My Favourite Television Moment of 2017.



TV The Good Place. You know the one. Even if you've managed to remain spoiler free, you know that something extraordinary happens and even if you know that you're not at all prepared when you discover exactly what that is. Truthfully, there were a couple of other candidates, Audrey's dance in the Twin Peaks revival (which is a film apparently so doesn't count here), John Oliver roasting Dustin Hoffman (which was a camera phone clip so probably doesn't either) and the very recent "Oh brilliant!" (which I'll be considering at length in the new year).

The Good Place is special.  Like All Along The Watch Tower or The Red Wedding, it upends the viewers expectations of the kind of show they're watching by apparently throwing out its entire premise.  The effect is rather like if the characters in FRIENDS got to the end of the first season and were seen to wake up in suspended animation chambers and we discovered they were actually on a deep space mission and the sitcom New York we'd been watching was a simulation.  Ross and Rachel were already married, Chandler and Joey were partners and Phoebe was the Captain.  Or something.

As has numerously been said, the reconfigured show continues unabated and with an even clearer character through line and benefits from its unpredictability aided by a superb cast who're able to inhabit the various degrees of memory and experience and demonstrate the subtle differences at each turn.  But I'm trying to keep this spoiler-free which explains the lack of close analysis.  Except to say that when the history of television in this period is written, The Good Place should be seen as one of the pinnacles of its form.  God know how they're framing it in academia.

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