TV

Holy Forkballs, Australia Might Actually Be The Bad Place

It's the only explanation for those terrible accents.

Everything is great, because The Good Place season 3 is finally here! The gang is back on earth and desperately striving to be better people and hi-jinks are ensuing!

The big conceit of The Good Place season 3 is that in order to keep Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason out of The Bad Place, Michael and The Judge worked out a kind of inscrutable deal, which puts them all back on Earth, as real alive people trying to be better than they were.

**Big ol’ spoiler warning obviously**

Most of these episodes are spent watching the gang briefly try to be better people, before relapsing. Tahani joins a monastery to get out of the spotlight, but then writes a bestselling book about it. Jason tries to stop doing crime through the medium of dance, but then has to do crime to keep dancing. Chidi has a whole muffin based storyline — honestly, I find his whole “indecisiveness is bad” thing a stretch.

Luckily, Michael spends his time popping back to Earth and concocting schemes to get the gang reunited together in Australia.

There’s a lot of questions about this — what are the rules exactly? Do they get an entirely new second chance, with the potential to grow old and die naturally? Or is there a very prominent ticking clock over their time on Earth, and they get only a short time to prove themselves as “good” before they are snuffed out again?

But also maybe the question we should be asking is: did they send everyone to Australia because Australia is actually The Bad Place?

Accentuate The Awfulness

There are probably two main reasons for Australia being chosen as the primary setting of The Good Place Season 3.

The first is that Australia is inherently funny and a joke to most people in the USA, which tbh, is completely fair. There’s even a conspiracy theory over there that Australia doesn’t exist. Sorry folks — we just wish we didn’t exist most days.

The setting just allows the writers the chance to make fun puns like Chidi’s favourite muffin stand being called: “We Crumb From a Land Down Under.”

It also allows them to break out some truly HORRENDOUS Australian accents.

The accents are truly, truly reprehensible. They could just be part of the gag — in fact, Janet even gently mocks Michael’s claim to have “nailed it”, making it seem like nothing more than a gentle goof.

BUT — those accents could absolutely be meant to be a unique kind of torture. They could be a very big clue that Australia is actually part of the Bad Place. They are awful. In fact, Australia, as depicted in this show, is also suspiciously close to The Good Place’s idea of torture — it’s famously full of creatures that want to kill you, it’s hot and isolated, it takes a really long time to fly to. There was a LOT of frozen yoghurt in Sydney a few years ago.

Also, Australia at the moment is a raging bin-inferno, a horrible racist hellhole. The shoe fits, frankly.

Those accents are just so glaringly bad, they MUST be indicative of something more sinister, such as the idea that Australia and the Earth are just the latest fake setting for a round of demon-punishment.

Demon Phrases

A potential indication for this whole ‘they’re still in the Bad Place’ theory is the fact that some of the very bad accented Australians have been saying things we’ve heard before in The Bad Place.

Obviously, this show is kinda built for people who have insane conspiracy theories, but maybe by this point, they know we know that they know that we’ll be reading into EVERYTHING, so they’re double-bluffing?

Anyway, Chidi’s new girlfriend, Dr. Simone Garnett says to him: “Everyone hates moral philosophy professors … No offence,” to which he replies, “None taken … We suck.”

We’ve heard this said multiple times before in the show — so it could just be a funny callback, or it could be a weird demon echo. I dunno.

Or, as it’s been pointed out, Vicki the demon literally makes a joke in Season 2 about perfecting her Australian accent for one of the previous reboots of The Good Place. SUSPICIOUS.

It’s All About Michael

Obviously, everyone is primed for a twist, absolutely hyped for more trickery from this show — but you have to assume that we’re not going to get the same twist twice. Finding out they’re still in the Bad Place is very season 1.

However, I think the really important thing to realise is that the biggest change from last season to now is that the demons KNOW that Michael is a traitor now (assuming he is genuine in his newfound feelings). And that’s HUGE. Michael is an actual traitor demon, an eternal being who has swapped sides from evil to… goodish. He’s a much bigger fish than four humans. His ethical journey is far more dramatic in scale, and much trickier.

It might not really be about tricking Eleanor and co. anymore — now it might be Michael getting duped. If you look at it, his greatest desire is to help out his newfound friends and to tool around on Earth, and it would be him who would suffer the greatest surprise and pain if he discovered that it was all a lie. The intended mark could be Michael, the torture being his insane belief that his scheme to get his friends back on Earth and into The Good Place might actually work…

Anyway! Love to overthink this show!

Patrick Lenton is an author and staff writer at Junkee. He tweets @patricklenton.