[This post contains some spoilers for the second-season finale of The Good Place.]
Suggesting that either Pawnee, Indiana exists somewhere deep within the overarching metaphysical framework of The Good Place, or Michael Schur just really likes Easter eggs, viewers of the NBC afterlife hit have stumbled onto evidence that ties the two shows’ universes together.
The clues popped up in The Good Place’s recent second season finale, which saw our shrimp-obsessed semi-hero Eleanor Shellstrop wrestling with what a pain in the ass actual redemption can be. The show nimbly highlights Eleanor’s inevitable backsliding by seeing her dip back into top-shelf garbage reading material like Celebrity Baby Plastic Surgery Disasters magazine, home of articles like “Elbow Botox: Totally Worth It!” Amidst all this low-grade evil, though, the magazine also carries an ad for a product from exactly the kind of guy who’d spend his advertising dollars here: Parks & Rec’s Jean-Ralphio Saperstein.
Jean-Ralphio’s champagne brand (Slogan: “Turn that frizown upsidizity”) isn’t the only Pawnee-based business advertising in whatever time travel scenario or pocket dimension Eleanor’s currently hanging out in, either. A previous issue of Celebrity Baby Plastic Surgery Disasters featured an advertisement for Glyde, another signature scent from Dennis Feinstein, a.k.a. Dante Fiero (a.k.a. a dead-ringer for Janet’s old artificial boyfriend Derek).
Does that mean Leslie Knope is somewhere out there in Eleanor’s world, just waiting to be president and overhaul this whole crappy system of post-life government? (Insert your various theories and arguments about how long Eleanor and co. have been in the afterlife here.) Could Jason and Andy be friends? Is Li’l Sebastian in the real Good Place? Hopefully we’ll know more when the show returns later this year.