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

CPU! final-01

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in September 2018, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 2 of Iron Fist, the fourth property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. If you have not watched any of Iron Fist (or any of the other Defenders series: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and The Defenders crossover miniseries), be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

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

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PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Ten, “Marvel’s Iron Fist” – the Season Two Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Marvel’s Iron Fist” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics character Iron Fist and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “Marvel’s Iron Fist,” created by Scott Buck, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the fourth in a series of shows that led up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand aka Iron Fist, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the sacred Iron Fist.

SYNOPSIS

Danny Rand (Jones) returns to New York City, after being presumed dead for 15 years, to reclaim his family company from Harold Meachum and his children, Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup). When a threat emerges, Rand must choose between his family’s legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.

When: Season 2 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on September 7, 2018, with a total of ten episodes.

Where: The action is set primarily in the New York City, New York, borough of Manhattan, as depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  This season, the action primarily transpires in Chinatown.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the “Iron Fist” Episode 1 recap and review via the link below – though I will say that all of the panelists are fans of the Netflix original library and/or superhero/comic book based shows in their own right and have found themselves eagerly anticipating new entries in Netflix’s “Defenders” series of releases.  As a result, they’re committed to a CPU! series about same!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In this, the tenth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders Series, we revisit the fourth in Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows that led up to The Defenders miniseries, namely Iron Fistfeaturing Defenders Series panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer.  In this episode, our panelists experience multiple “nerdgasms” over not only a vast and dramatic improvement over Season 1 but a growing addiction to the mythos and mythology behind “The Immortal Iron Fist.”  Common reactions to this season universally praise story execution; improved direction; Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing; better pacing; the improvement of Ward Meachum (Pelphrey) as a character; the thrilling crossover appearances of Luke Cage character Misty Knight (Simone Missick), possibly seeding a “Heroes for Hire” entry – or even “Daughters of the Dragon” – in this Netflix lineup; and a more focused sense of story direction overall compared to Season 1.  Though our panel would have willingly gobbled up a third season, noting that we recorded this episode before Netflix canceled both the Luke Cage and Iron Fist solo series, alternatively, we would all also eagerly watch a first season of “Heroes for Hire” or “Daughters of the Dragon.”  To hear us hash out these opinions further, listen to our discussion via the embedded link below.

This podcast was recorded in September 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the second season of Iron Fist.  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 comic book oriented streak continues as our Gotham panel returns to the Water Coolerschedule permitting, to reason whether the highly inconsistent “Batman” prequel sustained its better momentum in the back half of Season 4, now its penultimate season, as the fifth season was deemed its to-be last by the Fox network. Stay tuned!

Lingering Questions

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

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

3) Are Danny and Colleen doomed to spend the rest of their days as friends only, having ended their romantic relationship?  Were Misty and Ward really flirting over her “Maserati” arm?

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

5) Would Bethany have had Ward’s baby?  Would Ward have been able to convince Bethany to permit him a connection to his child?

6) What would Joy (Stroup) have done, now that her plan for revenge has been foiled and since she suffered horrific injuries via the betraying and murderous hands of Davos aka Steel Serpent (Sacha Dhawan)?

7) Would Davos have escaped from jail?  Would he have come after Danny?  Would he have been broken out by some other faction, like remnants of the Hand or some other Marvel criminal and/or ninja organization? Or, would he have powered up his rage-driven chi again and created his own means of escape?

8) Would we have seen Danny’s journey to regain the power of the Iron Fist, particularly via his predecessor, Orson Randall?  Would we have met Orson?  Would we have seen the Iron Fist Guide or Book that provides the secrets of the power of the Iron Fist?

9) Would we ever have met Sao Lao?

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

PARTING SHOTS

Frankly, listeners, ever since our panel learned of the cancellation of Iron Fist, we have vacillated widely and wildly between shock, stunned silence, and angry outcry.  Our panel universally enjoys this property; all six of our members rank it among the “Top 3” of our individual favorite Defenders (including The Punisher, not including The Defenders crossover miniseries). Kylie and Kristen rank it tied for first (with Daredevil and Jessica Jones, respectively); Hilary and Kyle rank it second after Daredevil; and Spencer and Nick rank it third after Daredevil and The PunisherIn fact, our panel unanimously recommends Iron Fist to fans of comic books, particularly from the Marvel universe; fans of the various Defenders series; fans of the character; fans of kung fu and karate movies; and fans of epic fantasy along the lines of Star Wars or, more on the nose, stylized martial arts epics like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  The panel generally and universally agrees that Iron Fist is well-performed (yes, including Finn Jones!) and aptly written and directed with markedly improved pacing and story execution in Season 2.

The entire panel experienced even more rapturous and engaged fun watching the second season of this series and believes that some of the criticism from trade critics and viewers alike remains unduly harsh, as the panel uniformly asserts that many who find more than small faults with this series may have missed (or simply do not prefer) its tendency toward subtleties and foreshadowing.  They may also not understand or appreciate the fact that Jones is playing a childlike character in an adult’s body who is also meant to be a fish out of water – from an ethnic as well as a “this dimension, that dimension” perspective.  Plus, those that offer frustration by his lack of growth as a character in the first season should have been able to appreciate the character’s turnaround in the second.

The panel, further, vehemently disagrees with the “white washing” controversy surrounding this show; while we acknowledge that white washing is prevalent in mainstream Hollywood and is a potential problem, Danny Rand as a character is white in the comics and is meant to be the “other” in the mystical village in which he spent his childhood, as well as in Manhattan when he tries to reintroduce himself into his former life.  The entire panel, therefore, recommends re-watching with an open mind for those who struggled with some of these aspects and a first watch for those interested in the Defenders as a whole.

On the other hand, especially with the cancellation of this and the Luke Cage series confirmed and on the books, all panelists, including super-fan Kyle, effused enthusiasm for the prospect of a “Heroes for Hire” or “Daughters of the Dragon” spin-off vehicle, or two, if Netflix is secretly considering converting these two properties into either or both of these more efficient, more cost-effective, and likely more popular adaptations that have enjoyed a greater longevity of life in the comics. While we wait for Netflix’s decision about these new series possibilities, fortunately for us, Marvel’s Daredevil was released on October 19, and the Defenders panel is already ready already for the next chapter.  Stay tuned!

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

Canceled!  Netflix canceled Iron Fist on October 12, 2018, after two seasons.  CPU! will continue the Marvel’s Defenders Series as long as Netflix continues to produce seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher, though we remain ever hopeful for new series devoted to “Heroes for Hire” and/or to “Daughters of the Dragon.”  As always, CPU! will keep you informed of all Netflix/Marvel coverage.

LOOKING AHEAD

The CPU! Marvel’s Defenders Series panel will return to the Water Cooler shortly to review the third season of Daredevil, about which our devoted panelists expressed the utmost excitement, and to record post-mortem reactions to the cancellations of the solo series of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Until then!

NEXT CPU! LIVE!

CPU! is going live again!!!  CPU! will next be LIVE at Grand Rapids Comic-Con. for our third annual appearance at the Con, on November 10, 2018, at 7:00 PM!  In that live podcast (also streamed to our Facebook page), a brand new panel will gather together to debate the multifaceted, multi-generational universe behind Star Trek. This panel will also seed a new ongoing series panel for the podcast!  Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep abreast of all the details, but here’s the art for it for now!  Stay tuned!

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Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Nine: Marvel’s Luke Cage, Season Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

CPU! final-01

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in September 2018, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 2 of Luke Cage, the third property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. If you have not watched any of Luke Cage (or any of the other Defenders series: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders crossover miniseries), be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

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

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Nine, “Marvel’s Luke Cage” – the Season 2 Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Marvel’s Luke Cage” is a web television series based upon the Marvel Comics character Luke Cage and is a Netflix original series, always available on Netflix.

What: “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” created by Cheo Hodari Coker, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the third in a series of shows that led up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. Mike Colter stars as Luke Cage, a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin who now fights crime.

SYNOPSIS

When a sabotaged experiment gives him super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Colter) becomes a fugitive attempting to rebuild his life in Harlem while confronting his past and fighting a battle for the heart of his city. After clearing his name, Cage becomes a hero and celebrity in Harlem, only to encounter a new threat that forces him to walk the line between hero and villain.

When: Season 2 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on June 22, 2018, with a total of 13 episodes.

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

Why:  To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the Season 1 link below – though I will say that all of the panelists are fans of the Netflix original library and/or superhero/comic book based shows in their own right and have found themselves eagerly anticipating new entries in Netflix’s “Defenders” series of releases.  As a result, they’re committed to a CPU! series about same!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In this, the ninth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders series, we revisit the third in Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows leading up to The Defenders miniseries, namely Luke Cagefeaturing Defenders Series panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer.  In this episode, our panelists universally laud what they consider to be a vast and dramatic improvement over Season 1.  Common reactions to this season focus on a much improved and dynamic villain in John “Bushmaster” McIver (Mustafa Shakir), better pacing, the thrilling crossover appearances of Iron Fist characters (possibly seeding a “Heroes for Hire” entry in this Netflix lineup), and a better sense of story direction overall compared to Season 1.  In fact, the panel finds that said quality and story presentation so improved between the two seasons, what with no word yet on whether or not the series has been renewed, we now find ourselves worrying for the future of the series, as now we all want a third season renewal.  Alternatively, we would all eagerly watch a first season of “Heroes for Hire” or even “Daughters of the Dragon,” featuring the characters of Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), as the panel unanimously described their chemistry and character portrayals in Luke Cage Season 2 as “perfect,” noting a serviceable and praiseworthy writer-driven turnaround for Misty’s character this season.  To hear us hash out these opinions further, listen to our discussion via the embedded link below.

This podcast was recorded in September 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the second season of Luke Cage.  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, the comic book oriented brains of the Marvel’s Defenders Series switch from the world of Marvel to the world of DC, when our same five panelists, all of whom also staff our DCTU Series panel, return to the Water Cooler to talk Season 4 of The Flash, schedule permitting. Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

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

2) If Luke Cage is renewed as a solo series, will Luke be corrupted through ownership of the Harlem’s Paradise club?  Or, can he be a hero without being based in the club? Or, can he make the club a base for heroic activity rather than backroom money deals and other criminal activity? Why would the writers hint that this would even be a possibility, at all, for Luke, as he has spent two seasons recognizing and combating the corruption of the Stokes family?

3) Will Tilda (Gabrielle Dennis) seek revenge against Luke for being willed the club upon her mother, Mariah’s (Alfre Woodard), death?  Will she become the next in a long line of Stokes crime bosses?  Or, will she be content to run her holistic shop, now that she sent her mother, with a kiss of poisoned lipstick, into the great beyond?

4) Will Shades (Theo Rossi) return in a potential Season 3?  Or, will he remain in prison?  If he is in prison, will he be wooed into Wilson Fisk’s/Kingpin’s gang – will we possibly see him crossover and appear in Daredevil, Season 3?

5) Will Misty accept the offered promotion to precinct captain?

6) Will Bushmaster return from Jamaica to fight another day, even though Mariah met her end?  Does he still have an ax to grind?  Does he still see Luke as an adversary or enemy?

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

PARTING SHOTS

In a dramatic turnaround from the Season 1 review, the panel now universally but cautiously recommends Luke Cage to fans of comic books, particularly from the Marvel universe; fans of the Defenders series; and fans of the artistic and cultural contribution of Harlem, as the panel agrees that this series remains, in many ways, a deft love letter to Harlem and its literal and symbolic position in this, our modern society.  The panel suggests, as part of the cautiousness informing the recommendation, that would-be, new viewers of Luke Cage treat the second season as something of the official first season, and/or use their own judgment when embarking upon viewing this series, as the panel recognizes that Luke Cage does have a vocally supportive fan base, even though our panelists would not have counted themselves as part of that base following the release of Season 1.  The panel generally and universally agrees that Luke Cage continues to be well-performed, and that the direction, writing, and continuity improved markedly in Season 2, even though the pacing languishes still at times, though without the drudgery that so alienated our Defenders defenders following the first season.  The panel, further, unanimously praised the performance of Shakir as Bushmaster and the writing around this villain; he created palpable tension around which characters could galvanize while still remaining a flawed but real human character with a compelling back story.  Because of the dramatic turnaround for our panel’s reception to the show, in terms of its presentation and production value, the panel now looks forward to a third season rather than resents the possibility of having to watch it for our podcast series.  On the other hand, all panelists, particularly super-fan Kyle, who still does not like the Luke Cage solo series much despite affirming the improvements that impressed the other panelists, effused enthusiasm for the prospect of a “Heroes for Hire” or “Daughters of the Dragon” spin-off vehicle, or two.  In any event, the panel is hopeful following the finish of this second season and eagerly awaits more Defenders entries.  Fortunately for us, Marvel’s Iron Fist was released in September, and the Defenders panel is already ready already for the next chapter.  Stay tuned!

LOOKING AHEAD

While no official announcement has yet been made, TV pundits believe that renewal for a possible Season 3 of Luke Cage is more than possible, though many suspect that Netflix is also heavily considering spin-off series for either “Heroes for Hire” and/or “Daughters of the Dragon,” which became popular series for the comic books after the “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” comic book series were canceled.  In addition, there is some rumblings that Netflix and Disney are re-negotiating the distribution of this series, given that Disney is looking to launch a Marvel-centered streaming service.  Rest assured that if/when a Season 3 is announced and/or has aired, CPU! will plan to reconvene our Marvel’s Defenders podcast panel, ready and willing to dissect any additional seasons of this action-packed Defenders entry. CPU! will also, as always, keep you posted on future developments. Stay tuned!

Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Eight, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Season Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

CPU! final-01

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 June 2018, our panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is back Around the Water Cooler as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel discusses Season 2 of Jessica Jones, the second property introduced into Netflix’s Marvel wing of its original streaming library. If you have not watched any of Jessica Jones (or any of the other Defenders series: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders crossover miniseries), be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

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

Episode Sponsored By: Heritage Theatre Group

PODCAST! – Streaming Originals & Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode 8, “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” – The Season Two Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Jessica_Jones_S1_Title_Card

THIS EPISODE OF CPU! WAS SPONSORED BY: HERITAGE THEATRE GROUP

Opening Tomorrow: “The Cherry Orchard”

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For more information, visit Heritage Theatre’s website!

Moderated by: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

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

What: “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” created by Melissa Rosenberg, is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the second in a series of shows that ultimately led up to a Defenders crossover miniseries, which was released in 2017. Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica Jones, a former superhero who opens her own detective agency after an end to her superhero career.

SYNOPSIS

Following a tragic end to her brief superhero career, Jessica Jones (Ritter) tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator, dealing with cases involving people with remarkable abilities in New York City.  Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, and Carrie-Anne Moss also star.

When: Season 2 was released in its entirety to the Netflix streaming library on March 8, 2018.

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

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the Season One link below – though I will say that all of the panelists are fans of the Netflix original library and/or superhero/comic book based shows in their own right and have found themselves eagerly anticipating new entries in Netflix’s “Defenders” series of releases.  As a result, they’re committed to a CPU! series about same!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In this, the eighth episode of our Marvel’s Defenders series, we revisit the second in Netflix’s series of Marvel-centered shows leading up to The Defenders miniseries, namely Jessica Jones, featuring Defenders Series panelists Nick, Kristen, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer.  Our panel, with the notable exception of panelist Kristen, struggled to power through this second season, feeling the absence, but for the one somewhat forced and anticlimactic episode, of panel favorite David Tennant (David Tennant, David Tennant, David Tennant!).  Common reactions to this season can best be summed up via the following terms: disjointed, clunky, flat, and generally and ultimately far worse than the first season.  Only Kristen describes this season as “solid,” though she acknowledges that the second season does not measure up to the first season in terms of writing quality.  In fact, the panel finds that said quality and story presentation drastically deteriorated between the two seasons and generally alienated our panelists (except Kristen), to the point that we mostly worry for the future of the series, given its third season renewal and though some members of the panel have nearly lost all interest in continuing with this particular program but for our podcast series.  Unless, of course, the show is able to convincingly resurrect the Kilgrave character because the panel agrees: Jessica Jones, without David Tennant and Kilgrave, is simply not the same show. To hear us hash out these opinions further, listen to our discussion via the embedded link below.

This podcast was recorded in June 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the second season of Jessica Jones.  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, we launch a new panel “Around the Water Cooler,” as some of our most frequent panelists, along with one occasional panelist, find themselves up Schitt’s Creek without a paddle while they catch up on the first two seasons of the Canadian cable comedy in the first part of a two-part miniseries produced for just that purpose.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) Will Daredevil appear on Jessica Jones?  We would like him to do so, please, and apart from the Defenders miniseries because these two characters exist in the same universe and in the same city (and same borough of the city!).

ANSWER: He has not yet.

2) David Tennant was announced to be returning for Season Two, even though Jessica snapped Kilgrave’s neck in the Season One finale.  How will he return?

ANSWER: Kilgrave, as portrayed by Mr. Tennant, appears as a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-induced hallucination, a figment of Jessica’s imagination, as she grapples with the morality of supporting her recently-discovered-to-be-alive mother, who is prone to homicidal tendencies in the name of love for her daughter and for the mad scientist who experimented on her and Jessica.  The plot itself is convoluted, but David Tennant’s appearance this season amounted to one episode, which the panelists generally regarded as one of only a few highlights this season.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) Will Trish (Taylor) evolve into the Marvel hero Hellcat in Season Two, as several panelists estimated she might at some point?

ANSWER: Through a plot thread that pitted Trish against Jessica due to Trish’s naked ambition, reckless addiction, obtuse selfishness, and complicated envy of Jessica’s special abilities, Trish insinuates herself into a position in which she willingly participates in some of the same experimentation to which, ultimately, Jessica and her mother were subjected following the Jones family’s car accident.  Via a brief display of quick reflexes and potentially enhanced strength in the season finale, it can be estimated that Trish is well on her way to evolving into the Marvel hero Hellcat, though she did so in a highly alienating and unsympathetic manner.  Listen to the podcast episodes for details.

4) Will there be a new villain?  Who will it be? Will Kingpin/Wilson Fisk appear in Jessica Jones?

ANSWER: Kingpin was not featured in this season of Jessica Jones. Arguably, the most villainous character on the season is Trish, with her seemingly self-serving motivations, further complicated by a relapse in drug use and the enabling of her helicopter stage mom, though Nurse Inez Green (Leah Gibson) additionally gives Jeri Hogarth (Moss) a run for her money.  Literally.  The writers also, apparently, attempted to position Alisa Jones (Janet McTeer), Jessica’s very-much-alive mother, as a potential villain, but she clearly is affected by chemicals and conditioning that strips her of complete non-psychotic control over her own faculties.  In fact, the panel felt that the lack of a true villain proved to be one of the seasons’s most glaring and deleterious flaws.

New Questions

1) So, really, will Kilgrave ever return – alive and charismatic and creepy – in a real way?  Or, is that too much fantasy for a comic book adaptation series?  Was the hallucination, at minimum, a clue to the idea that Kilgrave might still be out there, waiting to reemerge as the Purple Man? At least half of this panel believes that Jessica Jones will not sustain without him, evidenced by the struggles and cringe-inducing flaws of this second season, most of which was presented without him; in fact, the writers and producers may never be able to compensate if Mr. Tennant cannot return.  The panel’s opinion further validates Chief CP Kylie’s earliest hypothesis – that David Tennant is what made the first season what it was, despite the fact that the other returning members of the ensemble are good, even great at times.  None of them, however, are as riveting or as competent a scene partner when paired with Ritter’s Jessica as David Tennant’s Kilgrave.  The proof is in the proverbial pudding known as Season Two.

2) Is Detective Will Simpson (Wil Traval), who is supposed to be the villain Nuke, according to panelist Kyle and basic research into Marvel comics, truly and permanently dead?  The panel felt that one of the greatest character disservices committed this season was the early and criminally understated, yet apparently permanent, death of the Simpson character.

3) Malcolm (Darville) is now working for Jeri Hogarth and, in turn, Jessica’s private investigator (PI) rival, Pryce Cheng (Terry Chen).  Other than the fact that Malcolm has officially sobered up and is committed to making something of his life, why should we care about this character development?

4) Will Luke Cage, who is supposed to eventually marry Jessica, according to Kyle and basic research into Marvel comics, return to the series in Season Three (this question is posed without having viewed Season Two of Luke’s solo series, mind you)?

5) Will Oscar (J.R. Ramirez) return in Season Three?  Though a love triangle might be cheesy, can we see Oscar and Luke fight over the cynical and sarcastic Jessica?  There might be potential for some comedy in that scenario, which the show sorely needs, at least in terms of comic relief.

6) What will Trish’s evolution into full-on Hellcat look like?  As of the end of Season Two, Jessica and Trish are estranged, as Trish pulled the trigger to ice Alisa after Jess’ mom quasi-kidnapped her daughter while on the lam, leaving Jessica officially angry at her adopted sister for making this rash decision, even if Trish did so to save Jessica.  Will Trish and Jessica reunite in the field of superhero-ness?  Will they find their way back to each other in more of an “everyday” way?

PARTING SHOTS

All of our panelists, with the exception of panelist Kristen, struggled to find any sort of love for the second season of Jessica Jones, pinning the season’s considerable disappointments on poor writing choices related to character development and/or story direction and the nearly total lack of David Tennant’s Kilgrave.  The panelists generally welcomed his one episode appearance, though some panelists, the Chief CP included, also found it anticlimactic and lacking the punch and pomp that underscored the Kilgrave character in the first season. All of the panelists also struggled with the Trish character at various points, the Alisa character at various points, and many of the other new characters in general, and the overarching feeling around the season was that it was disjointed, slow, and ultimately alienating in its story presentation.  Only panelist Kristen, with her love for the Jessica Jones character, described the season as “solid,” pointing to the overall tone and “noir” feel of the visual presentation to support her position.  By the same token, the panel generally and universally agrees that Jessica Jones is largely well-performed and competently directed, though some slow-to-the-point-of-drudgery pacing hampers the second season. In addition, by attributing Jessica’s anger management issues to something fundamentally changed in her biology due to the experiments conducted on her, the writers and show-runner effectively undermined the strong themes surrounding assault survival, PTSD, and recovery that elevated the poignancy of Season One, to which some of the panelists took exception.  In fact, most on the panel agree that if not for the podcast, Season Three would not necessarily be an automatic watch, despite the series renewal and unless the writers and Mr. Tennant’s schedule allow him to return.

LOOKING AHEAD

Jessica Jones was renewed for a third season, though an official premiere/release date has not yet been announced.  CPU! will be following Jessica Jones throughout its series run, as part of CPU!’s Marvel’s Defenders Series, so we will definitely return to podcast about Season Three some time after it is released.  Until then – stay tuned!

RERUN! – Marvel’s Defenders Series, Episode Two, Jessica Jones (Season One, MAJOR SPOILERS)

CPU! final-01

This week, a SCHEDULE CHANGE!: Due to the holiday – something about Independence and star spangled somethings – we interrupt our binge watching long enough to rerun this episode, originally published in 2016, to refresh your memories regarding Season One of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, CPU!’s second ever Marvel’s Defenders Series episode.  In the meantime, next Wednesday, we will resume regularly scheduled episodes by publishing our thoughts about the second season of Jessica Jones, released in March 2018.  Did you watch?  Stay tuned!

—Original Synopsis—

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in May 2016, our enthusiastic panel of comic book and superhero enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Hilary, Kyle, and Spencer – is Around the Water Cooler, now as the Marvel’s Defenders Series panel, and is discussing Season 1 of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. If you have not watched Jessica Jones, 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