The Good Place is a good show. But you knew that. It was a good show back in the thick of season one, and it was a good show when it dropped its big twist and Ted Danson’s evil laugh on us in the finale, and it was a good show when it came back for season two and revealed that, yes, it has a plan for dealing with all the dominos it tipped over. It was also a good show in the second season’s third episode, “Dance Dance Resolution,” which took Michael on a Groundhog Day-esque hellride of repeated failure. But you knew that, too.
The bigger issue here is restaurants. The Good Place has a long history of creating A+ fake restaurant names. My favorite example from season one is Jason’s beloved Florida eatery, Stupid Nick’s Wing Dump. And while season two started a little slower with the fake restaurants in its one-hour premiere, this week it took things to a new level. In a number of quick clips that showed Michael’s repeated failures over hundreds of attempts, we saw the signs in the Good Place’s downtown change over and over, with new establishments for each new iteration. The glimpses were brief and some of the signs were deep in the background, so it’s perfectly understandable if you missed some of them to stick with the actual plot. This is where I come in. I am here to help.
Below, please find the fake restaurants from “Dance Dance Resolution,” ranked. (And here, find the full list of options turned in by the episode’s writer, Megan Amram.) Keep in mind that I am very biased in favor of references to Seal and basketball players from the 1990s. I make no apologies for this.
Away we go.
19. Mmmm! Chowder Fountain
The Chowder Fountain isn’t technically a restaurant as much as it is a free community pool of hot soup. It’s warm milk sitting outside all day. And the title is very straightforward. I do not like the Chowder Fountain.
18. Cake Canaveral
Cake is good and so are rocket ships. Cakes shaped like rocket ships are probably good, too. I’ve never had one. I feel like I’m missing out now.
17. Steak On A Stick
Steak on a Stick is one of the many “on a stick” restaurants we see in one of Michael’s attempts at perfecting a Hell ruse. There’s something very primal about a hunk of steak on a stick. My question here is whether they mean like a big uncut ribeye on a skewer that you tear at like a huge turkey leg at a renaissance fair, or if it’s more like a Brazilian steakhouse where the waiter slice the meat off of a skewer. Not that it really makes a difference. I’ll eat a steak on a stick, either way.
16. Bagel On A Stick
This is one of two bagel shops in the episode. The other one is better. None of this is hard science, folks.
15. Ziti Of Stars
For the La La Land fan who needs to carbo-load for a marathon.
14. Lasagne Come Out Tomorrow
I am an idiot and did not get this for about 15 seconds. I had to actually say it out loud, to myself, in my living room. Then I figured it out and started giggling. If anyone is bugging my apartment, they definitely think I’m insane.
13. Caviar On A Stick
I have a logistics question. Are we talking a million very tiny sticks, each poking one little egg, or are we talking a big hunk of caviar that’s molded into a log and held together with a binding agent, like a crab cake? If it’s the first one, whoever is responsible for skewering each one must hate their job so much. If it’s the second, one order will cost like $500.
I must know more.
12. The Pesto’s Yet To Come
This is just a good piece of business.
11. Chicken Soup For The Mouth
10. Extra Sticks
What I can’t figure out from this is whether it’s a sign offering free extra sticks in one of the “on a stick” restaurants or if it’s a place of business that sells loose sticks. You’d think if you just spent $500 on a caviar skewer they could throw in another stick for free, right? I don’t know. Maybe not. The restaurant business is tough.
9. From Schmear To Eternity
I would, no joke, 100 percent, in real life, eat at a bagel shop called From Schmear to Eternity three days a week, even if the food was awful. I am extremely basic.
8. Sushi And The Banshees
I’m so happy right now.
7. Ponzu Scheme
It says a lot about how great The Good Place is that freaking Ponzu Scheme couldn’t sneak its way into the medal stand. Just an embarrassment of riches on this show. Kind of unfair, really.
6. You Do The Hokey Gnocchi And You Get Yourself Some Food
This lives in my head now, where it will stay forever.
5. Hot Dog On A Stick On A Stick
If I understand this correctly, what we have here is a hot dog that has been poked through with a stick, and then a second stick poking through that first stick, kind of like a Robin-Hood-splitting-the-arrow-with-another-arrow situation. It also makes the business model of Extra Sticks look even sillier. Why buy plain sticks when Hot Dog on a Stick on a Stick will give you two of them and a hot dog with every order? Think this through, people.
4. Cruller Intentions
Grab a pastry and use your sexuality to con your step-brother into seducing Reese Witherspoon!
3. Beignet And The Jets
Oh hell yes.
2. Knish From A Rose
Oh HELL yes.
1. Biscotti Pippen
Champion. Not even close.