Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media, but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following is rife with spoilers galore for NBC’s comedic darling The Good Place. If you’re not already caught up, then what the fork are you waiting for?
Janet (D’Arcy Carden) is neither a robot nor is she technically female. She was created, presumably, by the “Makers of Light, Darkness and Everything” at the dawn of time. She predates humanity itself. Janet was created for the explicit purpose of serving as a mainframe for both the Good Place and the Bad Place. She is omniscient, and can be summoned by residents of the Good Place to carry out tasks or answer questions. Janet is one of many Janets. This particular Janet was initially meant to service the Good Place until Bad Place architect Michael (Ted Danson) stole her for utilization in his experimental neighborhood.
Later, Janet met other key players in The Good Place – Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto). Over time, Janet developed feelings for Jason, which was quite unusual for a not-a-robot-not-a-girl operational mainframe with unlimited knowledge. Eventually, Janet and Jason wed. Several timelines and reboots later, the pair rekindled their romance against the odds. In the beginning of Season 4, Janet broke up with Jason so she could remain focused on the current morality experiment at hand orchestrated by Eleanor and Michael (who is now a good demon). She even created an intricate neighborhood with the aid of Derek (Jason Mantzoukas), her former boyfriend/son. Yeah, that last bit sounds a mite forked. She just wanted to create her own boyfriend, y’all!
The Real Deal:
Now, Janet is the real deal. She knows literally everything. Ask her a convoluted philosophical question and she’ll deliver a thorough answer. Or ask her something inane like, “What kind of tea did Abraham Lincoln drink?” and she’ll rattle off a response. Janet even knows things about you that you never knew. Creepy, huh? Not only that, but Janet has the ability to construct beings out of nothing. She did make Derek, after all, even though he turned out forked. Janet also created an entire neighborhood rife with intricacies and moving parts. Just like a real-life neighborhood on Earth! She can summon anything at will. Want a unicorn? You got one now!
Of course, over The Good Place‘s run Janet developed human emotions. She felt love for Jason. Heartbreak over their split. Anger at the Judge (Maya Rudolph) for wanting to decimate Earth. Janet is now a wellspring of feelings. Despite not being human, I’d say that Janet has a big heart and genuinely wants what’s best for those around her.
Why She Matters:
Alright, why does our favorite not-a-girl-not-a-robot matter? She is proof positive that knowledge really is power. As humans, we should never stop learning and cultivating information. Nurturing the mind is crucial, and exercising those brain muscles shouldn’t cease until we do. Smart is hot.
Not to mention, Janet is kind, thoughtful and has a sunny disposition. While there are Bad Janets and Neutral Janets, our Janet is upbeat and positive. She cares deeply for her friends, and even lends a hand in an experiment to save them from eternal damnation. Her character progression is blatant and vital to the overall arc of The Good Place – that people are capable of real, positive change.
So, be like Janet. Learn as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to “know it all.” Always look on the sunny side of life. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Oh, and find solace in your personal void when necessary. Everyone needs space sometimes.
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