The Good Place
Wednesday, 10 p.m., NBC
Having had their memories erased by Good Place master architect Michael (Ted Danson), afterlife denizens Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) are unaware that they are living in a new environment, one that does not bode well. For Eleanor, who was sent to the Good Place by mistake after her death, the world becomes really complicated.
Series executive producer Mike Schur (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) shared his thoughts with The Post on Season 2, which has already wrapped production on its 13 episodes, and whether there will be another shocking twist for the high-concept comedy.
What was the reaction among the cast when they all learned that the Good Place was actually hell?
Ted [Danson] and Kristen [Bell] knew already, because I pitched it to them when I was selling them on the [idea of the] show. We later found out Ted was telling all his friends. After the eighth or ninth episode, we told the rest of the cast. The fact that they didn’t see [the surprise] coming made me confident that we were going to pull it off.
Now that you’ve switched everything around, are you under pressure to upend the show again?
We knew going into the second season that would be an issue, but we’re not going to replicate that. Our goal is to keep the DNA of the show intact while making sure we have episodes with dramatic momentum.
Will Eleanor have an opportunity to redeem herself?
It’s an opportunity for everyone in the cast to redeem themselves. In Season 1, Eleanor said, “I’m in heaven by mistake.” In Season 2, she’s saying, “I know I’m in hell so I need to make myself a better person to escape.” In the beginning, it started as something practical: I have to be good or I’ll get caught. It ceases to become a pragmatic thing and makes her [more] interesting. In Episode 5 of the first season, Eleanor did something nice without thinking about it.
Do the actors ever slip and say actual curses when the scripts call for them to say “shirt” instead of “s–t” or “fork” instead of “f–k”?
They did a lot at the beginning, but it’s second nature now. Kristen has found herself saying “fork” at home. Which is another win for the show.
“The Good Place” is starting a week earlier than many of the fall shows. What’s the advantage?
It’s necessary because there are a lot of visual effects that take time. You also have less competition for the crew and the directors you want to hire for the team. This show has a long tail in production.
And here’s what else to watch this week:
Dancing With the Stars
Monday, 8 p.m., ABC
Season premiere. The latest dance contest features Debbie Gibson, “Malcolm in the Middle” star Frankie Muniz, “Pretty Little Liars” actress Sasha Pieterse and Drew Scott of “Property Brothers.”
Sunday, 10:30 p.m., HBO
Season premiere. Recovering from his wounds after nearly being murdered in the Season 1 cliffhanger, Gamby (Danny McBride) returns to a dramatically changed North Jackson High. Co-starring Walton Goggins.
Thursday, 9 p.m., Fox
Ed (Seth MacFarlane) and his ex (Adrianne Palicki) learn that the newborn aliens onboard The Orville may need controversial surgery.
The Vietnam War
Sunday-Thursday, 8 p.m.,PBS
Documentary icon Ken Burns (“Baseball,” “Jazz,” “The Roosevelts”) direct a 10-part, 18-hour series that tells the epic story of the Vietnam War., an experience many Americans may not want to relive. Team Burns records testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both sides. In the first installment, Vietnam achieves independence after a century of French occupation, but the new country is divided into North and South.
Monday and Tuesday, 9 p.m., National Geographic
Series premiere. Four British men and women leave their homeland to join ISIS in this new drama. Their idealism doesn’t last long as they confront the harsh realities of their new life in Syria. Jalal (Sam Otto) and Ziyaad (Ryan McKen) experience bloody front-line battle and Shakira (Ony Uhiara) witnesses the horrifying aftermath of a barrel bomb.
Jerry Before ‘Seinfeld’
The TV legend returns to the Comic Strip, the club where he launched his career in this one-hour special. Jerry Seinfeld’s fans will also see childhood videos and get a peek at the library where Seinfeld keeps the legal pads that contain every joke he’s written since 1975.
Season premiere. Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor, below with Jenny O’Hara) and the family are off to Israel in the comedy’s most adventurous season. They visit the sights while fighting, eating and sleeping around.
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