How to Get Away with Murder, Season Three (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, another frequent panelist takes over moderating duties and the microphone to discuss the popular Shondaland show How to Get Away with Murder, which airs fall/winter Thursday nights on ABC. Moderator Eddie, Kristen, Krista, and Allie, a smaller version of the Keating Five (maybe they can be called the CPU! Four?), reconvened Around the Water Cooler to discuss and explore key plot developments from the third season.  If you have not watched any of How to Get Away with Murder, 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! – Around the Water Cooler: “How to Get Away with Murder,” the Season Three Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Eddie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “How to Get Away with Murder” is a drama that currently airs on ABC, fall/winter Thursdays at 10:00 PM.

What: “How to Get Away with Murder,” a drama featuring Viola Davis (The Help) as a law professor at a prestigious Philadelphia university who, along with a select group of an elite five of her students chosen to be interns at her law firm, becomes entwined in a murder plot.

SYNOPSIS

Annalise Keating (Davis) is a prominent criminal defense attorney and a law professor at Middleton University in Philadelphia. She selects five students to intern at her firm: Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch, the Harry Potter films), Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King), Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry), and Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza). They work with Annalise’s employees, Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil), an associate lawyer.  All players become increasingly involved, peripherally or directly, in the primary murder plot of the season.

When: Season Three aired on ABC from September 22, 2016, to February 23, 2017.

Where: The action is set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

CPU! started reviewing, in podcast format, How to Get Away with Murder from the beginning!  To catch up on prior CPU! episodes or to wrap your ahead around the progress of this Shonda Rimes produced legal thriller to date, cop to our handy links below:

Season One

Season Two

Our HTGAWM panel of Kristen, Krista, Eddie, and Allie reconvened – shockingly reluctantly, due to the show if not each other – around the water cooler to parse through what was, apparently, a rough season three, which most if not all panelists found to be a creative low for the show. In this episode, Krista, who moderated the Season Two discussion, passes the moderating mic, as they do on this panel (the Chief CP is not a member), to fellow panelist Eddie, who now leads the discussion about Season Three. Thus, the CPU! Four (rather than the Keating Five, see) tackle the ups and the many or more numerous head-scratching, downward-type moments of the third season while speculating upon what may come next, as the show has been renewed for a fourth season, likely to premiere this fall.

This podcast was recorded in June 2017, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the third season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, CPU! continues its merry parade of end of season recaps when our Gotham panel returns to the Water Cooler to contemplate the “madness” of the second half of Season 3, containing the end of the “Mad City” arc and the entirety of the “Heroes Rise” arc.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations
Old Questions
1) Will we see the Hapstalls next season?
ANSWER: The Hapstalls’ story line did not resume nor was resolved in Season Three.  The panelists feel that the Season Two story line was not completely resolved but seem unaffected by the fact that the Hapstalls’ did not graduate into the third season.
2) Who is in the black car?  Do the writers know?
ANSWER: Frank is in the black car, which is revealed to the viewer this season (see below).
3) Who killed Wes’ (Enoch) father?  Was the murdered man even Wes’ father to begin with?
ANSWER: Wes’ father, Charles Mahoney Jr., was not murdered, but Wes’ grandfather, Charles Mahoney Sr. or “Big Papa,” is murdered by Frank, though Frank thinks he is murdering Wes’ real father.

New Questions

1) Will Laurel carry her baby to term?  Will we learn more about her father?

2) Will all of the remaining Keating 5 survive next season?

3) Will the show get better?  Will the show return to its roots?  Or, is it locked into its current style?

4) Will we ever see the characters in school again?  Will Connor continue to spiral out of control?

PARTING SHOTS

While one panelist remained loyal to HTGAWM, if somewhat underwhelmed, after the third season, the rest of the panelists rated this third season rather poorly, noting the writing to be unfocused and inconsistent in quality, the pace to be slow to the point of drudgery, and the characters to be making uncharacteristic choices, another symptom of possible writing struggles indicative of declining quality.  In fact, three panelists – notably the three who started the panel – contemplated “jumping the shark” but for the sake of gathering together to podcast about it, while the fourth panelist was shocked to be in the minority, enjoying some of the new character back stories introduced while simultaneously acknowledging that the show suffered from some fatal third season flaws that left her questioning her life choices. The same three panelists aforementioned also procrastinated heavily before watching the show, finding it painful to complete, particularly relative to other good television offerings out there. Surprisingly, and largely attributable to panel camaraderie, all panelists agreed to continue watching and to return for a season four recap and review, though the self same three panelists threatened to quit if the show did not witness a marked improvement in the coming season.  Where do you fall? Comment below!

LOOKING AHEAD

HTGAWM was officially renewed for Season Four and is expected to return fall 2017, though no premiere date has yet been announced. CPU! will revisit this show in podcast format (with the next moderator in rotation!) at the end of season four in 2018.  Until then!

The Gilmore Girls Life Series, Episode Two – Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (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 March 2017, our panel of resident Gilmore Girls–including moderator Kristen, Krista, Chelsea L., Samantha, and Kylie–gathered around the water cooler to process the sequel to romantic comedy drama Gilmore Girls, entitled “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” This is the second part of a CPU! podcast miniseries examining the original Gilmore Girls and its revival sequel.  If you have not watched any of Gilmore Girls or its sequel, 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: “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” Recap (The Gilmore Girls Life Series, Episode Two; MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for gilmore girls a year in the life opening credits

Moderator: Kristen

THE SPECS:

Who: “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” is a web television Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” is a sequel to Gilmore Girls, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, which ran from 2000 to 2007 on the WB network and, later, the CW.  This new program sees the return of Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino as executive producers to the Gilmore Girls series after leaving the original run as show-runners prior to Season 7.  The “Year in the Life” miniseries consists of four 88 to 102-minute episodes; each episode follows the characters through one of the four seasons in one year’s time.

When: The four episode miniseries was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on November 25, 2016.

Where: Like the original, this show is primarily set in fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, though the story frequently drifts to Hartford, Connecticut, where Lorelai’s (Graham) childhood home is; to New York City; and to London, where Rory’s (Bledel) ex-boyfriend and sometime lover lives.

Why: Listen to the podcast episode for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.  Notably, this is the second episode in our “Gilmore Girls Life” series; all panelists participated in the first episode of this podcast series, “Looking Back” at the original Gilmore Girls, and are fans and viewers of varying degrees of dedication of the original program.

How – as in How Was It?

The CPU! “First Look” 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 [limited] 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 [even fewer] 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.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life = 3.3, by average of the podcast panel.

SYNOPSIS

Due to her frequent travels as a freelance journalist, Rory Gilmore (Bledel) gives up her New York City apartment in favor of staying at her friends’ homes in New York, Stars Hollow, and London.  In London, Rory stays with Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry) while working on a book for the eccentric Naomi Shropshire (Alex Kingston). Rory and Logan are in a no-strings-attached relationship, although Logan is engaged, and Rory has a boyfriend named Paul. When Naomi fires Rory, and Logan’s fiancee moves in, Rory struggles with her lack of a career and her relationship with Logan. She reconnects with Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia), who encourages her to write her own book about her life with her mother.

Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) grieves the recent death of her husband and tricks her daughter Lorelai (Graham) into starting therapy with her. Lorelai has also been feeling lost due to the death of her father, the career progressions of her long-time business partners, and her relationship with Luke Danes (Scott Patterson). Lorelai and Luke have been dating for over ten years but have yet to marry or to discuss children. After fighting with Rory about the potential of Rory writing the book about their lives, Lorelai spontaneously leaves home to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

Frequent CPU! contributors and panelists often suggest shows for CPU! to cover in our podcast episodes – loyal listeners should have picked up on this particular trend by now. Well, when streaming service Netflix (they owe us free subscriptions, we think!) decided to rev up the passionate fandom of romantic dramedy Gilmore Girls by producing a revival miniseries for its service featuring every member of the original cast, some of the CPU!ers became decidedly atwitter and began encouraging a Gilmore podcast series in short order.

Our most frequent contributor and panelist Kristen, who abounds in passion for the original Gilmore Girls series and who suggested that CPU! take up the Gilmore Girls mantle, returns to moderate this second episode of our own miniseries covering the various versions of this popular, fast-talking, pop-culture-referencing program, which we at CPU! are calling our “Gilmore Girls Life” series.  Listen to our first episode, in which we Look Back at Gilmore Girls, via the embedded link below:

The Gilmore Girls Life Series, Episode One: Looking Back at “Gilmore Girls”

Once again, the Chief CP steps aside from the moderating microphone, so that Kristen may serve as main moderator with the kind of passion this quirky corner of Connecticut deserves, while again participating as a regular old panelist along with our other resident “Gilmore Girls” Krista, Chelsea (L.), and Samantha.  In this second episode of our “Gilmore Girls Life” series, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments from the revival miniseries Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, covering the goings-on of all of the Lorelais, their friends, their neighbors, their family, and their romantic partners.

This podcast was recorded in March 2017 and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the four seasons of the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life miniseries. 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 are back around the water cooler and checking in with our long-running Doctor Who panel, – when our discussion will include reactions to the 2016 Christmas special “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” and prognostications upon who Peter Capaldi’s replacement will be, as Doctor #12 has announced that Series 10 will be his last with the decades-long cult show. Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

The CPU! Gilmore Girls recommend watching this “Year in the Life” if and only if you watched and enjoyed the original Gilmore Girls series, due to no small amount of long-running jokes, inside references, and continuity that only original Gilmore viewers will likely recognize and fully appreciate.  The general consensus of the panel is that the four miniseries episodes are “less than” in terms of quality and enjoyment than those of the original seven seasons, so much so that those panelists with the highest expectations experienced the deepest disappointment (though the converse of that relationship is also true).  The panel’s general/universal theory is that these four movie-length episodes suffer in light of the producer Palladinos’ apparently acrimonious split from the WB/CW networks during the seventh season of the original show, since Amy and Daniel largely ignored, by avoiding direct viewing of, the seventh season of the original series, which they did not write or produce.  The panelists also struggle with the present-day behaviors of the characters, which do not always seem to jive with our perceptions of the same characters from the six seasons of the original series, which the Palladinos did oversee. This is particularly true because, the panelists agree, the miniseries lacks sufficient backstory to help viewers understand fully how Lorelai and Rory and their closest loved ones arrive at the series starting point other than by providing current updates, some of which are far afield from how the characters ended the original series.  Thus, the best way for any Gilmore fan to enjoy these four episodes is twofold: lower expectations drastically, and view all four episodes as one extra long movie rather than four mini-movies told over four seasons of a year. In any event, if, as a viewer, you have missed these characters and desperately need to know what their futures bring/have brought, “A Year in the Life” is worth at least one viewing because all your favorites make some appearance and, for the most part, flex the once dormant muscles of their signature roles quite nicely.

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and its four episodes are all that Netflix originally intended for this much ballyhooed revival; however, the success of the series’ release helped to increase the streaming service’s viewing and subscription numbers so convincingly, pervasive rumors have sprung up suggesting that Netflix and the Palladinos are considering future installments of the lives of Lorelai, Rory, and all of their Stars Hollow compatriots.  As of the publication of this post, though, no official announcement or renewal order has been issued.  Should Netflix see fit to make more “Gilmore,” CPU!’s “Gilmore Girls” will assuredly reconvene to cover and to digest any new episodes.  Stay tuned for potential future developments!  Until that time, this miniseries is available on the Netflix streaming service to be watched and re-watched to one’s heart’s content.  Enjoy!

The Gilmore Girls Life Series, Episode One: Gilmore Girls, 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 March 2017, our panel of resident Gilmore Girls–including moderator Kristen, Krista, Chelsea L., Samantha, and Kylie–gathered together to Look Back and reminisce about fan favorite, romantic comedy drama Gilmore Girls. This is the first part of a CPU! podcast miniseries examining one of our favorite television programs, which will connect to “Water Cooler” coverage of the revival Netflix series “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.”  If you have not watched any of Gilmore Girls, 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 “Gilmore Girls” (The Gilmore Girls Life Series, Episode One; MAJOR SPOILERS) + Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest TV Shows of All-TIME + The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Favorite Shows (#51)

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Moderator: Kristen

THE SPECS:

Who: “Gilmore Girls,” a comedy-drama series that aired on the WB, and later the CW, from 2000 to 2007.

What: Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show follows single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) while living in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.  The series explores issues of family, friendship, and romance, as well as generational divides and social class.  The show’s social commentary manifests most clearly in Lorelai’s difficult relationship with her wealthy, appearance-obsessed parents, Emily and Richard Gilmore (Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann), and in Rory’s interactions with the students at private school Chilton Academy and, later, Yale University.

SYNOPSIS

Lorelai Gilmore (Graham) grew up with her old money parents, Richard and Emily (Herrmann and Bishop), in Hartford, Connecticut, but always felt stifled by this environment. At age sixteen, she accidentally became pregnant and, a year later, left home to raise her daughter Rory (Bledel) in the close-knit town of Stars Hollow. Lorelai and Rory are “best friends,” and Lorelai is proud of the independent life she has formed away from her parents.

The contrasting mother–daughter relationships of Emily–Lorelai and Lorelai–Rory become a defining theme of the show. The series also focuses on both girls’ ambitions: Rory to become a journalist and Lorelai to open an inn with her best friend Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). The romantic relationships of the protagonists are another key feature: throughout the series, Lorelai has a “will-they-or-won’t-they” dynamic with both Rory’s father, Christopher Hayden, and her friend, local diner owner Luke Danes (Scott Patterson). In addition, Rory famously has three primary boyfriends during the run of the show: local boy Dean Forrester (Jared Padalecki), bad boy Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia), and wealthy Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), prompting many fans to vehemently declare their allegiance to whichever handsome partner is their favorite. The quirky townspeople of Stars Hollow are a constant presence in the show and form a comedic backdrop for the larger dramatic events of the story.

When: The show aired for seven seasons, from 2000 to 2007, on the WB and later, in its seventh season, on the newly formed CW.

Where: The show is primarily set in fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, though the story frequently drifts to Hartford, Connecticut, where Lorelai’s parents live, and to New Haven, Connecticut, home of Yale University.

Why: Listen to the podcast episode for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Gilmore Girls.

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

Frequent CPU! contributors and panelists often suggest shows for CPU! to cover in our podcast episodes – loyal listeners should have picked up on this particular trend by now. Well, when streaming service Netflix (they owe us free subscriptions, we think!) decided to rev up the passionate fandom of romantic dramedy Gilmore Girls by producing a revival miniseries for its service featuring every member of the original cast, some of the CPU!ers became decidedly atwitter and began encouraging a Gilmore podcast series in short order.  The trouble was, Chief CP Kylie had never partaken of this particular fan favorite before, and as is my wont, I decided (and needed) to review the show for possible format and addition to our delightfully full schedule of podcast discussions.

As it turns out, I find the show pleasant, like a good cup of warm coffee from Luke’s, but I think I lack passion for it, whereas our most frequent contributor and panelist Kristen abounds in said passion.  In fact, it was Kristen, specifically, who saw an opportunity for a new CPU! podcast series in which CPU! panelists could look back at the program that started it all while looking forward “around the water cooler” as new season(s) of the revival are and/or may be released. Thus, herein we offer the first episode of our own miniseries covering the various versions of this popular, fast-talking, pop-culture-referencing program, which we at CPU! are calling our “Gilmore Girls Life” series.

This time, the Chief CP steps aside from the moderating microphone, so that Kristen may serve as main moderator with the kind of passion this quirky corner of Connecticut deserves, while instead participating as a regular old panelist to remark upon the pleasantness of the whole affair. Kristen and I are, in turn, joined by a familiar panelist – Krista – and two new CPU! panelists, Chelsea (L.) and Samantha.  In this first episode of our “Gilmore Girls Life” series, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments from the original seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, covering the lives of all of the Lorelais, their friends, their neighbors, their family, and their romantic partners.

This podcast was recorded in March 2017 and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the Gilmore Girls 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 “Gilmore Girls Life” series “Around the Water Cooler” for part two when our panel covers the four movie-length episodes of the Netflix revival/reboot miniseries, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the LifeStay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

Gilmore Girls is recommended by the entire panel, though each panelist offers different reason(s) for her recommendation.  The panelists generally describe this series as easy to which to relate; accessible to anyone in terms of ease of finding the series mid-run or watching isolated episodes; offering high re-watch value given the fast-paced, intelligent, somewhat screwball dialogue; and a pleasant, “light” presentation that is generally sweet and tender without being too emotionally exhausting from the dramatic side of the story.  Because the focus within this series centers on mother-daughter relationships over multiple generations, the panel feels that Gilmore Girls could be appreciated by most anyone of most any age.  In fact, the variation in enjoyment between members of the panel, to the extent it exists, is directly related to how amenable to romantic comedies as a genre each panelist is – for Gilmore Girls is still, ultimately, a romantic comedy at heart, preoccupied by the love lives of its main characters, before it is anything else.  Thus, this panel encourages rom-com lovers who have not watched the series to give it a try; others will likely find something they enjoy, even if it takes slightly longer for such viewers to find it.  All original seasons of Gilmore Girls are currently available to stream on Netflix.

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!