Broadchurch, Series 3 and Series Review (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 April 2018, our panel of some of our most frequent CPU! voices – including Moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Krista – are Around the Water Cooler and discussing Series Three of British mystery/crime drama Broadchurch as well as Looking Back at the series as a whole. If you have not watched any of Broadchurch, 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

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PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler and Looking Back at “Broadchurch,” the Season/Series 3 Recap and Series Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Related imageModerator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Broadchurch” is a British television crime drama, which aired for three seasons from 2013 to 2017 on iTV in the United Kingdom and on BBC America in the United States.

What: “Broadchurch” was created and written by Chris Chibnall and focuses, at least initially, on the death of an 11-year-old boy and the impact of grief, mutual suspicion, and media attention on the surrounding town.

SYNOPSIS

Series One focuses on the search for the boy, Danny Latimer’s, murderer by detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman). The second series primarily focuses on two plot strands: the trial of Joe Miller and the reopening of the Sandbrook case, a case Hardy failed to properly solve, which brings him unwanted notoriety throughout the investigation of the Broadchurch murder. Series Three is set three years after the events of Series Two and follows the rape of a local woman.

When: Series Three originally aired on iTV in Great Britain from February 27 to April 17, 2017, and on BBC America in the United States from June 28 to August 16, 2017.

Where: In Broadchurch, the action takes place primarily in the fictional town of Broadchurch, in the county of Dorset, in the South of England, on the scenic Jurassic Coast and in surrounding areas, such as the county courthouse. Series Two does travel to the fictional town of Sandbrook, as David Tennant’s character, Alec Hardy, investigates a case from his past.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the link below!  Of course, for the female members of the panel (Chief Couch Potato and moderator Kylie included), the primary reason was: David Tennant, David Tennant, David Tennant.  The male members of the panel sighed with moderate contempt and resignation at this revelation.  To them, we said, “Oh well!”  Just look at the man, for heaven’s sake:

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David Tennant: Perhaps the primary reason why the female panelists started watching Broadchurch

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

CPU! previously covered Series 1 and 2 of Broadchurch on the podcast as well as compared and contrasted the relative (de)merits of American remake Gracepoint.  To listen to that worthy analysis, from early in the CPU! annals (and out of the vault), click the embedded link below:

Broadchurch, Series 1 and 2, and Gracepoint, Season 1

Our now undoubtedly famous Broadchurch panel, with some of our most frequent panelists – namely Kristen, Nick, Krista, Hilary, and Kyle – have returned to the Water Cooler to engage in a heady, topical discussion about the mystery of Broadchurch Series 3, which could not be timelier or more relevant to current events.  We also, of course, spend ample time admiring David Tennant.  At least, the female members of the panel do.  As we did in our last episode, all of the panelists have quite a bit to say about this stirring and intense mystery, which they see as largely successful, despite the fact that the show (still) did not find American audiences quite as readily.  We also spend some time briefly looking back at the show as a whole and comparing all of the series, including how they made us feel and think as ready and willing viewers.  As always, it’s a deeply analytical discussion about the success of the show and the story, as well as the effects each had on each of the panelists.

This particular episode was recorded in April 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of all seasons of the British drama. 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, our Stranger Things panel will finally return to the Water Cooler after a one-year hiatus to discuss and to digest the spooky, mind flaying second season of the acclaimed Netflix series.  It’s a lively discussion – and it’s better late than never!  Stay tuned!

Old Questions

1)  Will Joe Miller somehow return to Broadchurch, despite his banishment by the other residents of the town?  Kylie predicts that he will try to come back and to acquit himself in the town’s eyes because he has convinced himself, on the strength of his legal defense, that he is truly innocent.

ANSWER: Joe does not return to the town itself but returns to the series, when Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) seeks him out in his new home in a nearby coastal town.  Mark continues to struggle with his grief over Danny’s murder and to nurse a vendetta, wanting “justice” for Danny by ensuring punishment of Joe.  Though he tries to convince Beth (Jodie Whittaker) and the rest of the family to consider initiating a civil trial, given the failure of the criminal trial to convict Joe, they prove reluctant.  So, he takes matters into his own hands and finds Joe himself, with the very real intent to kill him, if he will not turn himself in properly.  Listen to the episode for details.

2) Series/season three is said to be focused around a sexual assault in the town.  Will the perpetrator be one of the characters we already know?  Or, will it be someone totally different?

ANSWER: The victim and perpetrators are new characters to the show and to the viewer.  Since we spend considerable time discussing both in the episode, you should just listen to it.

RECOMMENDATION & PARTING SHOTS

Our panel continues to recommend Broadchurch to fans of British television generally, fans of mystery and crime procedural shows, and fans of David Tennant.  Though Broadchurch remains moody, tonally dark, and extremely intense, and emotionally preparing oneself to watch this show may be necessary, the panel also universally agreed that Broadchurch Series Three is one of the better seasons (better than the second, not as good as the first). In any event, the panel continues to praise the entire show highly, noting it to be well-written, well-performed, well-shot, and well-directed and encourages anyone interested in high quality television to give it a look-see.

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

Broadchurch has officially ended.  The entire series is currently available to stream on Netflix. Did you watch Broadchurch?  Let us know in the comments, and tell us what you thought of any or all of its three seasons – or series if you’re British!  And stay tuned! Though our Broadchurch coverage is primarily done, don’t be surprised if the show makes an appearance or two in coming discussions, from time to time, as, after all, CPU! continues to expand our panel formats in new and exciting ways.

In the meantime, from our Broadchurch panel and David Tennant sister-wife commune (and the men who scorn it) to you, thank you for listening to our ongoing Broadchurch series, which now officially comes to a close.  To discover other shows discussed by CPU!, check here.  For now, we bid you adieu!

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Production still for Broadchurch, Series 3

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The Broadchurch Panel! (top, left to right, Nick, Kyle, Hilary; bottom, left to right, Krista, Kristen)

Looking Back at The Vampire Diaries (Part Two of the CPU! Goodbye to The Vampire Diaries, 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 October 2017, our smaller (again) but always robust panel – including moderator Kylie, Jen, and Kelsey – is Looking Back at The Vampire Diaries, in the second part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! says goodbye to this long-running, supernatural, fantasy-horror series. If you have not watched any of The Vampire Diaries, 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

PODCAST! – Looking Back at “The Vampire Diaries:” The Goodbye Series, Part 2 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “The Vampire Diaries” aired on network TV, specifically on the CW, for eight seasons, from 2009 to 2017.

What: “The Vampire Diaries,” a supernatural teen drama focused on a young woman, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who becomes entangled with two brothers who are vampires–-one a soulful, conflicted type who wants to repress his vampire urges to be more human; the other a sarcastic, ne’er-do-well who embraces the nature of his nocturnal condition, except for when his love for Elena interferes. In addition, these two vampire brothers were sired by Elena’s doppelganger, a vampire for the centuries named Katherine Pierce (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here:http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/vampire_diaries_the/summary.html).

When: The show aired in its entirety on the CW from 2009 to 2017.

Where: The show is primarily set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

Why: Two reasons: vampires and Ian Somerhalder, formerly of Lost and Smallville fame. CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie loves non-sparkly vampire television, and Ian Somerhalder is too beautiful a man not to find an excuse to watch.  My fellow panelists found the show due to the vampires as well, and at least thirty-three percent of them stayed for Ian…

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

Couch Potatoes Unite!’s Complete The Vampire Diaries Coverage

The Season 5 Premiere

Seasons 5-7A

Season 7B

Season 8A
 


Season 8B
 

Our ever small but ever robust Vampire Diaries panel – Jen and Kelsey – could not leave Vampire Diaries behind forever without spending some quality time saying a long and (somewhat) loving goodbye to this show, which has been in our lives for eight years. After our Season 8B discussion, we agreed to reconvene to discuss the show as a whole, including all of its ups and downs, for part two of our two-part CPU! series in which Couch Potatoes Unite! says goodbye to this fantastic, fantastical program. In this second part, our panelists reminisce about what we loved and what we did not like as much from TVD’s eight seasons and about whether we think this series will hold up over time or whether it was a bit of lightning in a bottle or as seemingly fleeting as the popularity of Twilight.
This second part of our two-part Vampire Diaries goodbye was recorded in October 2017, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of all eight seasons of the series and give the brothers Salvatore, the doppelgangers who loved them, and all of the supporting characters their final, deserved due.  Give the new episode a listen, see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts, 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 week, and continuing our CW vampire trend, our Originals panel, of slightly new composition with a new member replacing a departing one, returns to the Water Cooler after over a year’s hiatus, diving into discussion about the fourth season, which is ultimately the show’s penultimate season, as Season 5 was announced to be the show’s last. Stay tuned!
RECOMMENDATION
The Couch Potatoes Unite! Vampire Diaries panel reluctantly and cautiously recommends TVD, particularly to fans of Ian Somerhalder, who remained the bright spot in the cast of this soapy supernatural drama for all eight seasons, as well as to fans of vampire fiction.  As a note to the latter population: on a sliding scale, though Vampire Diaries might be better than True Blood in terms of how it played out in the end and though TVD is certainly better than the Twilight series for any serious vampire enthusiast, there are still far better vampire properties in existence in which to sink one’s fangs.  In fact, our panelists generally felt that the show ran for too long, far past its prime, as it should have ended with Nina Dobrev’s abrupt sixth season departure, and some of our panelists felt that though the show began with an amazing story, full of twists and fast, engaging pacing, the show’s quality deteriorated enough that our panelists struggled in later seasons (though the Chief CP did not struggle as much).  In any event, all of our panelists would be hard pressed to recommend this program to anyone who is not at least a fan of the genre (teen/horror/supernatural/fantasy/drama), particularly since some of our panelists even felt that they “wasted time” or “hate watched” this series in the latter years of its life.  In fact, one panelist said, “I wish I had the feelings I had that came with watching the first few seasons…they can’t be felt again.” 
Most if not all of the panelists are both happy and sad that The Vampire Diaries is done, and while some of us might re-watch the series in future, none of us will be quite ready to do so for some time – which is not to say the series is bad or lacks entertainment value as much as the series ending landed messily and without leaving any of us with much satisfaction at the last.  Plus, given that the twists are known in this eventuality, when watching a second time, some of the impact would definitely be lost upon re-watch.  The panel believes that TVD became guilty pleasure TV that ultimately did not follow its own logic/story rules by the end, so much so that a lingering disappointment mars the engagement and devotion our panelists directed toward this series for eight seasons.
The Vampire Diaries is currently available to stream on Netflix in its entirety.  Did you watch The Vampire Diaries?  Let us know in the comments, and tell us what you thought of any or all of its eight seasons!  And stay tuned!  Though our TVD coverage is primarily done, don’t be surprised if it makes an appearance or two in coming discussions, from time to time.  CPU! has some new plans to expand our panel formats in new and exciting ways. Details coming soon (as we work them out)! 🙂
In the meantime, from our TVD panel of devoted vampire diarists to you, thank you for listening to our ongoing The Vampire Diaries series, which now officially comes to a close.  To discover other shows discussed by CPU!, check here.  For now, we bid you adieu!
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One of the final frames – Stefan and Damon embrace in the “Afterlife Montage”

Panelists Jen and Kelsey!

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PODCAST! – Looking Back at “Angel,” Seasons 3-5 + The Panel’s Top and Bottom 10 Lists of Episodes from “Buffy” and from “Angel:” The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode 5, the Scoobies Edition (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Angel,” a cult supernatural, fantasy, action, and horror drama that aired on the Warner Bros. network, or “The WB,” from 1999 to 2004.

What: The ongoing trials of Angel (David Boreanaz), a vampire whose human soul was restored to him by gypsies as a punishment for the murder of one of their own. After more than a century of murder and the torture of innocents, Angel’s restored soul torments him with guilt and remorse. Angel moves to Los Angeles, California, after it’s clear that his doomed relationship with Buffy, the vampire slayer, cannot continue, where he works as a private detective with a variety of associates to “help the helpless,” restoring the faith and saving the souls of those who have lost their way.

SYNOPSIS

Angel (Boreanaz) is an Irish vampire who is over 200 years old and was known as Angelus during his rampages across Europe, but he was cursed with a soul, which gave him a conscience and guilt for centuries of murder and torture. He left Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the end of Season 3 to move to Los Angeles in search of redemption.

Angel is soon joined by Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), also a previous cast member of Buffy. Formerly a popular high school cheerleader, Cordelia starts her tenure on the show as a vapid and shallow personality but grows over the course of the series into a hero. Cordelia later acquires clairvoyant visions. Another character from the Buffy series also makes the jump to its spin-off in Angel’s first season: Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof) joins the team under the brave guise of “rogue demon hunter,” acting as comic relief and initially not well-accepted.

In Season 2 of the show, the trio are joined by Charles Gunn (J. August Richards), a young demon hunter who must initially adjust to working with and for a vampire. At the end of Season 2, they travel to the demon world Pylea, where they save Winifred “Fred” Burkle (Amy Acker), a young Texan physicist whose social skills have become stunted after five years’ captivity.   Season 3 saw the introduction of Connor (Vincent Kartheiser), the “miracle” human child of two vampires, Angel and Darla. Abducted into a Hell dimension as a baby, he is raised by Angel’s enemy Daniel Holtz. Only a few weeks after he leaves, he returns from the other dimension as a teenager and reluctantly comes to accept his lineage. Although introduced in Season 2, Lorne (Andy Hallett) joins the team during Season 4. An outgoing, pacifistic demon, Lorne’s predominantly supports the team.

Season 5, the show’s final season, introduces several new cast members, chief among them Spike (James Marsters), an old vampire ally/foe of Angel’s and regular character in Buffy. In this series, Spike (eventually) fights beside Angel as their rivalry continues, now further spurred by Spike existing as another vampire with a soul and by the romantic feelings both of them have for Buffy Summers. Finally, Harmony Kendall (Mercedes McNab), another Buffy alumna and a former friend of Cordelia, who was turned into a vampire. Resembling the old personality of Cordelia, Harmony is grudgingly accepted by Angel as his secretary when he takes over the Los Angeles branch of law firm Wolfram & Hart.

When: Angel aired on the WB from 1999-2004.

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

Why: Listen to the third episode of this series for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Angel, though the running theme for all panelists’ discoveries of the series involves the show’s association and spin-off status as related to Buffy.

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

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the premiere of one of your Chief CP’s all-time favorite television shows, and since I know a few people in my life who love Buffy as much or (possibly) more than I do, I decided to invite some true Buffy-Verse scholars, in what has, again, become something of a family event, to participate in a five-part podcast series, during which we will take a critical look back at another couple of cult TV shows that fuel our respective imaginations and tug at our TV-loving hearts. In this five-part series, our panel – featuring CPU! regulars and semi-regulars Nick, Kyle, Sarah, and Kallie – look back at Buffy and its spin-off Angel, reminiscing about two shows that have withstood the test of time as personal favorites for several of us and as two of the most nationally and internationally acclaimed television series of all time.

We have already recorded four episodes in this series, Looking Back at Buffy Seasons One, Two, and Three; Looking Back at Buffy Seasons Four and Five; Looking Back at Angel Seasons One and Two; and Looking Back at Buffy Seasons Six and Seven.  You can listen to those episodes here or via our audio channels on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play:

The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode One, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Seasons 1-3

The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode One, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Seasons 4-5

The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode Three, “Angel,” Seasons 1-2

The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode Four, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Seasons 6-7

In this fifth episode of CPU!’s “Buffy-Verse” series, our panel discusses Seasons Three, Four, and Five of Angel, covering the series’ final, uneven, three years through the show’s untimely and somewhat controversial cancellation. We discuss our favorite and least favorite episodes within each season and our general impressions of the success of these three seasons, which aired on various nights but ended on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM on the WB.  In addition, each of our panelists compiled and now share their ten most favorite and ten least favorite episodes from both Buffy and from Angel, truly demonstrating not only our widely various opinions about both series but also how these shows manage to mean different things to different people, in different ways and to different degrees, thirteen and fourteen years, respectively, after their series finales aired.

This podcast was recorded in November 2017 and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the final three seasons of Angel and further discuss the entire Buffy-Verse as we rehash our “best” and “worst” lists. 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 panel triumphantly returns to the proverbial Water Cooler to discuss the first season of the crossover miniseries event for which our panel derives its catchy moniker, namely Marvel’s The Defenders, which was released to Netflix in August 2017.  Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

Angel – if you somehow haven’t already watched it – is recommended to anyone who loves nerdy, cult science fiction and fantasy (and/or horror) series in the vein of Star Trek, The X-Files, and similar ilk and to any fan of Joss Whedon and, of course, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Do not, however, expect this show to be a duplicate of Buffy; Angel the series became something much different from its parent series, which either appealed or didn’t appeal to fans of the original show.  Still, fans of David Boreanaz would be remiss to neglect watching the series that, along with Buffy, catapulted him into TV recognition and stardom (and primed him for his role on Bones). Plus, the supporting cast is fun, and the show enjoys cameo appearances and crossovers from Buffy characters throughout, including from the titular vampire slayer herself.

The entire Angel series is available to stream at only Hulu, currently. Though the panel’s reviews about Angel are generally and widely mixed, Whedonverse/Buffy-Verse fans know that there is at least a few somethings to love about the spin-off featuring the brooding vampire, once a carouser named Liam.  If you enjoy Buffy, chances are, you’ll enjoy Angel too (though, perhaps, as we found out in our chat, some Buffy fans will enjoy it more than others). This Chief CP says watch it, and judge for yourself.

Looking Back at “Angel,” Seasons 3-5 + The Panel’s Top and Bottom 10 Lists of Episodes from “Buffy” and from “Angel:” The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode 5, the Scoobies Edition (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 of experts – including moderator Kylie, Nick, Kyle, Sarah, and Kallie – gathered together to Look Back at and to reminisce about Seasons Three, Four, and Five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off Angel; plus, we nerd out, in true Scooby style, as each panelist provides our Top 10 (Favorite) and Bottom 10 (Least Favorite) episodes from each series.  This is the fifth and final part of a five part CPU! podcast series examining two of our favorite television programs, Buffy and Angel, aka “The Buffy-Verse.” If you have not watched any of Buffy or Angel (and I mean, any!), 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

Looking Back at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Seasons 6-7: The Buffy-Verse Series, Episode 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 of experts – including moderator Kylie, Nick, Kyle, Sarah, and Kallie – gathered together to Look Back at and to reminisce about Seasons Six and Seven of CPU! favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This is the fourth part of a five part CPU! podcast series examining two of our favorite television programs, Buffy and Angel, aka “The Buffy-Verse.” If you have not watched any of Buffy or Angel (and I mean, any!), 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!

Stay tuned for Episode 5 of our Buffy-Verse series, in which we cover Seasons 3-5 of Angel as well as our Top and Bottom 10 lists for both series!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace