UPDATED JANUARY 20, 2017 AT 9:20 PM
NBC’s freshman sitcom The Good Place, developed by Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur and starring Kristen Bell and sitcom veteran Ted Danson, has quickly become one of this television season’s delightful surprises.
The show has struggled in the ratings since its premiere, but has received critical acclaim and accrued an enthusiastic fan base.
It’s become a favorite of ours too, not just for the humor but for the frequent shout-outs to Jacksonville.
The show’s shout-outs come in the context of one of its characters being from Jacksonville. Jason Mendoza, the drug dealer and wannabe-DJ, is originally mistaken for a Buddhist monk who had taken a vow of silence. (It’s a long story.)
Once he comes clean and starts talking, the Jacksonville references start flowing.
In his introductory episode, Jason is at one point seen wearing a teal and black #5 jersey. While they probably couldn’t have him wearing an actual Blake Bortles jersey due to NFL copyright issues, it seems pretty obvious what the intent was.
He also shouts “Bortles!” as he throws a Molotov cocktail into a rival’s boat (again – long story).
Obviously, all of these references were written and filmed during a time when Jacksonville residents were a lot happier with Bortles than they are now.
Jason is clearly a big fan of the Jaguars; he even shouts “Jacksonville Jaguars rule!” at his wedding a few episodes later.
The other references have been subtler – things that only Jacksonville residents would be likely to pick up on.
One scene features Jason taking over a hurricane alert broadcast on a local television station. While the fake broadcast looks like a generic local news station, a closer look will show the station’s identification: WTLV, Jacksonville’s local NBC affiliate.
The show also gives a shout-out to Fred Durst, lead singer of Limp Bizkit and Jacksonville native.
In the season’s penultimate episode, Jason refers to Jacksonville as “easily one of the top ten swamp cities in northeast Florida.” (Ouch…)
The show recently aired its season finale, and has yet to be picked up for a second season by NBC.
We certainly hope the show continues, so that the Jax references will keep coming as well.