We Are Here For The Good Place's Stealth Subplot About How Lazy Dudes Suck

Maximum Derek, doing the minimum.

The Good Place is back (for the last time, because we live in the worst timeline) and landed with an incredibly dense and intriguing first episode. But despite the huge amount the best show on television was handling with new and old characters, a new setting and everything else it still managed to include a subtle but pointed slam at how lazy dudes are the goddamn worst.

And obviously this is kinda spoilery so if you’ve been holding off watching the fourth season until more episodes accumulate then now is the time to bail with this important public service announcement.

OK: so, we have a new Good Place, created and peopled by Janet (series MVP D’arcy Carden) and helped by her self-created rebound boyfriend Derek (the gloriously unhinged Jason Mantzoukas).

And this is the world in which the new test of four new humans will take place upon which, you know, the entire future and past of humanity depends.

But there’s one fairly brilliant little wrinkle to the Janet/Derek dynamic that’s buried amid the somewhat exhausting amount of exposition packed into the episode. And it’s this:

Janet is stressed to near breaking point by having to maintain the entire universe, while Derek is swanning around with magnificently bad approximations of cocktails (including, at one point, an entire onion in a glass) complimenting himself on the people walking around – or, as he calls them, his Derek-babies.

And while it’s a solid joke made to needle Janet’s doe-eyed swain Jason (Manny Jacinto), it also illustrates a larger point.

When a couple makes a new human its generally the female half of the couple who gets to do all the heavy lifting and all the emotional and gynaecologically-literal labour.

Meanwhile dad gets to pretty much keep doing what he does, pausing only to pat himself on the back for being such a stud.

And if that seems like an unfair stereotype, that’s pretty much what all the research tells us: new fathers have their careers and earning pretty much put along, new mums take years to even get back to where they were before getting pregnant, and usually find themselves doing all the home duties on top of their day job as a fun bonus. Annabel Crabb has just written an entire Quarterly Essay about it which every dad-to-be should read, frankly.

Anyway: that paragraph was way more preachy than the episode was, but how many comedies would manage to seamlessly weave a critique of modern parenting inequalities into its D plot, in an episode which also includes a baby elephant made of pure light speaking universal truths?

Thank you, The Good Place, for taking lazy dads to task. Goddamn, we don’t deserve a show this good.

Ghost Rider Is Coming To The MCU Despite Everything About It Clearly Being Cursed

Also, he's not in the sky.

Given that Ghost Rider is a character forced by a demonic pact to act as a spirt of vengeance it’s not a huge surprise to see that everything it touches is cursed. And yet it appears that Marvel are determined to bring it into the MCU, despite the ill fortune this will clearly bring upon them.

So: Ghost Rider (the character) had turned up in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D played by Gabriel Luna. However, the confidence in which Marvel held the character’s ability to hold an entire series was indicated in that it was not kept for Disney+ where all the prestige Marvel series’ are going.

No, it was handballed instead to Hulu – not even to Netflix as a sop for cancelling Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage/Iron Fist on them.

Hulu has Marvel’s Runaways, which is a series you hadn’t heard of until this sentence and gives you some idea of the prestige of the place. But now the plans to set Ghost Rider off there has fallen over too, with the series being deep sixed.

Now, it’s not entirely clear as to whether the series might find a new home, but there’s also whispers that a lady Ghost Rider will be introduced into the MCU in the form of Bella Thorne, who will be introduced in the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse Of Madness, which will have a whole bunch of alternate versions of characters – including, presumably, the Alejandra Jones incarnation of the Rider.

So will Thorne be there in place of a Johnny Blaze/Danny Ketch/Robbie Reyes/whoever else, or will he still turn up in his own right, or will all attempts to make something of Ghost Rider just fall apart because Nicolas Cage made the role his own?

And he had cool shades too!

Our money’s on the last one, frankly.

Aston Kutcher And Mila Kunis Are Now Entangled In The Trump-Ukraine Scandal

This story just keeps getting weirder.

If you’ve been confused so far by the whole ongoing clusterhump that is US president [checks notes] Donald Trump’s apparent attempt to extort Ukraine into digging up dirt on his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter, then here’s some news: two stars of That 70s Show – Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher – are now tangentially involved.

And if you’re a reasonable human being you’re thinking “sorry, what?”

Kutcher and Kunis met as co-stars and then later reconnected and ended up falling in lurve, getting married and making two fresh humans. That bit you most likely know.

Kunis was born in Ukraine but her family emigrated to the US when she was a child and Ukraine was still part of the USSR. Her family still pop back every so often in these less-repressive times.

The current president of Ukraine is Volodymyr Zelensky – the chap who Trump reportedly threatened to withhold aid from if he didn’t do some investigation of the Bidens.

And his elevation to power in May this year was a bit of a surprise since his previous political experience had literally been as a comic actor playing a man unexpectedly elected to president of Ukraine in the sitcom Servant Of The People. Which is on Netflix, incidentally.

So it’s not entirely shocking that famous comic actors Kutcher and Kunis would know famous comic actor Zelensky, even beyond the weird bro-hood of the super wealthy who play with mere mortals like us. But what’s weird is that supposedly Volods chatted with Ashton about Trump, at least according to a post on

“Mila and I met with President Zelenski [sic] and his wife a little over a week ago. My gut: He is committed to eliminating corruption in Ukraine. He’s also committed to ending the war and grateful for the US financial commitment because they needed it… If our president used that financial aid to leverage president Zelensky to investigate Biden he should be impeached. If our president did not use it as leverage and simply encouraged president Zelensky to investigate Biden without cause he should be impeached.”

What this adds to the discussion isn’t clear, but The Cut reached out to Kutcher and got a video of him eating hot wings meme in response, so make of that what you will.

Anyway, that’s where we are. Ashton and Mila are somehow caught up in Trump’s latest scandal, and also hot wings are spicy.

What Topher Grace and Laura Prepon think about all this could not be established at press time.

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