The Good Place star D’Arcy Carden talks season 3, women in comedy, and tampons


The Good Place star D’Arcy Carden is channeling her inner Janet for a new project: a skit mocking those absurd tampon commercials on TV.

D’Arcy Carden is living in the good place right now.

The actress who plays the loveable Siri-like character on NBC’s hit comedy The Good Place has become a fan-favorite and a bit of a household name. After years of putting in dues doing stand-up in New York and grabbing minor roles on shows like Broad City, Carden’s fully-embracing her star-making, scene-stealing android-ish alter-ego, Janet. You know, the not-quite-human, not-quite-robot character whose blunt honesty often earns more than a few laughs.

The show, which also stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, is currently filming its third season, one that sees the residents of the Good Place being cast back down to Earth to try their luck at getting life right this time. That means big changes for Carden’s character, who enjoyed a brief romance in season two and who might become even more self-aware when thrust into this new reality.

“There’s more evolving in the next season,” Carden tells Culturess. “She is kind of figuring out who she is, and she’s the most advanced Janet she’s ever been. And that’s really exciting for me as an actor. I get to sort of play with these emotions that she didn’t have before.”

Because the actors on the show are sworn to secrecy on penalty of death – not really, but also, maybe? – Carden won’t let any more surprises concerning next season slip. Instead, she’s happy to gush over working with Parks and Rec creator Mike Shur, which is understandable since the showrunner has a history of birthing some truly genius TV comedies.

“That was the dream,” Carden says. “I just wanted to be on an ensemble comedy show that was like a Parks and Rec and the fact I get to actually do that with people I love, and respect and I think are so incredibly talented, it’s just too good to be true.”

But playing a helpful, A.I./human on TV isn’t the only thing Carden’s excited to be working on. The actress just signed on to be the face of Playtex Simply Gentle Glide tampons, and she’s bringing her signature brand of humor to a serious issue.

Look, tampons aren’t exactly a fun topic of conversation, but Carden fully believes it’s something everyone should be talking about, especially considering the concern over the make-up of menstrual products and the way marketers are now targeting women with questionable feminine care advertising.

“The way society markets toward women these days, it’s all about extra, extra, extra, you know what I mean?” Carden says. “There is so much that goes with having a period, I don’t need to think about anything more. You know my body is already being weird and my emotions are all over the place and I am hungry. I’ve got other things to deal with.”

It’s why Carden’s comfortable repping Playtex’s Simply Gentle Glide, tampons that are free of colors, dyes, and BPAs, and that come with a clear applicator so, as Carden says, you can “actually see what you’re putting in your body.”

Carden even channeled a bit of her Good Place alter-ego for a commercial basically mocking how advertisers market to women. Tampons made of alpaca wool, with cleansing charcoal, probiotics, and an auto-eject button all make an appearance in the skit – we’re pretty sure three of those things don’t actually exist, but you never know. According to Carden, it’s okay to be “extra” in some areas of life – smoothies and beauty masks are her self-care indulgences – but the idea of using humor to clap back at decades of traditionalist advertising when it comes to femcare was exactly what women needed in 2018.

“Who knows if it’s a gender thing?” Carden says. “I tend to think it probably is. I think that, you know, we live in a time right now where things are becoming more equal which is incredible, but we need to keep taking giant steps and for me, making a video about tampons where we make fun of the fact that there is an ejector button is like fully taking it a step forward. Let’s just put it all out there.”

That means no more white in period commercials.

“Can you even imagine wearing white leggings when you had your period?” Carden asks.

And definitely no blue liquid.

“Let’s just be real, we all know what this is. We are not dumping Windex into our tampons, okay?” Carden says. “But I like that this video is not ashamed of anything, because it’s like, guess what? Half the population are women. We get our periods. It is not something to be ashamed of, it is not something we need to hide. It’s something we need to talk about.”

Some of that unapologetic attitude when it comes to women’s issues probably springs from Carden’s own experiences as a comedian. After all, stand-up and comedy in general is a very bro-heavy environment where sexual harassment and negative views of women seem to have a place to grow and thrive. Carden thinks women in comedy, and in general, have come a long way – we’re writing entire articles about tampon jokes after all – but we need to keep pushing for accurate representation, on TV and when it comes to femcare.

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“I think it’s maybe easier today than it ever has been,” Carden says. “We have so much more growth for true equality but I love that we are taking huge strides towards owning who we are and not apologizing for being our true selves, even if our true selves are messy or dirty or funny or anything other than little lady like. I think we are definitely in a good … oh, I was about to say we are in a good place, get it?”