NBC’s The Good Place Sent the Tesla Cybertruck to the Bad Place
It forkin’ deserved it.By Jonathon KleinJanuary 11, 2020
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NBC’s The Good Place takes no prisoners. The satire, which muses on whether we’re inherently good or bad, knows we’re actually awful. Each week, the writers go for the jugular, eviscerating rich white dudes, frozen yogurt (it knows it’s not ice cream), or the easiest of targets, Florida. But the latest episode set its sights on one particularly deserving target: the Tesla Cybertruck. Spoilers.
Tesla’s Cybertruck skewering happens in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene, so viewers are going to need to be quick with the pause button. In the segment, Maya Rudolph—who plays the judge deciding whether or not to reboot all of human existence based on the testimony of four formerly horrible people—hops into a Bad Janet—an all-knowing evil helper being with an inner void that may contain the garage door opener that will wipe humanity from the timeline—and you get to see what exactly goes on inside Bad Janet and it ain’t pretty.
The standard mischief and mayhem abound from something from The Bad Place, including nuclear warheads, day-old pizza, empty terrariums, velvet couches, cell towers, monster trucks (hey), tire fires, a canon, and two billboards, one for the inevitable Pirates of the Caribbean 12: Jack Sparrow Fights Aquaman (I want to see it), and one for Tesla’s Cybertruck that made me laugh until I coughed.
Tesla’s Cybertruck has been, well, derided by nearly everyone but the Tesla faithful since its launch. Ahead of its debut, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said its design was “heart-stopping.” I can’t say I disagree, though I’m not sure I share the same context as Musk. Its Maximum-Wedge design was compared to misplaced polygon renderings, low-res Pokemon, mashed potatoes, and your 6-year old cousin’s first car doodle. And indeed, it sorta looks like an amalgamation of all of those, which is why the dig by The Good Place’s joke was so forkin’ funny.
Unfortunately, The Good Place’s team of excellent writers left the Cybertruck in as only a quick gag. I wished they would’ve really leaned into it, maybe give the Cybertruck to The Bad Place’s head-honcho, Shawn. Because, at the end of the day, both the writers and I know it belongs in The Bad Place. Put the Cybertruck in The Bad Place already, NBC. Shawn deserves that torture.