to save others from the same fate. When they discover soulmates aren’t real, they make them anyway. When everything seems lost in our own lives, we think of The Good Place to remind us that we can find a purpose in all that madness, and be our best selves in the process.

Lesson #5 – Almond milk is bad for the environment.

When Chidi discovers he’s in the Bad Place, he believes he knows the reason: he drank almond milk despite knowing it was bad for the environment. We never knew this, but have totally removed almond milk from our diets ever since. Chidi was initially derided for believing this was the reason he was sent to the Bad Place, but we’ve learned in the back half of the series that small, seemingly inconsequential transgressions (such as drinking almond milk) are contributing to the mass rejection of humans from the Good Place. It’s difficult to be good in a world that has become so complicated that the simple act of drinking almond milk loses you points, and we’ve been on the lookout for the unseen consequences behind our innocent actions ever since.

The Good Place Lessons

The Good Place/ NBC

Lesson #6 – Own who you are (even if it’s a Jaguars fan)

While change and betterment were at the core of The Good Place, Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason only made progress at becoming better people when they acknowledged and accepted their flaws.

The four humans weren’t bad people, per se, they were simply products of their environment who oftentimes let their insecurities get the best of them. But those qualities also made them unique and valuable. They were just “bad enough” that they could change, but they also needed those qualities in order to change. Change requires acknowledgment of the problem, acceptance of those flaws, and the desire to become better. The humans did all of that and wore their flaws like badges of honor to improve and grow in the afterlife.

Check Out Our The Good Place Gift Guide for All Your Afterlife Swag

However, improvement never required them to become different people. They channeled their flaws and turned them into positives. Even after becoming better, those fundamentals of who they were and what made them the characters we love were still there; Eleanor’s raunchiness, Chidi’s indecisiveness, Jason’s simultaneous dopeness and dopey-ness, and Tahani’s need for approval. Their experiences came in handy many times when dealing with demons and trying to save the world ie. Eleanor’s wit and skepticism were instrumental in continuously cracking the mystery that the Good Place was really the Bad Place. It was because of who they were that they were able to make such strides in the afterlife, flaws and all. 

Lesson #7 – Empathy goes a long way 

When the series began, Michael was a demon from the Bad Place who enjoyed causing pain to the four humans, but as time went on and he grew closer to the humans, he began to learn and understand what it meant to be human. He became empathetic to their experiences, their struggles, and their desire to change.

The best example of this is when Michael agrees to help them get to the judge so they can present their case of why they deserve to be in the Good Place. When he realized they only had four badges to get through the portal, he told Eleanor that he finally solved “The Trolley Problem” and sacrificed himself by putting his friends first. He understood how hard they’ve worked to become better people and knew they deserved a shot at proving it. 

In a similar fashion, Janet, an animatronic guide, also learned to be human. After more than dozens of reboots, she becomes an all-knowing entity that not only knows all the answers to every question in the universe but also starts to understand the human experience. She begins to display human emotions like love (mostly for Jason)  she understands feelings of sadness, happiness, and everything in between, and she has the capacity to put herself in someone else’s shoes. Compassion and empathy are at the core of what makes us human. 

NBC/ The Good Place

Lesson #8 – Frozen yogurt really is delicious

Michael rebooted his neighborhood many times after it seemed to fail, but one thing that was constant was the frozen yogurt shops. Michael put it in there as a form of torture, but let’s be real, frozen yogurt is hardly torture. As Michael explained, humans excel at “taking something and ruining it a little so you can have more of it,” and it may not be ice cream, but froyo is delicious in its own right (fight me).

In fact, the invention of froyo single-handedly proves humans are geniuses and thus, froyo should be eaten and enjoyed in abundance. If there is an afterlife with an unlimited menu of flavors, that’s enough to convince us to be our best selves every single day. When Eleanor confronts Michael about all the froyo shops, he even admits it by replying, “I’ve come to really like frozen yogurt.”

Lesson # 9 – Know when it’s time to let go and move on

In the second to last episode of the series, Ted Danson’s character Michael realizes that he’s fulfilled his purpose. He went from being a demon who tried to innovate the torture experience for humans sentenced to the Bad Place, befriended them, became a better person, and built a new afterlife system with their help to save all of humanity. Initially, he tries to sabotage Vicki from taking his job but eventually accepts that she’s better at it than he is and hands over the reins, which is a key lesson.

Related: The Best Episode of The Good Place Is… “Best Self”

It’s imperative that one understands when their path has run its course, when it’s time to walk away from something that no longer serves them, or when it’s time to find something new and challenging.  Now, Michael is walking into the unknown and not knowing what waits for him on the proverbial other side, which is scary, but it’s also a necessary part of life. As humans, we are constantly reinventing ourselves and searching for our next journey. Sometimes, there’s magic with accepting and “going with the flow.”

Lesson #10 – If it’s meant to be, it’ll be

No, I’m not singing the Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha song, although, it is fitting. I’m talking about trusting that whatever is meant for you will find you. Soulmates don’t exist in the afterlife, but that never stopped Eleanor and Chidi from falling in love and finding each other over and over again after almost 800 reboots. They were meant to be, it was written in the stars, call it whatever you want, but they always found a way back to each other, even if they didn’t have their memories.

At one point, the only thing Chidi was ever sure of was his love for Eleanor. When he made the sacrifice to get rebooted to save all of humanity, it’s because they both believed that they would be reunited again. It’s the very simple idea of trusting what the universe has planned for us and not trying to control your destiny. When Michael was trying to succeed with his neighborhood, he did everything in his power to prevent Chidi and Eleanor from meeting and finding each other and somehow, they always did. Okay, cue the FGL + Bebe song, baby. 

Catch up on all episodes of The Good Place now

Written by: Tommy Czerpak and Lizzy Buczak

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

La Brea

What Happened to Levi on ‘La Brea’?

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La Brea Season 2 returned from its midseason hiatus on Jan. 31, but fans were quick to point out that one major character was missing from the double-dose of episodes: Levi Delgado (played by Nicholas Gonzalez). 

Immediately after the episode aired, questions began to pour in with fans asking what happened to Levi and if we’ll see him again.

The answer—maybe….possibly. After all, anything is possible on La Brea, right?

As for what happened to Levi, well, if you’ll recall during the La Brea fall finale, Levi and Eve (Natalie Rea) parted ways in 1988. Eve’s heart has been torn between Levi and her estranged husband, Gavin (Eoin Macken) for quite some time, especially after it was revealed that Gavin’s visions—the one that led to their split and pushed her into Levi’s arms—were real all along. This caused a lot of guilt for Eve, and that guilt eventually played into her decision to leave Levi behind and follow her family back to 10K B.C.

In the final moments spent in 1988, Gavin’s mother informed him that they had to go back to 10K B.C. to upload a virus that would shut down the portal that was causing catastrophes like the sinkholes, including the one set to open in Los Angeles in just a few days. 

La Brea The Hunt Review Season 1 Episode 3

LA BREA — “The Hunt” Episode 103 — Pictured: Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi Brooks — (Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC)

Of course, if they damaged the time machine, they would never be able to leave 10K B.C. again, which meant everyone had a pretty tough choice to make. Except for Eve, who didn’t really have a choice. Choosing to stay behind with Levi meant that she would be turning her back on her family and potentially never seeing them again. All her kids have ever wanted was the family back together, so her decision was made with them in mind. While I’m sure on some level, she also considered her relationship with Gavin, she ultimately made the jump back to keep her family intact. 

And that meant leaving behind Levi, who decided he was going to stay in the ’80s and make a life for himself. If you think about it, it was the only decision that made sense for him considering there was a slim chance of living a decent life in 10K B.C. And it wouldn’t be wise to go back down there and risk your life with a woman who was one foot into the relationship and one foot out. It would be a huge sacrifice to make for Eve without any guarantee that they’d end up together. 

Both Levi and Eve seemed in agreement that their romance was over and they parted ways graciously. 

At the time of the finale, fans were under the impression that Gavin, Eve, and co. were going to destroy the time machine, which meant destroying any chance of ever seeing Levi again. This was a permanent goodbye in their eyes. 

However, once they got back down to 10K B.C., Gavin couldn’t go through with uploading the virus after seeing a vision of Eve dying. His father, James, convinced Gavin that he had a way to fix the portal so that they could use it without causing any more harm to the environment, which also meant that he had a chance at saving Eve from death in the prehistoric ages. Gavin’s love for her has always been very evident, so it’s not surprising that he chose this route. 

But his decision also keeps the door open for Levi to return down the line in future episodes.

If there is still a portal to travel between time periods, Levi may not be out of the game just yet. 

It’s unclear how or why he would come back to 10K B.C—maybe he’ll come back with more information about the sinkholes and portal, maybe he’ll return after feeling guilty for leaving his friends (Gavin included) behind, or maybe he’ll miss Eve so much that he takes the leap at the first chance he gets.

It’s even possible that Eve finds a way to communicate with him while he’s in 1988, which would keep him around but not in the same time period. Talk about a long-distance relationship.

The point is, I wouldn’t count Levi out just yet. The actor was a huge draw for the show, and while not everyone loved his romance with Eve or the love triangle, I don’t think they’d write him off so quickly, especially without giving Eve and Levi proper closure. If it really is over, Eve needs to be sure of her decision, and again, she only chose to return to 10K B.C. for her family. 

There seems to be a hint about Levi’s return with the upcoming episode, set to air on Tuesday, Feb. 14, called “The Return.” The title seemingly alludes to Levi’s return, but the synopsis makes me think that it’s a surefire guarantee. 

“A ruthless enemy holds the clearing captive, threatening to kill a beloved survivor if their demands for an unexpected item aren’t met; Gavin and Sam lead the rescue attempt, aided by an old friend whose return holds more questions than answers.”
 
Who could this old friend be? Does Levi swoop in to save the day?
 
And then there’s the teaser trailer which shows a man coming through the portal… and it definitely looks like Levi. 
 
We’ll have to tune in and see! 
 

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Featured

6 Sexy Shows to Watch for Valentine’s Day

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6 Sexy Shows to Watch for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day can be celebrated in all sorts of different ways. 

Some people bake cookies, others go out for a romantic date, while some do a fun activity with their significant other. 

However, this is the first Valentine’s Day under COVID-19 restrictions, which means that you likely don’t have as many fun and romance-filled options as in years prior. 

That’s where TV comes in! Regardless if you’re spending February 14 with a significant other or your besties, these are some of the sexiest and steamiest shows to watch on the day that’s all about celebrating L-O-V-E (for friends, family, significant others, and, most importantly, yourself!) 

 

Bridgerton

Romance, scandal, drama… Bridgerton has it all! Dubbed the Regency-era Gossip Girl, Netflix’s smash hit and most-watched series is a brilliant and entertaining period piece with enough sex scenes to make you blush. And Regé-Jean Page isn’t bad on the eyes.

 

Emily in Paris

Emily in Paris, which was just surprisingly nominated for a Golden Globe, hails from Sex and the City creator Darren Star. It’s an airy flick about a millennial named Emily who travels to Paris for a dream job and becomes enamored with the City of Love and the men that want to show her all that it has to offer. 

 

Modern Love

Falling in love requires you to be open, honest, and vulnerable. The American rom-com anthology web series, based on a weekly column published by the New York Times, explores themes of love (romantic, platonic, friendly) with a star-studded cast. The 30-minute episodes are standalone and easily digestible, which makes them the perfect viewing on a night like Valentine’s Day. 

 

Younger

What happens when Liza, a 40-year-old single mom, decides to be 26-years old in order to re-enter the working world and falls in love with not one but two very different men? An exciting journey through the world of publishing and heartbreak. As Liza tries to find herself, she does everything in her power to hide her true self from those she’s become most intimate with. It’s another whip-smart Darren Star creation!

 

Good Girls

Two sisters, Beth and Annie, along with best friend Ruby find themselves embroiled in a dangerous life of crime after robbing a grocery store. Beth, specifically, falls victim to a crime of passion with one sexy “gang friend” that pulls her further and further into his world. 

 

Elite

If Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars had a baby, it would be this Spanish-language drama. A private school becomes the scene of a murder after a clash between the rich and poor students. There’s plenty of sexual tension and unexpected turns as detectives try to narrow down the list of suspects. 

** Article originally published in February 2021**

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The Resident

Is Bruce Greenwood Leaving ‘The Resident’?

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After The Resident Season 6 Episode 9, many fans have been wondering if Bruce Greenwood, who plays Dr. Randolph Bell, is exiting the FOX medical drama.

While there has been no official word about a potential exit, it’s a fair question to ask considering the nature of his most recent storyline. 

In the latest episode—which aired on November 29—Bell, who found himself as the target of Governor Betz’s smear campaign, finally admitted to himself, and to his wife, Dr. Kitt Voss, that his MS is progressing. 

After Bell exposed Betz’s corruption while trying to secure funding for Chastain, Betz decided that the only way to teach him a lesson and make an example out of him was through revenge. Betz ordered a hit piece on Bell that painted him as a dangerous doctor to Chastain, which, in turn, tainted the hospital’s image. 

Of course, while some parts of it were true at one point in Bell’s career, it was largely exaggerated and sensationalized to paint him in a bad light, and it didn’t take into account all the work Bell has done to become a better man and doctor.

The stress of all the negative press caused Bell’s MS to flare up, triggering a variety of symptoms like a high-pitched ringing in his ears, seeing double, and dizziness, which made him realize that he was pushing off the inevitable.

This time around, instead of operating when he shouldn’t, he acknowledged that he no longer felt confident in his abilities, nor did he trust himself to perform any future surgeries. When he told Kit that he needed to go back to the clinical trial, it was a shock, but ultimately, she was supportive because she knew that’s what he needed. 

But what now? How will The Resident keep incorporating Bell’s character into the storyline? Will we just see him communicating with Kit from the trial in the same way we did earlier this season? Or will he slowly get phased out and written off? 

The trial could prove to be successful again, and all of Bell’s worries could have been for nothing. After he prioritizes his health and the whole thing with Betz blows over, it’s possible we could see Bell return to surgery for many more years—back to his previous glory. 

Losing Greenwood would be a huge blow to the series, especially since he’s been part of the series since its inception, however, it remains unclear which direction The Resident will go with this storyline.

Hopefully, we’ll find out in the upcoming season 6 finale, which is set to air on December 6, but as of right now, there’s no indication that Greenwood is exiting the drama.

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