American Horror Story Series, Episode Seven, Season Seven: “Cult” (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 returning panel of casual to serious horror fans (and rotating moderators!)–including moderator Kylie, Nick, Sarah, Emily, and Kallie–gathered Around the Water Cooler to chat about the seventh season of American Horror Story, otherwise known as “Cult.”  This is the seventh episode of an ongoing CPU! podcast series examining one of our favorite television programs throughout its anthology of various seasons depicting different and unique horror stories per season, and it was recorded in June 2018. If you have not watched American Horror Story: Cult, 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!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

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PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “American Horror Story: Cult” (American Horror Story Series, Episode 7, Season 7; MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “American Horror Story” airs on cable TV, specifically on FX, most recently on Fall Tuesdays at 10:00 PM, though it is currently on hiatus.

What: “American Horror Story,” a horror drama created by Ryan Murphy (Glee, Nip/Tuck) that tells a new horror story each season while featuring recurring actors and ensemble players.  This season is subtitled “Cult;” is set in fictional Brookfield Heights, Michigan, during the year 2017; and centers around a cult terrorizing a suburb in the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

SYNOPSIS

Set in the year 2017, the fictitious town of Brookfield Heights, Michigan, is left divided upon the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election. Local restaurant owner Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson) and her wife Ivy (Alison Pill) are left utterly distraught. Despite the help of her psychiatrist, Dr. Rudy Vincent Anderson (Cheyenne Jackson), Ally becomes increasingly unstable in the following weeks; her long repressed phobias begin to re-emerge, and they begin to affect her relationships with her wife as well as with their son Oz (Cooper Dodson). Across town, misogynistic alt-righter Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) rejoices at the election results, enticing him to pursue political power by running for city council while led by Bebe Babbitt (Frances Conroy), an old-school feminist, and with the help of his reluctant, liberal sister Winter (Billie Lourd), who was also hired by the Mayfair-Richards household as their nanny. As Ally attempts to adjust to regular life despite her growing anxiety and paranoia, she becomes terrorized by a group of masked assailants in clown attire who are only present when she is alone, leaving those around her to wonder if she was truly attacked or if they were merely hallucinations.

Kai’s faithful followers include Ally’s eccentric neighbors Harrison (Billy Eichner) and Meadow Wilton (Leslie Grossman), newscast reporter Beverly Hope (Adina Porter), rogue detective Jack Samuels (Colton Haynes), and local grocery cashier Gary K. Longstreet (Chaz Bono). With Kai’s rise to power revealing sinister motives, Ally starts to draw connections between her alleged clown attackers and the many strange incidents occurring in Brookfield Heights. She begins to fear that everyone in town is out to get her, amplifying her growing distrust of those around her, especially her neighbors.

When: Season Seven aired from September 5, 2017, to November 14, 2017, on FX.

Where: Each season focuses on a different locale.  This season, the action is set largely in fictional Brookfield Heights, Michigan.

Why:  Nick and Sarah, two CPU! regulars, proposed that CPU! publish an American Horror Story podcast series, being big fans of the show, and your Chief CP, who has previously covered this program on the CPU! blog and enjoys the show quite a bit, agreed wholeheartedly to the idea. Thus, welcome to our new CPU! series revolving around AHS, with each episode in the series focusing on one season of the show.  The series started at the beginning and will be ongoing as long as AHS stays on the air!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

American Horror Story is a groundbreaking horror anthology series that airs on FX.  Not only did this program render the horror genre mainstream television fare, it also propelled anthology formats to popularity.  The show is widely watched and a tent pole for FX, becoming a Halloween/fall-time cable staple of disturbing imagery and grotesque scares.

Two of CPU!’s frequent panelists, and one of our resident married couples, Nick and Sarah, are big fans of the show and, as noted above, proposed that CPU! start a series discussing AHS throughout its seasons.  We have already published our first episode in this series, chatting the first season of AHS, widely known as “Murder House;” the second episode discussing the second season, “Asylum;” the third episode discussing the third season, “Coven;” the fourth episode discussing the fourth season, “Freak Show;” the fifth episode discussing the fifth season, “Hotel;” and the sixth episode discussing the sixth season, “Roanoke.” Listen here:

American Horror Story Series, Episode 1, Season 1, “Murder House”

American Horror Story Series, Episode 2, Season 2, “Asylum”

American Horror Story Series, Episode 3, Season 3, “Coven”

American Horror Story Series, Episode 4, Season 4, “Freak Show”

American Horror Story Series, Episode 5, Season 5, “Hotel”

American Horror Story Series, Episode 6, Season 6, “Roanoke”

In today’s episode, the seventh episode of this series, we cover Season Seven, “Cult.” As the seasons are discussed and published, moderation duties rotate among the members of our robust AHS panel.  To wit, yours truly is back at the moderating mic to talk this seventh season, along with returning panelists Nick, Sarah, Emily, and Kallie.  In this episode, then, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments within the “Cult” season and our general impressions of the season’s success.  I should warn you, gentle listener, “success” is typically relative, and the panel does not ascribe that “successful” quality to this season as a general rule.  In fact, the panel’s reactions to Season 7 can best be summed up this way: it offers a risky, potentially intriguing concept that fell spectacularly flat, owing to disjointed writing and an uneven presentation of forced concepts that viewers were expected to buy with complete but unearned suspension of disbelief.  I guess this means, my friends, that you have been forewarned.  We have some strong opinions about the season subtitled “Cult.”

This podcast was recorded in June 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the “Cult” season. 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 Thursday (as next Wednesday is the 4th of July), our Marvel’s Defenders Panel returns to the Water Cooler to react, for better and, unfortunately, for worse, to the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, released in March of this year. Stay tuned!

PARTING SHOTS

The panel generally agrees, with the exception of panelist Sarah who struggled most with the “Roanoke” season, that “Cult” represents the worst of all seven seasons of American Horror Story.  Though the panel was universally excited by the gutsy backdrop potentially informing this seventh season, every panelist reacted in a somewhat volatile if not utterly confused manner to the execution of the gutsy backdrop, as all panelists regarded the season’s story to be largely disjointed, as if the writers were more impressed with it than they should be.  While the scares of the season proved to be some of the scariest, given the realities Americans now face every day no matter where one falls on the political spectrum, the payoff of some of the ambitious setups ultimately left resounding feelings of let-down in the season’s wake.  Ultimately, our AHS panel generally believed that the AHS writers and creator Ryan Murphy (the public face of the creative team) tried to do too much too quickly and almost in an aggrandizing way, which did little to endear our resident viewers to the cast of unsympathetic characters and archetypes populating this season.  Plus, our podcast is based in Michigan, and while there is a kernel of truth to the slice of Michigan life portrayed by the show, the setting, the characters, and the situations felt too much like caricature to help any of our panelists suspend disbelief in meaningful ways, as we have been able to do at least to some degree during all of the show’s prior six seasons.  In short, “Cult” was a mess – and maybe deliberately so, if the writers were trying to be clever – but the seventh season also lacked entertainment value in the process, even as it tried too hard to be art in the end.

LOOKING AHEAD

Our next episode in this series will cover Season Eight, though the release date and “subtitle” have not been released as of the time of the publication of this post.  What we do know about the eighth season is that it will feature the long-rumored, long-awaited crossover of what are arguably AHS’ most popular seasons, “Murder House” and “Coven.”  Thus, our AHS panel will return sometime after the Season 8 finale and then, again, after Season 9, since the horror anthology season has guaranteed longevity for two more seasons.  Stay tuned!

The Season 8 Cast Be Spoilerin’

Progress Report: End of Season Scorecard for Shows Covered By This Blog (Long-Running)

Based on reliable sources, including TVLine, the A.V. Club, Wikipedia, and TV.com, here are the statuses of shows currently covered by the CPU! Podcast and Blog.  This list does not include up and coming shows to be reviewed from this past season’s pilots list.  In fact, this is the first of the Summer Series Progress Reports!  I am still rooting for word on a few shows that premiered this year, which is why this entry is being published first this year.

This particular list comprises the End of Season Scorecard for Long-Running shows covered by the CPU! Podcast and Blog, with current statuses, upcoming premiere dates (if known), and other helpful information.  Shows that ended this year or recently that we have already covered via podcast or blog have been removed from the list. Also included is a complete list of network renewals and cancellations, some cable networks included, at the bottom.  If your show is not being covered by CPU!, and you want it to be, leave a comment or contact us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com (or via Facebook/Twitter).  We would probably find a way to make it happen!

The CPU! “What We’re Currently Watching” List

Marvel’s The Defenders (PODCAST) – Netflix

Classified as a miniseries, but we will hold out some hope for a while that Marvel and Netflix will pump out another season of this crossover (they have not said they wouldn’t!).

Orange is the New Black (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Seasons 6-7.  Season 6 premieres on July 27, 2018.

Arrow (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 7.  Season 7 will premiere on October 15, 2018.

The Flash (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 5.  Season 5 will premiere on October 9, 2018.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 4.  Season 4 will premiere on October 22, 2018.

Supergirl (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 4.  Season 4 will premiere on October 14, 2018.

Supernatural (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 14.  Season 14 will premiere on October 11, 2018.

Gotham (PODCAST) – Fox

Renewed for Season 5, which will be the final season.

Marvel’s the Punisher (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 2.

Once Upon a Time (PODCAST) – ABC

Canceled; Season 7 is the final season.  Two-part goodbye miniseries on the podcast coming soon.

The Good Place (PODCAST) – NBC

Renewed for Season 3, which will premiere on September 27, 2018.

Grace and Frankie (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 5.

Fuller House (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 4.

Game of Thrones (PODCAST) – HBO

Renewed for Season 8, which will be the final season.

Stranger Things (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3.

iZombie (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 5, which will be the final season.

Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (PODCAST) – ABC

Renewed for Season 6.

Marvel’s Luke Cage (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 2, which was released on June 22, 2018.

Doctor Who (PODCAST) – BBC America

Renewed for Series 11.

Marvel’s Iron Fist (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 2.

13 Reasons Why (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3.

American Horror Story (PODCAST) – FX

Renewed for Seasons 8 and 9.

How to Get Away with Murder (PODCAST/Jumped the Shark) – ABC

Renewed for Season 5.  CPU! Jumped the Shark. If you would like us to resume podcast coverage of this show, please contact us via the Guestbook, social media, or at our email address (couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com).

Sherlock (PODCAST) – PBS

Series 4 aired from January 1-January 15, 2017.  Though possibility of a fifth series is being contemplated, no announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has yet been made.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 4, which will be the final season.  The season will be released in two parts.  Part One was released on May 30, 2018.

New Girl (PODCAST) – Fox

Ended 2018.  Season 7 was the show’s final season.  CPU! will cover the show in a goodbye episode coming soon.  Stay tuned!

A Series of Unfortunate Events (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3, which will be the final season.

The Originals (PODCAST) – CW

Ended 2018.  Season 5 was the show’s final season.  CPU! will cover the show in a goodbye episode coming soon.  Stay tuned!

The 100 (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 6. CPU! Jumped the Shark. If you would like us to resume podcast coverage of this show, please contact us via the Guestbook, social media, or at our email address (couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com).

Sense8 (Currently in Blog format; transitioning to a PODCAST) – Netflix

Canceled, but the network commissioned a finale two-hour movie, which was released on June 8, 2018.  CPU! will be covering the entire show in one looking back type episode, coming soon.  Stay tuned!

The X-Files (PODCAST) – Fox

Ended 2018.  Season 11 was the show’s (currently) final season.  CPU! will cover the show in a goodbye episode coming soon.  Stay tuned!

Marvel’s Jessica Jones (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3.

Marvel’s Daredevil (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3.

Fargo – FX

Renewed for Season 4.

The Mindy Project – Hulu

Ended 2017. If you would like us to cover this show in a podcast episode, please contact us via the Guestbook, social media, or at our email address (couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com); review otherwise coming soon.

Sleepy Hollow – Fox

Ended 2017.  Review or podcast to come.

Madam Secretary – CBS

Renewed for Season 5.

Bones – Fox

Ended 2017.  CPU! will be covering this show in a future “Looking Back” podcast episode. Stay tuned!

Revenge – ABC

Ended 2015.  Review (either blog or podcast) to come.

Reign – CW

Ended 2017.  Review (either blog or podcast) to come.

About a Boy – NBC

Ended 2015.  Review (either blog or podcast) to come.

Network Shows and Other Shows Mentioned by CPU!ers

(does not include this year’s freshman series, currently covered shows, shows we’ve already covered and eliminated, or game and reality shows)

By Popular Demand

ABC

American Housewife (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

black-ish (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 5.

Designated Survivor (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Fresh Off the Boat (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 5.

The Goldbergs (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 6.

Grey’s Anatomy (CPU! jumped the shark)
Renewed for Season 15.

The Middle (passed by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 9 is the show’s final season.

Modern Family (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 10.

Quantico (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 3 is the show’s final season.

Scandal (passed by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 7 is the show’s final season.

Speechless (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

CBS

The Big Bang Theory (picked up by CPU! late)
Renewed for Season 12.

Blue Bloods (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 9.

Bull (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Code Black (passed by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 3 is the show’s final season.

Criminal Minds (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 14.

Elementary (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 7.

The Good Fight (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Hawaii Five-O (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 9.

Life in Pieces (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Mom (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 6.

NCIS (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 16.

NCIS: Los Angeles (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 10.

NCIS: New Orleans (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 5.

Ransom (passed by CPU!)
Renewed (this year, even though it was canceled last year) for Season 2.

Salvation (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 2.

Scorpion (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 4 is the show’s final season.

Star Trek: Discovery (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 2.

Superior Donuts (passed by CPU!)
Canceled (again).  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Zoo (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled. Season 3 is the show’s final season.

FOX

Bob’s Burgers (animated)
Renewed for Season 9.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled by Fox but renewed for Season 6 by NBC!

Empire (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 5.

The Exorcist (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Family Guy (animated)
Renewed for Season 17.

The Last Man on Earth (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled.  Season 4 is the show’s final season.

Lethal Weapon (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 3, with a casting change.

Lucifer (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled by Fox but renewed for Season 4 by Netflix!

The Mick (passed by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Prison Break (picked up by CPU!)
Unofficially renewed for Season 6 (Fox describes the show as in “early development”).

The Simpsons (animated)
Renewed for Season 30.

Shots Fired (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 1 is the show’s only season.

Star (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Wayward Pines (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

NBC

The Blacklist (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 6.

Blindspot (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Chicago Fire (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 7.

Chicago Med (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Chicago P.D. (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 6.

Great News (passed by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Law and Order: SVU (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 20.

Marlon (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 2, which premieres in June 2018.

Midnight, Texas (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 2.

The Night Shift (passed by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 4 is the show’s final season.

Shades of Blue (passed by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 3 is the show’s final season.

Superstore (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Taken (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

This Is Us (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Timeless (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season

Trial & Error (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 2.

The CW

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4, which will be the show’s final season.

Jane the Virgin (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 5, which will be the show’s final season.

Riverdale (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Current/Ongoing Shows – Cable, Premium, Streaming – Requested
by CPU! Regulars for the Podcast

PBS

Call the Midwife
Renewed for Series 8 and 9!

BBC America

Killing Eve
Renewed for Season 2.

FXX

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Renewed for Seasons 13 and 14!

FX

Feud
Renewed for Season 2.

Netflix

The Crown
Renewed for Season 3.

The OA
Renewed for Season 2.

Peaky Blinders
Renewed for Series 5.

House of Cards
Renewed for Season 6, which will be the show’s final season.

Anne with an E
Renewed for Season 2, which will premiere on July 6, 2018.

Master of None
Season 2 premiered on May 12, 2017.  No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

GLOW
Renewed for Season 2, which will premiere on June 29, 2018.

Arrested Development
Renewed for Season 5, which premiered on May 29, 2018.

Altered Carbon
Season 1 premiered on February 2, 2018.  No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Mindhunter
Renewed for Season 2.

The End of the F***ing World
Series 1 premiered on January 5, 2018.  No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Santa Clarita Diet
Renewed for Season 3.

Black Mirror
Renewed for Series 5.

BoJack Horseman
Renewed for Season 5.

Showtime

Billions
Renewed for Season 4.

Shameless
Renewed for Season 9, which will premiere on September 9, 2018.

TNT

The Librarians
Canceled.  Season 4 was the final season.

Will
Canceled.  Season 1 was the show’s only season.

USA

Mr. Robot
Renewed for Season 4.

Pop

Schitt’s Creek
Renewed for Season 5.

Starz

Outlander
Renewed for Seasons 4, 5, and 6!

American Gods
Renewed for Season 2.

Power
Renewed for Season 5, which will premiere on July 1, 2018, and Season 6!

AMC

Better Call Saul
Renewed for Season 4, which will premiere on August 6, 2018.

The Walking Dead
Renewed for Season 9.

SyFy

The Magicians
Renewed for Season 4.

Wynonna Earp
Renewed for Season 3, which will premiere on July 20, 2018.

Van Helsing
Renewed for Season 3.

The Expanse
Canceled by SyFy but renewed by Amazon for Season 4.

Amazon

The Man in the High Castle
Renewed for Season 3.

Brittania
Renewed for Season 2.

Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale
Renewed for Season 3.

HBO

Big Little Lies
Renewed for Season 2.

Westworld
Renewed for Season 3.

Disney Channel

Raven’s Home
Renewed for Season 2, which premiered on June 25, 2018.

Cinemax

Strike
The series premiered on June 1, 2018.  No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Cartoon Network

Rick and Morty
Renewed for Season 4.

That’s it, fellow Couch Potatoes!  Next up in the Progress Report series: the End of Year Scorecard for 2017-2018 pilots, as soon as I get some more information on some network holdouts.  Stay tuned! 🙂

iZombie, Season 4: Part Two of the “Catching Up on iZombie” Miniseries (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 June 2018, our panel of CPU! veterans and all-around brainy chicks – moderator Kylie, Kristen, Jen S., and Jenn K. – returns to the CPU! Water Cooler to discuss the fourth and most recent season of quirky comedy-drama iZombie, in this, Part Two of our two-part “Catching Up on iZombie” Miniseries.  As always, if you have not watched any of iZombie, be aware that there are, most definitely, 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!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “iZombie” – The Season 4 Recap; Part Two of CPU!’s “Catching Up on iZombie” Miniseries (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “iZombie” is a horror, crime/procedural, comedy-drama series that airs on the CW, typically during the spring.

What:  “iZombie,” developed by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, is a loose adaptation of the comic book series of the same name created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred and published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint.

SYNOPSIS

Seattle medical resident Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver) is turned into a zombie while attending a boat party. She abandons her career and breaks up with her fiance, much to the disappointment and puzzlement of her family. She discovers that if she does not periodically satisfy her new appetite for brains, she starts turning into a stereotypical zombie, stupid and homicidal. Instead of feeding by killing innocent people, Liv decides to take a job at the King County morgue and to eat the brains of the corpses she autopsies. Her secret is guessed by her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli). Ravi soon becomes Liv’s friend and confidant, and as a scientist, he is intrigued by her condition.

Liv finds out that whenever she eats a dead person’s brain, she temporarily inherits some of their personality traits and skills, and she experiences flashbacks of that person’s life. Those visions are generally triggered by sights (events or objects) or sounds (repeated sentences). In the case of murder victims, the flashbacks offer clues about the killer. Liv decides to use this new ability to help Police Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) solve crimes. Though she initially passes herself off as a psychic, Clive eventually learns the truth about her and zombies. Meanwhile, Ravi works to develop a cure for Liv’s affliction in the hope that one day she will be able to resume her former life.

When: Season Four aired on the CW from February 26, 2018, to May 28, 2018, with a total of 13 episodes.

Where: The action is set primarily in Seattle, Washington – present day.

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

During the annual Fall TV Preview for the 2014-2015 season, CPU! Chief Kylie picked up this show for CPU!’s review.  When I picked it up, I said:

Okay, the name of the show is on the level of ridiculously stupid, and the rash of zombie-related fare is as overdone as vampires (though I enjoy vampires so much more than zombies). Also, this could cross heavily into procedural territory.  Yet, there is an interesting twist wherein the main character absorbs memories from brains she eats.  I have a feeling it might be better than the name lets on…then again…

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

To listen to Part One of this miniseries, covering the first three seasons of iZombie, click the link embedded below:

Seasons 1-3

By semi-popular request, notably by brave and brainy CPU! regular panelists ready to get scratched and slightly gourmet for this cult favorite comic book adaptation, iZombie has become a new show panel at the CPU! Water Cooler. Tonight’s episode is the second part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! gets caught up on this show, which premiered on the CW in 2015.

Ultimately, our CPU! faithful group of zombie acolytes, namely Kristen, Jen S., and Jenn K., continues to regard iZombie as a unique, quirky, and fresh comedy-drama addition to the annals of burgeoning zombie fiction, even if it is nothing like fare in the vein of The Walking Dead.  In this episode, the second of a catch-up miniseries in which we chat about this show, our panel reflects on and recaps the fourth and most recent season of iZombie, reacting to the various quirky characters and the seemingly impossible situations in which they find themselves, including Liv’s ongoing ingestion of “brains of the week,” though in this most recent season, the procedural element is happily intertwined with an overarching story line that, somewhat surprisingly, delivers an unexpected but profound emotional punch (even if some of the story remains on-the-nose in the writers’ apparent attempt to be allegorical to these, our modern times).

This episode was recorded in June 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the fourth season. 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, schedule permitting, our American Horror Story series panel returns to the Water Cooler after a year’s hiatus to talk the most recent season – joining the “Cult,” one might say – with your Chief CP back at the moderating microphone, per usual, in our AHS panel’s rotating cadre of moderators.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

1) Will Season 5 start with another time jump, however long, or will the writers pick the story up from the end moment of the Season 4 finale?

2) Will Liv be cured of being a zombie by the end of the series?  Will Major (Robert Buckley)?  Will the whole of Seattle’s zombie population?

3) Did Agent Dale Bozzio eat the entirety of Isobel’s brain, as Ravi suggested to Liv, to return to her human self?  Or, did she figure out that just part of it would cure her, since she ate whatever portion of this brain off-screen?

4) Will Liv, Major, and Blaine (David Anders) truly work together to ensure that Seattle’s zombies will not starve, with the government ban on continued importation of brains into (New) Seattle, as Major envisions?  What would that look like?  Or, more probably, will there be conflict between all three of them?

5) Without a cure, will zombies and humans learn to co-exist?  Is this how the show might end?  Would such an ending satisfy?

6) Will the US government declare war on Seattle and try to bomb it as they have threatened to do? Will the US Army be forced to intervene now that Liv is the new, permanent “Renegade?”

7) Will Liv and Major get back together once and for all, now that Clive and Dale are married, and Ravi and Peyton (Aly Michalka) are back together?

8) If a cure is produced, will there be zombies who resist taking the cure, such as Blaine, who seems very reluctant to remain human?

9) Are any of Brother Love’s/Angus’ (Robert Knepper) disciples still around or any who did not try to cross the Seattle perimeter surrounded by US military, only to be exterminated in the end?  If so, what effect will they have, if any, on our characters and/or the Seattle zombie population going forward?

10) Will we see Ravi on more brains of the week?  Additionally, can Liv, Ravi, and Major all be on different brains at the same time?  The panel votes the latter with gusto.

PARTING SHOTS

iZombie is recommended overall by our CPU! panel to fans of zombie fiction with some crossover appeal who are not afraid to laugh, keeping in mind properties like Shaun of the Dead; to fans of genre fare like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which readily exploit nerd-core and offer pop culture winks and nods in happy ways; and to procedural TV with a twist, such as Bones, especially those that offer a heaping dose of dark comedy.  One panelist cautioned that if a zombie enthusiast is not willing to laugh at their beloved zombies in question, this show would likely not appeal to said enthusiast, particularly if said zombie fan remains purist to zombie fiction’s general horror roots.  Chief CP Kylie also compared the humor of Arrested Development to that of this show, in that iZombie is laden with innuendo and meta references and is self-aware without taking itself too seriously, which renders the show all the more charming   Further, the panel generally praises the performances of the main cast, particularly McIver, with her different affects signifying zombie brains of the week, and Kohli (Ravi is, unanimously, the panel’s favorite character) as well as the generally inventive writing.  Especially after the fourth season, our panel confidently opined that we universally had and have great fun watching this series and believe that most with an open and slightly nerdy sense of humor will have fun watching it too.

LOOKING AHEAD

The CW renewed iZombie for a fifth and final season, which is expected to premiere in spring 2019 (no tentative premiere date has yet been announced), which is when our CPU! iZombie panel will likely return to the Water Cooler to chat about Season 5 and to offer one final, brief, Look Back at the entire series.  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the website, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes regarding iZombie as well as new episodes for all of our podcast panels!  And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review.  Thank you! 🙂

iZombie, Seasons 1-3: Part One of the “Catching Up on iZombie” Miniseries (MAJOR SPOILERS)

CPU! final-01

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 2018, our panel of CPU! veterans and all-around brainy chicks – moderator Kylie, Kristen, Jen S., and Jenn K. – convenes for the first time around the CPU! Water Cooler to discuss the first three seasons of a quirky comedy-drama adding to the extensive annals of zombie fiction, i.e. iZombie, in this, Part One of our two-part “Catching Up on iZombie” Miniseries.  As always, if you have not watched any of iZombie, be aware that there are, most definitely, 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!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Pilots, Premieres, and First Looks: “iZombie” – Recapping Seasons 1, 2, and 3; Part One of CPU!’s “Catching Up on iZombie” Miniseries (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “iZombie” is a horror, crime/procedural, comedy-drama series that airs on the CW, typically during the spring.

What:  “iZombie,” developed by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, is a loose adaptation of the comic book series of the same name created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred and published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint.

When: Season One aired from March 14, 2015, to June 9, 2015, with a total of 13 episodes; Season Two aired from October 6, 2015, to April 12, 2016, with a total of 19 episodes; and Season Three aired from April 4, 2017, to June 27, 2017, with a total of 13 episodes, all on the CW.  

Where: The action is set primarily in Seattle, Washington – present day.

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

During the annual Fall TV Preview for the 2014-2015 season, CPU! Chief Kylie picked up this show for CPU!’s review.  When I picked it up, I said:

Okay, the name of the show is on the level of ridiculously stupid, and the rash of zombie-related fare is as overdone as vampires (though I enjoy vampires so much more than zombies). Also, this could cross heavily into procedural territory.  Yet, there is an interesting twist wherein the main character absorbs memories from brains she eats.  I have a feeling it might be better than the name lets on…then again…

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.

iZombie = 4.2, by average of the podcast panel.

SYNOPSIS

Seattle medical resident Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver) is turned into a zombie while attending a boat party. She abandons her career and breaks up with her fiance, much to the disappointment and puzzlement of her family. She discovers that if she does not periodically satisfy her new appetite for brains, she starts turning into a stereotypical zombie, stupid and homicidal. Instead of feeding by killing innocent people, Liv decides to take a job at the King County morgue and to eat the brains of the corpses she autopsies. Her secret is guessed by her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli). Ravi soon becomes Liv’s friend and confidant, and as a scientist, he is intrigued by her condition.

Liv finds out that whenever she eats a dead person’s brain, she temporarily inherits some of their personality traits and skills, and she experiences flashbacks of that person’s life. Those visions are generally triggered by sights (events or objects) or sounds (repeated sentences). In the case of murder victims, the flashbacks offer clues about the killer. Liv decides to use this new ability to help Police Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) solve crimes. Though she initially passes herself off as a psychic, Clive eventually learns the truth about her and zombies. Meanwhile, Ravi works to develop a cure for Liv’s affliction in the hope that one day she will be able to resume her former life.

THOUGHTS

A group of brave and brainy CPU! regular panelists were ready to get scratched and slightly gourmet to discuss another comic book adaptation with a decidedly cult following hanging out rather comfortably with several other comic book adaptations over on the CW network. Specifically, regular CPU! panelists Kristen, the reigning panel champ; vampire, supernatural, and SHIELD enthusiast Jen (going by Jen S. in this episode); and Original though Not Unfortunate, if she gives you 13 Reasons Why, panelist Jenn (going by Jenn K. in this episode), gathered “Around the Water Cooler” to take a “First Look” at the first three seasons of iZombie. The panelists examine Liv’s initial foray into life as a member of the undead, Ravi’s discovery of her secret and work on a potential cure, and the friends and foes of the first season; to Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley), Liv’s on/off again fiance and boyfriend (and zombie), taking on the persona of “Chaos Killer;” and to all-zombie military contractor Fillmore Graves and the advent of zombie discrimination, as the Seattle population of zombies increases and becomes known to the decidedly disturbed non-zombie population of the Emerald City.

Ultimately, our CPU! faithful group of panelists thinks that iZombie is a unique, quirky, and fresh comedy-drama addition to the annals of burgeoning zombie fiction, even if it is nothing like fare in the vein of The Walking Dead.  In this episode, the first of a catch-up miniseries in which we chat about this show, our panel reflects on and recaps the first three seasons of iZombie, reacting to the various quirky characters and the seemingly impossible situations in which they find themselves, including Liv’s ingestion of “brains of the week,” which produces a decidedly procedural format underlying this program, albeit with a very specific twist.

This episode was recorded in June 2018, 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!  Next Wednesday, we offer the second of our two-part iZombie miniseries, in which we will recap Season 4, which will render CPU! officially caught up to the current season.  Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION
iZombie is recommended overall by our CPU! panel to fans of zombie fiction with some crossover appeal who are not afraid to laugh, keeping in mind properties like Shaun of the Dead; to fans of genre fare like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which readily exploit nerd-core and offer pop culture winks and nods in happy ways; and to procedural TV with a twist, such as Bones, especially those that offer a heaping dose of dark comedy.  One panelist cautioned that if a zombie enthusiast is not willing to laugh at their beloved zombies in question, this show would likely not appeal to said enthusiast, particularly if said zombie fan remains purist to zombie fiction’s general horror roots.  Chief CP Kylie also compared the humor of Arrested Development to that of this show, in that iZombie is laden with innuendo and meta references and is self-aware without taking itself too seriously, which renders the show all the more charming   Further, the panel generally praises the performances of the main cast, particularly McIver, with her different affects signifying zombie brains of the week, and Kohli (Ravi is, unanimously, the panel’s favorite character) as well as the generally inventive writing, though the panel also agrees that there are better seasons than others.  In fact, the panelists describe the show as generally “solid” with a noted lull in the third season when the writers aimed for something more topical to current events, in on-the-nose allegory, rather than steering the story in a direction that flowed better within the world that had been organically established and developed up until that point.  In any event, our panel universally had and has great fun watching this series and believes that most with an open and slightly nerdy sense of humor will have fun watching it too.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
The CW renewed iZombie for a fifth and final season, which is expected to premiere in spring 2019 (no tentative premiere date has yet been announced). CPU! will next visit iZombie next week for Part Two of this “Catch-Up Miniseries;” the new episode will focus upon the fourth season of the show and will bring our humble podcast to current times, appreciations, and readiness for iZombie coverage going forward and through its announced conclusion following the fifth season.  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the website, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes regarding iZombie as well as new episodes for all of our podcast panels!  And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review.  Thank you! 🙂