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

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I have a pet peeve.

I can’t stand it when people turn a TV show on to play in the background. It eats away at me that they aren’t putting their full attention to the piece of art on the screen, and are missing jokes or character moments because they’re browsing the internet or doing something awful like playing with their cat.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Example.

My annoyance isn’t fair or justified. Everyone is allowed to enjoy whatever content they want in whatever way they want. No matter how you enjoy something, odds are someone else will enjoy it differently. That can be hard to accept; we tend to want other people to extract the same level of enjoyment out of something as we extract ourselves, and we assume we know the best way to do this.

Like when you take your best friend to your favorite burger place, where they have the best toppings and secret sauce, and your friend gets a plain, topping free, sauceless burger.

“No,” you say as politely as you can mustard, “you have to try the secret sauce. You need to get the whole experience.”

“No thanks,” your friend says, in the least aggressive way possible.

Why did I even bring you here?

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Tahani’s face here accurately portrays my emotions.

This is how I feel when someone makes a grocery list while watching TV. This is how I feel almost every time someone watches The Good Place Season 2 Episode 10 “Best Self,” even if they’re paying attention

***Spoilers for The Good Place Below***

 

The Good Place is hilarious. Because it’s funny and charming, it makes a great background show to throw on while you’re dusting your living room.

It has a unique setting and plot as well, which also makes it fantastic viewing for those who like to sit and pay more attention.

But there is a third layer to the series. It’s deep and philosophic and is available to be analyzed and digested by those who want to do so.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Also known as being Chidi.

I want to do so. To my devastation, my friends don’t always want to do so. So I’m going to do it for them!

“Best Self” is the most deeply human episode of television I’ve ever seen. Peel away the clever jokes and gags, and the next layer of the intricate plot, and you get to a core that is all of life packed into 22 minutes.

The episode starts with reformed demon Michael telling our heroes Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason that they are finally all going to head to the real Good Place together. The four humans have one last round of fro-yo together and fantasize about the heaven that awaits them.

Watch The Good Place Best Self Right Here

Once their magic balloon arrives, they have to pass the magic gate that only opens if they’ve become the best version of themselves. Of course, Chidi can’t get on because he isn’t sure that he’s his best self.

Then Michael confesses that he lied, that the magic balloon won’t work even if they all pass the gate, and he has no idea how to get them into the actual Good Place. They’re stuck in the neighborhood, and by morning the Bad Place demons will come and get them, dragging them into an eternal hell of torment and torture. No matter what they have done or what they do now, they’re screwed.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                          We’ve all had this moment.

That’s life.

Every single living organism on this planet, in this universe, is screwed. No matter what it knows or does, each living thing is going to eventually die, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about that. In this way, every living thing is equal; no life is better or more valuable than any other life because, in the end, it won’t be life at all.

Most life, though, can’t actually perceive or understand the finality of our dooms, and our ability to do so is what separates us and makes us definitively human. It’s the same reason Michael couldn’t truly understand humans until he understood death in “Existential Crisis.” This ability to understand the finality of life is what allows us to truly live.

The Best Forking Gifts to Buy a “Good Place” Fan 

So that’s what the humans decide to do on their last day. Eleanor orders a ton of alcohol from Janet, and they begin to party. The friends dance, get drunk, talk about their feelings and their fears, and take comfort in the only thing they can take comfort in; each other.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC

If you just watch this episode as another chapter in a story about a crazy afterlife that houses demons who have holiday weekend Ikea as an entire department of torture, it’s honestly a little boring. Very little happens, as basically the cast just hangs out in a single location for 22 minutes, making it a bottle episode. It’s fine, but it’s no “Dance, Dance, Resolution,” with its insane 300 mph pace, or “Michael’s Gambit” with an incredible twist.

Analyze a little deeper, though, and you’ll find an episode of television that perfectly encapsulates human existence.

The unrealistic hope they display at the start as they fantasize about the perfect Good Place, the heartbreak Eleanor feels when Chidi dreams about meeting his soulmate, the pain Michael experiences when he disappoints his friends after revealing he lied to them about getting into the Good Place; the range of emotions captured by these characters in such a short time reminds you of the rollercoaster that is human emotion.

The humanity doesn’t end there. The silly jabs at each other during their toasts are funny character jokes, but also a display of how we cope with our own and each others’ faults. They’re a display of love between people who have shared the trials of (after)life together. There is a comfort we feel when someone truly knows us well enough to point out the specifics of our personalities, and what is human life but trying to create that kind of bond with others?

And then there is Michael’s Human Starter Kit. Made an honorary human, the demon Michael gratefully opens his gift and pulls out car keys, band-aids, a stress ball, and a Dr. Oz diet book; all “garbage that [he has] no real use for.”

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Who doesn’t love never using their stress balls?

And yet he does find a use for them. By assigning meaning to the objects as they pertain to people and as they relate to him as a gift from his friends, Michael finds value in something meaningless. “Welcome to being human,” Eleanor tells him.

The episode immediately shifts to the friends doing the same thing, as they create meaning in their last day by dancing and having fun with each other. They take what’s left of their lives and they live it. Tomorrow they will be doomed forever, but for now, they are free. Free to laugh, free to cry, free to feel, and free to dance.

In the end, after discussing what their personal Bad Place will be (a nice contrast to the start of the episode where they discuss their Good Place), the friends decide to do the most human thing of all.

“Attempt something futile, with a ton of unearned confidence, and fail spectacularly.”

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC                                        Go us.

We cannot win. We can’t escape our own doom, and we can’t create some transcendent meaning to our lives. All of our attempts at it will fail, but my goodness, we are going to keep trying.

“Best Self” packs in so much about human existence and reminds us that even if we don’t have a larger purpose, we’re responsible for creating the meaning in our lives, and we do so through each other. We can’t stop the end from coming, but we can make the time we have left worth something to us and the people around us. We can find meaning in the void.

“In a way, the Good Place was inside the Bad Place all along.”

My Good Place is shutting the lights off and over analyzing everything I see on screen, but everyone’s Good Place is different, and no one’s way is right. So if you want to do the dishes while watching TV, go for it. Have it on while you vacuum the floor, put together the furniture you got over the holiday weekend at Ikea, and cook up a plain, topping free, sauceless burger. It doesn’t matter, we’re all doomed anyway, so watch TV, and live, in whatever way makes you feel alive.

The Good Place - Best Self

The Good Place/NBC

Be your “Best Self” and watch here!


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Editorials

Emmys 2020 Predictions: What Shows Will Win?

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Emmys 2020 Predictions: Which Show Will Win?

The 2020 Emmys are upon us, but as with everything this year, they’re looking a bit different as they go virtual. 

That doesn’t mean it’s going to be less prestigious or eventful — it’s the Emmys after all; it’s the biggest night in television. 

Each actor is going to come to your living room from their living room meaning that there’s plenty for producers to work with and the night will surely keep you on your toes. 

We decided it would be fun to throw in our predictions into the ring as ever category is highly competitive. 

Check out our Emmy predictions below and let us know who you think will win this Sunday evening:

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark  (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure (HBO)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
The Kominsky Method  (Netflix)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

 

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (Hulu)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
Late Night With Stephen Colbert (CBS) – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Competition Program

The Masked Singer (Fox)
Nailed It! (Netflix)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) – Predicted Winner
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC)
Don Cheadle, Black Monday (Showtime)
Ted Danson, The Good Place (NBC) 
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Issa Rae, Insecure (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish (ABC)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC) 
Steve Carell, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Brian Cox, Succession (HBO)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX)

Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Laura Linney, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen (HBO)
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Paul Mescal, Normal People (Hulu)
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood (Netflix)
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True (HBO)

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America (Hulu)
Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Shira Haas, Unorthodox (Netflix)
Regina King, Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Mahershala Ali, Ramy (Hulu)
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Hulu)
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) – Predicted Winner
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) – Predicted Winner
D’Arcy Cardin, The Good Place (NBC)
Betty Gilpin, GLOW (Netflix)
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Nicholas Braun, Succession (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Kieran Culkin, Succession (HBO)
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession (HBO)
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld (HBO)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Julia Garner, Ozark (Netflix) – Predicted Winner
Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO)
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Sarah Snook, Succession (HBO)
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen (HBO) – Predicted Winner
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen (HBO)
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend (Netflix)
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen (HBO)
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood (Netflix)
Jim Parsons, Hollywood (Netflix)

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America (Hulu) – Predicted Winner
Toni Collette, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America (Hulu)
Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)
Holland Taylor, Hollywood (Netflix)
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America (Hulu)

 

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

The Great, “The Great” (Pilot), Matt Shakman
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “Marvelous Radio,” Daniel Palladino
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “It’s Comedy or Cabbage,” Amy Sherman-Palladino – Predicted Winner
Modern Family, “Finale Part II,” Gail Mancuso
Ramy, “Miakhalifa.mov,” Ramy Youssef
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending,” Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
Will & Grace, “We Love Lucy,” James Burrows

 

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

The Crown, “Aberfan,” Benjamin Caron
The Crown, “Cri de Coeur,” Jessica Hobbs
Homeland, “Prisoners of War,” Leslie Linka Glatter
The Morning Show, “The Interview,” Mimi Leder
Ozark, “Fire Pink,” Alik Sakharov – Predicted Winner
Ozark, “Su Casa Es Mi Casa,” Ben Semanoff
Succession, “Hunting,” Andrij Parekh
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears,” Mark Mylod

 

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Little Fires Everywhere, “Find a Way,” Lynn Shelton
Normal People, Episode 5, Lenny Abrahamson
Unorthodox, “Prisoners of War,” Maria Schrader
Watchmen, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice,” Nicole Kassell
Watchmen, “Little Fear of Lightning,” Steph Green
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being,” Stephen Williams – Predicted Winner

 

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

The Good Place, “Whenever You’re Ready,” Michael Schur – Predicted Winner
The Great, “The Great” (Pilot), Tony McNamara
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending,” Daniel Levy
Schitt’s Creek, “The Presidential Suite,” David West Read
What We Do in the Shadows, “Collaboration,” Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil
What We Do in the Shadows, “Ghosts,” Paul Simms
What We Do in the Shadows, “On the Run,” Stefani Robinson

 

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Better Call Saul, “Bad Choice Road,” Thomas Schnauz
Better Call Saul, “Bagman,” Gordon Smith
The Crown, “Aberfan,” Peter Morgan
The Crown, “Cri de Coeur,” Jessica Hobbs
Ozark, “All In,” Chris Mundy
Ozark, “Boss Fight,” John Shiban
Ozark, “Fire Pink,” Miki Johnson
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears,” Jesse Armstrong – Predicted Winner 

 

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Mrs. America, “Shirley,” Tanya Barfield
Normal People, Episode 3, Sally Rooney and Alice Birch
Unbelievable, Episode 1, Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, and Ayelet Waldman
Unorthodox, “Part 1,” Anna Winger
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being,” Damon Lindelof and Cord  – Predicted Winner


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One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill: Why Haley and Lucas Were Friendship Goals

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Lucas and Haley are Friendship Goals on One Tree Hill

There are plenty of relationships fans can “ship” on One Tree Hill.

You can be #TeamBrucas, #TeamLeyton, or #TeamNaley, and they’re all great in their own way.

But there’s undoubtedly one relationship that trumps them all — Laley, aka Lucas and Haley.

As with all friendships, they’ve had a fair share of ups-and-downs.

They grew apart briefly, but despite the rocky road, they’ve always managed to come back to each other and never lose the love.

We'll Always be Friends

On One Tree Hill Season 4 Episode 3, Haley asked Lucas to promise her that “matter what happens, you and I will always be friends.” And he kept that promise.

Significant others came and went, but Lucas and Haley remained best friends throughout the entirety of the series.

Even after Lucas and Peyton drove off into the sunset (Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton exited the show on One Tree Hill Season 6), their friendship lived on off-screen.

When it comes to OTH relationships, Haley and Lucas’s was the purest one.

It was the most enduring relationship in the series, having started in childhood.

When we met them on One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 1, they already had an established connection that was built on a foundation of trust and memories.

Their dynamic would have allowed the writers to easily cross the line and give in to the played-out friends-to-lovers trope (and maybe that was even the plan at one point), but the best thing about Lucas and Haley is that they never crossed that line.

The fact that they remained best friends and never pursued each other romantically made them far more interesting than if they would have ever considered dating.

Never Romantic

In a small town like Tree Hill, it’s almost unheard of for a guy and girl to be “just friends.”

But Haley and Lucas proved that members of the opposite sex could love each other platonically.

These are some of our favorite things about them:

They Were Protective Over Each Other

We first begin to understand Lucas and Haley’s relationship on One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 1.

They’re the outcasts that always stuck together and had each other’s backs.

When Nathan starts cozying up to Haley after she offers to tutor him, Lucas gets protective and warns her against getting involved with his half-brother because he believes he’s only getting close to her to get back at him.

While Lucas isn’t entirely wrong, he also trusts Haley to make the right decision, even if he doesn’t agree with it.

In turn, Haley’s decision to tutor is fueled by wanting to protect Lucas. She offers Nathan her math tutoring services on the condition that stop bullying Lucas and leave him alone.

They Cheer Each Other Up

Though it would be easy for Lucas to point out that he warned Haley about Nathan’s self-serving intentions, he never does. Instead, he’s there for his best friend.

On One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 7, when Haley believes that Nathan’s been making fun of their relationship, she confesses that he showed her his true colors and she fell for it because she’s “stupid,” but Luke assures her that she’s far from it.

Smart Girl is Really Stupid

Instead of saying, “I told you so,” he’s supportive and lends her a shoulder to cry on.

On One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 18, famously known as the “Boy Toy Episode,” Haley taps into her savings from the cafe so that she can buy Lucas during the auction to spend time with him.

At the end of a fun-filled night, Lucas assures Haley that “If Nathan doesn’t see how special you really are, then he’s an idiot cause I think you’re amazing.”

He may not be fully supportive of the relationship, but he always wanted her to follow her heart and be happy. 

Read the full post at TV Fanatic!


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Editorials

Tiger King: Did Carole Baskin Kill Her Husband Don Lewis or Did Something Else Happen?

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Did Carole Baskin Kill Her Husband Don Lewis?

If you’ve gotten to episode 4 of Netflix’s eccentric new docu-series,Tiger King, you know all about animal rights activist Carole Baskin and the claims that Joe Exotic latched onto that she killed her husband nearly 20 years ago.

The investigation went unsolved for 20 years as there was absolutely no trace of  Jack Donald “Don” Lewis.

Despite her enemies and Don’s family pointing fingers at Carole, who has also become one of the most meme-able people from the series, Carole maintained her innocence. She denied all the wacky claims that she fed him to the lions (don’t put it past her), put him through a meat grinder (seriously, Netflix has a thing with meat grinders! Please see: YOU), or that she threw him to the bottom of the septic tank.

Look, they’re all plausible guesses and Carole did have plenty of motive considering Don wanted to leave her, he was scared of her, and he wanted to expand the sanctuary to Costa Rica, which is something she didn’t want. She also wrote multiple diary entries indicating that she wanted to escape or find a way out of this marriage, so it’s likely she resorted to extreme measures.

Then, there’s the fact that she laughs every time she’s questioned, which could be a nervous tick to cover up her lies. The evidence was enough to convince everyone on the Internet that Carole is guilty of murder.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-cLpr-lo7B/

And clearly,  Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister has been watching the true-crime docu-series during this coronavirus-forced quarantine and believes someone might know something that could possibly make a break in this cold case.

Chronister announced that he was looking for new leads as he re-launches the 1997 investigation to see if maybe the police missed something.

However, upon watching this, there is a huge possibility that Don wanted to disappear and leave without a trace.

The day after he was never heard from again, police found his van at a private airport, but they said there were no flights recorded and his lawyer confirmed that none of the several planes Don could never make it to Costa Rica without stopping for gas at least four times.  But this could have been what Don wanted everyone to believe!

Think about it, how hard could it be for a millionaire to disappear?

No one knew how much Don was truly worth because they said he would “hide” his money and gold bars (GOLD BARS). Therefore, it’s plausible that he had money buried that no one knew about here or in Costa Rica where he wanted to live and allegedly had a girlfriend (or multiple).

Best and Funniest Tweets About Netflix’s True-Crime Documentary ‘Tiger King’

There were other hints that Don was planning to fake his own death and get out of town including his comment to one of his associates about “if he could pull this off” it would be the legendary and the fact that he made sure to get his will in order.

My theory, which is purely based off of me sitting on my couch and hoping to solve a longtime murder mystery, is that Don planned his escape to Costa Rica with all the money he hid, hoped his disappearance would raise questions and incriminate Carole, and leave his family with the rest of his money.

Of course, that didn’t happen because as the Netflix documentary pointed out, Carole and her father got to the will and changed it so that she got everything including the 69-acre wildlife Big Cat sanctuary they ran together.

We can only hope the recently revisited investigation can bring up new evidence and finally give Lewis’ family some peace of mind.

Do you have any working theories? Share them with us in the comments!


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