Grace and Frankie, Season 5 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cpu-final-01large.jpg

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 2019, our panel of CPU! veterans – moderator Kylie, Kristen, Krista, Amie, and Samantha – reconvenes around the CPU! Water Cooler to discuss Season 5 of the quirky Netflix comedy about growing old (and growing up) gracefully, Grace and Frankie.  As always, if you have not watched any of Grace and Frankie, be aware that there are, most definitely, MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

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

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

Advertisements

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: “Grace and Frankie” – The Season 5 Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Grace and Frankie” is a comedy-drama web television and Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What:  “Grace and Frankie,” created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the title roles of Grace and Frankie, two unlikely friends who are brought together after their husbands announce that they are in love and plan to get married. Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, June Diane Raphael, and Baron Vaughn co-star in supporting roles.

SYNOPSIS

The series follows Grace (Fonda), a retired cosmetics mogul, and Frankie (Tomlin), a hippie art teacher, whose husbands, Robert (Sheen) and Sol (Waterston), are successful divorce lawyers in San Diego.  Grace and Frankie’s lives are turned upside down when Robert and Sol announce that they are in love with each other and are leaving their wives. Now, the women, who have never particularly liked each other, are forced to live together and must learn to unite and to cope with difficulties in their new lives as 70-something divorcees.

When: Season 5 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on January 18, 2019, with a total of thirteen episodes.

Where: The action is set primarily in San Diego, California, and surrounding communities.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the Season 1 and 2 podcast episode via the link below!

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

Last year, CPU! caught up on this septuagenarian (or, perhaps, secretly octogenarian) sitcom in a two-part miniseries. To listen to that miniseries, in which each part covers two seasons of Grace and Frankie, click on either of the links embedded below:

Seasons 1 and 2

Seasons 3 and 4

Previously by popular request, though notably by frequent CPU! panelists and viewers unlikely to be in the intended target audience for this quirky comedy-drama, Grace and Frankie became a new show panel at the CPU! Water Cooler last year. Ultimately, those requesting CPU! faithful continue to regard Grace and Frankie as a charming comedy about growing old gracefully – but also about growing up gracefully – in these, our modern times. 

To that end, in this episode, our panelists – Kristen, Krista, Amie, and Samantha – reflect on and recap the fifth season of Grace and Frankie, reacting to the growing cadre of quirky characters and the seemingly impossible situations in which they find themselves.  From new loves to new heartaches, from death to birth, from squats to yurts to alternate realities, our panel reacts to it all.

This episode was recorded in July 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points, jokes, and sight gags of the fifth 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, a new, one-time panel convenes at the CPU! Water Cooler to Look Back at a CW drama that ended in 2017, which fictionalized and romanticized the life and journeys of Mary, Queen of Scots. The drama is Reign, which CPU! began covering on the blog in the year the website launched. We are royally excited to return to it too!  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) Did Nick (guest: Peter Gallagher) buy the beach house?  If he did not buy the beach house, who did?

ANSWER: Nick did not buy the beach house. A pop star known as Karina G (guest: Nicole Ritchie) bought the beach house to escape fallout from a social media disaster propagated by the vapid songstress. It was she who came equipped with a sassy assistant played by RuPaul. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

2) Will Grace and Frankie get the beach house back?

ANSWER: Yes. Grace and Frankie aim to squat and squat they do in the empty beach house prior to Karina G’s move-in. When Karina is ready to eject the gal pals, they successfully turn on their charms; Frankie convinces Karina that New Mexico is a much better place to hide from paparazzi.

3) What will the fallout be with the kids, since they all conspired against the women, their mothers?  What was Robert and Sol’s reaction – or what will it be – when they found/find out?

ANSWER: Bud (Vaughn) insists that the women hire a home health aide to look after them, since they refuse to return to the retirement village from whence they sprung; the other three kids are more mortified that their mothers engaged in the dignified act of squatting to get their house back. The women have their revenge, however, when Frankie ultimately hires retired secretary Joan-Margaret, who can barely walk, to be their caregiver. In the meantime, though Robert and Sol are aware of their ex-wives’ antics, they betray little surprise or care regarding fleeing retirement villages or subsequent squatting, beyond bemused hoping that they remain safe. In fact, the husbands seem to be placated by the idea that Grace and Frankie successfully return from their lives as fugitives and are looked after by the kids.

4) Where did Nick go?  Does he know that Grace checked into a retirement community?

ANSWER: Nick tried to move on with his life, considering that it was Grace that gave him the old heave-ho. He eventually reunites with Grace when she realizes that she loves and misses him and engages in an awkward gambit to win him back, so she probably filled him in on the whole old folks’ village sitch off-screen.

5) Will Brianna (Raphael) save Say Grace and gain some of her mother’s approval, as panelist Krista predicts?

ANSWER: Brianna actually humbles herself long enough to ask Grace to help her, as the company begins to fail. This partnership predictably deteriorates rapidly (listen to the podcast episode for details), though Grace does realize, in the end, that Brianna has a good head for business, and Brianna concedes that Grace is not as out of touch as Brianna otherwise keeps attempting to argue. Saying that Brianna officially gained her mother’s approval in the end, however, seems like a stretch measurement for their status quo as of the season finale. You tell us, gentle listener. What do you think?

6) Will Jacob (former guest: Ernie Hudson) return to Frankie somehow, as many of the panelists hope?

ANSWER: No. Jacob has not returned as of Season 5.

7) Why does Mallory (Decker) continue to allow Coyote (Embry) to park his tiny home in front of her house?  Will Mallory and Coyote couple up?  Will the show offer up more back story for this troubled pair other than Coyote’s drunken blackout night?

ANSWER: Still a question. An educated guess estimates that pity/friendship/secret feelings still motivate Mallory, but she and Coyote have not acted upon any feelings that either or both of them might still be nursing for the other. The show, also, has not offered additional back story on their awkward relationship.

8) What will RuPaul’s new character, who panelist Kristen describes in the episode, mean to the story next season?

ANSWER: Very little, as it turns out. It seems that RuPaul was a mere stunt cast, meant to fuel preseason speculation and, probably, to gain viewership, but he (outside of his drag persona) appeared in only two episodes, and the panel concluded that this appearance was underwhelming and only modestly funny at best. Yet, RuPaul still has her Drag Race. May the sass be with her.

New Questions

1) Will Brianna and Mallory self-actualize, countering their mother’s high standards and judgment, for once? Will Brianna find the confidence to run Say Grace and to make it successful without her mother’s help? Will Mallory advocate for herself and for her wants and needs (like a paycheck from her sister) rather than wallowing in belabored self-pity following her divorce?

2) Will there be more episodes with all members of both families combined in the next season? The panel votes yes.

3) Since Dolly Parton recently acquired a Netflix deal for her own series, will she appear, in a 9 to 5 reunion type way and with the “all in the family” approach of the streaming giant, on Grace and Frankie? The panel votes yes.

4) How will Grace and Nick’s elopement affect Grace’s friendship with Frankie and/or her living arrangement with Frankie? Why was Frankie so upset that she sank to the ground upon learning of the elopement in the Season 5 finale?

5) The panel further votes that Robert should partake of more marijuana, since he’s so “good” on it. The “Robert/Frankie on edibles” scene was voted the panel’s most popular scene of Season 5. Will Robert and Sol endeavor to enjoy this recreation together? Will Grace ever go the cannabis route?

6) How long will Mallory date her daughter’s principal? Will Coyote’s employment at the school affect that dynamic, even if Mallory and Coyote never couple up?

7) Will Frankie assume sole proprietorship over Vybrant, since she’s running it so well, if uniquely in her way?

8) If Nick moves in to the beach house, what will become of Joan-Margaret?

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! Grace and Frankie panel continues to recommend this groundbreaking situation comedy to fans of the actors in the cast, particularly of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston, and to people who sincerely like to laugh.  Some of the panel cautions, however, that with frank discussion about drugs and sex – and occasionally rock ‘n’ roll – as well as some salty language coming from these septuagenarians (and secret octogenarians), not every potential viewer might find the show funny or be copacetic with the vernacular utilized therein.   Also, the panel continues to generally praise the comedic performances of the four main actors, and the writing, while agreeing that there are better episodes than others; in fact, the panelists still voice a variety of reactions to the supporting characters, namely the four actors playing the grown up children of the couples in question.  The panel further expressed highly mixed feelings toward the device used in the Season 5 finale, with some panelists arguing that the episode achieved the apparently intended, if distasteful, effect of rendering the viewer unsettled by the end of the season. At the same time, the remaining panelists asserted that the “alternate reality” trope employed in that episode seemed decidedly misplaced in the season finale; felt too forced for the ensuing and somewhat anticlimactic character epiphany; and, therefore, failed to achieve any measure of emotional satisfaction with that epiphany in the end.  In any event, our panelists, the Season 5 finale aside, universally experience great fun while watching this series, despite any perceived warts or blemishes, and believe that most with an open sense of humor will have fun watching it too.

LOOKING AHEAD

Netflix has renewed the show for a sixth season, though no tentative release date has yet been announced by the streaming giant.  Most pundits expect the show to return in 2020, in keeping with its traditional once per year release pattern, which is when our CPU! Grace and Frankie panel will also, most likely, return to the Water Cooler for the purpose of chatting about Season 6.  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 Grace and Frankie as well as new episodes for all of our podcast panels!  And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review.  Thank you! 🙂

PARODY/HOMAGE!

We are not the only big fans of Grace and Frankie. Apparently, Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live, DJ Khaled, and Paul Rudd are too! Our panelists recommend peeping this sketch, yo:

THE PANELISTS ALSO RECOMMEND!

Panelist Samantha recommends that you and all the rest of CPU! check out the Grace and Frankie cast appearance at this year’s Paley Fest:

13 Reasons Why, Season 2 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cpu-final-01large.jpg

NOTE: This episode contains some strong language and direct discussion about the sensitive topics depicted on the show. Listener discretion is advised.

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 May 2019, our panel of veteran CPU! panelists and conscientious TV fans – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Andrew, Amie, Emily, and Jeremy (and no longer including Jenn, who jumped the shark as of this season) – is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 2 of Netflix original 13 Reasons Why. If you have not watched any of 13 Reasons Why, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

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

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Rezmer
Keyboard: Kelsey Rezmer
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: “13 Reasons Why” – The Season 2 Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for 13 reasons why title card

Moderated by: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “13 Reasons Why” is a drama-mystery web television series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “13 Reasons Why,” adapted by Brian Yorkey for Netflix, revolves around a high school student, Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), and his friend, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who committed suicide after suffering a series of demoralizing circumstances, brought on by select individuals at her school. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah before her suicide details thirteen reasons why she ended her life.

SYNOPSIS

Clay Jensen (Minnette) returns home from school to find a mysterious box lying on his porch. Inside, he discovers seven double-sided cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker (Langford), his classmate and unrequited love, who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah unfolds an emotional audio diary, detailing the thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. The series explores the fallout from the revelations on Hannah’s tapes.

When: Season 2 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on May 18, 2018, with a total of thirteen episodes.

Where: The action takes place in an unnamed, presumably Californian town (the series was shot in California) at fictional Liberty High School.

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

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

CPU! has covered 13 Reasons Why since the series’ beginning. To listen to our Season 1 review, listen via the embedded link below or via our audio feed at Apple/iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play:

When 13 Reasons Why premiered on Netflix, so many CPU! core panelists advocated for a 13 Reasons Why panel, the Chief CP had to oblige and to subsequently draw lots, since we had more volunteers than actual room on the panel. Since that time, at least one panelist – Jenn – has jumped the shark after watching only a few episodes of the second season, though the rest of the panel, CPU! regulars Kristen, Andrew, Amie, Emily, and Jeremy, all returned to attempt to process Season 2 via what could only be described as a mixed bag of reactions.  In this episode, our remaining conscientious five, along with yours truly, the main moderator, parse through the thirteen new courtroom-based testimonies and three Polaroids of Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why and also delve into the continuing, ensuing controversies that this unflinching and graphic portrayal of social issues confronting today’s teens have wrought.

In the episode linked below, this panel spends considerable time with and meditates upon each of the deeply flawed characters motivating the story within 13 Reasons Why.  The panel also reacts to the continued debates and controversies arising from critical and popular reception of the series: is the show responsible social commentary or irresponsible revenge fantasy? Does the show glorify suicide, or does it provide a stark and necessary depiction of it in order to provoke needed conversation around signs and triggers?  Does the streaming network provide enough trigger warnings? Does the series attempt to tackle too many social issues at once, but only at a surface level, giving none of them a true exploration of said issues due to the sheer number of them, or is the show daring to tread roads where other series fear to go? Our eager and vocal panel participants may not have all the answers, but as with the world at large, some continued strong reactions are voiced during this longer-than-usual discussion.

For those who find it difficult to listen to discussion about sexual assault (rape), suicide, and the other heady topics bridged by this program, please note that we do discuss much of it directly and, in some instances, quite personally. Listener discretion is advised.

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, our A Series of Unfortunate Events panel returns – for the last time – to the Water Cooler to discuss the final season of the quirky Netflix dark comedy (allegedly) made for children, i.e. Season 3. In our upcoming episode, we will also Look Back at the entirety of this popular adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s novels, which we have covered on the podcast since the show’s beginning, and we will examine its relative success (or lack thereof) as an overall series as well as say goodbye, both to the series and to each other (for now). Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

1) We presume that Tyler Down (Devin Druid) will be the focal subject of Season 3, given the ending scene of Season 2, in which Tyler (SPOILER) brings a gun to school with the intention of unloading it during the Spring Fling dance and following Monty’s brutal act toward Tyler in the Season 2 finale. How appropriate is it for the show to switch gears from a narrative largely about Hannah and sexual assault/mental health issues/suicide to Tyler and the theme of school shootings/violence? Will the show be able to handle this transition sensitively and to broach this issue with care and responsibility? Should the show even be going down this road?

2) Given Chloe’s Season 2 finale admission to Jessica (Alisha Boe) that she is pregnant, a result of non-consensual sex with Bryce (Justin Prentice), the panelists fear that the show might additionally try to tackle the subject of abortion at a time when such a fraught topic might be timely from a sociological and political perspective, even as the vehicle, 13 Reasons Why the series, might not be an appropriate vessel for such a divisive subject. Our panel is especially concerned, as the show originally, again, focused on Hannah as the central character, and as the series has not handled the topics originally depicted by the source novel as sensitively as it could have in these socially aware times. Will the show broach the subject of abortion? Should it?

3) The show seeded a narrative/theme for a supporting character, the Class President Marcus, an African-American male, in Season 2, in which he was blackmailed by Tyler and his new friend Cyrus into labeling Bryce a “rapist” at a public event. The audience is given a glimpse into Marcus’ home life, in which his father praises his hard work and intelligence, particularly in light of the fact that he and his family expect to experience hardship due to race; yet, the show explored this issue, in the panel’s estimation, rather superficially in Season 2. Will the show revisit this theme in Season 3, since we saw Marcus experience no consequences for his actions against Hannah, his on-the-stand perjury (or obfuscation of the whole truth) during the trial, and his wavering sense of morality in light of his behavior and choices?

4) The panel strongly reacted to the show’s handling of Clay’s individual mental health issues, given his profound grief over Hannah’s death, his full-fledged conversations with her “ghost,” and his coping mechanisms related to his pursuit of his private investigation of the revelations around Hannah discussed during the trial, to his reactions and relationship to Skye, and to his dynamic as well as his care and support of Justin (Brandon Flynn) during Justin’s rounds of heroin detox. Will the show more meaningfully revisit Clay’s own mental health journey? Will we be given a better explanation for the Hannah manifestation? Or, were Clay’s reactions and apparent state of mind only dependent upon his obsession with Hannah, in life and in death, and will they be forgotten now that Hannah and, therefore, Clay has “moved on?”

5) Will the show explain or explore how the school district’s defense attorney came to know so many personal details about the various witnesses called to testify in the trial? We can assume or presume that Bryce provided some information, but where did much of the intimate information come from, and how was it vetted, if at all? The trial felt like the consummate courtroom melodrama and, in some ways, represented some of the sloppiest storytelling of Season 2, as far as our panel is concerned.

6) How will Clay’s parents’ decision to adopt Justin play out in Season 3? Will they be as oblivious to Justin’s ongoing addiction as they are to their son’s mental health state?

7) Is there more of a history between Tyler and Monty than what we have already seen, and, if so, what is it? Will we learn more in Season 3?

8) Will the show use another “device” to tell the story, like the cassettes or the Polaroids, in Season 3? What will it be?

9) With Chloe’s pronouncement to Jessica that she is pregnant, and with Bryce’s announcement to Zach (Ross Butler) that he is transferring to a different school, will Bryce be forced to cancel those plans? Will he remain at Liberty? Or, will his parents try to pay Chloe off or otherwise keep her quiet?

10) Will our panel fully return to discuss Season 3? Much doubt was expressed about the idea of extending this series even further beyond its source material than previously accomplished via the second season, and the panelists, mostly, feel trepidation about the idea of the coming third season. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

PARTING SHOTS

Universally, the CPU! 13 Reasons Why panelists feel that Season 2 of this controversial series is not as well executed as the first season. Without the reliable support of the source material, as the first season wholly adapted the one novel on which the series is based, the series’ second season struck our panelists as “forced,” “contrived,” superficial in its revisit of the issues that rendered the show such a water cooler TV topic in 2017, scattered in its attempt to tackle even more social issues than those originally addressed without being able to deeply or genuinely delve into them, “manipulative,” and, in some ways, more sensationalized in its depiction of sensitive issues, considering the strong negative response to the perceived sensationalism of the show’s first season. The panelists struggled most with the writing and narrative structure of Season 2, finding many of the plot choices and revelations about Hannah to be contradictory to what was learned in Season 1, which was based on the actual book, and in a way that did not add to her story. Panelists also panned some performances, particularly by some of the actors and actresses playing the parents, with the notable exceptions of the fabulous Kate Walsh and Brian d’Arcy James as Olivia and Andy Baker, Hannah’s parents, respectively. To that end, some of the episode direction suffered as a result, with choppy pacing and framing that felt as manipulative as the story being peddled in the series’ sophomore season, at least in our panel’s particular regard.

As a result, the panel no longer universally recommends 13 Reasons Why, at least beyond Season 1, as what many of the panelists enjoyed and lauded about the first season, especially the program’s ability to push the conversation about teen suicide, sexual assault, bullying, and other serious issues affecting today’s youth to the forefront, seemed watered down and worryingly “surface-level” in the second season.  In addition, the risky decision to renew an already shaky story structure for a third season leaves the panel with uneasy feelings, particularly as the show moves away from Hannah as a main focus and attempts to re-position the drama around problematic character Tyler and, presumably, the subject of school shootings as well as, quite possibly, teen pregnancy (and related issues), given Chloe’s circumstances. Thus, for anyone who has not watched this series, particularly Season 2, and is considering it, take this mixed-message recommendation for what it is: watch, and judge for yourself, but watch with caution all the same.

LOOKING AHEAD

13 Reasons Why was renewed for a third season, which is expected to drop later in 2019, though a tentative release date has not yet been announced by Netflix as of the date of this publication. As always, CPU! will keep you informed of all 13 Reasons Why coverage, and this panel will, as such, hopefully return some time after the release of Season 3 to recap the new season. Until then!

Looking Back at Once Upon a Time: Part Two of the CPU! Goodbye to Once Upon a Time (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 November 2018, our Once Upon a Time panel – moderator Kylie, Kristen, Eddie, Amie, Emily, and Micah – is Looking Back at the entirety of Once Upon a Time, in the second part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! says goodbye to this long-running, fantastical yarn of fractured if familiar fairy tales. As always, if you have not watched any of Once Upon a Time, be aware that there are, most definitely, MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite).  Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

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

PODCAST! – Looking Back: “Once Upon a Time” – The Goodbye Miniseries, Part 2 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for once upon a time title card

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Once Upon a Time” aired on network TV, specifically on ABC, for seven seasons, from 2011 to 2018.

What: “Once Upon a Time,” a fantasy drama wherein storybook and fairy tale characters are not only real but are living in this world, away from their enchanted kingdoms and worlds beyond reality, and how they all interrelate (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/once_upon_a_time/summary.html).

When: The show aired in its entirety from on ABC from 2011 to 2018.

Where:  The show is primarily set in fictional Storybrooke, Maine, as well as in “The Enchanted Forest,” the fairy tale kingdom from where most of the main characters originate. The action takes place primarily in present day, though there are flashbacks to the characters’ past lives, before they were whisked away to Storybrooke via curse wrought by the Evil Queen Regina (Lana Parilla) and before they were made run-of-the-mill real world residents with serious bouts of amnesia. In Season 7, the show engages in a “soft reboot” of its story premise and is set in Hyperion Heights, a fictional neighborhood deep within the heart of very real Seattle, Washington, as well as in “The Enchanted Forest.” 

Why: Two primary reasons: one, Chief Couch Potato Kylie loves fantasy and fairy tales, and the Disney network green-lit a live action serial television program about fairy tale characters that they would probably own the rights to, if the characters weren’t already public domain. Two, the creators are Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, two of the head writers of Lost. Whatever else may be said about the latter program, I don’t think anyone could argue that Lost wasn’t well written. All of our panel of enthusiastic Once fans found love for this program via one or both of those reasons themselves.

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

Couch Potatoes Unite!’s Complete Once Upon a Time Coverage

Season 3 Premiere (Neverland)

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Premiere

Season 3A – Neverland

Season 3B – Oz

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Finale

Season 4A – Frozen

Season 4B – Queens of Darkness

Season 5 Premiere (Dark Swan)

Season 5A – Dark Swan

Season 5B – The Underworld

Season 6A

Season 6B

Season 7A – Hyperion Heights, Part 1

Season 7B – Hyperion Heights, Part 2

Our super-bonded and magically cohesive Once panel – namely Kristen, Eddie, Amie, Emily, and Micah – could not leave Once Upon a Time behind forever without spending some quality time saying a long and (mostly) loving goodbye to this show, which has been in our lives for up to seven years. After our Season 7B discussion, the panel agreed to reconvene around the Water Cooler “once” again to discuss the show as a whole, including all of its ups and downs, for Part Two of our two-part CPU! series in which Couch Potatoes Unite! says goodbye to Once Upon a Time, which is extra emotional for us, as this show and panel was one of our very first three pilot panels! In this second part of this miniseries, our panelists reminisce about what we loved and what we did not like as much from OUAT’s seven seasons and about whether we think this series will hold up over time or whether it was a bit of Disney re-purposed magic in a genie lamp – seemingly and fleetingly popular as, say, three wishes from said genie.  Listen to the newest and final chapter in CPU!’s ongoing Once Upon a Time podcast series, during which we look back, part and parcel, at the whole genie gig and at whether the show ultimately capitalized upon the endless #potential (#drink) provided by this collection of fractured fairy tales.  Do you agree with us? Or, do you have your own thoughts? Comment below!

This podcast was recorded in November 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the second half of the seventh 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, a new panel gets some hop-ons and gathers around the banana stand, er, the penthouse, er, the model home, er the Water Cooler to begin our three-part Arrested Development series. Listen as we blue ourselves laughing via the recitations of endless quotes while Looking Back at the original Fox run of this critically acclaimed sitcom, i.e. Seasons 1-3, in Part One of this latest series. Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

The Couch Potatoes Unite! Once Upon a Time panel generally recommends Once, particularly to Disney fans, to fantasy fans, to Lost fans, and to fans of guy-liner as a general rule.  The panelists agreeably view the seven Once seasons in ways best described via these pithy reviews:

Season 1: Best!

Season 2: Good! (With some liking it more than others)

Season 3: Neverland – Great! / Oz – Not So Great!

Season 4: Frozen – Bad! / Queens of Darkness – At Least It Wasn’t Frozen!

Season 5: Dark Swan – Uneven and Weird! / Underworld – The Land of Missed Opportunities and Sepia Tones!

Season 6: 6A – Hot Mess of Untold Stories! / 6B – As Good As Season 1!

Season 7: 7A – Better Than We Expected! / 7B – They Stuck the Landing!

Thus, the panelists universally caution that the show’s writing, story progression, and frequent failure to capitalize upon #potential (#drink) may be more frustrating to some compared to others, particularly if specific individuals would need to be talked into watching more than a few episodes in the first place. The panelists experience mixed reactions, however, to the notion of whether or not they were ready for the true end of Once Upon a Time. Most panelists, aside from Eddie and Chief CP Kylie, regret the lack of network support for at least one more season, but all panelists experienced a high level of satisfaction with the fates of some of our beloved characters, particularly those of Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and of Regina, who may have been the true heroes of the series all along, once these characters realized that “everyone writes their own story.” In the end, though, most if not all of the panelists are both happy and sad that OUAT is done, and while some of us might re-watch the series in future, none of us will be quite ready to do so for some time – which is not to say that the series is bad as much as the series traversed a messy, emotion-wrenching course that both engaged and frustrated in the end, a chemical mixture that might leave some of us satisfied with one viewing only. Of course, only time will tell. Plus, given that the twists are known in this eventuality, when watching a second time, some of the impact would definitely be lost upon re-watch. 

Once Upon a Time is currently available to stream on Netflix in its entirety.  Did you watch Once?  Let us know in the comments, and tell us what you thought of any or all of its seven seasons! And stay tuned!  Though our OUAT coverage is primarily done, don’t be surprised if it makes an appearance or two in coming discussions, from time to time.  In the meantime, from our Once panel of devoted fairy tale enthusiasts to you, thank you for listening to our ongoing Once Upon a Time series, which now officially comes to a close.  To discover other shows discussed by CPU!, check here.  For now, we bid you adieu!

Image result for once upon a time last scene
It’s a happy beginning! Regina, formerly the Evil Queen, is crowned Good Queen of the Realms by her erstwhile nemeses, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas)
Who’s the Evil Queen in this lineup?
Our Once Upon a Time Panel
Left to right (the girls are just shorter): Kristen, Micah, Amie, Eddie, and Emily


Once Upon a Time, Season 7B: Part One of the CPU! Goodbye to Once Upon a Time (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 November 2018, our Once Upon a Time panel – moderator Kylie, Kristen, Eddie, Amie, Emily, and Micah – returns to the Water Cooler to discuss the second half of Season 7 of Once Upon a Time, i.e. the series’ final season and including the so-called seventh season soft reboot of both premise and main cast, in the first part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! says goodbye to this long-running, fantastical yarn of fractured if familiar fairy tales. As always, if you have not watched any of Once Upon a Time, be aware that there are, most definitely, MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite).  Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

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