CPU! LIVE! (Sort Of): Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season Three (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 (sort of, not really) on Facebook on August 29, 2017, our panel– including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Krista, Sarah, Nick, and Andrew is Around the Water Cooler, Streaming Originals, and chatting about the third 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 August 29, 2017, on Facebook – sadly, a glitch rendered much of the video hiccuped and wonky (technical terms), so we pulled the video from Facebook; 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!  We promise we’ll get it together for our next live event, coming soon!

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PODCAST! – CPU! LIVE! (Sort Of) – Around the Water Cooler & Streaming Originals: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – Season Three (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 third season of the series was released in its entirety on Netflix on May 19, 2017.

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 previous Kimmy podcasts, listen/watch via the embedded links below:

Season One

Season Two

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 third season, our UBK panel – including original panelists Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Krista, and Andrew – proved eager to reconvene once again to discuss Season Three.

Of course, in September of last year, CPU! went LIVE! and live streamed at its Facebook page from Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater in Cool City Grand Rapids, Michigan, to talk Kimmy, her compatriots, and their second season.  So, naturally, because we went live last year, we decided to try to uphold (though not quite) a tradition (though not really) – and we attempted to do this latest episode as a “live podcast” from “the bunker,” lacking the live studio audience but including all sorts of bunker-like ambiance.  Sadly, technology failed us, and we did not produce a good live-stream video to provide for your viewing pleasure, but always prepared – like the boy scouts! – we still recorded an audio version of the podcast, which is the link you will find below.  Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts on the third season?  Let us know if there is anything that you think we missed!

This podcast was recorded on August 29, 2017, 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!  Next Wednesday, we’re back around the water cooler to give our Marvel Agents of SHIELD panel, slightly larger and slightly more robust than before, and the correlating episode another go as our panel reconvenes to dissect the jam-packed second half of Season 4.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

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

ANSWER: Season Three began some time after the end of season two, in or around two months.  We saw Titus on the cruise ship but not until later on in the season, as he mysteriously appears back in New York City in the beginning of the season, having left the job under circumstances about which he is initially unwilling to divulge details.

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

ANSWER: Quite the contrary – Titus, plagued by doubt and insecurity, as other guys start flirting with Mikey, and as Titus discovers that he and his beau have very different interests, decides to break up with Mikey, claiming that the first boyfriend Mikey is “out” with should not be “the one,” and that Mikey should feel free to experiment.  The only trouble with Titus’ rash decision is that he realizes that he loves Mikey and spends the rest of the season sort of stalking him and pining after him, finally resolving to get back together with him in the end.  Of course, Kimmy remains Titus’ ever loyal roommate throughout.

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.

ANSWER: Wendy Hebert (Laura Dern) is the woman in question, who somehow falls for the persuasive Reverend; to be fair, she does not appear to be in possession of all of her marbles.  It is also explained that the Reverend was also married to each of the Mole Women, including Kimmy, who refuses to provide the Reverend’s requested divorce in order to protect Wendy, who seems oblivious to the fact that the Reverend is a former cult leader and current felon.

4) Will Dong ever return for Kimmy?

ANSWER: He hasn’t yet.

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?

ANSWER: She hasn’t yet, and the latter answer has not, as yet, been clarified.

New Questions

1) Will we see any more representatives from 30 Rock, since Season Three was lousy with 30 Rock cameos?

2) Will there be a larger plot involving the Reverend, since he and Kimmy are still married?

3) Will Tina Fey always play AHN-drea Andrea?

4) Will Titus and Mikey get back together?

5) Will Lillian (Carol Kane) and Artie reunite?

6) Will Jenna, I mean, Jackie Lynn, I mean Jacqueline be funnier as an agent?

7) Will Kimmy find her raison d’etre?

8) Will Lisa Kudrow come back?  She was well received by our panel.

PARTING SHOTS

In discussing Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the panel universally agrees that the third season of the quirky sitcom is not as fresh or as successfully executed as the series’ first two seasons.  Though all panelists still enjoy moments of laughter provided by the show’s over the top characters and absurdist situations, many of the panelists struggled with the third season’s reach for gimmicks, like the meta connection to Orange is the New Black, and generally disjointed situational story lines, citing Jacqueline’s relationship to Russ (David Cross/Billy Magnussen) as a divergent low point, even as Titus’ various exploits, including his viral hit “Boobs in California,” spark consistent laughter. Still, all agree that the show is a great sitcom with easy laughs by the minds who produced 30 Rock; thus, we feel there is 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 fourth 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 fourth 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 COM (Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater) on October 2, 2017, for our 100th episode!  Like our Facebook page to keep abreast of the event – which will publish in September!  Stay tuned for all the details!

Coming Soon at CPU!

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Despite prior advertisements to the contrary, this week’s episode, originally scheduled to be Marvel Agents of SHIELDSeason 4B, was preempted (to be published in two weeks) in favor of a slaphappy story as told by a slightly insane Chief Couch Potato! (It should be noted that she’s meeting David Tennant in three days and may be a little insane with giddiness…pardon it all).  Our next four weeks of podcasts look like this:

Tonight: Story Time with Chief Couch Potato Kylie

Next week: A Surprise!  Keep checking the Facebook page for more details!

The following week: Agents of SHIELD, Season 4B

The week after that: Looking Back at Marvel’s Agent Carter

New episodes are, as always, coming down the pike, including new panels, such as for Sense8 and Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, and new episodes from old panels, including The Vampire Diaries, Broadchurch, New Girl, The 100, The Originals, and Doctor Who.  Don’t miss them! Stay tuned!

To listen to the slaphappy story, click here.

Coming Soon @ CPU!

couchpotatoesunite

The Chief Couch Potato of the podcast entitled Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com, gets somewhat slaphappy and silly and even a little stupid in this brief preview of what’s coming soon at CPU!  This five minute blip features her rather feeble attempt at podcast-related storytelling, during which she previews a special, surprise, awesome episode to stream live on Facebook on August 29, 2017, at 8:00 PM.  Keep checking our social media (Facebook, @cpupodcast on Twitter, @couchpotatoesunite on Instagram) – and don’t say we didn’t warn you about the silliness. 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!

Looking Back at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Seasons 4-5: The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode 2 (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 panel of experts – including moderator Kylie, Nick, Kyle, Sarah, and Kallie – gathered together to Look Back at and to reminisce about Seasons Four and Five of CPU! favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This is the second part of a five part CPU! podcast series examining two of our favorite television programs, Buffy and Angel, aka “The Buffy-Verse.” If you have not watched any of Buffy or Angel (and I mean, any!), 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!

Stay tuned for Episode 3 of our Buffy-Verse series, in which we cover Seasons 1-2 of Angel!

PODCAST! – Cult TV! and Best Of! and Looking Back at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Seasons 4-5: The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode 2 (MAJOR SPOILERS) + Best Written TV (#49)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” a cult supernatural, fantasy, action, and horror drama that aired on the Warner Bros. network, or “The WB,” from 1997 to 2001 and on the United Paramount Network, or “UPN,” from 2001-2003.

What: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” follows Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women known as “Vampire Slayers” or simply “Slayers,” called or chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness.

SYNOPSIS

Buffy’s mystical calling endows her with powers that dramatically enhance physical strength, endurance, agility, healing, intuition, and that provide a limited degree of clairvoyance, usually in the form of prophetic dreams. She is known as a reluctant hero who wants to live a normal life; however, she learns to embrace her destiny as the vampire Slayer.  Buffy receives guidance from her Watcher, Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), a member of the Watchers’ Council, whose job is to train and guide the Slayers. Giles researches the supernatural creatures that Buffy must face, offers insights into their origins and advice on how to defeat them, and helps her stay in fighting form. Buffy is also helped by friends she meets at Sunnydale High School: Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon).

The cast of characters grows over the course of the series. A vampire with a soul, Angel (David Boreanaz), is Buffy’s love interest throughout the first three seasons. At Sunnydale High, Buffy meets several other students besides Willow and Xander willing to join her fight for good, an informal group eventually tagged the “Scooby Gang” or “Scoobies.” Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), the archetypal shallow cheerleader, reluctantly becomes involved. Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green) – a fellow student, rock guitarist and werewolf – joins the group through his relationship with Willow. Anya (Emma Caulfield), a former vengeance demon (Anyanka) who specialized in avenging scorned women, becomes Xander’s lover after losing her powers and joins the group in season four. Spike (James Marsters), a vampire, is an old companion of Angelus (Angel) and one of Buffy’s major enemies in early seasons, although they later become allies and lovers.  In fact, Buffy features dozens of recurring characters, both major and minor, and additional regular characters introduced in later seasons.

When: The show aired on the WB from 1997-2001 and on UPN from 2001-2003.

Where: The show is set primarily in fictional Sunnydale, California, home of one of the series’ fictional entrances to hell, otherwise known as “The Hellmouth.”

Why: Listen to the first episode of this podcast series for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  They are all personal and occasionally touching.

How – as in How Much Do We Love this Show?!

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the premiere of one of your Chief CP’s all-time favorite television shows, and since I know a few people in my life who love Buffy as much or (possibly) more than I do, I decided to invite some true Buffy-Verse scholars, in what has, again, become something of a family event, to participate in a five-part podcast series, during which we will take a critical look back at another couple of cult TV shows that fuel our respective imaginations and tug at our TV-loving hearts. In this five-part series, our panel – featuring CPU! regulars and semi-regulars Nick, Kyle, Sarah, and Kallie – look back at Buffy and its spin-off Angel, reminiscing about two shows that have withstood the test of time as personal favorites for several of us and as two of the most nationally and internationally acclaimed television series of all time.

We have already recorded one episode in this series, Looking Back at Buffy Seasons One, Two, and Three.  You can listen to that episode here or via our audio channels on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play:

The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode One, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Seasons 1-3

In this second episode of CPU!’s “Buffy-Verse” series, our panel discusses Seasons Four and Five of Buffy, covering the series’ middle years and the arguable apex of its popularity. We discuss our favorite and least favorite episodes within each season and our general impressions of the success of these two seasons, which aired on Tuesday nights on the WB network.

In addition, with this series, CPU! is introducing yet another brand new feature, which sort of combines some old features into one handily titled, efficiently truncated format. You may have noticed that we tend to favor some “best of” lists around here.  Well, in this new feature, called “Best Of!,” we are going to handily provide, right here, right now for Buffy but otherwise within the content entry for each podcast episode, the list of all of the “best of” acclaims a show receives.  In addition, we will be compiling those lists on separate bonus pages of our website (accessible by the menu at the top left of the header).  We’re not ready for the pages, as in they are under construction, but when it comes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s list of various acclaims accrued over the years, you’ll come to understand why this feature was introduced.

To wit, herein be the list of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Best Of!

  • #41 on TV Guide’s list of 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time
  • #2 on Empires “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” in 2008 and #22 in 2016
  • #27 on The Hollywood Reporters “Hollywood’s 100 Favorite TV Shows”
  • Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-Time
  • #38 on TV Guide’s list of the “60 Best Series of All Time”
  • #38 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time

In addition, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the most celebrated cult TV shows and TV fandoms, as the show ranks at #2 on Entertainment Weekly’s 2009 and 2014 Top Cult TV lists and at #3 on TV Guide’s Top Cult TV list.  Plus, Buffy ranked #49 on TV Guide’s Best Written TV list in 2013, as it is also considered one of the best written (scripted) television series of all time.

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!  Next Wednesday, we’re back around the water cooler when our Marvel Agents of SHIELD panel, slightly larger and slightly more robust than before, reconvenes to dissect the jam-packed second half of Season 4.  Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – if you somehow haven’t already watched it – is recommended to anyone who loves nerdy, cult science fiction and fantasy (and/or horror) series in the vein of Star Trek, The X-Files, and similar ilk and to any fan of Joss Whedon who hasn’t somehow discovered his first major and most critically and most popularly recognized work of screen fiction (beyond the vastly different film, for which he provided creative input and an early script later overruled by its producers).  As we discuss in this podcast series, this series broke ground for so many other series to come, including other popular shows for which writers and creators learned their trade working on this series originally, including shows like Once Upon a Time and even issue-based comedies, like the uneven but musical Glee. This show has a bit of everything, and, if you love solid, quality television – excellent television, in fact – and you have somehow missed this series, you should make time for Buffy. You will not be disappointed in the overall journey and entertainment value that this well written, well performed series provides.

The entire Buffy series is available to stream at only Hulu, currently. Watch it: you won’t regret it!

Sherlock Series, Episode Two – Series 3 & 4 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new 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 2017, our panel of enthusiastically Sherlocked Sherlockians — including moderator Kylie, Kristen L, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, and Kristin T — gathered around the water cooler once again to continue gushing, though in a slightly more tempered way, about the third and fourth series, and the intervening Christmas special, of the BBC-produced, internationally acclaimed, modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation, simply entitled Sherlock.  This is the second part of a CPU! podcast miniseries examining the thirteen available episodes of this widely popular and sparsely (but densely) produced drama.  If you have not watched any of Sherlock, 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!