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S03.E06: The Ballad of Donkey Doug

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On 10/26/2018 at 10:26 AM, companionenvy said:

I also can't help but recall a (pretty forgettable) movie from years back where an AI-generated character was named "Simone" as a play on the words "simulation one." 

Didn’t the powers that be admit on the podcast that this is essentially how they named Simone? It started as a joke and then stuck? I’m not sure they’d share that story if that really is the direction they’re planning on going, as tight-lipped as they are about spoilers. But then, maybe that’s just want they want me to think... 

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Mindy St. Clair being in the Medium Place is a good indicator that there are legitimately people in the Good Place. It’s not impossible to be better than what she’s shown to be. 

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59 minutes ago, Fukui San said:

Mindy St. Clair being in the Medium Place is a good indicator that there are legitimately people in the Good Place. It’s not impossible to be better than what she’s shown to be. 

I would hope so! 

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14 hours ago, CofCinci said:

I hope someone creates a supercut of all the times Donkey Doug was mentioned on the series. I’d love to rewatch with the context that DD is actually Jason’s father. 

I’m pretty sure Donkey Doug was the crew’s best “pop and lock-er” and he wanted to quit the dance crew for a gator dealer named Sheila. So Jason had to frame her for something in order to save the dance crew. He told that story when Chidi was teaching them about utilitarianism in Season 1. 

I would love to see a Donkey Doug pop and lock 

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Eleanor is clearly being written as bi, in that she is physically attracted to both men and women, but I'm not sure that she has ever seen herself living an overtly non-heterosexual life, if that makes sense. Not that Eleanor was imagining settling down with a guy, either, but it seems like to the extent that she was/is interested in some sort of longer-term romantic life, she imagines it being with a guy. Whereas her references to attraction to women are usually framed as non-serious fantasies or as something closer to an "I'd hit that" walk on the wild side. 

Based on everything she's said, I would assume she's slept with women before, but that she's never dated one. Which I actually think makes a lot of sense, given how frantically Eleanor resisted any potentially serious or emotional scenes. Even in today's society, actually having any kind of sustained same-sex relationship is likely to lead to a "coming out" conversation, questions, affirmations of either support or disapproval, etc. Eleanor could have gotten away with a random, lesbian one night stand that she could then mention to her friends in a kind of "You know I'm crazy, right?" way, but if she had been in even a casual a lesbian relationship? That would force her into at least quasi-emotional territory in a way that having a boyfriend wouldn't have.

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Jason was damn endearing this ep. So was Janet.

That said, Janet's crush on Jason feels a lot like Boyle's crush on Rosa on S1 of B99 - something the writers think is hilarious and adorable, when in reality it's clunky and awkward. Especially with Jason since as others have said, he has much stronger backstory/ongoing chemistry/buildup with Tahani, so I don't like that being arbitrarily thrown away because it's funny to watch Janet lust after a human.

Eh, all this "Eleanor is bi" jokey subtext feels like blatant queer pandering, especially the scene with Simone, which everyone on social media is predictably eating up. I don't think Mike Schur has any intention of actually making her bi or writing her exploring her attraction to women - it will always be confined to winking "Eleanor is horny for ladies" punchlines. I naively thought for a split second that they'd use the new timeline to pair Eleanor/Tahani while Chidi/Simone were paired off but now that the gang knows everything again, that ship has sailed.

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That said, Janet's crush on Jason feels a lot like Boyle's crush on Rosa on S1 of B99 - something the writers think is hilarious and adorable, when in reality it's clunky and awkward.

I thought it was fine in s2 when Janet didn't fully understand what was happening to her and then by the time she understood that she still had strong feelings for Jason, there was a solid obstacle in the form of Jason/Tahani's relationship. Janet blipping out also served the story.

But now the whole thing is crossing into creepy territory. Janet seems to be solely interested in a physical relationship that it's not even possible for her to have. There's also no reason for her not to talk to Jason about their past together. Most importantly, it's neither funny nor advancing the story.

Meanwhile, I agree with everyone that the Jason/Tahani relationship works surprisingly well. The characters complement each other in a way that doesn't make a ton of sense on paper but makes a lot of sense on screen. 

I naively thought for a split second that they'd use the new timeline to pair Eleanor/Tahani while Chidi/Simone were paired off but now that the gang knows everything again, that ship has sailed.

I had a hot second of thinking that when Eleanor didn't like Kamilah, but Tahani has always been portrayed as straight. At this point, what I would like is to see Eleanor in a flashback relationship with a woman. She's being shown as comfortable with her bisexuality, so it makes sense that she's dated a woman at least at the Eleanor-level of a relationship before.

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14 hours ago, Amarsir said:

 

Sure, but those aren't examples of people I'd expect to have made it to The Good Place. Everyone considers themself a good person. But someone who was externally validated to have lived selflessly just doesn't seem likely to accept being privileged. I mean consider Fake Eleanor. We know now she was a character, but would someone like that ever rationalize that 95% of humanity deserves torture?

One weird theory I haven't vetted is that there is no Good Place. We haven't seen it or met anyone from it. We did see a representative in the Mindy St. Clair explanation (and Mindy herself makes less sense) but that could all be part of an elaborate ruse. The biggest evidence is that Janet exists. And presumably if Michael knew where to get Janet then he must have met good place "angels". But if Janet can be explained then I could imagine it all being a trick that even the demons aren't in on.

The Janets could be there for when someone good enough to deserve a good place needs one.

Though I imagine they may be held until there are a few people, otherwise a good place with nobody in it other than a Janet could be a hell in and of itself

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It is also possible that she is comfortable that she is bisexual because she has been attracted to and/or had sex with women. You don't have to have a girlfriend to be bi, and you don't suddenly become straight by dating someone of the opposite sex. I hate when people talk about women who have sex with women as "experimenting" or treat those encounters like they "don't count." Eleanor is comfortable flirting with women, her perfect boyfriend involves a combination of Stone Cold Steve Austin's head and Tahani's body or vice versa, and she certainly didn't hesitate to go in for a kiss with Simone. 

Sure, she hasn't had a traditional coming out conversation, but she seems to think that is unnecessary. She is open about being into men and women, and she doesnt really care what other people think about it, which is consistent with her character, IMO. 

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2 minutes ago, The Companion said:

ou don't have to have a girlfriend to be bi, and you don't suddenly become straight by dating someone of the opposite sex. I hate when people talk about women who have sex with women as "experimenting" or treat those encounters like they "don't count."

I don't think this. I think trashbag-era Eleanor might. As far as I can recall, she has referred to attraction to women (often in a context that could be considered something of a joke, which is what I think a previous poster was objecting to), but has only mentioned dating men. I'm not that invested in romance on this show anyway, but I'd rather they make Eleanor's equivalent of Simone or Larry Hemsworth a woman, or perhaps refer to a previous relationship with a woman, than keep throwing off ha-ha references to her bisexuality. 

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8 minutes ago, companionenvy said:

I don't think this. I think trashbag-era Eleanor might. As far as I can recall, she has referred to attraction to women (often in a context that could be considered something of a joke, which is what I think a previous poster was objecting to), but has only mentioned dating men. I'm not that invested in romance on this show anyway, but I'd rather they make Eleanor's equivalent of Simone or Larry Hemsworth a woman, or perhaps refer to a previous relationship with a woman, than keep throwing off ha-ha references to her bisexuality. 

So would I. I just don't think it is a prerequisite to being bisexual and was making that point. 

 

And for clarity, I don't object to someone classifying their own experience as experimenting. I realized that was vague. 

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I loved this little gem:

Eleanor: “Janet? Can I use the simulator? There’s a very specific Lenny Kravitz concert I wanna be front row at.” ?

Not sure I’d want to be THAT close to Lenny’s wardrobe malfunction, but you do you, Eleanor!

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I disliked all of the Donkey Doug stuff.  For me this show is starting to veer from zany characters to zany caricatures.  On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the simulations.

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On 10/27/2018 at 3:46 AM, arc said:

I rewatched a bit of the season opener to see Donkey Doug’s first appearance, and when he quit the dance crew, he and Jason had a handshake that was about the first third of the handshake between Jason and Pillboi.

I rewatched this segment as well, and caught Donkey Doug saying, "You know you're my boy, but...". In retrospect, those words "you're my boy" seem more weighted. I don't know if they always intended Donkey Doug to be Jason's father, but I'm sure when they filmed this they had already decided on that plot point. I feel tempted to rewatch the entire first two seasons again to catch Donkey Doug references, but I just did a rewatch in September when the second season dropped on Netflix.

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If Pillboi is literally a Pill Boy, I shudder to think how Donkey Doug got his name. 

If Blake Bortles doesn’t capitalize on how he’s used on this show, he needs new management. I’d pay several tens of dollars for a Jason/Bortles themed tee shirt. #bortles4life

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On 10/27/2018 at 4:19 PM, CherithCutestory said:

I think the fact that she was pretty much offended that more men don't openly identify as bisexual means that she identifies as bi herself. If she wasn't into labels why would she think more men should have the label? 

It could just be that she thinks two men hooking up is hot. :)

(That said, I don't think there's any way for the writers to deny that Eleanor meets the definition of bi.)

On 10/27/2018 at 2:27 PM, CherithCutestory said:

But I think the focus on Florence Nightingale is a mistake. Anyone who ended up being very famous for their deeds, as she was in her lifetime, is likely to have their morals corrupted in some way according the far too stringent standards of the Good Place. (That's not my personal belief but works under the show's intentionally unfair moral framework.) Power corrupts and all that. At some point, those people, unless they are exceptionally saintly, are likely to err on the Tahani side and start doing things for the acclaim rather than to help people. 

If anyone makes it into the Good Place it's probably randoms like Pillboi  or even Simone if she's human. People who are good and kind every single day but don't get much in the way of earthly rewards for it. So, it wouldn't be people we've all heard of like Florence Nightingale. I don't think we can say that if she (or any other famous person)  didn't get in no one stands a chance. Because the reason may be that their very fame ended up corrupting their motivation. 

I think someone would probably need to do something on a really grand scale (and do it for all the right reasons) in order to get into the Good Place, as it's been described to us. Mindy was a terrible person for almost all of her life except for that one moment, and that was nearly enough to get her in, because of the power of her idea to change so many lives. 

Considering how few people get in, I suspect that it takes more than just being really good to the people you know, and avoiding being a jerk. You have to rack up a huge slew of points by changing a ton of lives.

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On 10/27/2018 at 3:03 PM, Kromm said:

I don't really think they write or Kristen acts Eleanor as bisexual per-se as much as they pose her as kind of on the sexuality spectrum in a place where she's into people who are hot, regardless of gender, but her usual leanings are towards men.  She wouldn't self identify as queer, I'd think, but wouldn't be overly bothered if someone thought she was. 

 

On 10/27/2018 at 3:19 PM, CherithCutestory said:

I think the fact that she was pretty much offended that more men don't openly identify as bisexual means that she identifies as bi herself. If she wasn't into labels why would she think more men should have the label?

Here's my theory, they aren't labeling Eleanor as straight or queer to eliminate THAT part from her likelihood of getting into The Good Place. I assume they are leaving it unsaid to keep haters from saying that's why she can't get into "Heaven". To be very clear, I am not a person that thinks Eleanor's sexuality would affect her afterlife assignment. K bye!

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On 10/26/2018 at 1:25 AM, GaT said:

Just not feeling this season, I'm mostly bored.

TBH I'm starting to think the 1st season being so good was a fluke.  I'm just not feeling this season at all.

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1 minute ago, ByTor said:

TBH I'm starting to think the 1st season being so good was a fluke.  I'm just not feeling this season at all.

I think they ran out of plot. All through the first season I thought it was great that the plot moved so fast, but now I see that they pretty much plowed through a whole bunch of the story, & it feels like they're stretching to come up with something.

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1 hour ago, ByTor said:

TBH I'm starting to think the 1st season being so good was a fluke.  I'm just not feeling this season at all.

For me, season 1 had a whimsy to it that is lacking in parts of season 2 and every episode of season 3 so far.

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On 10/28/2018 at 12:46 PM, link417 said:

I loved this little gem:

Eleanor: “Janet? Can I use the simulator? There’s a very specific Lenny Kravitz concert I wanna be front row at.” ?

Not sure I’d want to be THAT close to Lenny’s wardrobe malfunction, but you do you, Eleanor!

Oh! I forgot about that!!

I was surprised she asked for Jason Statham rather than Stone Cold Steve Austin.

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I think they ran out of plot. All through the first season I thought it was great that the plot moved so fast, but now I see that they pretty much plowed through a whole bunch of the story, & it feels like they're stretching to come up with something.

I don't think they ran out of plot, but I think they made a strange choice that's not serving them well. I think having s3 be about challenging the point system would have been a logical extension of the story of s1-2 and would be interesting. But that's not really what they're doing. They made one mention of it with Michael writing his letter and then nothing. 

I enjoyed Ballad of Donkey Dong as a light sitcom episode that generally made me laugh. But compared to the ideas of s1-2, it's very flawed. All of the earth-based episodes suffer from the problem that the writers are trying to keep things whimsical, but they're dealing with real places. Sydney doesn't really have a bunch of Nemo-named businesses or a Thisisa/Thatisnota intersection. Jacksonville doesn't really have a Randy "Macho Man" Savage Non-International Airport. For me, it breaks the suspension of disbelief.

Likewise, the idea of the Soul Squad is good and sweet and I love it as character development for the main characters. But given what I know of the point system, it is ridiculous to think that Pillboi could get into the Good Place or Eleanor's mom (if Eleanor's even trues to redeem her). Maybe Kamilah since I'm not clear on how awful a person Kamilah is versus Tahani's parents and Kamilah has the ability to do a Mindy St. Clair-like foundation with broad influence. It makes this all seem like a digression from the eventual real story--just like everything with the Brainy Brunch was basically filler. 

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1 hour ago, Zuleikha said:

I enjoyed Ballad of Donkey Dong as a light sitcom episode that generally made me laugh. But compared to the ideas of s1-2, it's very flawed. All of the earth-based episodes suffer from the problem that the writers are trying to keep things whimsical, but they're dealing with real places. Sydney doesn't really have a bunch of Nemo-named businesses or a Thisisa/Thatisnota intersection. Jacksonville doesn't really have a Randy "Macho Man" Savage Non-International Airport. For me, it breaks the suspension of disbelief.

'For this most part, I don't mind this because the show has always, IMO, operated at some remove from reality, even without taking the afterlife elements into account. Jason, in particular, can't be taken seriously as a realistic character - I mean, his backstory includes having gone to a school that was a bunch of boats tied together in a junkyard and named after Lynyrd Skynyrd. So, in a world where that can be "real," I can buy Randy Savage Non-International Airport. I see your point, however, that being on an Earth that has the same kind of whimsical place names as TGP dilutes something of the initial whimsy.

I also agree that the logical place to go is challenging the point system. I don't mind this detour, necessarily, and I thought this episode was strong enough on its own terms that I can tolerate some aimlessness, but I do think that's where the narrative arc is clearly heading, to the point where this can only seem like delay. And while the show has done a good job establishing that the characters are now close again, it still bothers me that all of the memories of Team Cockroach - let alone of version 1.0 -- are entirely gone, and seemingly for good. I loved where these characters had gotten by the end of S2, so that's a real loss. Also, at the moment, the team really has no history with Michael at all, and his relationship with Eleanor, in particular, had had some development last season.

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5 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

All of the earth-based episodes suffer from the problem that the writers are trying to keep things whimsical, but they're dealing with real places. Sydney doesn't really have a bunch of Nemo-named businesses or a Thisisa/Thatisnota intersection. Jacksonville doesn't really have a Randy "Macho Man" Savage Non-International Airport. For me, it breaks the suspension of disbelief.

I've just keep getting confused because of this. The puns put me in a "Good Place" vibe, and then I see Michael and Janet not having powers, and the four not knowing each other like they did in the Good Place and my brain just gets whiplash. I have to keep stopping to figure out what's what. 

And I liked Janet before all the reboots made her more human.

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On 10/28/2018 at 1:12 PM, albinerhawk said:

I rewatched this segment as well, and caught Donkey Doug saying, "You know you're my boy, but...". In retrospect, those words "you're my boy" seem more weighted. I don't know if they always intended Donkey Doug to be Jason's father, but I'm sure when they filmed this they had already decided on that plot point. I feel tempted to rewatch the entire first two seasons again to catch Donkey Doug references, but I just did a rewatch in September when the second season dropped on Netflix.

 

13 hours ago, Johnny Dollar said:

If Pillboi is literally a Pill Boy, I shudder to think how Donkey Doug got his name. 

The podcast answered both of these. In S03E01, ‎the writers knew where they were going and Manny Jacinto (Jason) was told, but Mitch Narito (Donkey Doug) was not. 

Also yes you are right to shudder. According to Mike Schur, it means what you think.

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On 10/26/2018 at 6:37 AM, Notwisconsin said:

Nope. At the end of "Big" Tom Hanks tells Elizabeth Perkins  "I have a million reasons to go but only one to stay..." before leaving her. Donkey Doug did one nice thing and a million bad ones. It doesn't work that way, or Tahani would have been in heaven had she been hit by a bus the day before. The "Touched by an Angel" stuff was better than I expected but not much. However, the simulation scenes were as good as anything in Season 2.

Assuming for the moment that a child could wish himself big and the point system were both real, morally, it’s not exactly correct to WANT a 13 year old boy to live his life as an adult man. In fact it’s a kind of child molestation. So this analogy doesn’t work. 

Again, though, the point system doesn’t bother me that much because the whole thing is rather silly. As a Jewish person, we make no distinction about why good things are done. If they are done, they are done. It’s better to give charity anonymously, it’s better to do things without any hope of glory, but doing good things is still doing good things. The notion that doing a good thing for the wrong reason doesn’t count as a very Christian Notion.

 

 

I don’t agree that this earth being whimsical takes me out of it, and I am usually very fussy about suspension of disbelief, but All of the characters’ backstories take place on exaggerated silly earth. Tahani was killed by a falling idol. Eleanor was killed by shopping carts. What has already been said about Jason’s background.

 

jason by the way is a genius and very nuanced compared to his family.

 

and I also laughed and had to rewatch that handshake that wouldn’t end and I’ve seen silly handshake so many times, as have we all!

Edited by lucindabelle
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12 hours ago, Amarsir said:

 

The podcast answered both of these. In S03E01, ‎the writers knew where they were going and Manny Jacinto (Jason) was told, but Mitch Narito (Donkey Doug) was not. 

Also yes you are right to shudder. According to Mike Schur, it means what you think.

Where can you listen to the podcast? What is the name of it?

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3 minutes ago, albinerhawk said:

Where can you listen to the podcast? What is the name of it?

The Good Place the Podcast. On itunes. We have a thread about it. They say Donkey Doug means he has a large penis. (In case you were thinking something else).

They are up to date on all the episodes and air on Fridays.

Edited by BoogieBurns
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I did actually see a Nemo-themed restaurant last time I was in Australia...I believe it was called "Frying Nemo". Casual fish place in a seaside town.

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5 hours ago, BoogieBurns said:

The Good Place the Podcast. On itunes. We have a thread about it. They say Donkey Doug means he has a large penis. (In case you were thinking something else).

And now all I can think of is, "Get your mind out of the gutter, Eleanor. I was talking about my testicles!"

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7 hours ago, BoogieBurns said:

They say Donkey Doug means he has a large penis. (In case you were thinking something else).

 I’m glad you cleared that up because my mind had gone in a completely different direction and it wasn’t pretty.

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39 minutes ago, PityFree said:

 I’m glad you cleared that up because my mind had gone in a completely different direction and it wasn’t pretty.

Yes, me too. I'm relieved that it's just a large penis.

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9 hours ago, PityFree said:

 I’m glad you cleared that up because my mind had gone in a completely different direction and it wasn’t pretty.

 

8 hours ago, cpcathy said:

Yes, me too. I'm relieved that it's just a large penis.

 

6 hours ago, Johnny Dollar said:

I was thinking more like “Donkey Show”.  Only with this show would having a large penis be considered the more “normal” explanation. 

Yuuup, this was my train of thought.

Since typically horses are well hung, not donkeys.

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I agree with those who feel that this season lacks something in comparison to the previous seasons, and especially season 1, but the show still stands quite a bit above most TV comedy of recent years. I'm hoping it will regain its momentum and whimsy in the remaining episodes of this season. Then again, part of the problem for me is that I was in Germany when the first 4 episodes were aired and had to binge them on a computer (rather than a TV) when I got back last week. The jet lag probably contributed to not being able to focus or appreciate the show as much as usual.

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10 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

So if Donkey Doug is Jason's dad, is it possible that the woman Jason framed for boogie board theft is his mom?

I thought it was Donkey Doug's girlfriend. But, even if so, in Florida, that might not mean she wasn't also his mom.

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2 hours ago, Loandbehold said:

I thought it was Donkey Doug's girlfriend. But, even if so, in Florida, that might not mean she wasn't also his mom.

Yea the story goes that Jason and Donkey Doug got into a fight because Jason framed his girlfriend for boogie board theft. But yea since it is Jason and it is Florida that woman being his mom is totally possible.

Also I think the best part about the Macho Man Randy Savage Non-International Airport joke was how the "non" was added after the fact.

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So, I was rewatching "Jason Mendoza" from the first season. When Eleanor asked him what he did when he was alive, Jason said that he was an amateur DJ, amateur dance group (whatever), and an amateur body wash creator. Nice bit of continuity w/ Donkey Doug and Pillboi working on their own unique type of body wash. 

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