Bleats

I Think The Good Place Has Accidentally Ruined My Life Forever

Stupid smart show, ruining everything with its wisdom and terrible puns.

Spoilers for The Good Place ahead, obviously.

Damn you, stupid perfect show.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who think The Good Place is the towering pinnacle of the television and comedic arts, and people who are wrong.

At least, that’s how I felt until living in the aftermath of season three. And yes, we’re pulling gently into Spoilertown so opt out now if you haven’t watched this show yet despite it having existed for years and which is about to finish with the forthcoming fourth series.

Haunting.

The big reveal of this series – sorry, one of the many big reveals of the most big reveal-heavy show on television – was that no-one has gotten into the Good Place in over 500 years and that even the best person on the planet (according to the Good Place’s point system) didn’t have a hope in the bad place of getting in.

And this wasn’t because of a glitch in the system or because the Bad Place demons had corrupted the afterlife’s bureaucracy, but because life on Earth had gotten increasingly interconnected and complicated, making it impossible to do anything which is unambiguously good.

You and me both, Chidi m’boy. You and me both.

A call to your mum on her birthday uses a phone whose components are mined by slave labour. A visit to friends burns fossil fuels in a machine whose entire creation was an environmental nightmare. Everything has consequences which are not only unforeseeable, but unavoidable without making impractical sacrifices.

And it’s a great and complex idea – especially for a network sitcom – but also… oh god, they’re right. They’re so, so right.

Fair point, demon.

I mean, I could go vegan, walk and cycle everywhere and spend all my spare time researching cancer vaccines – things which I have not even come close to achieving, to be clear – and I’d still be falling massively short, not least because simply by working a job and buying things I am contributing to an economic system which devours the planet to fuel endless growth.

And recognising it does nothing bar make me ruin things which might otherwise perk me up. “Oh, South Australia’s entire electrical grid was fuelled by wind and solar yesterday, huh? Great! That’s a whole lot of greenhouse gas not pumped into the atmosphere… thanks to rare earth metals open cut forcibly mined under dictatorships.”

So thanks a bunch, The Good Place. I can’t even curl up with a television comedy without being made painfully aware that even the act of doing increases the heat on Earth by a tiny by measurable amount.

Say what you will about The Big Bang Theory, it didn’t make its viewers think about that. Or literally anything else.

Tom Gleeson Is Not The First To Make A Joke Of The Logies, And He Won't Be The Last

Yeah, we get it, caring about stuff is for losers.

So Tom Gleeson won the Gold Logie after a deliberately misleading and negative campaign against his fellow nominees.

And sure, it was a joke but it was also an exceptionally successful strategy, as certain elections have demonstrated over the last few years.

You know the ones we mean.

And Gleeson follows a rich tradition of mocking the Logies while also benefiting from it, from Garry McDonald’s Norman Gunston (who was the last ABC personality to win the Gold Logie winner back in 1976, as it happens) to Bert Newton to Hamish Blake to damn near everyone – including by Gleeson the previous year, with his (also successful) joke campaign for Grant Denyer.

Where… where can we get that t-shirt?

In fact, it’s loads easier to mock the Logies than to take them seriously, not least because Australians aren’t great at celebrating celebrations that are not specifically sports-related, and also because we compare them with things like the Golden Globes and – surprise! – they fall a bit short.

Except that it’s also a career maker-or-breaker for people working in the Australian TV biz. It’s a bit hokey, but it’s also all we’ve got.

And yes, these are public votes and all and it’s terribly chuckleworthy to see Gleeson win and swig wine on stage while telling everyone to lighten up, but that’s time on stage not being taken by, say, Amanda Keller – a woman with an incredible career spanning multiple roles across media, from science journalism to mainstream radio to hosting TV to quiz shows to pretty much every point in between.

A bit of acknowledgement and celebration of such a singular career might have been nice, as opposed to watching Tom alternatively decry and defend his win to a largely silent room.

And also, for anyone that considers the Logies to be a back-slapping festival of circle-jerkery, check out Dylan Alcott’s magnificent speech celebrating his win for Best Newcomer: “I’ve been in a wheelchair my whole life and I hated it. And one of the reasons I did hate it was when I turned on the TV I never saw anybody like me.”

This stuff is not unimportant.

Furthermore, please accept Kerry O’Brien’s towering Hall of Fame speech about the importance of journalism and particularly the ABC, as well as expertly breaking down the need for the endorsement of the Uluru Statement From The Heart (and throwing in a cheeky Karl Stefanovic burn in the bargain).

Goddamn it, the man’s a hero.

So yes, the Logies are a kind of silly, and they’re also genuinely Australian television’s night of nights when the brightest stars come out to shine, and it provides a moment to reflect upon the role that television – and mass media generally – has in both shaping and reflecting our nation.

Maybe it’s worth extending it a tiny bit more respect?

Disney Is Buying Bluey So Kids TV Is Australia's New Mining Boom

Who guessed that an animated puppy would herald Australia's cultural renaissance?

So Disney are about to launch their fancy new streaming service Disney+, and while Australia will be absorbing its usual diet of American entertainment the rest of the world will be getting a little taste of Australian goodness in the form of Bluey, the ABC’s record-smashingly popular animated kids series about a blue heeler puppy and her family.

And rightly so because – as any parent will tell you – the show is freaking amazing.

And let’s be honest, Bandit’s got moves.

It won’t be on the service in Australia, mind, because here it’s on the ABC – where it is the most downloaded programme of all time – and you can just download the ABC Kids app and experience the same frustration that every parent in the country does.

And on that subject: ANDY YOU HAVE TOO MANY SHOWS JUST BE ABOUT DINOSAURS OR BABY ANIMALS PICK A SIDE DUDE.

I’m serious, Andy. Stop it.

Anyway: Bluey is easily one of the Australianest shows ever to screen. Despite being animated it’s very obviously set in a recognisable Brisbane, it’s full of Australian idioms, and it’s both laugh-out-loud hilarious and often genuinely moving since it captures Australian childhood so damn well.

The best bit is that the show will screen unaltered – which in this instance means “without American overdubs” – which means that those gloriously ‘Strayan voices will remain.

And if you were into Australian indie rock of the 90s you’ll be aware of (and obsessed with) the fact said voices include Dave McCormack, aka The Bloke What Sings In Custard, as Bluey’s dad Bandit.

This guy.

And if you’re not across Custard, then turn this the hell up before hitting play:

And if you’re a parent wanting to make friends with other parents at parks, then just start playing pirates with your kid and the conversations will start themselves.

And it adds to more ammunition against those unpleasant sorts who sniffily ask why should Australia have a taxpayer funded broadcaster: it turns out that Australian children’s television is the nation’s new export industry!

Mark my words, we’ll ride back to prosperity on the Wiggles’ back!

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