Warning! The following article contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale of The Good Place. Read at your own risk!
The Good Place threw so many of its fans for a loop in its Season 2 finale that many may have missed a hilarious and rather obvious reference it made to Cheers. The moment came when Michael snuck down to earth to intervene in Eleanor's second chance at life by posing as a bartender, which was an obvious nod to the character he portrayed on Cheers, Sam Malone:
The Good Place didn't overdo the reference by making the bar resemble the set of Cheers or anything, but they did put Eleanor in a position where everybody knew her name. Of course, Eleanor didn't recognize Michael when they talked in the empty bar as her memory had been wiped after The Eternal Judge granted her and the gang a second chance at life. Ted Danson, who back on his classic series would've been written to woo Eleanor, instead planted the seeds that would set Eleanor on the path to be reunited with her afterlife friend and forgotten love interest, Chidi Anagonye.
The nod to Cheers was nice, but some fans felt The Good Place wasted an opportunity to do more with it. A fan on Twitter remarked that a quick appearance by Ted Danson's former Cheers co-star George Wendt would've been a nice touch, and some seemed to agree that might've been better than just putting Danson behind a bar and giving him a plaid shirt to wear. NBC was apparently content with how the show referenced the past hit series and even referenced a quote from Sam Malone to Diane in Season 1 in an effort to draw a parallel between the two shows:
Whatever opportunities The Good Place missed in Ted Danson's appearance as a bartender could surely be revisited in a later episode. Even with Chidi by her side, Eleanor is bound to stray from the path of righteousness once again, which likely means Michael will have to step in and try again to set her on the right path. The big question is how he'll be able to do that now that Eleanor is in Sydney, Australia considering she already knows him as a bartender in Phoenix, Arizona.
Of course, Michael's stint as a bartender on The Good Place doesn't have to be the only place it can reference Cheers. Former cast members of the show could always appear as immortal beings in the Good or Bad Place, or as actual people in the real world as the series continues. The show has been creative enough throughout its run that there's no shortage of scenarios that could include a cameo by Rhea Perlman, Shelley Long, or even Kelsey Grammar. If Dr. Frasier Crane somehow ended up being a colleague of Chidi and the two frequently traded philosophical emails that would be amazing!
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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