Character Journey: Tahani – The Good Place

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-This is Tahani. She’s a prominent
British philanthropist, a neck model, a cover girl for International
Sophisticate magazine, and has award-winning legs. -Such fun. Cheers!
[laughs] [ Applause ]
-Despite being born with sexy giraffe-leg genes and into incredible
wealth and power, Tahani always feels like
she’s living in the shadow of her super famous
sister Kamilah. -The youngest person ever to graduate
from Oxford University. [crying] And the person voted
Most Likely to be Banksy. -She’s not going to be
living for long, though. One fatefully forked up night, Tahani sneaks into her sister’s
album release party… -My own sister didn’t even
deign to invite me to her little soirée, so I had
to weasel my way in here, like some common… weasel. -After an argument with Kamilah, Tahani tries to pull down
a statue of her sister and goes from being
emotionally crushed by Kamilah to being actually crushed
by Kamilah. Or, rather, her statue. -Aaaah! -I died in Cleveland? -I don’t think that should be your biggest takeaway
from that story. -But no worries. She was a good person on Earth and, now,
she’s in the Good Place. -Hurrah, hurrah! Yay! -Or so she thinks.
After all, she raised billions
for nonprofits. -So Tahani means
“congratulations” in Arabic and Al-Jamil means “beautiful,”
so my full name, all together, means…
-Congratulations, Beautiful. -Thanks, Eleanor. -Now, she’s free
to spend eternity planning parties, baking scones, and giving people
playful nose boops. -Boop!
-Ooh! -Oh! [laughs]
-You booped me. [laughs] -I did! [laughs]
-That’s fun. -But not everything is good
in the Good Place for Tahani. Her soul mate is Jianyu,
a silent monk. -When you see him smiling
and nodding, that’s actually his way of jumping up and down
with glee. Isn’t that right, darling? -And, for someone who loves
to talk as much as she does, being paired with a mute mate is torture. You see where [chuckle]
I’m going with this. -[crying] He took a vow
of silence, but, he won’t even talk to me,
his soul mate! But I adore talking. -After repeatedly trying
to break through Jianyu’s wordless walls, Tahani finds friendship
in Eleanor. Until this happens… -The problem in the neighborhood is me.
[ Crowd gasps ] -Which makes her pretty upset.
-I haven’t been this upset since my good friend Taylor
was rudely upstaged by my other friend Kanye,
who was defending my best friend, Beyoncé. -To add salt to the wound,
she finds out Jianyu is actually Jason. -I don’t know who you are, but I do know that you’re not a Buddhist monk. -Seemingly surrounded
by imposters, she turns to Chidi for comfort and, possibly, a little more. -I’m just a girl, towering over a boy, asking him to admit he loves me. -And, despite the potential feud
between Tahani and Eleanor, who have both declared
their love for the same man, they take the high road and
strike up a real friendship… -Some part of me, possibly, has a sense of casual kinship with you. Much as one might be fond
of a street cat. -which helps her come
to this realization… -We do have the sort
of connection that only two highly educated
sophisticates could have, but, it’s not true love. -Tahani even tries
to help Eleanor earn her spot in the Good Place. Until this happens… -This is the Bad Place. -…which leads
to this realization… -My motivations were corrupt. -After Michael
reboots the neighborhood, wiping the humans’ memories, Tahani is yet again
tortured by Michael, as he repeatedly forks
with her ego. -Sorry, it’s just a portrait
of my — my sister. Wonderful. -Your sister is
Kamilah Al-Jamil? I used to play her music
for my patients. At times, it felt like
Kamilah’s songs were curing the malaria for us. -Great. -But the humans keep
foiling his demonic plot, forcing him to team up
with them. And, when Tahani isn’t convinced
she belongs in the Bad Place, Michael shows her how she died, causing her to realize
she only did good deeds to try to earn more praise
than her sister. -Kamilah is very impressive. As you know, she released
her debut album only six months ago and, yet, the critics thought
it was so brilliant that the Hall of Fame
decided to waive its 25-year waiting period. -With this newfound epiphany,
Tahani wants to become the person she pretended
to be on Earth, but with the right
motivation, this time. -I, Tahani Al-Jamil, shall do my level best to make every event too much. -And, while the demons
in the neighborhood continue to torture Tahani, she finds comfort in Jason,
who reminds her she’s… -Cool, dope, fresh,
and smart-brained. -…which leads to this… -That was awesome! -Michael continues
to work on a plan to get them into the real
Good Place. -There is a potential
method of transportation. -Is it nice? Is there a business class? Can I preboard? -And Tahani continues to take Chidi’s ethics lessons while this continues to happen. Jason is unlike anyone
she dated on Earth and, while she has difficulty reconciling
her past status on Earth with the relaxed sweetheart
sexiness she loves about Jason, Tahani starts to let
her heart guide her, not her ego. [ Glass shatters ]
-[Laughs] -Fore! -Well done! -They even go as far as getting engaged. -Will you marry me? -But when the wedding
is called off to stop Janet from glitching because of her unrequited
love for Jason, things cool
between him and Tahani and, ultimately, they break up. But, for a good reason. -[crying] Probably about time I stop relying on others for my sense of self-worth or happiness. -After their split,
team Cockroach makes it to the judge’s chambers
to plead their case and Tahani convinces her
to hear them out. -To paraphrase a song
written by my godfather: Hey, Judge. Don’t make it Bad. Take a sad group and make us better. -But, now, she’ll face her most difficult challenge in the afterlife, thus far… -Everyone in every room
that you pass is going to be discussing what
they truly think about you. -And, even though
she doesn’t pass the test, she proves that she has grown
a ton since her time on Earth. -Whatever progress I have made, it’s because you and I
have become mates. -Luckily for her,
and the rest of the humans, Michael and Judge Gen
give them all another chance. With her life spared on Earth, Tahani starts to live modestly, but eventually slips into her
old, attention-seeking ways. -And that’s what my book
is about: shedding your need
for validation from others. -With a little nudge
from a mysterious new age snake oil salesman… -Gordon Indigo. -…Tahani eventually finds her way
to the Brainy Bunch and gets back on the path
to ethical enlightenment. But when Michael meddles
a little too much in the humans’ path
to improvement, he mistakenly shows Tahani
and the rest the door to the afterlife, effectively negating
their chances of getting into the Good Place. -Well, this sucks. -With a new mission to save
the souls of their loved ones, Tahani and the aptly named
Soul Squad set out to save the souls
of their families and get closure
with their relationships. Tahani makes an appearance
at her sister’s exhibit. At first, attempting
to connect with Kamilah goes about as well as you’d expect, but, when Tahani makes
this realization… -These paintings, they’re us. -…she opens herself up
to Kamilah and repairs their relationship. -Tahani, what are you doing?! Stop it! -No! I’m going to hug you ’cause I love you. -Which is good timing because here comes
a buncha demons to literally drag everyone -Let him go!
-to hell. -Hah!
[ Thwack ] -Phew! That was close!
-Obviously, I’d never do that in a competition. That’d be a 3/10 deduction.
-[Crying out] -Ah!
-But, now she’s dead. Because, once you’re
in Janet’s void, you don’t really have
a mortal body anymore. -AM I wearing a vest? Ew! Michael. -After escaping
to the Good Place mailroom and trying to help Jason
with his Janet troubles, Tahani gives Michael the idea to make a special appeal
to Judge Gen. -Every time I do something nice,
it backfires. -With the judge onboard
with Michael’s new experiment… [ Buzzer ]
-Ah! Gah! Ow! -…Tahani’s and the rest
of the humans’ souls hang in the balance. The bond they all have
will be tested and will also be instrumental
in their fates.

 

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