‘The Good Adventures of Bad Janet’: We cast ‘The Good Place’ Janet spinoffs
The Good Place is coming to a close this year, with its fourth and final season airing on NBC. We are so looking forward to show creator Michael Schur finally revealing how the afterlife works, because we’ve been wondering about that for the past several thousand years or so.
But why should we have to give up The Good Place-iverse just because the series is ending?
When it comes to properties starring Ted Danson, there’s always a spinoff. Did the good folks at Cheers give up just because the show was ending? Of course not – the goliath of NBC broadcasting was like a phoenix. As Cheers slowly burned alive in a Boston bar, Frasier arose from its ashes to debate moral issues and daddy hangups in a nice apartment in Seattle.
There can only be one spinoff – but multiple Janets!
After watching the third-season episode “Janet(s)” on a continuous loop for the past several days, we’ve come to the conclusion that it only makes sense for Janet (D’Arcy Carden) to have her own spinoff, Frasier-style. Obviously!
Janet solves crimes, or commits crimes, or debates what philosophically counts as a crime, for 22 minutes each week. Every season could debut a different type of Janet: Good Janet; Bad Janet; Morally Ambiguous Janet; Kleptomaniac Janet. It’s like American Horror Story but instead of witches and nonsensical plot lines, it’s got a Void.
Plus, there’s a precedent to robots showing emotion: Data (Brent Spiner) in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and of course, Mark Wahlberg in the Transformers franchise.
Janet showed the most growth out of anyone
Television is only truly exciting when a viewer can clearly mark the growth of a highly dynamic character. Out of everyone on The Good Place, Janet has shown the most potential for growth.
Michael (Ted Danson) was a monstrous, soulless demon dedicated to the suffering of others, but then he made friends and it all became okay. His evolution has been beautiful, but a lanky demon with the capacity for guilt has already been done in Good Omens.
Team Cockroach, including Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto), and Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil) have all evolved tremendously after several hundred years of working on it (including hundreds of resets), but Janet had arguably the hardest transformation of them all.
Janet is the source of all information and knowledge for the humans in the Good Place and the Bad Place. She’s not a person or a robot or a program, nor does she physically exist in a way we can mark or measure through human means. She’s not your typical Mary Sue.
Despite having absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with humanity other than a superficial appearance (cf: “Not a girl!”), Janet has adapted surprisingly well: she learned to lie, cheat, and mix up her color palettes, but most importantly, she learned to love.
If there’s any clearer sign that Janet has evolved the most out of any character on The Good Place, it’s her relationship with Jason. She has exhibited such love and compassion and warmth for a man who is genuinely happy to be from the state of Florida. If that isn’t love, we don’t know what is.
The Good Aventures of Bad Janet (or whatever) would continue what we already love about The Good Place
We love Michael Schur shows: Parks and Recreation made politics seem hopeful, Brooklyn Nine-Nine revived the standard police procedural, and we’re looking forward to Sunnyside debuting September 26th on NBC. Also, we respect the sheer amount of puppies used on all Schur properties.
But The Good Place has been an experiment, a totally different kind of TV program. The Good Place is like if Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus dropped a ton of acid and decided to hypothesize about what the afterlife was like. Very rarely has network television explored deep, human hypothetical questions such as “What happens after you die?” and “Does anyone actually like the taste of frozen yogurt?”
A Janet spinoff would allow even more delicious philosophical infighting about what the afterlife is and could be.
The character we actually want . . . wouldn’t be appropriate for network TV
Obviously, if we were in the actual Good Place, there would be six seasons and a movie all about the adventures of Mindy St. Claire (Maribeth Monroe), cocaine enthusiast and morally complicated human question mark.
We’d die for a debauched, Wolf of Wall Street-style depiction of St. Claire’s life of blow, 80s pantsuits, money, law, and more blow – before she decided to revolutionize human rights and was promptly electrocuted.
However, the amount of risqué content (cf: cocaine) might make The Mindy Show difficult to portray on a network show. (Yes, we know that name is taken.) But Janet? The Janet Chronicles is forking definitely a close second in our hearts.