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Janet Could’ve Been Very Different on The Good Place, and We’re Glad She’s Not

Ted Danson, D'Arcy Carden

In the mother of all bad ideas, the now-iconic Janet on NBC’s The Good Place apparently could’ve been a 13-year-old boy instead, and thank god (or the judge?) someone stopped that disaster. Becoming one of the most talked about characters of the series, Janet is a database that exists in both the Good Place and the Bad Place, helping the angels and demons alike and providing information for those whose souls exist there.

Much like the series main Janet herself has gone through many iterations (and disturbingly convincing pleas not to be rebooted), the database idea went through many versions before the series even started, and as the show’s creator, Mike Schur, told The Washington Post, it really could have been anyone.

“We auditioned a million people ranging from 13-year-old boys all the way to 75-year-old women and everything in between.”

In Schur’s defense, they just wanted to explore all the possibilities to find the best actor to personify their database, and that process clearly paid off in the casting of D’Arcy Carden. A beautiful character who is just as complicated as all the humans she’s surrounded by, Janet is not a girl, and not a woman.

But still, just the idea of a 13 year-old boy being the one to deliver the vast information of the universe has my eyes rolling so far back in my head that I can only see the darkness of my own mind. Maybe it’s because I have a teenage cousin, but have you ever spoken to a teenage boy? There’s nothing fun about them, especially not as an all-knowing database meant to make everyone’s stay in the Good Place a pleasant one.

Luckily for us all, we got D’Arcy Carden and our dream of a world where Janet exists became a reality. Otherwise, who know what we could have gotten for the series. Then again, though, I trust Mike Schur with my life so even if he did cast a 13 year-old, he probably would have made it work, and I’d similarly have trouble imagining it any other way.

But that’s something we don’t ever have to worry about. Thanks, D’Arcy!

(via: Jezebel; image: NBC)

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