CPU! LIVE!: CPU! Turns 100! Plus Our “Top 5” Current TV Recommendations!

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LIVE PODCAST! – Inspired by the movie High Fidelity, and CPU!’s very own Nick, today’s episode returns to our LIVE! format with our Top 5 feature.  Top 5 channels panel members’ best Rob Gordons by asking them to come up with their own top 5 TV shows or TV-related items around a painstakingly chosen theme.  Then, as a group, the panelists are forced to come up with a consensus, using their individual lists as starting points, that represents the panel at large.  It makes for some feisty discussion, depending upon the topic.  The consensus top 5 will be presented in the podcast description, which is kind of a big spoiler, but then you’re here to listen to the podcast episode and all of the meaty, juicy discussion (and potential arguments)….right?

Our Top 5 du jour? In honor of our 100th episode, CPU! provides a brief but heady debate surrounding five of our most frequent panelists’ Top 5 TV recommendations, courtesy of Moderator Kylie, Nick, Kyle, Hilary, Sarah, and Krista.  The debate was spicy – we have a diverse bunch of panelists, some nerdier than others, with different preferences.  How’d we fare?  Take a listen!

This podcast was live streamed on October 2, 2017, with associated video as part of Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater; this is the audio recording of the event! Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube, and, naturally, our website, couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com!

Editor: Kylie Piette
Social Media Graphics: Krista Pennington
Episode Sponsored By: Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater

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PODCAST! – CPU! LIVE!: THE 100th EPISODE!!! – Top 5 Current TV Recommendations of a Frequent Five CPU! Panelists

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THIS EPISODE OF CPU! SPONSORED BY:

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: Frequent CPU! panelists Nick, Kyle, Hilary, Sarah, and Krista!

What: CPU!’s Top 5 Current TV Recommendations!

When: CPU! went LIVE! and live streamed at its Facebook page on October 2, 2017!

Where: CPU! went live with our friends at Comedy Outlet Mondays at Dog Story Theater in Cool City Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Why:  Because we like you!  Because we’re all hams!  Because we turned 100 in the space of two and approximately one half short years!  So, now we think we’re experts.  For the record, we already know we’re silly.

How – as in How’d It Go?

To remind our listeners new and old, inspired by the movie High Fidelity, and CPU!’s very own Nick, today’s episode returns to our LIVE! format with our Top 5 feature.  Top 5 channels panel members’ best Rob Gordons by asking them to come up with their own top 5 TV shows or TV-related items around a painstakingly chosen theme.  Then, as a group, the panelists are forced to come up with a consensus, using their individual lists as starting points, that represents the panel at large.  It makes for some feisty discussion, depending upon the topic.  The consensus top 5 will be presented in the podcast description, which is kind of a big spoiler, but then you’re here to listen to the podcast episode and all of the meaty, juicy discussion (and potential arguments)….right?

Our Top 5 du jour? In honor of our 100th episode, CPU! provides a brief but heady debate surrounding five of our most frequent panelists’ Top 5 TV recommendations.  The debate was spicy – we have a diverse bunch of panelists, some nerdier than others, with different preferences.  How’d we fare?  Take a listen!  This podcast was live streamed on October 2, 2017, and is embedded here and uploaded to our Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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, schedules and health permitting, our DCTU panel will finally make its triumphant return to the proverbial Water Cooler, starting with what I am sure will be a spicy discussion about Season 2 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, in the first of four revisits to the Arrowverse in advance of and overlapping the new season premieres of the four shows comprising said TV universe.  If you’ve been following this series, or if you are a DC fan in general, you won’t want to miss it!  Stay tuned!

(The following embedded video also contains other segments of COM, to give you a flavor of the weekly improv and sketch comedy night).

CPU!S TOP 5 CURRENT TV RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. The X-Files – “Season 11 to premiere in 2018.”
  2. Sherlock – “It’s not canceled yet!”
  3. Game of Thrones – “Billions watch it.”
  4. Orange is the New Black – “It’s so good. For most people.”
  5. Stranger Things – “One season dynamite.”

NEXT CPU! LIVE!

CPU! is returning to Grand Rapids Comic Con!  On October 21, 2017, at 4:00 PM we will be in Grand Gallery D in DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Michigan, to launch another new feature in the general oeuvre of “Celebrity Death Match” in honor of two of the headlining guests at Con – our fan panel is entitled “Star Trek v. Star Wars: Battle of the Stars,” and will feature frequent and nerdy CPU! panelists Kristen, Nick, Kyle, Hilary, Sarah, and Spencer!  Stay tuned for all the details and marketing!

PANELIST PROFILES

Credits:

Editor: Kylie Piette
Social Media Marketing: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Game of Thrones,” The Season 6 Recap and Discussion (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Game of Thrones,” airs on premium cable TV, specifically on HBO, Spring Sundays at 9:00 PM.

What: “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy drama based on the series of novels entitled A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin, which tells the tale of the land of Westeros and the various families and factions vying for the Iron Throne, i.e. rule of all of the seven kingdoms in a world of magic, dragons, swordplay, and death (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here).

When: The season six finale aired on HBO, Sunday, June 26, 2016, at 9:00 PM.

Where: The show is set in the fictional land of Westeros, a world that could be Europe, could be Middle Earth, or could be most fantasy/epic realms.  Westeros is divided into Seven Kingdoms, but rule of all kingdoms hails from the Iron Throne, in King’s Landing. The show follows key characters across most realms.

Why: A friend basically said I had to watch it and for good reason (and other panelists received similar recommendations).  I gravitate toward fantasy and science fiction most frequently; fantasy is also my favorite genre to read.  I haven’t read Martin’s currently-in-progress series, as some of the panelists have, which has become something of a cultural watershed not unlike the Harry Potter novels, though I plan to do so.  Our resident book readers laud the show about as highly as they do the novels; thus, with this solid foundation, an obsession with Game of Thrones was born, at least for the Chief CP.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

For a recap of season 4, read here.

CPU! also previously published a podcast discussing Season 5.  To catch up, click the embedded link below:

Season 5 Podcast

This year, with the explosive and epic sixth season behind us, CPU!’s noble group of Game of Thrones panelists – Kristen, Amanda, Jay, Chelsea, and Rob – took less time to process our reactions than last season, more sure of and more eager about our feelings toward the future, given all of the positive developments of season six.  Perhaps, it’s because the level of shell-shock was not quite as high (thought it was still high), what with (spoiler) Jon Snow actually being resurrected and surviving the season. Also, many of panelist Kristen’s so-called dominoes began to fall this season in satisfying ways, so our panel was only too excited to spend time gushing about what was ultimately a tight, thrilling season.

Thus, our panel of GoT obsessed sat “around the water cooler” once more to chat and theorize all things season six as well as what season seven might look like, especially since the show has surpassed the books in terms of plot propulsion. Our scholarly bunch did not disappoint with their effusive opinions; as usual, we cover quite a bit of territory, revisiting three-headed dragon theories, speculations about Lady Stoneheart, and hopes and wishes for the ensuing war to come.  Also, R+L definitely equals J (which will no doubt also be confirmed by Martin) – so what does that mean for our always knowing-nothing Jon Snow?  We can only salivate and speculate about possible developments to come.

This podcast was recorded in August 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the sixth season of GoT. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite)0, 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 American Horror Story series, looking back on the second season, “Asylum.” Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) Revisited: How is it that Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has these powers?  Who is that dead looking guy on that throne? What are these beings in this macabre cave?  And how will their story intersect with the rest?

Answer: Bran may genetically be predisposed toward these powers, activated by his Stark lineage, his relationship to his direwolf, and his accident which left him paralyzed, as this form of what is known as “warging” is said to be a gift bestowed to Stark ancestors.  In any event, the dead-looking guy on the throne, this season played by Max von Sydow, is the Three-Eyed Raven, who has the power to connect to the world and warg through time.  The beings in the cave are the Children of the Forest, who bestowed the magic upon the Three-Eyed Raven, most likely the Stark lineage, and, as it turns out, who also created the White Walkers – from humans, no less – to counteract the encroachment of humans from the south.  The Children also created the protective magic surrounding the Old Tree cave and the Wall that keeps the White Walkers out, but Bran, in his quest to revisit visions on which he was accompanied by the Three-Eyed Raven, plugged into the tree network unsupervised, saw a vision of the oncoming White Walker hordes, and allowed the Night’s King to touch him within the vision, breaking the barrier against the Walkers by weakening the magic of the Children of the Forest.  This mistake allowed the Walkers and wights to enter the Old Tree cave, eliminate the erstwhile Three-Eyed Raven, and caused Bran, Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick), and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) to flee.  Bran was drawn into a long-term warg by the previous Three-Eyed Raven, threatened as the Old Tree was and given that Bran was suddenly faced with the necessity of having to learn all of the Three-Eyed Raven’s knowledge in a short space of time to assume status as the new Three-Eyed Raven.  This state of mystical hypnosis left only Meera to drag him away to safety and Hodor (and his direwolf Summer) to protect him, which resulted in their fatalities. Because of this state and Bran’s considerable power, he was connected to all of time. Shouts of “hold the door” from Meera implored the giant Hodor to brace the door of the Tree Cave against an onslaught invasion of wights while Bran was warged into his past, when Hodor was a young stable boy at Winterfell while Ned Stark and his siblings were children, and caused the young Hodor’s mind to liquefy.  The repeated cries of “hold the door,” mimicked by the young Wylis as he picked up on Bran’s warged vibe, melded into supernatural aphasia: “Hodor,” the only word he could ever say, creating his new name.  Bran and Meera continued to run and were also able to escape the wights with the help of Coldhands, the partially zombified form of Bran’s lost uncle Benjen Stark, who narrowly escaped being turned into a wight in the years since we last saw him.  Benjen, the Three-Eyed Raven, and Bran’s warging flashbacks, downloaded a lot of history of the world for the viewer – all in one episode.

2) Revisited: When is Dany (Emilia Clarke) going to sail for King’s Landing?  How long is she going to remain in Slaver’s Bay?  And will she be able to find Drogon and control him?

Answer: At the end of season 6, Dany made the decision to set sail for Westeros, her considerably larger forces in tow, which was the last glimpse the viewer had of Dany in the season finale.  She was forced to stick around for a moment due to her capture by the Dothraki (see below), but, as we all know, Drogon loyally listens to his mom now.

3) Revisited: Where did Rickon go?!  I know he’s but a babe, but he’s lost or something.

Answer: It turns out that he and Osha were kicking it in the wild, in an attempt to escape Rickon’s enemies.  Unfortunately, Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) found him first.

4) What will we find out about Bran and his exploits since last we saw him?

Answer: We find out that he was training with the old Three Eyed Raven to become the new one by learning all the ways of the warging Force.

5) Panelist Kristen says: “What the hell is Hodor?”

Answer: Hodor was once a larger-than-average stable boy named Wylis, until Bran, while warging from the future, melted his brain, echoing Meera’s distant cries of “hold the door.”

6) Arya (Maisie Williams) was blinded when she angered the Many Faced God by using one of the faces in the House of Black and White to her advantage in slaying one of the men on her revenge list.  Is this permanent blindness?  What will happen to her now?  Why did Ja’quen (Tom Wlaschiha) encourage this revenge list to begin with, only to take issue with her adherence to it now?

Answer: The blindness was temporary; she was forced to earn back her sight from Ja’qen after her misuse of the Many Faced God.  In punishment, she was induced to train with the Waif, who beat upon her with sticks and such until Arya got used to fighting blind.  It seems apparent, after what transpired in the season, that Ja’qen was training her all along to be equipped to take revenge, on both the Waif and her famous list, rather than to make her an indoor servant of the House of Black and White. Listen to the podcast or watch the season for details.

7) Stannis’ forces were decimated by the Boltons’.  House Baratheon appears to be teetering on the brink of being eliminated from the Game of Thrones, but for the fact that Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) is a Baratheon in name only.  Will Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) go after the Boltons?  Will anyone unseat the Boltons?  Who?

Answer: Stannis is confirmed dead.  Tommen commits suicide this season in the wake of the torching of the Sept with Mad King Aerys’ stash of wyldfyre, which Cersei (Lena Headey) ignites in a bold move to eliminate her enemies as they sat in the Sept, awaiting her trial for her many confessed sins.  Ramsey Bolton picked a fight with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), demanding the return of Sansa (Sophie Turner), as Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) finally found Sansa and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) as they fled from Winterfell.  Brienne and Podrick escorted them to Castle Black.  Ramsey baited Jon and Sansa with the capture of Rickon; they answered the call, aided by Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), and tried to rally northern allies to their cause, though most sided with the more formidable (and scarier) Ramsey.  In “The Battle of the Bastards,” Ramsey killed Rickon, forcing him to run as he lobbed arrows until one of them felled the youngest Stark, as Jon first watched and then rushed forward, against the strategy of his council (including his sister).  The battle that followed was nearly lost by the impetuous and impulsive Jon and his army of some northerners and Wildlings, until Littlefinger, accompanied by the army from the Vale, appeared at Sansa’s written request to save the day and Jon’s newly resurrected life.  This gave Jon the advantage of being able to storm Winterfell with his remaining forces (though Wun-Wun the Giant succumbed in the end to Ramsey’s final line of defense) and take it back, effectively unseating Ramsey; however, Ramsey’s life was left in the hands of the woman he married and then raped, and she paid out her justice in a gruesome but justifiable “eye for an eye” manner.

8) Sansa and Theon/Reek “escaped” Winterfell by jumping over the guard wall to flee Ramsay’s sadism.  Did they survive the jump?  Will they get away?  Where will they go?

Answer: They survived (as if there was ever a doubt).  They ran aimlessly through winter and snow until Brienne of Tarth showed up and saved the day, killing one of Ramsey’s search parties and escorting Sansa North to Castle Black and her brother, Jon Snow.  Theon elected to return to the Iron Islands, now that he has his faculties back.

9) What will happen to Dany?  She dropped her wedding ring: to break with her queenliness or to leave a bread crumb for Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michael Huisman)?  Will they find her?  Will Drogon find her?  What will this new Dothraki horde do?  Do they know that she was the Khaleesi?

Answer: Jorah and Daario found Dany with the bread crumb that was her ring, but as it turns out, she didn’t need their help. The Khals, as she was taken to the Dothraki stronghold, found out that she was Khal Drogo’s widow, living free against their custom, and forced her to live with the other former/widowed khaleesis while they determined her fate.  She was ordered to appear before them, in a sort of tribunal, as they made crude and sexist comments about her.  Unfortunately for them, there was fire in the tribunal hut, and because Dany is impervious to flames on the show, she tipped the torches and burned them all alive, as she emerged from the flames, naked and queenly.  Because of this show of power, all of the Dothraki horde became part of her army.

10) What will we see of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill) in Meereen?  Will Tyrion and Dany be reunited?

Answer: Tyrion and Varys attempted to steward Meereen in Dany’s absence, though not always successfully; Tyrion struck a controversial deal with the slave masters to return slaves for seven years to them in exchange for keeping the peace in the city, which had grown tenuously unstable in Dany’s absence.  Varys left eventually to seek out help that he did not specify.  Because Dany successfully conquered the Dothraki, she returned to Meereen, somewhat disappointed by the status quo; however, she forged a plan, which included laying waste to a slaver ship with her three dragons (the other two had been released by Tyrion, who had a curious connection to them).  She gained the rest of their ships and drove the slave masters out of Slavers Bay.

11) Is Jon Snow really dead?  If so, is he coming back to life?  How?  Will he Warg into his direwolf, as Bran has been able to do, per the Starks’ traditional magical power established by the novels?  Will Melisandre resurrect him as she did Dondarrion in Season Three?

Answer: Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and the Old Magic raised Jon Snow from his real, actual death, like Beric Dondarrion, in episode two of the season, which was nice, as we didn’t have to beat around the bush about it.

12) Who is Jon’s mother?  Is Jon, in fact, the product of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen? Is the Song of Ice and Fire about him?

Answer: The show confirmed that Jon’s mother is, in fact, Lyanna Stark.  The network confirmed that Jon’s father is, in fact, Rhaegar Targaryen.  The Song of Ice and Fire’s real subject remains a mystery: is the song a person (Jon Snow) meant to be a savior, blended of the family of ice (Stark) and fire (Targaryen); three people, all with blends of the three major houses (Stark, Targaryen, Lannister), who can ride three dragons; or the clash of dragons (fire) and White Walkers (ice).  Maybe it’s all of the above.  We’ll find out within two seasons because that’s as far as the creators want to go.

13) Does Melisandre, who seems to have forsaken Stannis Baratheon, now believe that Jon is the Azor A’hai?  The savior of all?

Answer: She wasn’t convinced of anything until she was able to raise Jon from the dead.  She now truly believes that he is the Azor A’hai, the savior of all, the Prince Who was Promised.

14) Is the Azor A’hai the same as the Prince of Promise?  Is the Azor A’hai one person? If so, is it Jon or Dany or someone else?  Or, is it the combination of three people who can ride Dany’s dragons?  And who are those three people…? Jon? Dany? Tyrion? Anyone else?

Answer: The Azor A’hai and the Prince Who Was Promised are two names for the same basic concept.  As above, however, the question of who or what that is remains unanswered.

15) With Jon Snow apparently dead, and Sam Tarly (John Bradley) heading toward the Citadel with Gilly (Hannah Murray), will we have to spend anymore time at the Night’s Watch?  Alternatively, will the Watchmen need to battle the White Walkers anew? Will the wall hold?  Will peace be kept between the Watchmen and the Wildlings who have taken refuge there?

Answer: Thankfully, after Jon made his decision to battle Ramsey for the safety of Rickon, he concluded that his Watch had ended with his, albeit temporary, death and chose to leave Castle Black, though not without hanging the traitors who stabbed him (Olly included) and placing Eddard, his trusty lieutenant, as Lord Commander.  The Watchmen are still the first line of defense against the Walkers beyond the wall.  The Wildlings left with Jon Snow, but whether the Wall will hold remains a question, particularly in light of Bran’s warged encounter with the Night’s King.

16) How will Cersei recover from her penance?

Answer: She came back bigger and badder than ever and hellbent on revenge, which she successfully executed by lighting Mad King Aerys’ stash of wyldfyre under King’s Landing and taking out half of the city in the process.

17) What is the resurrected Mountain going to do, or how does he figure into anyone’s plans, the Lannisters included?

Answer: The Mountain basically served as Cersei’s bodyguard throughout the season, as she awaited trial by the High Sparrow, vulnerable to attacks by the Sparrow’s followers.

18) With Myrcella dying by poison on the ship back from Dorn, will Cersei and/or Jaime retaliate again Ilaria Sand (Indira Varma) or Dorn?

Answer: Cersei and Jaime both had other fish to fry and seemed to forget about Dorn for the time being.  Cersei was trapped within the Red Keep awaiting her trial by the High Sparrow, and Jaime was sent by Cersei to recapture River Run from the Blackfish, Catelyn Stark’s uncle, who temporarily retook his ancestral home from House Frey, the Lannisters’ long-time allies.

19) Will Tommen be able to hold his rule?

Answer: Tommen succumbed to the will of the High Sparrow in order to protect Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), his Queen.  Margaery feigned an act of piety to save her brother Loras. They were both puppets to the High Sparrow, until Cersei enacted her revenge, which Tommen watched from the Red Keep.  Knowing his bride was among the casualties, and ill-equipped to guide recovery from such devastation as king, Tommen chose to plummet from his tower window and end his own life.

20) What happened to the Tyrells?  Are Margaery and Loras rotting in prison?

Answer: For a time, the Tyrells remained in prison, until Margaery pretended to be converted to the new religion by the High Sparrow, and Loras agreed to repent for his sin of homosexuality.  Unfortunately, his confession and penance (and branding) by the Sept directly preceded what would have been Cersei’s trial; neither sibling (or their father) survived long enough to see if their efforts were worth it, owing to Cersei’s devastating master stroke of igniting the hidden caches of wyldfyre under the city.

21) How long will the new religion have its hold on King’s Landing?  Will their evangelism spread?

Answer: The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) was effective in spreading his message, but he underestimated Cersei.  He died in the season finale, so it’s expected that the new religion will have suffered something of a blow as well.

22) Are Rickon and Osha returning anytime soon?

Answer: Ramsey found them.  Ramsey killed them.

23) Is Stannis Baratheon really dead? If so, what will Brienne of Tarth do now?

Answer: Brienne definitely offed Stannis; House Baratheon is out of the Game of Thrones.  After Brienne found Sansa and brought her north to Castle Black, Sansa sent Brienne to River Run to ask her great-uncle, the Blackfish, for help in the fight against Ramsey.  Brienne was reunited briefly with Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).  The Blackfish could not help Brienne or his Stark relations, as he was under siege by a combination of Walder Frey’s (David Bradley) and Lannister forces.  Though Jaime successfully recaptured River Run, he allowed Brienne and Podrick to escape unnoticed with a touching goodbye to Brienne, full of distant longing.  The Blackfish is not expected to have survived the siege.

24) Can we never see Dorn again, even if Prince Martell is played by Dr. Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?  Panelist Jay votes yes on never seeing Dorn again.

Answer: Things looked hopeful when the Sand Snakes killed Prince Martell and his son early in the season, effectively usurping rule of Dorn.  Unfortunately, Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg), who had fled King’s Landing in the face of the growing influence of the High Sparrow, sought out the Sand Snakes at the end of the season in a bid to exact revenge against Cersei for killing her family.  Future seasons will show us if that is the right move, either for her or for the viewer.

New Questions

1) Will we see “Clegane-bowl,” i.e. the Hound v. the Mountain in hand-to-hand combat in the war to come?

2) Will Dany reach Westeros and aim specifically for King’s Landing and Cersei?

3) Will Arya or Bran find their siblings/return to Winterfell?  Or, will Bran go North, and Arya go South?

4) Who will Arya aim for next, now that she has the backing of the Many Faced God and the skills taught to her by the House of Black and White?

5) Will Sansa make a play to be Queen of the North?  Will she finally be seduced by Littlefinger’s romantic advances and plan for their future?

6) Will Jon Snow stay parked at Winterfell?  Will he find out about his true parentage?  Will he be forced to engage the White Walkers in the next season, or will he be forced to enter a battle in the South between Lannisters and Targaryens?

7) Will we see more Lyanna Mormont?  The panel votes yes.

8) Will we see the emergence of Lady Stoneheart?  Will she be in the form described by the books, or will one of the Stark daughters take on her story lines?

9) How will Jaime react to Cersei’s new power?  Will he be the younger brother that fulfills Maggy the Frog’s prophecy, or will it be Tyrion, now that he’s on his way back home at the side of Dany?

10) How will King’s Landing react to Cersei’s rule, in the absence of the strength of the High Sparrow and the new religion?

11) Will we see the emergence of more dragon riders?  Will the three-headed dragon prophecy/theory come true this season?

12) House Bolton is out of the Game of Thrones with the death of Ramsey.  Will Euron Greyjoy and his bid for the Iron Islands and the Iron Throne render him the new sadistic villain of the series, as panelist Rob predicts?

13) Where is Jon’s direwolf Ghost and Arya’s direwolf Nymeria?  Will they survive the series?

14) Will the White Walkers breech the Wall next season?

15) Is there something in the Wall other than protective magic, as panelist Kristen has theorized?

PARTING SHOTS

Game of Thrones continues to be, possibly more than ever, simply one of the most exciting programs on television right now, bolstered by the fact that, when in season, it is one of the primary water cooler shows on television today.  The fact that the show has caught up with and now surpassed the timeline of the books is admirable in and of itself.  Though each episode metes out a fraction of story for most of the major point-of-view characters, a majority of the episodes are fraught with tension and grand spectacle, with excellent visual effects, stellar writing and pacing, and some of the most superb acting currently on the small screen.  The panelists, with mostly positive regard of season six, are generally quite obsessed with the show and its current trajectory and are positive about most plot developments in this most recent season.  They discuss many theories and observations in this podcast episode, but all are excited for the next season and to keep watching!  Listen to their reactions and see if you agree.

LOOKING AHEAD

Game of Thrones was renewed for a seventh season, as well as an eighth and final season, the former of which is slated to premiere on HBO later, in June 2017, as it was somewhat delayed compared to past seasons due to the need to incorporate actual winter (it’s here!). Until then, Game of Thrones fans, remember: you play, or you die.

Game of Thrones, Season Six (MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

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 August 2016, our panel–including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Amanda, Jay, Chelsea, and Rob–is Around the Water Cooler and discussing the indisputably epic Season 6 of Game of Thrones. If you are not caught up on Thrones, 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!

Six Feet Under, Looking Back (MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in July 2016, our panel, currently Six Feet (or so) Over – including Moderator Kylie, Sarah, Andrew, and Jeremy – talk all things Fisher and Sons and occasionally Diaz while Looking Back at the five seasons of the program Six Feet Under, which aired from 2001 to 2005 on HBO. If you have not watched Six Feet Under, 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! – Discoveries, Recommended by Viewers Like You, and Looking Back at “Six Feet Under” (MAJOR SPOILERS) + The Best Written TV (#18) + Time’s All TIME 100 TV Shows + Empire’s 50 Greatest/Best TV Shows (#27, 2008 & #36, 2016) + The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Favorite Shows (#29)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Six Feet Under,” a drama that aired for five seasons on HBO from 2001-2005.

What: Created and produced by Alan Ball, “Six Feet Under” depicts members of the Fisher family, who run their funeral home in Los Angeles, and their friends and lovers. The series traces these characters’ lives over the course of five years. The ensemble drama stars Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathew St. Patrick, and Rachel Griffiths as the show’s seven central characters.

SYNOPSIS

Nathaniel Samuel “Nate” Fisher, Jr.’s (Krause) funeral director father (Richard Jenkins) dies and bequeaths to him and his brother David (Hall) co-ownership of the family funeral business.  The Fisher clan also includes widow Ruth (Conroy) and daughter Claire (Ambrose).  Other regulars include mortician and family friend Federico Diaz (Rodriguez), Nate’s on-again/off-again girlfriend Brenda Chenowith (Griffiths), and David’s long-term boyfriend Keith Charles (St. Patrick).  On one level, the show is a conventional family drama, dealing with such issues as interpersonal relationships, infidelity, and religion.  At the same time, the show is distinguished by its unblinking focus on the topic of death, which it explores on multiple levels (personal, religious, and philosophical).  Each episode begins with a death – the cause of which ranges from heart attack to murder to sudden infant death syndrome – and that death usually sets the thematic tone for each episode, allowing the characters to reflect on their current fortunes and misfortunes in a way that is illuminated by the death and its aftermath through dark humor and surrealism.

When: The show aired for five seasons from 2001 to 2005 on HBO.

Where: The show is set in Los Angeles, California.

Why: Listen to the podcast for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Six Feet Under.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

Via a convoluted path, your Chief Couch Potato discovered Six Feet Under on Amazon Prime/HBO Go during the spring.  My individual, crazy journey started with The Americans and wanting to watch the shows that made its two stars famous. For Keri Russell, that was Felicity (reviewed here), but for Matthew Rhys, it was Brothers & Sisters, which, as you might know, also heavily featured Rachel Griffiths as one of the Walker siblings (sister to Rhys’ Kevin).  I decided to watch the shows that made other members of the Brothers & Sisters cast, several of whom were not appearing in their first television show, famous. Griffiths’ first major television success, prior to Brothers & Sisters, was this acclaimed drama, a show I’ve always wanted to watch but was never able to when it was on due to the fact that I was too poor to have HBO in the era contemporaneous to the first-run airing of this program.

In addition, several people in my life, knowing of my TV addiction, recommended this show to me, as it represented one of their all time favorite shows; some even called Six Feet Under “life changing.”  In fact, a few of those people – specifically Sarah, Andrew, and new panelist Jeremy – volunteered to look back at Six Feet Under around the family dinner table, chatting about how they felt about the quirky but profound drama while enjoying food and drinks and dissecting this critically acclaimed show, which garnered a number of major awards and has since been ranked on several best-of lists (many of which are listed in the title of this post).  This podcast was recorded in July 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout all five seasons. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, we’ll be around the water cooler while launching a brand new series covering all seasons of American Horror Story, featuring rotating moderators – beginning with the first season, Murder House!  You won’t want to miss it!  Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

Six Feet Under is recommended by the entire panel universally.  The panelists feel that this TV show, more than most, has at least one thing that any viewer can connect with, in addition to extremely recognizable and interesting characters to which everyone can relate.  Also, there is a balance of light and dark that renders the show engaging.  The panelists further appreciate the “realness” of the subject matter, and the emotions it evokes as a window into others’ potential lives, lives that mirror people the viewer might actually know in real life, set against some of the surreal devices used within the program’s presentation.  The panel characterizes the show as intelligent “non-fluff;” it induces the viewer to think and to feel because it’s well-written, well-performed, and readily and profoundly draws the viewer into its unique world.

Six Feet Under is available to stream on Amazon Prime and HBO Go/Now.  The panelists also note that this drama is a pioneer that paved the way for the creation of some of the high quality television available today.  In fact, true to advertisement by those who have loved it for some time, this show is potentially life-changing and, as the panelists all agree, definitely worth the watch.

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

Based on reliable sources, including TVLine, the A.V. Club, and TV Guide, here are the current statuses of shows covered by this blog.  This list does not include up and coming shows to be reviewed from the new season pilots list or shows not listed on the “What I’m Currently Watching” page (such as The Simpsons).

This particular list comprises the End of Season Scorecard for Long-Running shows covered by this blog, as this viewer is behind in the whole TV watching department.

New this year: demarcations on whether or not we cover the show in our podcasts.

2015-2016 TV Season (Active Currently)

*Doctor Who (BBC America) – PODCAST!

Renewed for Series 10 (to premiere in 2017).

*Sense8 (NETFLIX Original) – Written Reviews Only (by Edgar)

Renewed for Season 2 (debuts in June 2016).

*Once Upon a Time (ABC) – PODCAST!  

Renewed for Season 6.

*Orange is the New Black (NETFLIX Original) – PODCAST! 

Renewed for Season 4 (debuts in June 2016).

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

Renewed for Season 4.

*The Vampire Diaries (CW) – PODCAST!  

Renewed for Season 8.

*Gotham (FOX) – PODCAST!  

Renewed for Season 3.

*How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) – PODCAST! (Moderated by Kristen and Krista)

Renewed for Season 3.

2014-2015 TV Season (Caught Up to this Season/Catching Up/In Reruns)

*Fargo (FX) – Written Reviews Only (Covered by Kylie)

Renewed for Season 3.

*Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (NETFLIX Original) – PODCAST! 

Renewed for Season 3.

*The Mindy Project (HULU original) – Written Reviews Only (Covered by Kylie)

Renewed for Season 5.

*Game of Thrones (HBO) – PODCAST! 

Renewed for Season 7.

*Sleepy Hollow (FOX) – Written Reviews Only (Covered by Kylie)

Renewed for Season 4.

*Marvel’s Daredevil (NETFLIX Original)  – PODCAST! 

Status unknown – Season 2 premiered in March 2016.  No renewal notice has yet been announced.

*Madam Secretary (CBS) – Written Reviews Only (Covered by Kylie)

Renewed for Season 3.

*Bones (FOX) – Written Reviews Only (Covered by Kylie)

Renewed for Season 12, which will be its final season.

*Broadchurch (BBC America, Currently on Hiatus) – PODCAST! 

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

2013-2014 TV Season (Caught Up to this Season/Catching Up/Behind)

*New Girl (Fox) – Coming Soon

Renewed for Season 6.

*Person of Interest (CBS) – Coming Soon

Canceled.  This season, its fifth, is the final season.

*Glee (Fox) – Ended; Review to Come

Ended 2015 with its sixth and final season.

*Revenge (ABC) – Ended; Blog Review to Come

Ended 2015 with its fourth and final season.

*The Originals (CW) – Blog Review Coming Soon

Renewed for Season 4.

*Supernatural (CW) – Coming Soon

Renewed for Season 12.

*American Horror Story (FX) – Coming Soon

Renewed for Season 6.

*Reign (CW) – Blog Review Coming Soon

Renewed for Season 4.

*Grimm (NBC) – Coming Soon

Renewed for Season 6.

*About a Boy (NBC) – Canceled; Review to Come

Ended 2015 with its second and final season.

*The 100 (CW) – Coming Soon

Renewed for Season 4.

*Arrow (CW) – PODCAST! – Part of the DC Television Universe (or DCTU) podcast series. 

Renewed for Season 5.

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Stay tuned!  As the summer progresses, I will share the roster of new pilots coming to the networks and what appeals!  For now, summer is a great time to catch up on TV. There will be blogs and podcasts galore.  So I hope!