WARNING: if you don’t want to see any mother-forking spoilers for the third season of The Good Place, then get outta here.
Is she or isn’t she? It’s a question many fans of The Good Place have speculated about Eleanor Shellstrop’s (Kristen Bell) sexuality in the hit show, and now the creators of the TV series have effortlessly confirmed her orientation – with fans praising the move.
During the latest episode, The Ballad of the Donkey Doug, one moment basically confirmed that Eleanor is indeed bisexual. It happened after Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) struggled to break up with his girlfriend Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), leading Janet to create a virtual reality simulator so he could practice different approaches. Having proven to be unsuccessful, Eleanor then showed him how it’s done, which ended with her nearly kissing Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste).
Not only have fans praised the show’s handling of the storyline, but it also couldn’t be timelier.
“With anti-LGBTQ policies being debated here and abroad, the stories and characters on television are more critical than ever before to build understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ people,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president, referencing Will & Grace, Empire and How to Get Away with Murder as leaders in inclusive storytelling on screen.
Interestingly, the report – which collated data from broadcast, cable and streaming services – found that the total number of bisexual series regular or recurring characters is now at 117 (up from 93 in 2017), while there are 26 transgender regular or recurring characters (up from 17) and seven HIV-positive regular or recurring characters (up from two).
But the frontrunner for airing shows featuring LGBTQ characters is undoubtedly Netflix.
“[These shows] demonstrate that audiences are hungry for new stories and perspectives,” Ellis said.
Which is why fans have since taken to Twitter to show their support for the way the storyline was handled in The Good Place – with many noting how effortlessly it was included. No coming out episode, and no big focus on it being unusual (for once).
“Thank god for the new The Good Place episode and all of the stunning Bisexual Eleanore representation it gave us,” one user posted.
“F*ck Eleanor from @nbcthegoodplace is bisexual & told Chidi ‘more people should be bi, it’s 2018!’ I’m SO FOR THIS BISEXUAL REPRESENTATION, maybe this truly is The Good Place,” another wrote.
It’s something which William Jackson Harper (Chidi) recently touched on during an interview with Metro UK: “There’s a million different possibilities and one of the things I think the show does well, and really kind of into, is the fact that Eleanor is super bisexual and it’s not something that we just focus on,” he said.
“It’s not the reason for the show and it’s not a thing that is harped on, it’s just who she is. I think that’s great to not just completely focus on one aspect of a person’s character because it seems to be the most buzz worthy thing in the show, or potentially buzz worthy thing on the show.”
You can tune into the show on NBC or catch up on Netflix now.