13 Reasons Why, Season One (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in May 2017, our panel of veteran CPU! panelists and conscientious TV fans – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Andrew, Amie, Jenn, Emily, and Jeremy – is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 1 of runaway hit and 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 in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Pilots, Premieres, and First Looks: “13 Reasons Why” – The Season One Recap (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.

When: The first season of the series was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on March 31, 2017.

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?

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.

13 Reasons Why = 4.0, by average of the podcast panel.

SYNOPSIS

Teenager 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. Her instructions are clear: each person who receives a package is one of the reasons why she killed herself, and after each person has completed listening to the tapes, they must pass the package on to the next person. If anyone decides to break the chain, a separate set of tapes will be released to the public. Each tape is addressed to a select person in her school and details their involvement in her inevitable suicide.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

It seems like I am asking these questions quite often lately: do you follow our CPU! social media accounts?  Did you ever see a posting or advertisement for panelists at large to join this panel?  No, you didn’t.  Because, in what’s becoming a pattern around here, so many CPU! core panelists advocated for a 13 Reasons Why panel, I had to oblige and subsequently draw lots, since we had more volunteers than actual room on the panel – we have limits around here, as you know, and it’s easier on the ears and on the Chief CP’s editing efforts to observe those limits.

With that kind of popular appeal, I was again afforded the opportunity to appreciate the luxury of demand and (fairly) select a sampling of those requesting to discuss 13 Reasons Why to form this panel of CPU! faithful.  The winners, if they can be labeled as such, since this is not the typical lighthearted CPU! panel covering the typical lighthearted CPU! fare, are all CPU! vets in their own right, namely Kristen, Andrew, Amie, Jenn, Emily, and Jeremy.  In this episode, these conscientious six parse through the thirteen cassette tape sides of 13 Reasons Why and also delve into the ensuing controversies that this unflinching and graphic portrayal of social issues confronting today’s teens has wrought.

In the episode linked below, this panel spends considerable time with and meditates upon each of the deeply flawed characters (Clay and Hannah included) motivating the story within 13 Reasons Why.  The panel also reacts to the most pertinent debates and controversies arising from this 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 concept of recording, what is essentially, a lengthy suicide note on cassette tape feel hokey and undermine the seriousness of the topic, or is it a device to bridge generational gaps underlying comprehension of what today’s teens face compared with the teens of yesteryear?  The Chief CP does not know if our eager but admittedly garage podcast of vocal participants has all the answers, but as with the world at large, some strong reactions are voiced during this longer-than-usual discussion.  I contemplated breaking it into parts but decided that this, likely our longest single episode to date, was best left whole.  Take that as you will.

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.  We don’t go into graphic descriptions of what has already been shown, but our discussion may call up those images all the same.

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 Grimm panel returns to the water cooler to recap the final season in the first of a two-part series in which we say goodbye to the long-running cult fantasy procedural drama. Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

13 Reasons Why is recommended by our panel but with several caveats and disclaimers, not unlike the disclaimers that play starkly before each graphic episode of this in-your-face series.  Many of the panelists recommend this show for its ability to push the conversation about teen suicide, sexual assault, bullying, and other serious issues affecting today’s youth to the forefront.  Some of the panelists feel that the subject matter does not make it one of universal appeal for all potential audiences, while other panelists merely warn watching the show at one’s own risk, given some of the graphic portrayals previously mentioned, but encourage most if not all audiences to give it a chance.  Some panelists advise against binge watching the show, in light of its obviously heavy subject matter, while some panelists feel that the series could only be recommended to persons likely and reasonably able to handle said subject matter.  Some panelists also are reticent to recommend the show too readily for fear of over-hyping the series, when the show’s best impact will be (as it was for us) realized for viewers who walk into watching the episodes with zero preconceived expectations.  In any event, the panelists universally agree that the show was well performed, well adapted, and well directed; the almost unanimous “4” star rating by the panel (with one panelist awarding the show a 4.25) largely comes from two primary aspects: trepidation about whether a season two is really necessary and what would it look like, and concern that the show relies on manipulating the audience toward favoring some characters over others, particularly with some of the reasons described by the middle-episode tapes.  Again, for anyone who has not watched this series 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.

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

13 Reasons Why was renewed for a second season in pretty short order, though a tentative release date has not yet been announced by Netflix, except that Season Two will likely drop in 2018.  As always, CPU! will keep you informed of all 13 Reasons Why coverage, and this panel will, as such, likely return some time after the release of season 2 to recap the new season in 2018. Until then!

Full/er House Series, Episode Two: Fuller House, Season One (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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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 December 2016, our “fuller” panel of fans of all things Tanner/Tanner-Fuller–including moderator Kristen, Andrew, Allie, Amie, Leslie, and Jenn–gathered “Around the Water Cooler” to discuss the first season of revival Netflix sequel series Fuller House in the second episode of CPU!’s Full/er House series (we previously looked back at original series Full House in episode one).  If you have not watched any of Full House OR Fuller House, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS.  Tell us what you think in the comments below, and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Pilots, Premieres, and First Looks & Streaming Originals: “Fuller House” – Season One, the Full/er House Panel’s Review and Recap (Full/er House Series, Episode Two; MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for fuller house title

Moderator: Kristen

THE SPECS:

Who: “Fuller House,”an American family situation comedy and sequel to Full House, airing on the Netflix streaming service as an original series, which means, for the record, that is available to Netflix subscribers exclusively, as it is Netflix produced original content.

What:  The series centers around D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure), a veterinarian and widowed mother of three sons, whose sister and best friend—the mother to a teenage daughter—provide support in her sons’ upbringings by moving in with her and into D.J. and Stephanie’s childhood home.

When: Season One was released to streaming service Netflix on February 26, 2016, to the tune of thirteen episodes.

Where: The show is set in San Francisco, California.

Why: Listen to the podcast for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Fuller House.

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.

Fuller House = 3.4, by average of the podcast panel.

SYNOPSIS

After the sudden death of D.J. Tanner-Fuller’s (Bure) husband, Tommy, who was fulfilling his hazardous duties as a firefighter, D.J. accepts the help of her sister, Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and her best friend, Kimmy (Andrea Barber), as they move in to take part in raising D.J.’s three sons: 13-year-old Jackson (Michael Campion), 7-year-old Max (Elias Harger), and baby Tommy Jr. (Dashiell and Fox Messitt). Kimmy’s teenage daughter, Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas), also moves in with D.J., Stephanie, Kimmy, and D.J.’s children.  Most of the Full House ensemble cast reprise their roles on Fuller House, either as regular cast members or in guest appearances, with the exception of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who alternated in the role of Michelle Tanner on Full House.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

So many CPU! regulars, including frequent CPU! contributor and panelist Kristen, love Full House and were particular excited by the Netflix revival of this long dormant sitcom, creating a brand new chapter for the series, which the streaming channel calls Fuller House. In fact, Kristen saw an opportunity for a new CPU! podcast series in which CPU! panelists look back at the program that started it all while looking forward “around the water cooler” as new seasons of the reboot are released.  Thus, herein we offer the second episode of our series covering the various versions of this sitcom, which we at CPU! are calling our “Full/er House” series.  Listen to our first episode, in which we Look Back at Full House, via the embedded link below:

Full/er House Series, Episode One: Looking Back at “Full House”

In addition, lacking the ability to fully appreciate Full House (and Fuller House) age-wise by a few years, the Chief CP steps aside from the moderating microphone, so that Kristen may serve as main moderator with the kind of enthusiasm this juggernaut of nostalgia deserves. Kristen is, in turn, joined by series panelists Andrew, Allie, Amie, Leslie, and Jenn.  In this second episode of our “Full/er House” series, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments from the inaugural season of the rebootwhich the panel watched with widely varying reactions.  Take a listen to the episode if you have watched the season and gauge whether you agree or disagree; chances are, you are bound to agree with at least one of the panelists but not necessarily a majority of them.

This podcast was recorded in December 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points and comedic situations portrayed in the first season of Fuller House. 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, as CPU! gets caught up at mid-season, we take a holiday break by taking a break from the holidays and will return to our DCTU series for a discussion of the first season of Supergirl, earlier than anticipated. If you are a DC fan or a loyal listener of our DCTU series, don’t miss the new episode!

In addition, per annual tradition, on Tuesday, CPU! will publish its first progress report of the 2016-2017 season gauging the progress of new shows and pilots that have been introduced by the major networks this season.  Stay tuned for that as well!

And from all us at CPU!, Happy Holidays to you and yours – and have a Happy New Year!

RECOMMENDATION

Fuller House is recommended by the entire Full/er House panel, mainly for the nostalgic appeal and “turn your brain off” level of entertainment resulting from the perennially saccharine premise of this well-loved cast and the tongue-in-cheek presentation of its “aw, shucks” humor. Most of the panelists would hesitate to recommend the show to anyone who has not seen the original Full House series; because Fuller House relies so heavily on meta throwback jokes and references to the original series, those who have not seen the original series will either not get the jokes or will groan at the particularly obvious fourth wall breaking and general mugging for fan service’s sake.  If that’s your bag, though, the panel, it’s safe to say, firmly gives you two thumbs up.

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

Netflix renewed Fuller House for a second season, which was released to the Netflix service in another thirteen-episode increment on December 9, 2016.  CPU!’s next Full/er House episode, which will focus on this second seasonwill record and publish some time after the New Year.  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the blog, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes in the Full/er House podcast series as well as of new episodes for all of our podcast panels!  And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review (give us stars – many of them!).  Thank you!🙂

Full/er House Series, Episode One: Full House, Looking Back (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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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 December 2016, our panel of super-fans of all things Tanner-ino–including moderator Kristen, Andrew, Allie, Amie, Leslie, and Jenn–gathered together to Look Back and reminisce about coming of age sitcom Full House.  This is the first part of an ongoing CPU! podcast series examining one of our favorite television programs, which will connect to ongoing “Water Cooler” coverage of the revival Netflix series “Fuller House.”  If you have not watched any of Full House, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS.  Tell us what you think in the comments below, and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

 

PODCAST! – Looking Back at “Full House” (Full/er House Series, Episode One; MAJOR SPOILERS) + The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Favorite Shows (#76)

Moderator: Kristen

THE SPECS:

Who: “Full House,” a coming of age situation comedy that aired on ABC from 1987 to 1995.

What: Created by Jeff Franklin, the show chronicles a widowed father, Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), who enlists his brother-in-law and best friend to help raise his three daughters.

SYNOPSIS

After his wife is killed in a car accident, news anchorman Danny Tanner (Saget) recruits his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos), a rock musician, and best friend Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier), a stand-up comedian, to help raise his three young daughters: D.J. (Candace Cameron), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and Michelle (Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen) in his San Francisco home. Over time, the three men as well as the children bond and become closer to one another.  Danny is subsequently reassigned from his duties as sports anchor by his television station to become co-host of a local morning television show, “Wake Up, San Francisco,” and is teamed up with Nebraska native Rebecca Donaldson (Lori Loughlin). Jesse and Becky eventually fall in love and get married. Becky later gives birth to twin sons, Nicky and Alex (Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit).

When: The show aired for eight seasons from 1987 to 1995 on ABC.

Where: The show is set in San Francisco, California.

Why: Listen to the podcast for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Full House.

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

So many CPU! regulars, including frequent CPU! contributor and panelist Kristen, love Full House and were particular excited by the Netflix revival of this long dormant sitcom, creating a brand new chapter for the series, which the streaming channel calls Fuller House. In fact, Kristen saw an opportunity for a new CPU! podcast series in which CPU! panelists look back at the program that started it all while looking forward “around the water cooler” as new seasons of the reboot are released.  Thus, herein we offer the first episode of our series covering the various versions of this sitcom, which we at CPU! are calling our “Full/er House” series.

In addition, lacking the ability to fully appreciate Full House age-wise by a few years, the Chief CP steps aside from the moderating microphone, so that Kristen may serve as main moderator with the kind of enthusiasm this juggernaut of nostalgia deserves. Kristen is, in turn, joined by familiar panelists Andrew, Allie, and Amie and two new panelists, Leslie and Jenn.  In this first episode of our “Full/er House” series, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments from the original Full House, which became an influential television offering in the pantheon of shows immediately embraced by and made synonymous with American Millennials.

This podcast was recorded in December 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points and comedic situations throughout the Full House series. 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’ll return to our Full/er House series “Around the Water Cooler” when our panel discusses the first season of the Netflix revival/reboot, Fuller House. Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

Full House is recommended by the entire panel, though each panelist offers different reason(s) for his/her recommendation. All agreed that this sitcom offers plenty of nostalgia for decades gone by, honest humor to which people can easily relate, and a sense of “aw, shucks” adorableness in the way the situations were presented.  Most of the panelists would hesitate to recommend it to any member of a generation older than Millennial, however, if said member had never seen it, as the panelists believe that the charms of Full House work best on those who grew up with and were children when the show first aired (or on those who are children of those former children).

Full House is not currently available at any of the streaming sites, due in large part to the fact that the show is heavily syndicated on cable television.  In fact, blocks of episodes are aired nearly every night on Nick at Nite (Nickelodeon) starting at 9:00, 10:00, or 11:00 PM and Saturday mornings at 6:00 AM on TBS, so there are plenty of chances to catch up.  As Kristen asks in the episode, though – is there anyone who has never seen Full House? Inquiring minds want to know…out of sheer morbid curiosity – let us know in the comments!

Orange is the New Black, Season 4 (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–including moderator Chief Couch Potato Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Krista, Amanda, and new panelist Andrew–is Around the Water Cooler and Streaming Originals as we discuss and recap Season 4 of Orange is the New Black. This episode was recorded in October 2016, and if you haven’t seen OITNB through the fourth season, 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/podcast covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!