I was at Universal on Monday and the Little Europe backlot sets are The Good Place! Made me smile. You can see the sets (which are like a small town) if you take the Universal Studios studio tram tour.
As you can see above, Eleanor and Chidi remeet sooner rather than later, and the jokes start flowing — much like that clam-chowder fountain. “It’s a torture device that became funny enough to imagine being put forth as a positive thing,” says Schur, nodding to the season 1 gag when Bad guy Trevor (Adam Scott) announced over a train PA that the dining car served only room-temperature Manhattan clam chowder — and it was closed. “You can take a bowl and scoop up some clam chowder and just chow down. That’s pretty disgusting.”
I’ve been pretty busy lately working on this ambitious piece, and I’m excited to be able to finally reveal it.
The concept all came from the client, so I can’t take credit (!), but it was a fantastic idea to imagine that all these characters from different 80s movies could be somehow part of the same universe and literally cross paths at the same moment in time. All of the characters I’ve added were at the client’s request, and while technically Ghost and Gremlins 2 are from 1990 (!), they still feel like 80s movies, and must have been conceived (and probably also filmed) before the decade was out.
Naturally, creating something like this took many long hours, initially just in terms of seeking appropriate reference, both for the background, and then for all the characters themselves. In fact it took several days to plan before I’d even begun to paint anything, and even then, it evolved somewhat along the way. The majority of billboards were replaced from the main original background reference which was very late 70s, in order to all add to the 80s feel.
Getting to add a bonus Roger Moore and Grace Jones, paying homage to Dan Gouzee’s classic ‘A View to a Kill’ poster was especially fun. In fact conceptually that was interesting too, because in a world full of movie characters, what actual movies could they go to see? Bond just seemed to work as a pop cultural phenomenon that could stand outside of that world. There are a couple of other movies referenced in there too – see if you can spot them.
This was a private commission, so I’m afraid no prints will be available. It has got me thinking though, it could be fun to paint other cities and characters. Right now I need to have a bit of a lie down though!
Massive thanks to my client Russell Piper for the commission and concept.
At first glance The Good Place looks like your standard quirky sitcom. However it quickly shows itself to be an homage to serialized dramas with the plot of each episode directly following on from the previous, and fantastic plot twists at the end of each episode to keep you hooked and excited for the next episode.