The Good Place's Janet is not a girl. She's not a robot either. It's hard to describe exactly what she is, except to say she's an invaluable addition to the team of humans (and one demon) trying to reinvent the afterlife on the late Mike Schur comedy. Janet, played by D'Arcy Carden, contains multitudes, and by the end of the series it appeared there might be an endless variety of interdimensional humanoid all-knowing beings out there — all of whom are lovely, quirky, and brilliant in their own ways.
To celebrate the end of the show, which concluded its four-season run on NBC earlier this year, and to reflect on all the facets of the Janets, TV Guide put Carden to a nearly impossible test: ranking all the various iterations of the character she played, from the original Good Janet, who helped Michael (Ted Danson) set up his fake neighborhood, to the queen of farting, Bad Janet — and the Eleanor/Chidi/Tahani/Jason versions of Janet from the legendary Season 3 episode "Janets," when the humans got stuck in her void and took on Janet's form.
Even though Carden agreed to the task before our interview, it should be noted that it was intensely stressful for her to rank characters that are part of her soul. Our first step was to set up a methodology: Carden ranked the Janets by how fun (or rewarding) they were to play, as we agreed that trying to determine which Janet was the most awesome could lead to total combustion. With that rating system in mind, the actress was able to get through it. Check out the video below to watch Carden work out her list — and to be rewarded with never-before-seen exclusive Disco Janet content.
Read on for Carden's official ranking of all of the Janets, complete with her reasoning.
9. Neutral Janet
According to Carden, playing the emotionless Janet was more fun than you'd think it would be, and it was less challenging than finding the right not-a-robot/not-a-girl balance for Good Janet. But while staying completely neutral got the most laughs from the crew, Neutral Janet just wasn't as exciting as the other versions.
8. Tahani Janet
Someone was going to have to be last when it came to the human-Janet hybrids, and unfortunately it was Tahani (Jameela Jamil) Janet, mostly because she's the human-Janet hybrid Carden spent the least amount of time playing. "There was something especially stressful about Tahani because there was the accent," Carden explained. "Jameela has such a way of like holding her body that I wanted to get right." One Tahani Janet scene almost had Carden asking for a re-shoot!
7. Eleanor Janet
Carden had a lot of fun trolling around the void in Eleanor's (Kristen Bell) iconic pink sweatshirt. She reveals that the key to tapping into Eleanor is the subtle gestures, like placing your hands in your back pockets or crossing your arms. Eleanor Janet is a fun one that we all love, but when compared to the rest of the list she's not the hottest jalapeño popper in the bunch.
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6. Disco Janet
This '70s version of Janet was supposed to be just a throwaway joke early in Season 4, but when everyone laughed at it during a table read, Carden knew the writers would find a way to bring Disco Janet to life on screen. Viewers ultimately got to see the roller skating, disco-loving Janet multiple times before the end of the show, and she did not disappoint. So much attention went into the details of Disco Janet, from the nails to the hair to the glittery pantsuit. Carden also shared a clip of her real-life husband, Jason, helping her into the outfit, which is featured in the video above. The only reason Disco Janet isn't higher up on the list is that we didn't get to spend enough time with her.
5. Jason Janet
Jason Janet came with the most comfortable wardrobe, which gave him a boost on the list. He was also the most comfortable character for Carden to slip into since she spent so much time opposite actor Manny Jacinto already as they played out Jason and Janet's love affair. "I just felt nothing but joy playing this character," Carden gushed. "Janet has gotten to spend a ton of time with Jason. D'Arcy has got to spend a ton of time with Manny in scene, and so that one came pretty naturally for me." How could you not have fun playing the most adorable member of the human squad? Carden also confirmed she did a lot of deep research on the Jacksonville Jaguars before taking on the part.
4. Chidi Janet
Never forget that the first time viewers saw Chidi (William Jackson Harper) tell Eleanor he loved her (rather than seeing Eleanor watch a previous version of Chidi tell her he loved her) was actually when Chidi Janet said it to Eleanor Janet in the void. To top it off, Carden then essentially had to make out with herself. It was one of the most mind-bending yet touching moments of the series — and it was not easy to pull off. Carden admits that Chidi Janet was the hardest of all of the iterations to play, but the sense of accomplishment she felt in the end was enough to get him to the top of the human Janet pile.
3. Bad Janet
We love this bad, nasty gal and Carden does too! Who wouldn't have fun being a total asshole all the time? "Playing Bad Janet is so fun. It's the only time in this entire show really that I get to be like a dirtbag, like a bitch," Carden explained. It turns out being a straight up nasty character can actually get to you if you have to do it for an entire day, but Carden was rarely in that black leather jumpsuit for more than a few hours. We also found out that Carden has a weird relationship with fart humor — "I don't know what makes a funny fart joke and what doesn't make a funny [fart] joke!" — which is only made funnier by how much Bad Janet loves a good toot.
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2. OG Good Janet
This was the first Janet fans ever met, so naturally she holds a very special place in Carden's heart. The actress revealed that finding Janet's exact level of not-a-girlness was a difficult challenge in the first season, but once that was figured out, it set the foundation for all that Janet would become throughout the rest of the series
1. Evolved Janet
After thousands of reboots in the Season 2 premiere, Janet's already seemingly limitless consciousness began to grow. She started to develop feelings and even fell in love in her Janet-like way. By Season 4, the Janet who helps the humans and Michael redesign the afterlife isn't the same not-a-girl fans met at the start of the show. She genuinely cares for her friends and understands them on an intrinsically deep level. She's the best version of herself, which is why Carden found her the most fun to play. "The writers got her so well and got me so well. Every scene there was something absolutely joyful for me, D'Arcy, to get to do," said Carden. "I truly could cry just thinking about it right now. I loved playing this character. It will always be like a highlight of my life."
The Good Place is now streaming on Netflix.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)