Like most of the TV shows helmed by Michael Schur, the joke-per-minute ratio on The Good Place is absurdly high. That makes it all the more impressive that, as reported by IndieWire, Schur was recently able to pinpoint his favorite joke from the entire second season, which evolved from a reference only he and the crew would understand to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it burn on the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.
To understand why the joke is there at all, you have to know a little background info about the show’s set. According to Schur, when scouting locations for the pilot, they were struggling to find a place to represent the pleasant if not bland neighborhood Michael constructed as the Good Place. “Then we found this backlot called European Street, and the only thing that had been shot there in years is this one short scene from, like, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 31,’ or whatever it was,” Schur said.
That tenuous connection to the Pirates franchise came back around in the season two episode, “Rhonda, Diana, Jake and Trent,” when writer Matt Murray penned a joke that would only appear for a split-second on screen but would become Schur’s favorite of the whole year:
When they go to The Bad Place and the train pulls into the station, they get out and Michael’s saying like, ‘Keep walking, keep walking.’ But on the wall there’s a movie poster, and it says, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6: The Haunted Crow’s Nest or Whatever, Who Gives a Crap?’ Then at the bottom it says, ‘Playing in every theatre, everywhere, forever.’
The apathetic title combined with the prospect of eternal screenings makes for a pitch-perfect dig on the seemingly never-ending film series, which, almost everyone can agree, has had diminishing returns since the first outing. Schur says he likes the joke “for many reasons,” but mostly because it implies that the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies are manufactured in hell and then exported up here to inflict misery on us all. That’s pretty forked up.
Check out the whole article over at IndieWire, which includes a look into Michael Schur’s philosophical research for the show and a chance meeting with Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy.
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