HomeOur ObsessionsThese ‘The Good Place’ side characters need more screen time

These ‘The Good Place’ side characters need more screen time

'The Good Place' has given us a plethora of side characters to love and hate. Let’s dive into the most iconic minor characters who deserve more screen time.

These ‘The Good Place’ side characters need more screen time

Mike Schur has a habit of making shows with addictive side characters. He even started out as one during his time on The Office as Mose Schrute. In his time working on Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Schur has overseen some iconic side characters that in some cases are adored more than leads. Must we forget everyone saying Steve from Stranger Things was just Jean-Ralphio junior? 

NBC’s comedy good-luck charm kept his magic fingers alive with The Good Place, giving his comedic touch to the characters from the Good Place, the Bad Place, and everywhere in between. The Good Place focuses on what defines a person as good or bad; even the side characters possess considerable depth. Even if they didn’t, all those side characters would still keep us cracking up.

Without even including all the different versions of Janet we’ve seen D’Arcy Carden portray, there’s a side character for everyone to love. Although the upcoming fourth season will be The Good Place’s last, we know there’s plenty more screen time for our favorite side characters on the way. We’re still missing two more subjects for the Soul Squad’s fake Good Place and just know those characters will be great. 

The Good Place has given us a plethora of side characters to love and hate, so let’s celebrate the end of the “smartest, dumbest TV show”, at least according to Marc Evan Jackson on The Good Place: The Podcast. We’re going to miss Team Cockroach, but we’re going to miss the side characters even more. Let’s dive into the most iconic minor characters who deserve more screen time in this final The Good Place season.

Judge Gen (Maya Rudolph)

We’re still bitter D’Arcy Carden got snubbed on an Emmy nomination after “Janet(s)”, but at least Maya Rudolph got recognized. Gen was right: earth truly is a mess, y’all. But that’s beside the point. After being tricked into thinking Michael was the “god” of this universe, we were waiting to find out who the real omnipotent being was (besides Janet); turns out it’s a woman who’s addicted to bingewatching. 

Gen is snarky, in love with Chidi, addicted to NCIS, and determines the fate of everyone in the universe. Almost all of those things we can relate to. Season three gave Gen a chance to truly shine as she learned the truth about humanity, like the human pain of loving Chick-fil-A but not their business practices. As the Soul Squad completes their experiment, we need more Gen one way or the other.

Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson)

Considering Jackson hosts The Good Place: The Podcast and shows off his improv humor chops there, we know we need more of Shawn in the final season. From the moment we were introduced to the unofficial head demon of the Bad Place, we fell in love with this naughty bench. Shawn is the definition of pure evil, constantly spilling truth about why people suck and deserve to be tortured for eternity. 

Jackson is no stranger to the Schuriverse, appearing as Captain Holt’s husband Kevin on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Trevor Nelson, Dr. Saperstien’s lawyer on Parks and Recreation. It’s no surprise Schur brought him back for The Good Place, and we’re lucky we were blessed with this example of pure evil – especially once Michael stopped being a lying demon. 

Trevor (Adam Scott)

We never pass up an excuse for more Adam Scott in our lives. If you really need to understand why we want more Trevor, we already wrote a whole piece about Adam Scott’s finest moments on TV. What more explanation do you need? 

Derek (Jason Mantzoukas)

We better be getting the maximum of Derek screen time in The Good Place’s final season. Janet’s ex-boyfriend/son made his mark in season two, but once we got to see him again at the end of season three, he’s gained more knowledge and actually has a brain. 

And, Derek mostly has a real weenis now instead of crotch wind chimes! Janet may have just needed a rebound guy, but we’re so glad she made the mistake of making Derek and bringing him into our lives. Jason Mantzoukas is known mostly for his recurring roles across a variety of TV shows, so he knows how to leave his mark no matter how big or small his role is. 

Mantzoukas is another Schuriverse veteran, appearing as Dennis Feinstein in Parks and Recreation and Adrian Pimento in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but Derek is easily Mantzoukas’s best recurring role. With the new fake Good Place in Mindy’s backyard, Derek better find his way into it sometime next season.

Mindy St. Claire (Maribeth Monroe) 

Speaking of Mindy, the only resident of the Medium Place is exactly the kind of person you’d expect to be stuck in the Medium Place forever. The sex and cocaine addict who decided last minute to be a good person before she died has unofficially been helping Team Cockroach since they first showed up on her doorstep in season one. 

If that description right there doesn’t convince you why Mindy is the best, then clearly you’re no fun. Mindy is easily the least likely candidate to end up in the Good Place, which makes it that much funnier that there was a chance she could. Plus, knowing that no one in 500 years has gotten into the Good Place makes it even funnier knowing the closest one to get close is Mindy. 

The new fake Good Place is in Mindy’s backyard, so we expect her to get dragged back into this mess somehow. Maribeth Monroe is actually part of the same improv group as Jackson – and it shows. 

Admittedly, we’ve been cheating by pulling out recurring The Good Place characters that we know everyone loves. Now let’s dig deep and get some of the real underrated side characters that only need to make one more appearance before The Good Place takes it final bow. 

Dave (Andy Daly)

Donna Shellstrop is a messy forking bench, which is no surprise considering how well her daughter turned out. But she’s adapted to being a basic suburban housewife well, and part of that is definitely thanks to Dave. Dave met Donna while she was on the run and quickly became infatuated with this crazy woman.

But even knowing her dirty secrets, Dave stuck by Donna and helped her turn into the relatively normal woman we see in season three. He likes that she’s not so clean-cut, not least because he can be a bit rebellious, too. Just look at how quick Dave was to whip up some margaritas when Eleanor and Michael stopped by – in the early afternoon. That’s a classic Shellstrop move!

Chet (Dax Shepard) 

If you had to picture the demon in charge of torturing those who are the definition of toxic masculinity, it would probably be Chet. While Team Cockroach was going undercover to get to Judge Gen, they had to blend in at a Bad Place work party. Chidi got stuck trying to help Chet and his friends out. Chet is himself toxically masculine, which is exactly why he’s the perfect being to torture those guilty of it. 

Revisiting the Chet plot is also a great excuse to get Kristen Bell’s real-life husband on The Good Place. Shepard is known for calling out the harmful habits of toxic masculinity on Twitter, so seeing him embody them on the show is great. Shepard acts almost as a parody of himself with Chet, which is why we need him to come back just once more. 

Matt from Accounting (Brad Morris)

We could go on for days about how “Janet(s)” is easily the best episode of The Good Place. One of those reasons (after the first eight being the different versions of Janet we see) would be the poor accountant stuck in charge of “weird sex things”, Matt. We too would request an order for immediate suicide if we got stuck with that job.

As Janet best put it: “Why is it when a new thing is invented, humans immediately try to use it for porn?” Matt has a lot of work on his hands thanks to the nasty pervs of society, especially during music festival season. Let’s all collectively pray for Matt, and more importantly, pray that somehow he gets involved back into the fake Good Place so we can learn more about how disgusting humans are.

Madison (Angela Trimbur)

The dress bench herself, Eleanor’s crazy roommate Madison left her impression on all of us when Michael made Eleanor explain the story behind why making her T-shirts was the worst thing she did. While she is the definition of a spoiled brat, Madison may not have been 100% at fault for what happened. Eleanor did steal and rip her dress, then blame the drycleaners for it. 

We’d kick Eleanor out after finding out the truth too, so we’re interested to see if Madison ends up being Eleanor’s counterpart in the fake Good Place. Madison deserves payback after Eleanor screwed her over to the point where the entire world was making fun of Madison. Then again, we may get to see Madison even become a good person if the Soul Squad’s plan works.

The Doorman (Mike O’Malley)

We know the Doorman sucks at his job, but he’s also the reason the Soul Squad even stands a chance at saving their souls. The Doorman and his adorable frog keychain left a frog-shaped mark on our hearts as he became buddy-buddy with Michael. Plus, seeing him get a kick out of a forking sink on Earth is just funny.

We can’t imagine he’s going to keep his job for much longer given how much he pissed off Gen, but we hope the Doorman sticks around somehow. Michael bribing him with a fresh cup of hot antimatter to mess with fate will always bring a smile to our faces. Maybe Michael will even end up bringing the Doorman to the fake Good Place so he can get a new experience (and see a frog in person, natch).

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Bethany is a recent graduate who dreams of making her own award-winning film, but for now writes about other media. She’s a child at heart specializing in hot takes on animated family movies (and sometimes other films & TV).

bwade@filmdaily.co

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