It Turns Out The Good Place Was Chidi’s Abs All Along

A love letter to surprisingly jacked moral philosophy professors.

The Good Place Season 3: Chidi without a shirt, Shirtless Chidi

Hallelujah — The Good Place Season 3 has finally hit its stride, suddenly revealing the tightly muscled, surprisingly chiselled emotional core that has been unfairly obscured by the t-shirt of setup. Finally, in episode 5 we’ve been treated to the existential hilarity we’ve been waiting for this entire season.

But more importantly, Chidi took his shirt off, and it is a wonderful time.

We open up this episode with the gang having stumbled upon Michael and Janet, and more importantly, their magic door to another dimension. Looks like the whole “secret earthling” plot has finally been rumbled, which is good news. Something about the extended artifice of that whole affair seemed to drag the plot down, and the characters only seemed half fleshed without their self-awareness of their weird situation.

The Good Place always excels at the consequences of sudden and horrifying knowledge — every time the characters in this insane experiment discover something huge (they’re in hell, for example) it supercharges the plot, helps grow the characters, helps define the story. Learning that they’re essentially doomed to hell no matter what they do on Earth is exactly the kind of dreadful learning that the characters need.

It’s the nihilistic prod that will define this season — when nothing you do matters, what does being good look like? It sends the characters on a spiral — Eleanor briefly toys with being self-centred again, while Tahani and Jason go on an altruistic spree, literally giving away money.

Meanwhile, Chidi, the ethical north-star for the rest of them… has probably the sexiest existential breakdown that I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing, and I’ve actually seen quite a few. He is struck with a nihilistic storm that a moral philosopher could only dream about.

And it looks something like this:

One has to wonder exactly why a moral philosophy professor is so incredibly jacked, but then again, why look a gift horse in the pecs?

Chidi wanders around shirtless for the duration of his existential crisis, loudly bemoaning the pointlessness of it all, and it’s great. It’s funny, it’s weird, it’s weirdly hot. At one point he puts on a tight lavender t-shirt, and I’m ready to accuse the show of gay-baiting, frankly. Then he goes and cooks a disgusting stew full of candy while yelling at his students. Relatable!

There’s a part of me that wants to examine Chidi’s statuesque torso in detail for more plot clues — is this a sign that we’re all existing in a weird Eleanor-based fantasy, where she’s surrounded by obscenely hot people for no good reason? I mean, c’mon. Tahani is the most beautiful woman in the world, Jason is a hot dum-dum, and Chidi is the buff nerd of a type seen previously only in… porn. It could all be a sign that this is all about Eleanor? I dunno.

But, really, I think there’s no greater reasoning than the fact that Chidi is hot, and it’s good to see a well-crafted torso. So, Junkee reached out to Australian actress Kathy Luu, who actually got to interact with Shirtless Chidi in the latest episode.

At least we have one genuine Australian accent in the show.

We asked her just what the experience was like in real life, and this was her answer:

“It was like seeing a dream come true. Before me standing with a shopping trolley was a melding of both intellectual and physical beauty — proof that intelligence and physical hotness are not mutually exclusive. I almost couldn’t handle the amount of beauty that was before me. It was like the moral dynamism and strength of his thinking was reflected in curve and tone of his muscles. It was wonderful.”


The internet has been equally appreciative of the whole thing.

Hooray for thirst content! Any concerns I had with the season have now been smoothed over. All is forgiven! All hail the rise of Shirtless Chidi.

Personally, I hope we get to see Jason put on his Bad Place suit again, that was also very hot.

Patrick Lenton is the Entertainment Editor at Junkee. He tweets @patricklenton.