Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Twelve: Marvel’s Daredevil, Season 3 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in March 2019, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 3, the now final season, of Daredevil, the first property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. We also process the series’ unfortunate subsequent cancellation with much sadness and grumpiness, given our panel’s universal lauds and accolades for this show. As always, if you have not watched any of the Defenders solo series to date (or the crossover miniseries), 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!

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

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Twelve, “Marvel’s Daredevil” – the Season 3 Recap and Review + Post-Mortem (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Marvel’s Daredevil” is a superhero/action/crime drama based upon the Marvel Comics character Daredevil and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “Marvel’s Daredevil,” developed by Drew Goddard, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the first in a series of shows that led up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. Lawyer-by-day Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) uses his heightened senses, a side effect of being blinded by a radioactive substance as a young boy, to fight crime at night on the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as Daredevil.

SYNOPSIS

Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night.  His associates include Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), a plucky whistle-blower with a heart of gold, and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Matt’s law partner and best friend.  Vincent D’Onofrio plays the series’ primary villain, Wilson Fisk, also known as Kingpin.  In the third season, after Fisk is released from prison, Murdock, who has been missing for months following the events of The Defenders, reemerges as a broken man and must decide between hiding from the world as a criminal lawyer and embracing his life as a hero vigilante.

When: The third season of the series was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on October 19, 2018.

Where: The action is set primarily in the New York City, New York, neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, as depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the very first “Marvel’s Defenders” podcast episode via the embedded link below.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

As long-time listeners should know by now, CPU! is chock full of panelists with a proclivity for comic book and superhero TV shows and films, including your Chief CP. Our Marvel’s Defenders Series was born of this proclivity, as we have already covered the first two seasons of Daredevil; the two available seasons of Jessica Jones; the two available seasons of Luke Cage; the two available seasons of Iron Fist; the one available season of the crossover event miniseries, The Defenders; and the first season of the first spin-off series, The Punisher. Listen to the links below:

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode One, “Daredevil,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Two, “Jessica Jones,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Three, “Daredevil,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Four, “Luke Cage,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Five, “Iron Fist,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Six, “The Defenders,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Seven, “The Punisher,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eight, “Jessica Jones,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Nine, “Luke Cage,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Ten, “Iron Fist,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eleven, Canceled Corner: “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” and “The Defenders”

In this, the twelfth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders Series, we revisit the first of Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows that led up to The Defenders miniseries, namely Daredevil, featuring Defenders Series panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer.  In this episode, our panelists experience multiple “nerdgasms,” somewhat mitigated by the pall of the series cancellation, over what most of our panelists believe is one of the best seasons of television, superhero or otherwise, of all time.  Common reactions to this season praise story execution; direction; pacing; fight choreography; and the top-notch performances of Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wilson Bethel as Ben Poindexter aka Bullseye, and the ensemble cast of this, the crown jewel of the Netflix Marvel universe.  Though our panel would have willingly and eagerly gobbled up a fourth season, Daredevil has since been canceled by the streaming giant, likely due to negotiation breakdowns with Marvel parent company Disney in lieu of the latter company’s hunger for a piece of the streaming pie. Therefore, in this episode, we also process our feelings of grief and mourning over this incredible series, for which we all, even panelist Kristen, offer unreserved lauds and accolades.  To hear us hash out these thoughts further, listen to our discussion via the embedded link below.

This podcast episode was recorded in March 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the third (and final) season of Daredevil.  Do you agree or disagree?  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!  This Sunday, at 2:00 PM, CPU! is going live again!  There (hopefully) should be an in-person audience, and we will (hopefully) endeavor to live-stream the whole shindig once more to our Facebook page. We’ll be at Blue Bridge Games in Grand Rapids, Michigan, taking A SHINY LOOK BACK AT “FIREFLY,” which will also feature some “Top 5” elements. There, five of our resident Browncoats and panelists – along with a special guest! – will not take the sky from any “Serenity” felt when we at CPU! Look Back at one of the most enduring one-season-and-done cult shows of all time. We will then publish an audio-only version next Wednesday, in our best rerun fashion. You won’t want to miss it! Here’s the link to the Facebook Event!  Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep abreast of all the details, but here’s the art for it for now!  Stay tuned!

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Lingering Questions from Season 2

1) Will the Hand v. Chaste/Black Sky story line be more flushed out in Season 3?

ANSWER: No. The Hand v. Chaste/Black Sky story line is arguably more flushed out in The Defenders miniseries, though some of our panelists, Kyle particularly, feel that said flushing out is poorly executed in the crossover event. Season 3 of Daredevil does not address the Hand nor Matt’s historic affiliation with members of the Chaste at all.

2) Will Elektra be resurrected by the Hand with their apparent mystic mastery over life and death?

ANSWER: Elektra Natchios is mystically resurrected by the five “Fingers” of the Hand in The Defenders crossover miniseries. Listen to that CPU! episode (embedded above) for further details.

3) Will Karen ever be plagued by or deal with aftermath stemming from the fact that she shot James Westley in season one?

ANSWER: She will – in this season, in fact! Though we see Karen process, minimally, her murder of James Westley from Season 1 via her friendship with Frank Castle aka The Punisher in Season 2 of Daredevil, it is not until Season 3 when she finally begins to confess and, therefore, to work through her sin, first to/with Foggy Nelson when her worry for an AWOL Matt reaches fever pitch upon Wilson Fisk’s (aka Kingpin) release from prison into federal custody, and then to/with Fisk himself. Her apparent guilt, however, at taking Fisk’s confidant’s life seems to be eclipsed by her reckless need to confront Fisk in the moment. While Fisk is held under house arrest in his former penthouse, an arrangement he manipulated out of the FBI from prison, a rattled Karen, once Fisk’s particular target, takes it upon herself to sneak into his penthouse to embark upon a face-to-face verbal exchange with the charismatic puppet-master. In this conversation, she openly confesses to killing Westley to Wilson in an effort to incite Fisk to commit violence against her under the watchful eyes of several FBI special agents in an adjacent surveillance room. Her plan backfires, however, when Fisk uses the encounter, instead, to verify his suspicion that Matt Murdock is Daredevil, confirmed by the worried expression on Karen’s face when Fisk poses the question directly. It is a brilliant scene, universally appreciated by our panel. Listen to the podcast episode for our reactions.

4) Does Punisher know “Red’s” true identity, as several panelists suspect?

ANSWER: Unconfirmed, at least as of Daredevil Season 3. Frank Castle aka The Punisher does not appear in the final season of Daredevil.

5) Given Jeri Hogarth’s crossover into this series from Jessica Jones to hire Foggy for her firm, will Elden Henson appear in the next season of Jessica Jones?

ANSWER: Yes. Elden Henson appears in Jessica Jones, Season 2, in the episode “AKA Sole Survivor.”

6) Will Daredevil be forced to protect Kingpin from the wrath of Punisher after Kingpin and Punisher’s interactions in prison?

ANSWER: No. The Punisher does not appear in Daredevil Season 3; however, Daredevil does have to protect both Kingpin and his love, Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer), from Bullseye (Bethel) in the now series finale. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

7) Will Bullseye appear next season because Matt picked a fight with Kingpin in prison, and Bullseye is Kingpin’s most loyal henchman (in the comic books)?

ANSWER: Bullseye appears in Season 3, not as a direct result of Matt’s fight with Kingpin in prison in Season 2 but as an indirect result of their overall enmity. When Wilson meets FBI Special Agent Ben Poindexter for the first time this season, one of his guards and overseers when he is transferred to his old penthouse from prison, Wilson sees both extraordinary talent for marksmanship and a barely concealed level of sociopath-related tendencies motivating a broken and nervous figure in Poindexter. Wilson later exploits these tendencies and talents, creating not only an unflinchingly loyal henchman – at least, until revelations come to light that shake this loyalty – but also the actual in-show origin story for the villain known as Bullseye. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

8) Will the Owl, Leland Owsley’s son, appear in Season 3?

ANSWER: No. The Owl does not appear in Season 3.

PARTING SHOTS

All of the Marvel’s Defenders Series panelists declare that Daredevil Season 3 is a bona fide hit and a masterful pinnacle of television excellence. Even panelist Kristen has been reluctantly converted to the Daredevil fandom, even if not as wholeheartedly as fellow panelist Kyle, and most, if not all, of the panelists believe that this particular season of Daredevil exemplifies one of the best seasons of television, superhero or otherwise, of all time. All of the panelists effusively gushed about D’Onofrio’s performance as Kingpin in addition to Cox’s steady and consistently perfect portrayal of Murdock/Daredevil. The panel was more mixed about Woll’s performance as Karen again, with some panelists, such as Spencer, finding her tedious, while other panelists, like Chief CP Kylie, Kristen, and Kyle, seeing her improved potential, particularly in light of the character’s original fate in the source comic books.

Furthermore, all panelists are greatly disappointed, angry, even downright surly when faced with the news that Netflix canceled, possibly involuntarily, the six Defenders series, Daredevil chiefly among them, as we all believe (Kristen too) that this is the best of all the Netflix Defenders shows. It is the series offering the viewer the most to gain, both in entertainment value and via tracking Kingpin’s individual journey from the first season, by re-watching/reviewing the entire series. Daredevil is also the series, so far, with the best ending, even if that ending includes a cliffhanger in the tag that only served to tempt and to tantalize and, therefore, to disappoint in light of the cancellation. In any event, we hope that once Marvel/Disney can utilize these characters again, contractually or otherwise, the companies see fit to revive Daredevil. The panel universally agrees that it is the best Marvel television series to date; the cast is certainly, publicly, game to return, and the internet chatter has been nothing but a combination of positive reaction to the third season, the widely acknowledged best of them all, and of outright, raw disappointment in the idea that capitalism caused the series’ downfall. We can only hope that Disney, Marvel, Netflix, or some other creative business deal will make all right in the near future because something as good as Daredevil should not be left in the television vault for long. Our podcast panel – and, indeed, many of our listeners – implore anyone who can to #savedaredevil, as we believe it is simply one of the best television shows – ever.

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

Canceled!  Netflix canceled Daredevil on November 29, 2018, after three seasons.  What’s more, Netflix canceled the remaining solo series as well; thus, CPU!’s Marvel Defenders Series panel’s days are now decidedly numbered. In this panel’s last two episodes, we will review the second and final season of The Punisher and the third and final season of Jessica Jones, respectivelyStay tuned!

LOOKING AHEAD

The CPU! Marvel’s Defenders Series panel will return to the Water Cooler later this year to review the second and final season of The Punisherand to discuss our post-mortem reactions to the cancellation of that series. Until then!

NEXT CPU! LIVE!

CPU! is going live again!!!  CPU! will next be LIVE at Blue Bridge Games (954 Fulton SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan) on March 31, 2019, at 2:00 PM!  In that live podcast (also streamed to our Facebook page), a brand new, one-time panel will take “A Shiny Look Back at Firefly” at Grand Rapids’ newest purveyor of tabletop and role playing games for purchase! Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep abreast of all the details!  Stay tuned!

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eleven: Canceled Corner – Marvel’s Luke Cage, Marvel’s Iron Fist, and Marvel’s The Defenders (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 March 2019, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series processes, with spicy grumpiness and social sadness, the cancellations of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The panelists also ruminate upon what is, effectively, the end of The Defenders on Netflix – and for now. As always, if you have not watched any of the Defenders solo series to date (or the crossover miniseries), 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!

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

PODCAST! – Canceled Corner: Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eleven – “Marvel’s Luke Cage;” “Marvel’s Iron Fist;” and “Marvel’s the Defenders” (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: Three Netflix series:

  • “Marvel’s Luke Cage” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics character Luke Cage and is a Netflix original series.
  • “Marvel’s Iron Fist” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics character Iron Fist and is a Netflix original series.
  • “Marvel’s The Defenders” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, who form the eponymous superhero team.  It is also a Netflix original series.

What: Canceled Corner, wherein we discuss the untimely cancellation of shows that survived a season or two at most, only to find themselves unceremoniously axed by their sponsoring networks.S

When: Marvel’s Luke Cage was canceled on October 19, 2018. Marvel’s Iron Fist was canceled on October 12, 2018. Marvel’s The Defenders, originally intended to be a one-season miniseries, will remain so despite hints and contemplation toward a possible second season, due to the fact that all individual character properties on Netflix, including Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and Marvel’s The Punisher, have been canceled by the streaming giant.

Where: The action in all Netflix Marvel series is primarily set in New York City, New York, as depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching any or all of these shows, catch up on our Marvel’s Defenders Series via the embedded links below!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

As long-time listeners should know by now, CPU! is chock full of panelists with a proclivity for comic book and superhero TV shows and films, including your Chief CP. Our Marvel’s Defenders Series was born of this proclivity, as we have already covered the first two seasons of Daredevil; the two available seasons of Jessica Jones; the two available seasons of Luke Cage; the two available seasons of Iron Fist; the one available season of the crossover event miniseries, The Defenders; and the first season of the first spin-off series, The Punisher. Listen to the links below:

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode One, “Daredevil,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Two, “Jessica Jones,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Three, “Daredevil,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Four, “Luke Cage,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Five, “Iron Fist,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Six, “The Defenders,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Seven, “The Punisher,” Season 1

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eight, “Jessica Jones,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Nine, “Luke Cage,” Season 2

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Ten, “Iron Fist,” Season 2

In this, the eleventh episode of our Marvel’s Defenders Series, our stalwart Marvel’s Defenders panelists – Kristen, Nick, Kyle, Hilary, and Spencer – process many thoughts and feelings following the cancellations of Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and, effectively, any hope of future crossover Defenders miniseries, at least for the foreseeable future and, particularly, for the next two years. This is the first of a new CPU! feature called “Canceled Corner,” wherein we discuss the untimely cancellation of shows that survived a season or two at most, only to find themselves unceremoniously axed by their sponsoring networks. We do this for these three programs particularly because we recorded our most recent reviews of Luke Cage and Iron Fist prior to the announcements of their cancellations. Thus, in this episode, our panel takes a moment to react to these cancellations of Luke Cage and Iron Fist (and, as a result, The Defenders) before moving ahead in the series in the near future to review the final seasons of Daredevil and The Punisher and, when it is released, of Jessica Jones.

Let me tell you, gentle listener: the feelings and #spicy words are flowing in this episode. Our panel’s thoughts and reactions range from grumpy sadness to outright outrage at what we, like the internet, believe is a money-hungry business decision and a consummate power grab by the Mouse House, as the Disney Corporation tries to take (back) pieces of the streaming pie from former partner in streaming crime, Netflix, in advance of the launch of their proprietary streaming platform, Disney+. Plus, Disney’s merger with 20th Century Fox (Fox’s Entertainment Division), official as of 12:02 AM today, means that Disney now controls Fox cable networks, like FX and FXX, and a majority share of rival streaming service Hulu. What does all this mean in the end? The future is uncertain for the Defender characters, despite passionate internet-based fan pleas on behalf of, at least, Daredevil. While Disney could re-launch properties revolving around these characters in two years, per their prior agreement with Netflix, there is no guarantee that Disney will do so, or that they will do so in the same form and/or manner as the series we’ve watched on Netflix to date. Really, the entire bundle of news is disappointing, and so the energy of our panel is unusually deflated in this episode. Do you feel the pain with us? Let us know!

This podcast episode was recorded in March 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we return to some major plot points from Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders.  Do you agree or disagree?  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, our Marvel’s Defenders Series panel returns to the Water Cooler once again to review, wistfully, the now final season, Season 3, of Marvel’s Daredevil. We also process our post-mortem reactions to this cancellation, with our own subtle verbal pleas of #savedaredevil. Stay tuned!

Lingering Questions

Luke Cage

1) Will Luke Cage be renewed as a solo series?  Or, is Netflix moving toward combining Luke and Danny Rand/Iron Fist, as the comics have, into a “Heroes for Hire” series and/or Misty and Colleen into a “Daughters of the Dragon” series, as panelist Kyle perceives and wholeheartedly wishes, with some vocal support from the panel.  All panelists indubitably enjoy and readily endorse the chemistry between Simone Missick and Jessica Henwick (Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, respectively) and between Mike Colter and Finn Jones (Luke Cage and Danny Rand/Iron Fist, respectively).

ANSWER: No to all questions. Luke Cage was canceled.

2) Panelist Kyle informed the panel in the podcast episode that Rosario Dawson is contemplating not returning to the Netflix Marvel shows, or at least not to Luke Cage, because her contract term is up, and she feels that Claire Temple/Night Nurse was relegated to nothing more than jealous/worried girlfriend in Luke Cage. Are the rumors true, or will Rosario find it in her heart to return, at least to any of the other three series?

ANSWER: Moot questions. Luke Cage was canceled.

Iron Fist

1) Netflix has canceled both Luke Cage and Iron Fist.  Are they paving the way, via efficiency of cost, for “Heroes for Hire”/”Daughters of the Dragon?”  Or, did the streaming giant actually give up on two of the properties comprising its unique corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for any of the following reasons: low ratings for Iron Fist; disagreements with the Luke Cage show-runner; and/or the fact that Disney/Marvel is starting its own streaming service and is gradually relieving Netflix of these properties?  When, if ever, will we know the truth?

ANSWER: Netflix canceled all of their Marvel shows, so the chances that other Marvel series involving these characters will be launched on Netflix’s platform in future are decidedly non-existent. Will any version of these characters, including “Heroes for Hire”/”Daughters of the Dragon,” be resurrected on Disney’s various platforms, such as future streaming service Disney+ or rival streaming network Hulu? We have to wait at least two years to find out.

2) Who is the Pirate Queen, from which Colleen is descended?

ANSWER: A question without an answer in the TV version of this universe, given Iron Fist‘s cancellation.

3) How involved would Mary/Walker aka Typhoid Mary (Alice Eve) have been with Danny, Colleen, or any other purveyor of the Iron Fist?  Will she now transfer to Daredevil, as she is traditionally a “Daredevil” villain, with this show’s cancellation?

ANSWER: Unknown. Daredevil was also canceled.

4) If “Heroes for Hire” and/or “Daughters of the Dragon” is/are launched, would these series resolve the considerable loose ends/cliffhangers posed by the ends of the second seasons of Luke Cage and Iron Fist?

ANSWER: See above.

PARTING SHOTS

The panel’s disappointment regarding the cancellation of Luke Cage is decidedly underwhelming compared to the panel’s disappointment at the cancellations of the other Netflix Marvel series. Our panelists are now reluctant to recommend Luke Cage as a standalone series, even though the panelists’ individual opinions of the show do not seem to entirely coincide with the broader, global opinion that fans and critics alike hold for this program. Our panelists believe that Luke Cage could be viewed separately from the other series or could be ignored, as the two available seasons contribute little to the overall narrative of the universe created by the five solo Netflix Marvel properties. Though the panelists share love of Mike Colter’s portrayal of the character, the sloppy, sometimes unappealing execution in writing, in direction, and, above all, in pacing leave several panelists only cautiously recommending the series as part of the larger Defenders puzzle: watch it if you must but do so in season release order, beginning with Daredevil Season 1, Jessica Jones Season 2, Daredevil Season 2, Luke Cage Season 1, and so on.

On the other side of the coin, ever since our panel learned of the cancellation of Iron Fist, we have vacillated widely and wildly between shock, stunned silence, and angry outcry.  Our panel universally enjoys this property; all six of our members rank it among the “Top 3” of our individual favorite Defenders (including The Punisher, not including The Defenders crossover miniseries). The panelists generally and universally agree that Iron Fist is well-performed (yes, including Finn Jones!) and aptly written and directed, with markedly improved pacing and story execution in Season 2. The entire panel believes that some of the criticism from trade critics and viewers alike toward this series is unduly harsh, as the panel additionally asserts that many who find more than small faults with this series may have missed, or simply do not prefer, its tendency toward subtleties and foreshadowing.

Ultimately, the panel expressed profound disappointment in Disney, for we all agree that the decisions made here were motivated by cutthroat capitalist competition, despite a strong fan base for these properties, even if fans flocked more to Daredevil and to Jessica Jones than to Luke Cage and/or Iron Fist. We hope that Disney/Marvel find a way to bring back all of these characters, if and when possible, in a convincing and entertaining way. Our panel further opines that Disney/Marvel would be foolish to cast these characters off, particularly in lieu of the visible public/internet outcry following all five series cancellations.

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

Canceled!  Netflix canceled Iron Fist on October 12, 2018, after two seasons and Luke Cage on October 19, 2018, after two seasons, effectively putting the kibosh on subsequent production of future Defenders crossover miniseries.  What’s more, Netflix canceled the remaining solo series as well; thus, CPU!’s Marvel Defenders Series panel’s days are now decidedly numbered. In this panel’s last three episodes, we will review the third and final season of Daredevil, the second and final season of The Punisher, and the third and final season of Jessica Jones, respectively. Stay tuned!

LOOKING AHEAD

The CPU! Marvel’s Defenders Series panel will return to the Water Cooler next week to review the third and final season of Daredevil and to discuss our post-mortem reactions to the cancellation of that series. Until then!

NEXT CPU! LIVE!

CPU! is going live again!!!  CPU! will next be LIVE at Blue Bridge Games (954 Fulton SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan) on March 31, 2019, at 2:00 PM!  In that live podcast (also streamed to our Facebook page), a brand new, one-time panel will take “A Shiny Look Back at Firefly” at Grand Rapids’ newest purveyor of tabletop and role playing games for purchase! Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep abreast of all the details, but here’s the art for it for now!  Stay tuned!

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Sense8, First Look & 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, (re)recorded in October 2018, our cluster of would-be homo-sensorium – moderator Kylie, Kelsey, Selene, and Chad – gathered together Around the Water Cooler to simultaneously take a First Look while Looking Back at canceled, high-concept Netflix science fiction series Sense8.  If you have not watched any of Sense8, 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

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Looking Back at “Sense8” (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Sense8,” is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix. The series is comprised of two total seasons released sporadically on the streaming service from 2015-2018.

What:  “Sense8,” a science fiction drama created by the Wachowskis (The Matrix, V for Vendetta, Cloud Atlas) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5). The plot revolves around eight strangers from different parts of the world, who suddenly and inexplicably become mentally and emotionally linked, and explores themes of religion, politics, identity, gender, and sexuality.

When: The final episode of the series, a wrap-up finale film, was released on June 8, 2018.

Where: The action is set, quite literally, all over the world.

Why: Listen to the podcast episode (embedded link below) for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Sense8.

The first season was originally reviewed by CPU! Podcast Panelist Eddie in 2015.  You can read that review here.

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.

Sense8 = 4.9, by average of the podcast panel.

SYNOPSIS

Sense8 tells the story of eight strangers: Will (Brian J. Smith), Riley (Tuppence Middleton), Capheus (Aml Ameen/Toby Onwumere), Sun (Doona Bae), Lito (Miguel Angel Silvestre), Kala (Tina Desai), Wolfgang (Max Riemelt), and Nomi (Jamie Clayton), each from a different culture and part of the world. While living their everyday lives, they suddenly have a vision of the violent death of a woman called Angelica (Darryl Hannah) and discover that they are ‘sensates:’ otherwise normal humans who are mentally and emotionally connected and who are able to communicate, sense, and use each other’s knowledge, language, and skills. While trying to live their lives and figure out how and why this connection has happened and what it means, they are aided by another sensate, Jonas (Naveen Andrews), who is trying to protect them from “Whispers” (Terrence Mann), another sensate, who is similarly empowered and who is hunting them down by tapping into their psychic link.

THOUGHTS

Sense8 came to the Chief CP’s attention by way of CPU! panelist Eddie, who submitted a glowing written review of the first season, linked above and published in 2015.  He was so passionate about the show, I decided to check out the show for myself, particularly given the presence of the erstwhile Sayid from Lost, Naveen Andrews, as well as Daryl Hannah, of all former mermaids, who figured relatively prominently in the story, according to the review.  As I began to watch and to discuss the series offline, other CPU! panelists also periodically expressed interest in talking about what was becoming decidedly a cult favorite, and so a CPU! panel was “birthed” from this expanding cluster.

Unfortunately, our Sense8 panel has had about as much luck getting the conversation to the listening public as the show has had remaining a viable, produced series by Netflix, as, much to the controversy and shock of its fan base, Sense8 was canceled by the streaming giant in 2017.  Panelists came and went with the show’s uncertain future becoming more certain.  In addition, and sadly, we had some meaty Sense8 recordings in the can as of summer 2017, but they became victim to the cataclysmic CPU! equipment failure of winter 2018 and were lost.  Fortunately, frequent CPU! panelists Kelsey and Selene along with newer (but not brand new) panelist Chad found it in their hearts to gather Around the Water Cooler once more to Look Back – while taking their second First Look – at a show for which these panelists repeatedly express effusive passion as well as regret regarding its seemingly sacrificial cancellation by Netflix.  Though this series ended its critically acclaimed (if allegedly expensive) run early, it clearly made an impression on our panelists, which they wistfully dissect in the episode below.

This podcast was (re)recorded in October 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points in Sense8. 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!  This Saturday, at 7:00 PM, CPU! is going live again!  There (hopefully) should be an in-person audience, and we will (hopefully) endeavor to live-stream the whole shindig once more to our Facebook page.  We’ll be back at Grand Rapids Comic Con at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with our spicy debate feature entitled “Vs,” when we go TREKKING THROUGH THE FINAL FRONTIER: THE CPU! VOYAGE INTO THE NEUTRAL ZONE!!! There, our 6 Trekkiest panelists will engage! in a multifaceted, multi-generational debate tackling the many entries in the universe of Star Trek. We will then publish an audio-only version next Wednesday, in our best rerun fashion. You won’t want to miss it! Here’s the link to the Facebook Event – plus, this panel will also seed a new ongoing Star Trek series panel for the podcast!  Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep abreast of all the details, but here’s the art for it for now!  Stay tuned!

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RECOMMENDATION
The panel enthusiastically, with all digits and vocal chords and shared senses, recommends Sense8, particularly to fans of the Wachowskis and their special oeuvre of high-concept storytelling; to fans of science fiction; to fans of inclusive TV; and to fans who will not be offended by sexual themes, violence, and/or coarse language.  The panel unanimously praised the performances, writing, direction, and overall production values of this show.  The panelists further believe that Sense8 is both exceptional and noteworthy for its originality, attention to detail, and focused (and achieved) goal of being an inclusive, all-encompassing tale that effectively, successfully, and without offense crosses racial, gender-based, sexual, religious, and other cultural lines/spectra.  In fact, they are simultaneously impressed with the breadth and scope of employed settings and locales; the carefully chosen, symbolic use of music (both source and thematic); and the unmitigated courage of telling a tale that delves deeply into philosophical, spiritual, cultural, and other realms, all of which may, unfortunately, have doomed the show to permanent cult status as well as indirectly induced its untimely demise.  All of the panelists also see this program as easily reviewed and watched again, despite some lingering questions and thirst for more story produced by the engaging overarching series framework, including the satisfying, if rushed, ending.  In any event, the show’s aesthetic imbues it with a potentially timeless charm, and the panel cannot recommend this unique series more highly, though the panelists also caution that a potential viewer’s heart might break, simply because the journey is so criminally short.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
Canceled!  Sense8 was canceled in 2017 by Netflix after two seasons, which are still both available to stream on the service.  Fortunately, due to fan outcry, after the second season proper ended on a whopper of a cliffhanger, the streaming giant commissioned a two-and-a-half hour wrap-up film, which was released on June 8, 2018, and which provided an ending that (mostly) satisfies, at least for our four devoted panelists, the Chief CP included.  Thus, as above, the panelists cannot help but glowingly recommend this series, given its complete beginning, middle, and end, even though some lingering questions and mysteries remain.  Of course, if Netflix goes the unlikely route of jumping on the revival/reboot train and decides to be charitable to this high-concept science fiction show that it previously canceled, CPU! will readily reconvene its resident cluster and resume coverage of the original and intelligent Sense8 anew.

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Ten: Marvel’s Iron Fist, Season Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in September 2018, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 2 of Iron Fist, the fourth property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. If you have not watched any of Iron Fist (or any of the other Defenders series: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and The Defenders crossover miniseries), 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!

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