Here's how The Good Place season 2 episode 8 made unloved Burt Reynolds movie Cannonball Run II wildly romantic. The Good Place debuted in 2016 and was created by Michael Schur, who also co-created Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a woman who dies and is sent to The Good Place for having lived a meaningful, worthwhile life - unfortunately for Eleanor, she was mistaken for somebody else hasn't lived a worthy existence at all. She works with her so-called soulmate Chidi (William Jackson Harper) to help save herself from The Bad Place, designed by architect Michael (Ted Danson).
The Good Place's smart premise, ensemble cast, and deep dive into ethical and moral questions have attracted a big fanbase. The series also tends to burn through storylines and concepts other shows would have stretched over at least half a season, making it hard to predict what will happen next. One of the defining twists of the show came at the end of season 1 when it was revealed the gang actually were in The Bad Place, where they were supposed to torture each other with their conflicting personas and existential angst.
The Good Place isn't afraid to make a few pop culture references either, with one of the most bizarre being a nod to Cannonball Run II. For context, the show features a character named Mindy St. Claire who was sentenced to The Medium Place for having lived a bad life but being redeemed by a generous act of charity following her death. This means that while Mindy's not tortured, she sentenced to a life of mediocrity, including warm beer and copies of Cannonball Run II on VHS for entertainment.
The Cannonball Run movies were like the Ocean's Eleven of their day, featuring an all-star cast - including Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Shirley MacLaine, Jackie Chan, etc - and a breezy comic tone. The Cannonball Run II could never be mistaken for a great work of cinema, however, though The Good Place season 2 episode 2 "Derek" accidentally makes it romantic. In one of the many reboots the gang went through, Eleanor and Chidi fell in love. Mindy used a copy of Cannonball Run II to tape them for her own entertainment and upon watching this tape, Eleanor is stunned to find she and Chidi fell for each other so completely.
She later shows the confession to Chidi and while he claims not to feel love for her, the importance of this moment would play into later episodes. Only a show as bizarre and unique as The Good Place could take the Cannonball Run II and make it a crucial plot point. Outside of being remembered as Frank Sinatra's final movie performance, Cannonball Run II isn't regarded very fondly, so it's nice to see the long-forgotten sequel receive a little bit of redemption.