CPU! LIVE!: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season Two (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 LIVE on September 26, 2016, our panel– including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Krista, Sarah, Nick, Andrew, and – super-sized just for the occasion – Eddie – is Around the Water Cooler and Streaming Originals and chatting about the second season of Netflix Original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If you have not watched any of Kimmy, 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!

This podcast was live streamed on September 26, 2016, with associated video; this is the audio recording of the event! Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube, and, naturally, our website, couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com!

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PODCAST! – CPU! LIVE! -Around the Water Cooler & Streaming Originals: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – Season Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

Who:  “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” a situation comedy about a woman who, along with three other women, is rescued from an underground bunker in rural Indiana after being kidnapped or otherwise stuck inside for fifteen years as member of a doomsday cult, the leader of which convinced them that the world had ended, and that the apocalypse had come.  Kimmy (Ellie Kemper, The Office) decides to start her life over in New York City, out of time and out of place.  Hilarity ensues.

SYNOPSIS

The heroine of the title, Kimmy Schmidt (Kemper), is one of five women to emerge from an underground bunker in Indiana, having been, in some respects, unwitting members of a doomsday cult.  The five women were trapped in this bunker, with their religious leader Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm), for fifteen years; Kimmy and her bunker-mates emerge into the twenty-first century while still stuck in the twentieth.  Brimming with endless optimism and a healthy dose of girl power, Kimmy decides to start her brand new life away from small town Indiana by setting up in New York City.  She luckily finds a rent controlled, in a manner of speaking, apartment with a fabulous new roommate named Titus Andromedon (D’Fwan from 30 Rock, Tituss Burgess) and an aging hippie landlord named Lillian, played by – happiest of all surprises – character actress Carol Kane.  She secures a job as a nanny with a ridiculously rich Park Avenue family, the Voorhees, the matriarch of which is boss from hell and new best friend Jacqueline (now White as of Season Two, Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock/Ally McBeal). Mostly, Kimmy finds herself full of optimism but is otherwise a struggling fish out of water and out of time, as she attempts to create an adult life for herself, having lost such a significant part of her childhood to the spartan and strange life of the bunker.

When: The second season of the series was released in its entirety on Netflix on April 14, 2016.

Where: The action is set in and around New York City, though there are occasional flashbacks to the bunker, which is in Indiana.

Why: The show was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the producer/creative team responsible for giving us 30 Rock, of which the panelists are generally huge fans. Many of us also enjoyed Ellie Kemper quite a bit in The Office and in the movie Bridesmaids, as she’s got great comedic timing.  This show was on CPU!’s list of pilots to watch for the 2014-2015 season and was originally slated to air on NBC, but when Netflix picked it up instead, it was an easy choice to switch over.

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

CPU! started covering “Kimmy” from the beginning.  If you haven’t heard our season one podcast, listen via the embedded link below:

Season One

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt blew up the internet when it was first released, which is not surprising, because it’s extremely funny, particularly in how it catches the viewer off guard with its wacky humor, witty dialogue (no doubt spearheaded by Fey), stunt casting, and generally zany but positive tone.  Because these elements continued into the second season, our UBK panel – originally consisting of Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Krista, and Andrew – was only too eager to reconvene to discuss Season Two.

Of course, we couldn’t just leave it there.  Now, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but CPU! has been branching out, evolving, and growing, as we tentatively take tiny steps toward the new and different, including trying our hands at being something of a “vid-cast,” at least on occasion, by going LIVE!  In August of this year, CPU! went LIVE! and live streamed at its Facebook page (for the very first time) from Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater in Cool City Grand Rapids, Michigan, when Grand Rapids based comedy troupe No Outlet Improv (NOIT) joined us to talk their Top 5 TV Comedy Inspirations.  As NOIT also runs COM, they were kind enough to invite us back to talk Kimmy, her compatriots, and their second season.  So, to mark the occasion, our panel was SUPER SIZED to include CPU! regular Eddie.  Why?  Well, you should probably just watch the video of the live-cast to find out; also, see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts on the second season.  Note: this episode is a bit shorter than usual, as we were operating by COM time, but we think we hit the major points.  Let us know if there is anything that you think we missed!

This podcast was recorded on September 26, 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play 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! Our next episode will hail from our DCTU panel, as we discuss “Arrow” seasons 3 and 4, just in time for the Season 5 premiere on October 4, 2016!  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

1) Where will season three begin?  Will we get to see Titus on the cruise ship?

2) Are Titus and Mikey going to move in together when Titus returns?  Will Kimmy still be living with them?

3) Who is Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne marrying?  Or, is he already married? Many of the panel bet on Gretchen, but we were confused by the phase of marriage to which the good reverend was referring.

4) Will Dong ever return for Kimmy?

5) Will we see Kimmy’s mom, Lori Ann (Lisa Kudrow), again?  Is she still married to Kimmy’s stepdad, played by Tim Blake Nelson?

PARTING SHOTS

In discussing Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, there was a clear split on the panel: more than half (Nick, Sarah, Krista, and Andrew) liked season two better than season one, while Kristen, Eddie, and Kylie liked season one better.  All still enjoy the show immensely, though, and have high hopes for a third season, though panelist Eddie thought season three might be a “make it or break it” season for the show.  The panel universally agreed that Tina Fey’s turn as day-drunk/night-drunk psychotherapist Andrea (Ahn-drea) was a welcome and much superior character change from her Marcia Clark-like attorney in the first season, and many of us did not know what to make of Jacqueline’s pursuit of Russ (David Cross).  Still, all agreed that the show is a great sitcom with easy laughs by the minds who produced 30 Rock; thus, we felt there was little to lose in continuing to watch it and recommend it highly to anyone simply wanting an entertaining show at which to laugh.

LOOKING AHEAD

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was renewed for a third season; however, no release date has been announced by Netflix as of the publication of this post. The UBK podcast panel will next reconvene following the release of the third season, which will likely occur in or around Spring 2017. As always, CPU! will keep you informed of news and additional show coverage.  Until then!

NEXT CPU! LIVE!

CPU! will be LIVE at Grand Rapids Comic-Con on October 22, 2016, at 7:00 PM!  We will be one of the Con’s fan panels; in that live podcast (also streamed to our Facebook page), our DCTU and Marvel’s Defenders panels will join forces to discuss and debate the Top 5 DC & Marvel Live Action Heroes and Villains.  This debate promises to be a raging one, so if you have any interest in the ongoing, decades-old comic book/comic universe competition, this is a panel you won’t want to miss.  Like our Facebook page to keep abreast of the event – which will publish later this week!  Stay tuned!

Once Upon a Time (Season 5B; The Underworld; MAJOR SPOILERS; RERUN)

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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 in June 2016, our Once Upon a Time panel – full for the first time as we introduce new panelists Emily and Micah, who join moderator Kylie, Kristen, Eddie, and Amie – returns to the Water Cooler to discuss the second half of season five of Once Upon a Time – i.e. the “Underworld” arc. If you are not caught up on Once, 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!

The Originals (Seasons 1-3, 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 in September 2016, our panel of true CPU! originals and vampire enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Jen, and Allie – is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Seasons 1-3, with particular emphasis on Seasons 2 and 3, of The Originals, from Klaus and Elijah’s triumphant return to NOLA in the wake of werewolf Hayley’s pregnancy, to the resurrection and body jumping of their abusive parents and vengeful brothers Finn and Kol; from the occasional appearances of sister Rebekah to the introductions of long-lost eldest sister Freya, the First Sires, and the brewing war between the Sire Lines. If you have not watched any of The Originals, 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! – Around the Water Cooler: “The Originals” – Reflections on Season One and Recapping Seasons Two and Three (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “The Originals,” currently airs on network TV, specifically on the CW, though the show is currently on hiatus and will remain on hiatus until mid-season 2016-2017.

What: “The Originals,” a spin-off of supernatural drama “The Vampire Diaries,” centers on the Original (i.e. very first) vampires, the Mikaelsons, who initially appeared on the latter show.  The surviving siblings are hybrid werewolf/vampire Niklaus (Joseph Morgan), his older brother Elijah (the super hot Daniel Gillies), and baby sister Rebekah (Claire Holt).

SYNOPSIS

In a backdoor pilot that aired during season 4 of The Vampire Diaries, the viewer learned that the Mikaelsons essentially helped to create New Orleans, and Klaus, running from various personal dilemmas including his own ego and Mystic Falls in general, returned to New Orleans where he encountered one of his progeny sires, specifically Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), who has taken control of the French Quarter and has declared war on other supernatural beings, including a local coven of witches.  Klaus covets Marcel’s power and hold over the city. Klaus’ brother Elijah follows Klaus to New Orleans, learning that a one-night stand he had with werewolf Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) has resulted in her being mysteriously pregnant, as vampires are not known to have children.  This program follows Klaus and the other Original siblings as they work to protect their family and this unborn and unlikely child from the clutches of egomaniac Marcel, Klaus’ prized pupil, and other forces who threaten her.

When:  Season One aired from October 3, 2013, to May 13, 2014; Season Two aired from October 6, 2014, to May 11, 2015; and Season Three aired from October 8, 2015, to May 20, 2016.

Where: The show is set in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Why: This panel, all members of CPU!’s The Vampire Diaries panel, feeling TVD to be a darn good show with some of the same creative influence, including Executive Producer Julie Plec as well as the charismatic Morgan and Gillies, saw no reason that The Originals could not be just as juicy and delicious as the show from whence it spun.  Also, have I mentioned…vampires?  The non-sparkly kind?  Played by ridiculously handsome men? With accents?  The members of this panel were particularly helpless to resist.

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

It’s been a while since CPU! covered The Originals, another of the Chief Couch Potato’s favorite shows; in fact, CPU! Chief Kylie briefly covered the show in blog format during season one, here and here.  As before, you can blame it on starting this whole podcast business.  Better yet – rather than assign blame, let’s just agree to make the show, with a whole new and fascinating set of ancient and familial vampires – the Original vampires, in fact – a candidate for the podcast, especially since your main moderator is always playing catch-up, okay?!

To wit, feast your fangs on this new CPU! podcast episode, to which this viewer invited a small but robust panel, including CPU! regulars Jen and Allie, familiar voices from our panel covering The Originals’ parent show, The Vampire Diaries. In so doing, we play catch up with the siblings Mikaelson, including noble but repressed older brother Elijah (Gillies), werewolf/vampire hybrid and narcissistic middle child Klaus (Morgan), and the many supporting characters that hover in their orbit, spanning the time since CPU! last checked in on the first season.  We cover major plot points from seasons one through three: from Klaus and Elijah’s triumphant return to NOLA in the wake of werewolf Hayley’s (Tonkin) pregnancy, to the resurrection and body jumping of their abusive parents and vengeful brothers Finn and Kol; from the occasional appearances of sister Rebekah (Claire Holt) to the introduction of long-lost eldest sister Freya (Riley Voelkel), the First Sires, and the brewing war between the Sire Lines, to the demise of several key regular characters.  Our panel’s devotion to The Originals is both devout and confirmed higher and more fervent than for The Vampire Diaries, as the panelists feel that plot of this show is more sophisticated and the situations, therefore, more adult.  Give us a listen, with your precious piece of the White Oak nearby, and see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts.

This podcast was recorded in September 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first three seasons. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play 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! Our next podcast episode will replay our upcoming (second) LIVE! Podcast, which will be LIVE at Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 26, 2016, at 7:00 PM, and LIVE STREAMING at the CPU! Facebook page at the same time.  During this live podcast, our Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt panel will discuss season two, and surprises will definitely be in store!  The video and audio will be republished as next week’s podcast episode both on the blog/YouTube channel and in our feed.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions from Prior Season One Coverage

1) Klaus is so capricious, it’s difficult to determine where his heart truly lies, and that may be the ultimate question of the show: what, really, does Klaus want in the end?  I have a feeling only Cami (Leah Pipes) will be able to get to the bottom of it – or someone like her.

ANSWER: Chief CPU! Kylie was very astute in 2014.  The ultimate question of the show, really, is can Klaus be redeemed for the millennium of sins he has committed since he was converted to a vampire; Elijah, Rebekah, and Cami all believe it is possible, while others are more reluctant, understandably, to see that possibility.  Though it didn’t happen until seasons two and three, Cami practiced some Masters-student level psychology/therapy on the complicated Klaus and was able to identify some of his true impulses.  It turns out that Klaus is a ball of ego, daddy issues, an abandonment complex, and true devotion to his dysfunctional and incredibly old family – and that it will probably take a millennium to unravel the millennium of psychoses and murderous impulses and hurt feelings haunting Klaus since he became a vampire.  Personally, I like a Klaus that walks the line of sensitive and unscrupulous, but we’ll keep following where the show takes this character.

2) If werewolves in the bayou are connected to Klaus’ biological father, and some of those werewolves are Hayley’s family, does that mean there is the possibility that Klaus and Hayley are distant cousins generations removed as well as parents of a new kind of hybrid? Does this fact explain the possibility of the baby?

ANSWER: How Hope came about remains a key question, and I think the show shied away from suggesting that Klaus and Hayley might be distantly related by instead marking that Hayley is part of the Crescent Wolves pack, and that Klaus and his biological father are related to one of six other main werewolf packs.  Of course, we haven’t met the Original Werewolf yet, so who knows.  Perhaps, they are interrelated in a more direct way than vampires who make other vampires.

3) Davina (Danielle Campbell) is annoying.  Please make her go away.

ANSWER: Sage advice – be careful what you wish for; she became less annoying, but season three suggests that wishes may come true, in a permanent type way.

4) I don’t understand the romance between Marcel and Rebekah.  I see no sense of chemistry between those two actors.  Rebekah always comes off like a spoiled brat, and Marcel vacillates between survivor, vengeful victim, corrupt politician, and protector of all.  Maybe it’s the opposites attract thing.

ANSWER: The feelings between these two characters are still somewhat unexplained; from what CPU! Chief Kylie can figure, their bond is bolstered by the commonality of abuse by Klaus.  They were both victims of Klaus’ games and whims, and this sense of shared victim-hood became the seed of their romance.  Rebekah and Marcel have morphed and evolved as characters since the first season, but the foundations of their characters are not far off these initial impressions.  Of course, the romance may be over as of the end of the third season, since Marcel has become a new type of super vampire/werewolf hybrid being, and since Rebekah attempted to protect her brother Klaus from the vengeance of his many wronged sires, Marcel included.

5) Elijah is seriously underutilized on this show.  Daniel Gillies is such a beautiful man, and his character is tall, dark, handsome, and mysterious.  I want to know everything about his past, and why he places so much faith in Klaus, when Klaus disappoints him repeatedly and has done so for centuries.  I want to know why he and Hayley are so strongly drawn to each other.  I want him to always wear suits, and I want Elijah to suss out Rebekah’s affair with Marcel and weigh in.

ANSWER: Wishes really do come true.  This is not a Klaus-centric show as I initially feared, and the writers do well to balance the histories of the various Mikaelson siblings, Elijah included.  Seasons two and three were especially kind to his back story (and the reason he wears suits).

6) I don’t love the character of Cami, but I do hope she somehow outsmarts Klaus without going insane from her conflicting/compelled memory losses.

ANSWER: She challenges him enough to induce him to no longer compel away her memories, which causes his affection for her to grow.  Unfortunately, Klaus and love do not seem to mix, if the lessons we learn in the third season are any indication (listen to the podcast).

7) Have I mentioned that Tyler Lockwood, Klaus’ erstwhile hybrid sire from The Vampire Diaries, in a mission to defeat Klaus, stopped by the bayou – not without ending his sweet and saccharine relationship with Caroline Forbes on TVD?  Except – he left again.  Where did he go? He hasn’t returned to Mystic Falls.  Why is this character a part-time character on either show at best?

ANSWER: This is still a question.  Why demote Michael Trevino to part time or occasional guest on either of these shows?  Why not just write him off the show and give him a good send off in the process?

New Questions

1) Will baby Hope be the savior that helps her father Klaus (currently stabbed by Marcel to an incapacitated state with the knife of perpetual torment) and her uncles Elijah and Kol and aunt Rebekah to survive their various fates, spelled away with the help of Freya, after the machinations of Marcel rendered them near death?

2) Are Cami and Davina (SPOILER) officially and permanently dead?  If they aren’t, how could they possibly come back?

3) Will Kol and his portraying actor be made a series regular in season four?  The panel, particularly CPU! Chief Kylie, votes yes.

4) Will there be a seven-year time jump, as Allie seems to have learned from some comic con panels?  If so, where will we find out characters after that time?

5) What is Hope really: a vampire, a werewolf, a witch, a hybrid, or a combination of any of the above?

6) Will Hayley and Elijah just give into each other?  The smoldering sexual tension is sexy but head-scratching in how they work so hard to resist each other.

PARTING SHOTS

The Originals, though not the twisty soap opera characterizing its parent program, has become superior television, spinning an epic and seductive tale with increasingly engaging acting and beautiful actors doing the work.  The writers have created a steamy and sophisticated mix of horror, revenge fantasy, and romance, capitalizing on all of the best elements of vampire lore, while providing a considerably more adult direction for this spin-off of angst-driven The Vampire Diaries and an unusual spin on the usual vampire fantasy.  The story still does its best in being grand and twisty, though, and completely accessible to anyone who hasn’t watched TVD.  The panel very much hopes that this spin-off continues to survive, as consensus of the panel has led us to conclude that The Originals has become a far better show than The Vampire Diaries, especially given that the latter show’s days are officially numbered.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Originals was renewed for a fourth season; however, it is not slated to premiere until January 2017.  Hopefully, this delayed premiere does not signal a death knell for this show, as it has been announced that the upcoming eighth season of The Vampire Diaries will be its last. Because of the delayed premiere, CPU! will not revisit The Originals again until summer 2017.  Until then!

Upcoming Schedule!

Due to technical difficulties, upcoming live podcasts, and lives behind the podcasts involving trips out of town, this week’s episode will be released tomorrow night! Our next four weeks of podcasts look like this:

This week: The Originals, Seasons 1-3 (released this week on Thursday)

Next week: CPU LIVE at COM, where our Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt panel chats about Season Two (to be released on Monday and republished on Wednesday). Come on down to Dog Story Theater or join us live on Facebook!

The following week: Arrow, Seasons 3-4 from our DCTU panel (Wednesday release)

The week after that: The Flash, Seasons 1-2, from our DCTU panel (Wednesday release).

Don’t miss them! Stay tuned!

Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 3B; MAJOR SPOILERS; RERUN)

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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 in July 2016, our continuously small but robust panel–including moderator Kylie, Kristen, and Jen–is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 3B of Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and all things Hydra, Inhuman, and Hive! If you have not watched any of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, 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!