iTunes PODCAST – The Vampire Diaries (Seasons 5-7A, MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded on January 24, 2016, our small but robust panel– including moderator Kylie, Jen, and Kelsey – is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Seasons 5-7, with particular emphasis on Seasons 6 and 7, of The Vampire Diaries. If you have not watched any of The Vampire Diaries, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

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PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “The Vampire Diaries” – Reflections on Season Five, Recapping Season Six, Ruminating on Season Seven (So Far; MAJOR SPOILERS)

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THE SPECS:

Who: “The Vampire Diaries” currently airs on network TV, specifically on the CW.  For winter 2016, the show is moving to Fridays at 8:00 PM.

What: “The Vampire Diaries,” a supernatural teen drama focused on a young woman, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who becomes entangled with two brothers who are vampires–one a soulful, conflicted type who wants to repress his vampire urges to be more human; the other a sarcastic, ne’er-do-well who embraces the nature of his nocturnal condition, except for when his love for Elena interferes. In addition, these two vampire brothers were sired by Elena’s doppelganger, a vampire for the centuries named Katherine Pierce (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/vampire_diaries_the/summary.html).

When: The Season 7 premiere aired on Thursday, October 8, 2015, on the CW at 8:00 PM.

Where: The show is primarily set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

Why: Two reasons: vampires and Ian Somerhalder, formerly of Lost and Smallville fame. CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie loves non-sparkly vampire television, and Ian Somerhalder is too beautiful a man not to find an excuse to watch.  My fellow panelists found the show due to the vampires as well, and at least fifty percent of them stayed for Ian…

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

It’s been a while since CPU! covered The Vampire Diaries, one of the Chief Couch Potato’s favorite shows.  Blame it on starting this whole podcast business.  Better yet – rather than assign blame, let’s just agree to make the show with the two hot vampire brothers a candidate for said podcast, especially since your main moderator is always playing catch-up, okay?! To wit, feast your ears and/or your fangs on this new CPU! podcast episode, in which this viewer invited a small but robust panel of one familiar voice and one new voice, both vampire enthusiasts and Vampire Diaries fans in their own right, to play catch up with the brothers Salvatore and all of our favorite young residents from fictional Mystic Falls.  We cover major plot points from season five until present, from Silas and doppelganger central to Heretics, a lack of Elena/Katherine altogether, and the appearance of a long thought dead vampire mother of our favorite brothers, Damon (Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley).  While our panel’s particular devotion and/or sire bond is frequently tested in TVD’s later seasons, we still have lots to think and talk about.  Give us a listen with your vampire super-hearing, and see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts.

This podcast, PS, is hot off the presses!  It was recorded on January 24, 2016. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, and/or our Stitcher Radio channel to keep track of brand new episodes. In the meantime, let us know what you think! Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback! It’s true!

Old Questions from Prior Season Five Coverage

1) What does Silas want with Katherine? And why hasn’t she learned hygiene in 500 years?

Answer: Silas (Wesley) wanted Katherine’s (Dobrev) blood.  Katherine took the vampire cure and became human but still had precious doppelganger blood, perhaps more important when she became human.  Of course, Silas’ aims and Katherine’s fate became more nefarious from there.  As for Katherine’s hygiene, we found out that she was quite helpless as a human, no matter how much of a survivor she thought she was.

2) I already miss the Originals, particularly Klaus and Elijah. I guess I’ll have to check out that show…

Answer: CPU! checked out that show.  Stay tuned.

3) Is Silas, like, indestructible? What’s his endgame?

Answer: Silas was a very old vampire witch, but he was not indestructible.  He met his overdue end by the end of season five.  His endgame was to reunite with the first of the doppelgangers to spawn the Katherine/Elena line – though I can’t remember her name, she was his true love.  TVD presented to the viewer that Elena and Stefan found each out with help from the hands of fate, which certainly threatened Damon to maximum, brain-exploding capacity.  Yet, Damon and Elena also have a love for the ages, which survived into the sixth season.

4) I hope Damon doesn’t get boring now that he’s so happy.

Answer: Damon could never be boring.  Never ever ever.  He’s too gorgeous to be boring.

5) I hope Jeremy gets to show off that hunting stuff more.

Answer: He did!  Oh, he did.  But, then he got with Bonnie (Kat Graham), and Bonnie got dead, and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) got sad.  Temporarily.

6) I’m already over Elena and Caroline, the roomie years. It feels a little shallow to me.

Answer: I never lost that feeling.  The part of the show when our favorite characters try to be normal college students is boring.

7) Seriously…why is Bonnie still around and Tyler isn’t?

Answer: Bonnie has actually become a much more interesting character in seasons six and seven – the podcast panelists theorize that, possibly for too long, Bonnie has been regarded as the character that the other characters only go to when they need magical help or reasoned advice.  She’s become a bit more sassy and courageous in recent seasons, though, and it’s a change for the better.  Meanwhile, Tyler (Michael Trevino) still pops up in Mystic Falls from time to time, but he’s apparently hanging out in New Orleans with the Mikaelsons on The Originals.

8) I hope this show stays as consistently twisty as it has been.

Answer: The amount of twisty fluctuates, but TVD’s excellent writers and story planners are never short of twists – no matter how (in)effective they might be!

New Questions

1) What’s going on with the three year time jump in season seven?  Who’s hunting Stefan and Damon in that future?  Could it be that Nina Dobrev’s departure was somehow a long con, with Elena or Katherine a possible reemergence in this time jumped future, or is she off the show for good? How did our characters get there?  Are they all running from this mysterious hunter, or is the hunter just after the brothers Salvatore?  WHAT’S GOING ON?

2) Are we still going to have put up with watching the Heretics, even though Stefan and Damon have been drawn into the Phoenix Stone vampire hell?  Except for Valerie – how did she and Stefan decide to reconnect?  Do we care at all about Mary Louise, Nora, or Bo?

3) How is vampire Caroline (Candice King) even going to manage having Alaric’s (Matt Davis) human but part-witch twins?  Stefan and Caroline clearly don’t stay together, as the time jump tells us.  How did that happen?  Why did that happen?  The panel is lukewarm to their coupling but aren’t opposed to it, either.

4) Bonnie and Enzo (Michael Malarkey)?  What’s that about? Why was Enzo even made a series regular?  The podcast panel struggles with Enzo – we sort of regard him as Diet Damon with a host of abandonment issues.

5) We love Matt (Zach Roerig), but we also think his character has become sad and hard to watch.  Fix this, writers.  He needs more purpose, or perhaps he should just join all of his supernatural friends.  It’s a wonder he’s survived this long.

6) How are Stefan and Damon going to get out of the Phoenix Stone?  Are they in there together or separately?

7) What is Julian’s endgame now that Lily (Annie Wersching) is dead?  Will he still be around when the Salvatores come out of the stone (because we know they do)?  Is he the hunter in question?

8) Why does Stefan have so many loves of his life?  Who is the real love of his life?  He needs to pick one.  That’s why it’s called “THE” love of his life.  The panel had a hard time buying the fact of Valerie at all, though she may be the least annoying of the Heretics.

9) Can Damon and/or Stefan remove their shirts more?  Kthxbai.

PARTING SHOTS

The Vampire Diaries might (still) have its best years behind it, but the program still seems to have story left to tell because the writers/producers are in tune enough with their characters, product, and platform to keep it as full of guesses and “oh shit” moments as previous seasons.  While the podcast panel felt almost universally that season five might have been a low point, the panelists, at times, agreed that seasons six and seven seem to be heading toward better territory and had true highlights (listen to the podcast for what those were), though without Elena in season seven, our panelists feel the void.  In any event, all panelists agree that the earliest seasons were the best but are hopeful for what the mysteries of the three-year time jump might yield in the back half of season seven.

LOOKING AHEAD:

The Vampire Diaries was automatically ordered for a full season, as it is one of the network’s highest rated shows and will very probably get renewed because the CW doesn’t get many hits.  When a hit appears on the CW, after all, the network tends to renew the show in question for season upon season (see also: Smallville and Supernatural). Still…stranger things have happened.  TVD, as of midseason seven, has been moved to Fridays for the season’s second half.  As always, CPU! will keep you posted regarding renewal notice and any other schedule changes.  Plus, our panel will most likely reconvene following the season finale.  Until then!

New Panels, New Page, New Year!

Have you ever wondered how to become a podcast panelist for CPU!?

Look, I’m not delusional.  We haven’t been around as a podcast very long, so if you’re reading this, chances are you might be pleasantly intrigued but not necessary full of the wonderment about panel participation.

If you have been following the blog, though, or are stumbling across it for the first time, a new page (reachable via the floating dialog box at the top left) will tell you how to become a panelist.  Because, believe it or not, we’re a podcast panelist by the people for the people!  Looking to talk about all kinds of TV with like-minded people?  Ever wanted to be part of something media-related to add to the global internet conversation? Excited to be part of the technology that connects us all?!

Follow this link to find out How to Become a CPU! Podcast Panelist.

Also, from time to time, the Chief Couch Potato (i.e. Kylie) will post a list of shows about which we are looking to podcast.  Starting now!

If you have any interest in joining one of the following panels (English required), comment on this post with your contact information.  You don’t have to love the show, but we only and do ask that you be caught up on it.  You at least have to be knowledgeable about it, after all:

Once Upon a Time (2 openings)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (3 openings)
Resurrection (4 openings – needs one more to run; one time panel)
Revenge (open – needs two more to run; one time panel)
Gotham (2 openings)
The Vampire Diaries (3 openings)
Marvel’s Daredevil (full; wait list only)
Futurama (3 openings; one time panel)

One of CPU!’s New Year’s resolutions is that we’re looking to grow this year, and we can’t do that without the support of listeners and participants alike.  So, if the spirit moves you, message us and let us know if you want to be part of the adventure.  If you’re feeling guilty about binge watching, this is one way to assuage some of that regret – you’re not binge watching!  You’re doing research for a podcast.  Am I right?

Hope to hear from you!  Stay tuned, keep listening, keep watching! Buh-bye!

Kylie, The Chief Couch Potato

iTunes PODCAST – How to Get Away with Murder (Season One, MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, a frequent panelist takes over moderating duties and the microphone to discuss the popular Shondaland show, which airs fall/winter Thursday nights on ABC. Moderator Kristen, Krista, and Eddie, a smaller version of the Keating Five (maybe they can be called the CPU! Three?) gathered together to discuss and explore key plot developments from the first season in order to better prepare listeners when the panel reconvenes to discuss season two after its finale airs later this year.  If you have not watched any of How to Get Away with Murder, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS.  Tell us what you think in the comments below, and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Pilots, Premieres, and First Looks & Around the Water Cooler – “How to Get Away with Murder” (Discussing Season One; MAJOR SPOILERS)

THE SPECS:

Who:  “How to Get Away with Murder” is a drama that currently airs on ABC, fall/winter Thursdays at 10:00 PM.

What: “How to Get Away with Murder,” a drama featuring Viola Davis (The Help) as a law professor at a prestigious Philadelphia university who, along with a select group of an elite five of her students chosen to be interns at her law firm, becomes entwined in a murder plot.

When: Season One aired on ABC from September 25, 2014, to February 26, 2015.  ABC is currently airing Season Two (which will be discussed in a subsequent podcast episode).

Where: The action is set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the link below!

How – as in How Was It?

The pilot/premiere rating scale:

***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING.  HOLY SMOKES!

**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing.  I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.

*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens.  There are things I like, and things I don’t.  We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.

** – I will give it three episodes.  Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together.  No matter how unlikely.

* – Pass on this one, guys.  It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.

How to Get Away with Murder = 4.3 – average of the podcast panel

Kristen says: “4 stars.  I wonder how they are going to keep this show fresh and interesting for more than a few seasons.”

Krista says: “5 stars.  From episode 1, I was hooked! It’s a great show with an interesting use of flashbacks/forwards and a great amount of intrigue!”

Eddie says: “4 stars. I fear that it will end up being too much like other shows, but Shonda knows her stuff at the end of the day.”

SYNOPSIS

Annalise Keating (Davis) is a prominent criminal defense attorney and a law professor at Middleton University in Philadelphia. She selects five students to intern at her firm: Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch, the Harry Potter films), Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King), Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry), and Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza). They work with Annalise’s employees, Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil), an associate lawyer. As Season One introduces occasional clients for Keating, it also explores two related murders through flashbacks: one of Lila Stangard, mistress of Annalise’s husband Sam Keating (Tom Verica) and a student at Middleton, and the other of Sam Keating himself, both of which were committed either by or with the knowledge of Annalise’s interns.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

Sometimes, the CPU! podcast panelists are like a micro sample of the TV-watching public at large: they know what they like to watch, and they’re not afraid to say it! Several of them asked your Chief Couch Potato to moderate a How to Get Away with Murder panel. Well, unfortunately, I’m sort of Shonda Rimes-free since I recently jumped the shark on Grey’s Anatomy (read: here) and hadn’t watched the show, nor planned to do so anytime soon for various and sundry of my own reasons (including the fact that I’m over-committed on the television front as it is), so I wasn’t prepared to moderate a podcast about it.  Of course, that doesn’t mean some of our veteran panelists, and those most vocal about having such a panel, weren’t ready themselves!

As a result, frequent panelist Kristen volunteered to take the reins in moderating a podcast about Season One of HTGAWM, to better prepare loyal listeners for when the panelists continue the discussion about Season Two, currently in progress on ABC, later this year.  Thus, she gathered her own smaller version of the Keating Five, including Krista and Eddie, better known as the CPU! Three, to reflect on all things first season of this popular, critically acclaimed show.

This podcast was recorded in December 2015, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, and/or our Stitcher Radio channel to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!

RECOMMENDATION

How to Get Away with Murder is recommended to viewers who enjoy other shows produced by Shonda Rimes, such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, as well as crime dramas, nighttime soaps, and murder mysteries.  The podcast panelists feel that though the show provides mass appeal to various types of viewers, specific demographics may appreciate it more than others.

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

HTGAWM is currently mid-season two and on winter hiatus, slated to return with new episodes on February 11, 2016.  While a third season renewal has not yet been announced, most TV pundits believe the show will easily be renewed.  As always, CPU! will keep you posted.

 

Meet the (New) Moderator!- Kristen

We here at Couch Potatoes Unite! keep expanding, for the love of all things TV, much to our elation and enjoyment.  You have already heard several voices, old and continually new, on our podcasts!  Well, some of those voices have expressed desire to expand beyond their roles as panelists, and Chief Couch Potato Kylie is only too happy to oblige. As a result, from time to time, some of the voices will grab hold of the reins of moderating our panel-based podcast episodes. Because I don’t watch everything. Because I don’t always have time or interest.  Though, maybe I’ll be convinced to watch more by these additional reviews and discussions. Such is the life of a small screen enthusiast.

Anyway, one of our regular podcast panelists wanted to moderate a podcast, particularly since she’s so involved as a panelist, and her first effort will be published later today.  For now, read all about her (her info will also be accessible on the About page, reachable by the little square box in the upper left of the header).

INTRODUCING KRISTEN!

Kristen is from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and enjoys the arts in all its forms, including TV, movies, theater, literature, and music. Her love of TV stems from her love of reading and theater – TV is a perfect combination of the two! She loves everything from classic shows (I Love Lucy was her very first favorite show) to current favorites, including Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, Once Upon a Time, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Agents of SHIELD, and many, many more.  She also really loves British television, such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, and The Paradise.

Kristen loves being a part of Couch Potatoes Unite! so much, she can be found on almost every podcast panel – she’s the one who says “dominoes” a lot, particularly when talking about Once Upon a Time, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, Agents of SHIELD, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Forever (well, maybe not so much the last one). She has even started to venture into moderating podcast episodes – in fact, stay tuned for her turn at the microphone moderating an episode about How to Get Away With Murder!

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iTunes PODCAST – Ally McBeal (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, our small but robust panel of wine appreciators and fans of 90s shows–including moderator Kylie, Sarah, and Amy–gathered together for a girls’ night chat, in which we were Looking Back and reminiscing about Ally McBeal, which aired on Fox from 1997-2002 for five seasons.  If you have not watched any of Ally McBeal, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS.  Tell us what you think in the comments below, and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!