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!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler & Streaming Originals: “Orange is the New Black,” The Season 4 Recap and Discussion (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Orange is the New Black” is available to Netflix subscribers exclusively, as it is Netflix produced original content.

What: “Orange is the New Black,” a comedy drama about a Manhattan woman whose past catches up to her and for which she must serve time in federal prison.

SYNOPSIS

Taylor Schilling plays Piper Chapman, a seemingly run-of-the-mill woman and maker of homemade soaps. Unfortunately, Piper learns that she must serve a short sentence in federal prison after she is implicated in the bust of an international drug cartel, of which her former girlfriend, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), was a member and who Piper aided and abetted. What’s more, Piper finds, at first, that she is wholly unequipped for prison. Though some, like unabashed, self-proclaimed “lesbian junkie” Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne), are kind and helpful to her, others, like kitchen head Red (Kate Mulgrew) in the first season, show her no mercy, particularly after Piper accidentally criticizes the cooking. In addition, the guards, all men, are mostly drunk on their own power, the prison counselors play favorites and are easily offended, and the prison population is divided by race, unofficially but automatically, which offends Piper’s liberal sensibilities.  If all that weren’t complicated enough, Piper’s ex Alex is sent to the same prison, and Piper’s emotions are deeply conflicted, as she reasons that only Alex could have pointed the finger to get her in trouble in the first place, while at the same, the old attractions between the two women remain undeniably present.

When: All 13 fourth season episodes became available for viewing on June 17, 2016.

Where: The show is set in New York, though flashbacks for each of the prisoners who comprise the cast of characters sometimes venture away from New York.

Why: Many panelists saw the teaser trailers for the series while watching other programming on Netflix and also on network TV.  Listen to prior podcast episodes to discover how individual panelists found this show.

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

CPU! has been covering Orange is the New Black since its debut on Netflix’s ever growing streaming service.  You can read about the first season here and listen to podcast episodes about Seasons Two and Three below:

Orange is the New Black, Season Two

Orange is the New Black, Season Three, Part One

Orange is the New Black, Season Three, Part Two

This particular panel of fellow Couch Potatoes and Orange enthusiasts experienced a bit of change, not unlike our beloved inmates themselves, as we sat down to talk all things season four of the wildly popular Netflix drama for this latest podcast episode, including moderator and Chief Couch Potato Kylie, Kristen, Krista, Nick, and Amanda, as well as new panelist Andrew.  We engaged in heady and heavy discussion about some of the plot lines that we saw emerge in the dramatic and heartbreaking fourth season.  What do you think?  Do you agree? Do you disagree? What are your hopes, fears, expectations, speculations, or predictions for the resolution of some of the fourth season’s cliffhangers going into season five?

This particular CPU! episode was recorded in October 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of OITNB Season Four. 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! Our next episode will resume our American Horror Story retrospective series with a discussion about Season Four: Freak Show, just in time for Halloween!  Stay tuned!

Questions, Predictions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) Is Alex dead?  Or, did she survive and how?  Did Lori Petty’s character, Lolly, swoop in and save her, as Kristen predicts in the podcast (part one)?

ANSWER: Alex is alive.  Even though this viewer recalls a shot being fired at the end of season three, Alex was able to fend off her attacker thanks to, as Kristen predicted, the help of Lolly, who cold-cocked the fake guard.  Unfortunately, this move did not kill the guard outright.  They hid an unconscious but alive fake guard under tarp and plastic in the gardening shed, but when Alex returned to check on the body during lights out and found the man breathing, she made the decision to suffocate him to death.  What’s more, she enlisted Red and Freida, one of Red’s gardening compatriots, to hide the body, which they elected to do by chopping it up and burying the bits in the garden, when Lolly couldn’t get her story straight (or keep her mouth shut).  Listen to the podcast for more details.

2) Will the guard who raped Pennsatuckey (Taryn Manning) do the same thing to Maritza now that Boo (Lea DeLaria) and Tuckey let him go?  Where will Boo and Tuckey’s new odd couple partnership take them next?

ANSWER: It turns out that the guard who raped Tuckey didn’t realize that he raped her. He sincerely believed that she liked him as much as he liked her, and that he had the go-ahead to do the business, adding timely commentary to the systemic rape culture dialogue.  Because his feelings for Tuckey were based in some kernel of sincerity, he showed no interest in Maritza, who had other concerns, such as smuggling drugs for Maria and the Dominicans via her role as new prison van driver.  In the meantime, Tuckey found herself conflicted about forgiving the guard for his male idiocy, while Boo railed against her acquiescence, thinking that it was a mistake to give the guard any inch. This dialogue dominated Boo and Tuckey’s odd couple friendship, but they remained friends nevertheless.

3) How can Caputo (Nick Sandow) save the prison now with the influx of max prisoners seen at the end of the season?  What kind of fallout will there be if the “old guards” walk out?

ANSWER: Caputo was forced to hire any guards available to fill the void of those who walked out, but the prison was overcrowded and, as a result, still understaffed.  The fallout mounted all season, with panelist Kristen’s famous dominoes being set up and toppling over, culminating with a prison protest, a prison riot, a death, and the threat of one prisoner shooting one of the more sadistic guards.  Listen to the podcast for details.

4) How will the landscape change with the influx of max prisoners?  Will we be introduced to tons of additional new characters, or will they be background/backdrop for our already established characters? Will it be “old characters” versus “new characters?”

ANSWER: Most of the max influx served as backdrop, though we met a few new characters, including Abdullah, who had ongoing conflict with Black Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore); Piper’s new Hawaiian bunk mate; Red’s snoring upper bunk neighbor; and a number of new white supremacists.  Sometimes, the new prisoners made friends. Mostly, there was ongoing tension between the two groups.  Listen to the podcast for details.

5) Does the influx from max mean we will see Nicky again?  How about Stella?

ANSWER: Nicky came back to Litchfield minimum after a period of good behavior and being clean from her heroin addiction for some weeks.  Before she returned, Stella (Ruby Rose) tried hitting on her, but Nicky shut her down, being fully aware of her antics involving Piper and Alex and the theft of Piper’s commissary (Nicky was on maintenance detail, and word traveled).

6) What will happen between Suzanne’s (Uzo Aduba) new love interest and her?  Will the new love interest calm her down?

ANSWER: After the prisoners broke through the fence and enjoyed a swim in the lake, Suzanne and her paramour tried to make a break for it, but Suzanne was disturbed by her admirer’s request to live independently in an imaginary fantasy kingdom of freedom; Suzanne seemed to think her friend was crazier than her and to balk at the idea of not being cared for by anyone, including the prison system.  So, Suzanne returned to prison and left her new love in the woods.  Her paramour was rebuffed. They tried to reconnect, especially because Suzanne felt the need for sexual contact, but her admirer used it as an excuse to get her hot and leave her hanging as revenge for dumping her in the woods behind the prison. At the end of the season, however, one of the more sadistic guards, “Humps,” threatened both women, instigating them to fight each other, seeding a riot that later flowed over into the cafeteria.  Listen to the podcast for details.

7) How will the prison/corporation deal with the aftermath of the lake and the breakout of so many inmates?

ANSWER: The corporation, via Caputo, managed to keep the escape quiet, rounding up every last prisoner, and quickly patching the hole in the fence.  It helped that the inmates had nowhere to go unless they were excellent swimmers.

8) Will Red and Healy (Michael Harney) become romantically involved?  Do we want that?

ANSWER: No, Red and Healy did not become romantically involved, and it’s better that they didn’t.  Healy’s issues with women reached a peak this season, as we discovered in flashback that Healy’s mother abandoned him after suffering profound mental illness, a similar affliction which seemed to affect Healy by season’s end.  He tried to channel this pain and sadness into helping Lolly, who demonstrated similar traits of paranoia as those experienced by his mother, but when Lolly seemed too far gone, confessing to murdering the guard that threatened Alex even though she did not deal the fatal blow, Healy found he had no choice but to commit Lolly to the psych ward, not being able to figure out if she was telling the truth or not.  His apparent failure with her and with others under his charge, in addition to his ongoing inability to relate to his Russian ex-wife, resulted in Healy voluntarily admitting himself into an institution in the season finale.

9) Will Pornstache’s mom return?  Will she suspect that Aleida (Elizabeth Rodriguez) lied about the baby being dead and being a boy?

ANSWER: Pornstache’s mom stayed away.  So far, she appears to believe Aleida’s tale, that her grandchild had died.  Still, Daya’s (Dascha Polanco) daughter is lost to the foster care system, given Cesar’s arrest in the third season finale.  Aleida was released from prison in the fourth season, paroled early for good behavior. She vowed to find her children and her grandchild for Daya but was momentarily derailed by the season ending events (listen to the podcast for details).

10) What happened to the baby?!  Where is Bennett?  Will he return?  And not be on How to Get Away with Murder so much?  How will Daya react once she finds out about their fates? What will Aleida do?

ANSWER: The baby is in the system.  Bennett is getting away with murder and has not yet returned.  Daya was distraught to learn of Cesar’s arrest but took heart when Aleida announced that she planned to fight for her daughter, until Aleida started to think of life after prison and consider ambitions for herself, including opening a nail salon. After Aleida was released, Daya was also wooed to the Dominican gang by Maria, who looked to shore up her numbers while also watching after a fellow Latina, against the wishes of Daya’s surrogate mom, Gloria (Selenis Levya).  This alignment set up the end of the season in a big way (listen to the podcast for details).

11) How will the already overrun prison deal with the addition of Blair Brown’s fake Martha Stewart character?  Will she be accepted?  Will Poussey (Samira Wiley) invite her into the family that also now includes Soso, since P is her biggest fan?

ANSWER: Judy King, the fake Martha Stewart, was afforded all sorts of special treatment.  She was given a private cell (a converted conference room), a begrudging Yoga Jones as her roommate, and all the amenities her charms could win her.  She was also the local celebrity, and while some, like Red, were unimpressed, others, like Poussey, were star-struck.  That is, until the prisoners learned of Judy’s one-time racist puppet show for kids, which aired on fictional Southern TV.  Her star tarnished, particularly in P’s eyes, but was never lost.  Ms. King also taught a cooking class at Healy’s insistence and invited Poussey to apply for a job with her company, upon P’s release, after P served as her classroom assistant.  Sadly, we’ll never know what may come of that… Also, Judy agreed to be part of a scheme to pose as Black Cindy’s interracial lesbian celebrity May-December lover in exchange for the cut of selling a black market photograph, courtesy of a cell phone smuggled into prison via Abdullah’s hajib, to the tabloids.

12) Are Soso and Poussey a couple?  Kristen and Nick think they are.

ANSWER: Kristen and Nick were right.  They were awkward but adorable…

13) How will Morello’s (Yael Stone) new husband and his beating of the erstwhile Christopher affect Morello’s continued prison stay?

ANSWER: No one found out about the assault on Christopher.  Morello continues to luck out in this regard.  The only effect her new husband had was to give her an excuse to gush about her wedding all season, relishing her position as center of attention, but also to become jealous and quasi-stalker-y again when she asked her sister to check up on her husband, thinking that he was stepping out on her with another woman (her sister included), only to discover that he was merely being cagey about living with his mom.

14) Will the “Norma” religion endure?  Will Red and Norma start season four on more equal footing?

ANSWER: The Norma religion lost its steam this season.  The character of Norma barely appeared, in fact.  Perhaps, she decided the religious life wasn’t for her after all.

15) If Stella stole Piper’s commissary, where will that leave Flaca (Jackie Cruz) and some of the more demanding entrepreneurs involved in the panty-sniffing business?

ANSWER: They quit.  They all quit.  Piper tried to stay in the game, but she was kind of an asshole to her workers, which drove them away, despite Piper’s best attempts to be a bad-ass gangsta’.  Flaca and Maritza defected to Maria when she decided to start poaching the panty business (and then when she converted said business to drug running and sales).

16) How will Black Cindy’s new religion affect her relationship with the rest of her “family” unit?

ANSWER: Her family was largely fine until max transplant Abdullah arrived on the scene, a professed member of the Nation of Islam, which also drew Janae into some family conflict (as she was a member of the same religion).  Mostly, it was bunk turf war, but religious observations were spicily made by Black Cindy, because she spicily comments about everything.

17) Will Piper be found out regarding her business?  Will it affect her prison stay?

ANSWER: Piper managed to stay out of the warden’s limelight, but the business dried up when all of her panty-wearing volunteers quit because she was posing as a gang leader. This was especially cemented when she started a “neighborhood watch” type group within the prison, for the purpose of ratting on Maria and company to eliminate her competition, only to attract the attention of the white supremacists, who thought Piper was leading an anti-minority charge.  This resulted in the Dominicans, led by Maria, to brand Piper with a swastika in a scene lifted straight from Oz, though Red came to her aid and turned the swastika brand into a window, to remind Piper of what she went through to CTFD, finally.

18) Are the OITNB producers planning to end the show at the end of Piper’s sentence? (That will be a question for awhile).  How much are the producers now relying on Piper Kerman’s original book?

ANSWER: According to panelist Krista, the book is all but forgotten at this point.  Piper hasn’t been released yet, so the remainder of this question is still a question.

New Questions

1) Are we to assume that Suzanne’s flashback this season provided the back story related to the reason for her imprisonment: involuntary manslaughter of a child?  Because her flashback episode was situated within the last three jam-packed episodes of the season, the panel assumed this to be the case but was not certain.

2) Where is the story in terms of Piper’s overall sentence, and how much longer does she have in prison?

3) Will we see Healy again?  Panelists Kristen and Kylie predict that we will, since he seems to have voluntarily checked himself into an institution (rather than being involuntarily committed).

4) Will Laverne Cox/Sophia be in season five, given that Cox is part of a show that has been picked up by CBS for the new TV season?  How will the prison or the show deal with the controversy of leaving Sophia in solitary for her “protection.”

5) Where will season five pick up given the end of the season?  Will it pick up right from the moment at which season four ended, or will time of any significance pass?

6) Will Daya shoot Humps?  Or, will another prisoner intervene?  Or, if she does shoot him, will someone go to bat and take the fall for her?  Will Humps survive this riot?  If he does, will anyone find out about what he did to Maritza, Suzanne, and others?

7) Will Judy King make it out of prison?  Will she grab the gun from Daya?  Will she be a casualty of that final riot?

8) Will Litchfield continue to run after all of the chaos at the end of season four?  Will the prisoners be split up?  Or, is that a way the series might end?

9) How will Soso and Taystee (Danielle Brooks) deal with their particular grief about Poussey?  Will they come to bond more?  Will Soso remain a part of P’s “family?”

10) Will Sister get out of solitary, or will she be left there?

11) Will Red have a better story line next season?

12) Do we still care about Piper and Alex as a couple?  Did Piper miss any of Alex’s written “confessions” that she hid around the prison in an effort to assuage her guilt?

13) How long will Nicky remain clean?  Have she and Tuckey just become friends, given Tuckey’s willingness to nurse Nicky through a cold turkey withdrawal from heroin during the prison lock down?

14) Will we see the young, nice guard Bailey again?  Will the old Litchfield guards return in light of all that has happened?  And what exactly did Piscatello do to which Caputo hinted at the end of the season?

15) Will we see Lolly again now that she has been transferred to the psych ward?

PARTING SHOTS

Our Orange is the New Black panel, slightly changed thought it was, continued to provide mixed reactions about the fourth season of the Netflix comedy/drama, though overall, the reaction appeared to be more favorable toward season four than season three, given the strong but devastating conclusion of the season.  The panel also started, ever so slightly, to warm up to Piper, believing that she is beginning to learn lessons that her real-life counterpart never had to learn because Piper Chapman makes less intelligent choices than Piper Kerman.  All in all, consensus was reached by the panel that the story trajectory beginning from the point at which Litchfield received the influx from max, and from the aftermath of the escape to the lake beyond the fence, was successful and compelling, even though season four started slowly but gained steam through its roaring and heartbreaking finale.  The new characters from max were meted out and introduced judiciously, there was not an overwhelming number of new faces and names to learn, and the tensions and conflicts that arose from pitting the two populations against each other were rooted in a calculated gamble that ultimately paid off.  All of the panel plans to continue to watch the show and season five to find out what happens, particularly in the wake of the passing of Poussey and given the fact that Daya, another well liked character, was squaring off against the sadistic guard Humps, pointing his own weapon at him.  At this time, the panel continues to acknowledge that the writing remains dynamic and top-notch, though, as a rule among most panel members, somewhat less “binge” watchable.  The panel also continues to maintain high hopes and expectations that season five will continue the overarching quality of storytelling, though some members are mildly nervous – or more nervous than others – about the current trajectory; at least one panelist feels “shark jumping” potential, while others are concerned about what the show will feel like and how engaging it will be without a beloved character like Poussey.

LOOKING AHEAD

Orange is the New Black was renewed for a fifth (as well as a sixth and a seventh) season, which is tentatively slated to premiere in June 2017.  Until then!

iTunes PODCAST – Orange is the New Black Season 3 Part 2 (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 Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Krista, Eddie, and Amanda–is Around the Water Cooler and Streaming Originals as we discuss and recap Season 3 of Orange is the New Black – this is the second part of our discussion (the first part was published last week). If you haven’t seen the series through the third season, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! For now, 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!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler & Streaming Originals – Orange is the New Black – The Season 3 Recap and Discussion (MAJOR SPOILERS) – Part Two

THE SPECS:

Who: The show is available to Netflix subscribers exclusively, as it is Netflix produced original content.

What: “Orange is the New Black,” a comedy drama about a Manhattan woman whose past catches up to her and for which she must serve time in federal prison.

SYNOPSIS

Taylor Schilling plays Piper Chapman, a seemingly run-of-the-mill woman and maker of homemade soaps who just became engaged to be married to Larry Bloom, her unemployed but wholly supportive writer boyfriend. Unfortunately, Piper learns that she must serve a short sentence in federal prison after she is implicated in the bust of an international drug cartel, of which her former girlfriend, Alex Vause (Prepon), was a member and who Piper aided and abetted.  Piper’s wild and adventurous past, including her ambiguous sexual orientation, becomes a secret revealed not only to Larry and his family but to her family as well.

What’s more, Piper finds, at first, that she is wholly unequipped for prison. Though some, like unabashed, self-proclaimed “lesbian junkie” Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne), are kind and helpful to her, others, like kitchen head Red (Mulgrew) in the first season, show her no mercy, particularly after Piper accidentally criticizes the cooking.  In addition, the guards, all men, are mostly drunk on their own power, the prison counselors play favorites and are easily offended, and the prison population is divided by race, unofficially but automatically, which offends Piper’s liberal sensibilities.  If all that weren’t complicated enough, Piper’s ex Alex is sent to the same prison, and Piper’s emotions are deeply conflicted, as she reasons that only Alex could have pointed the finger to get her in trouble in the first place, while at the same, the old attractions between the two women remain undeniably present.  In the meantime, Larry attempts to make the best of his temporary separation from Piper, though he is less than comfortable with the news that Piper and Alex are doing time together.

When: All 13 third season episodes became available for viewing on June 12, 2015.

Where: The show is set in New York, though flashbacks for each of the prisoners who comprise the cast of characters sometimes venture away from New York.

Why: I saw the teaser trailers for the series while watching other programming on Netflix and also on network TV.  I was originally drawn in by the fact that Kate Mulgrew, best known as Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, plays a Russian prisoner and the “mama” of the motley cast of inmates.  I later discovered that Laura Prepon, aka Donna from That ’70s Show, is also a featured regular.

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

After branching out from blogging reviews about Orange is the New Black’s first season, to expanding to one of our first ever podcast episodes to discuss the second (listen here), this particular panel of fellow Couch Potatoes and Orange enthusiasts grew as we sat down to talk all things season three of the wildly popular Netflix drama for this latest podcast episode.  In fact, this episode is the second of two CPU! entries focused entirely upon OITNB’s third season (the first entry can be heard here), as moderator and Chief Couch Potato Kylie, Kristen, Krista, and Nick, newly joined by Eddie and Amanda, engaged in heady discussion about some of the plot lines we saw emerge in this slightly differently structured third season.  What do you think?  Do you agree? Do you disagree? What are your hopes, fears, expectations, speculations, or predictions for the resolution of some of third season’s cliffhangers going into season four?

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, and/or our iTunes channel.  Let us know what you think!

Questions, Predictions, Speculations

Old Questions

1) What will happen when Alex returns to prison, now that Piper has schemed with Polly to ensure that Alex would violate her parole and return to prison, most likely Litchfield, with Piper?

Answer: Alex returned, quite paranoid that the leader of the drug cartel for which she and Piper worked would find her (outside of the confines of witness protection) and kill her.  Her paranoia drove a wedge between her and Piper, although that wedge was arguably already festering since and owing to the events of the second season, when Alex flipped the switch and testified against the cartel leader, while Piper lied on the stand, at Alex’s insistence, and was sent back to prison.  Piper, as a result, canoodled with new inmate Stella (Ruby Rose) and began avoiding Alex. Piper, also, decided to become a product of the system this season and go all “bad-ass” by starting a panty-sniffing online sales business.  Listen to part one of the podcast for more details. 

2) What is Pennsatuckey’s end of season transformation and exploration of the “gay agenda” really about?

Answer: This moderator thinks that Tuckey is really just trying to fit in and belong somewhere because her back story revealed, as the panel noted, that she was always used and abused by men (except for one kind one), and that she was taught by her mother that it would always be this way.  Also, with Tuckey’s lack of friends, owing to the laundry girls’ rejection of her, and with Big Boo finding humor in Tuckey’s attempts to understand someone as out there–and as “out”–as Boo, it may be that Tuckey recognizes that Boo is one of her only friends if not the only one.

3) What’s going to happen to Caputo, given that two prisoners escaped (one of them dying) on the first day of his watch?

Answer: He seemed to suffer no real consequences as a result of the two escapees.  He had bigger fish to fry with the financial insolvency of Litchfield and with his decision to bring in a private corporation to run the prison.

4) Will we see more of Sophia in season three?

Answer: We saw more of Sophia.  She was involved in a nasty feud with Gloria. Listen to part two of the podcast for more details.

5) What will the aftermath be for Crazy Eyes now that Vee has thrown her to the wolves and abandoned her?

Answer: Sweetly, Taystee sort of stepped up and became the mother surrogate that Crazy Eyes/Suzanne craved in Vee.  And whenever Suzanne’s particularly erratic impulses came to fruition, in season three, she devoted her energies to writing alien porn, which became the number one Litchfield best seller.  Listen to part two of the podcast for more details.

6) Will Red ever get the kitchen back?

Answer: Red got the kitchen back, but it was very conditional, since she wasn’t allowed to prepare her own food.  Gloria was only too happy to give it up.

7) Will Nicky escape the lure of the heroin she found?

Answer: If by “escape,” we mean “shipped to max” because Luschek framed her for a small swatch of heroin he was hiding for himself after Nicky attempted to cut him in on selling Vee’s former stash (although he was probably going to use it himself).  We discuss her departure heavily in part one of the podcast, as she was sorely missed, but she may never be fully separated from the lure of the drug and her addiction.

8) Will we get to see back stories of other prisoners, including some of the older prisoners (Red’s friends)?

Answer: Not of Red’s friends, but we did get to see back stories of people like Flaca and Leanne.

9) When will Daya have her baby?

Answer: She had her baby at the end of the third season.  It’s a girl!

10) Will we see Pornstache again?

Answer: Yes, we saw Pornstache again.  His mom (Mary Steenbergen) visited him in prison, as she originally planned to adopt Daya’s baby, thinking Daya was having her grandchild.  When Daya exposed the truth, after Aleida attempted to scam Pornstache’s mom for money, Pornstache was informed that he was not the father, I believe.  We discuss this arc in part one of the podcast.

11) Will the prison improve now that Fig has got her comeuppance?

Answer: Improvement is relative, isn’t it?  Arguably, the prison did not improve and actually worsened under the rule of Caputo and corporate privatization.

New Questions

1) Is Alex dead?  Or, did she survive and how?  Did Lori Petty’s character, Lolly, swoop in and save her, as Kristen predicts in the podcast (part one)?

2) Will the guard who raped Pennsatuckey do the same thing to Maritza now that Boo and Tuckey let him go?  Where will Boo and Tuckey’s new odd couple partnership take them next?

3) How can Caputo save the prison now with the influx of max prisoners seen at the end of the season?  What kind of fallout will there be if the “old guards” walk out?

4) How will the landscape change with the influx of max prisoners?  Will we be introduced to tons of additional new characters, or will they be background/backdrop for our already established characters? Will it be “old characters” versus “new characters?”

5) Does the influx from max mean we will see Nicky again?  How about Stella?

6) What will happen between Suzanne’s new love interest and her?  Will the new love interest calm her down?

7) How will the prison/corporation deal with the aftermath of the lake and the breakout of so many inmates?

8) Will Red and Healy become romantically involved?  Do we want that?

9) Will Pornstache’s mom return?  Will she suspect that Aleida lied about the baby being dead and being a boy?

10) What happened to the baby?!  Where is Bennett?  Will he return?  And not be on How to Get Away with Murder so much?  How will Daya react once she finds out about their fates?  What will Aleida do?

11) How will the already overrun prison deal with the addition of Blair Brown’s fake Martha Stewart character?  Will she be accepted?  Will Poussey invite her into the family that also now includes Soso, since P is her biggest fan?

12) Are Soso and Poussey a couple?  Kristen and Nick think they are.

13) How will Morello’s new husband and his beating of the erstwhile Christopher affect Morello’s continued prison stay?

14) Will the “Norma” religion endure?  Will Red and Norma start season four on more equal footing?

15) If Stella stole Piper’s commissary, where will that leave Flaca and some of the more demanding entrepreneurs involved in the panty-sniffing business?

16) How will Black Cindy’s new religion affect her relationship with the rest of her “family” unit?

17) Will Piper be found out regarding her business?  Will it affect her prison stay?

18) Are the OITNB producers planning to end the show at the end of Piper’s sentence? (That will be a question for awhile).  How much are the producers now relying on Piper Kerman’s original book?

PARTING SHOTS

The podcast panel offered some mixed reactions about season three.  In short, some liked the lack of a galvanizing villain and the plot threads less (Krista, Nick, Edgar), one liked it more (Kristen), while some (Amanda and I) had no strong opinion either way.  The podcast panel’s opinion of main character Piper universally continued to decline, finding her, as depicted, a privileged woman whose own “decline” still feels less than genuine in some respects, not to mention her changeable and somewhat “spoiled brat” behavior toward Alex and Stella, though the panel appreciated the fact that the show spent more time on other characters and less on her overall.  The panel mostly expressed trepidation about what season four might look like with the influx from max – will it mean having to become acclimated to scores of new characters?  What will it mean for our core group?  The panel did feel that the show’s writers and producers have placed the story on a very specific trajectory, though, and all of the panel will continue to watch the show and season four to find out what happens, even as some of the panel find themselves growing a bit more impatient than other panel members.  At this time, though, the panel acknowledges that the writing remains dynamic and top-notch, though, as a rule among most panel members, somewhat less “binge” watchable.  The panel had high hopes and expectations that season four will continue the overarching quality of storytelling, though some members are mildly nervous – or more nervous than the others – about the current trajectory.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Orange is the New Black was renewed for a fourth season, which is tentatively slated to premiere in June 2016.  Until then!

iTunes PODCAST – Orange is the New Black Season 3 Part 1 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded on July 12, 2015, our panel– including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Krista, Eddie, and Amanda–is Around the Water Cooler and Streaming Originals as we discuss and recap Season 3 of Orange is the New Black. If you haven’t seen the series through the third season, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Also, stay tuned to the channel. as next week, part two of this discussion will be published. For now, 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!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler & Streaming Originals – Orange is the New Black – The Season 3 Recap and Discussion (MAJOR SPOILERS) – Part One

THE SPECS:

Who: The show is available to Netflix subscribers exclusively, as it is Netflix produced original content.

What: “Orange is the New Black,” a comedy drama about a Manhattan woman whose past catches up to her and for which she must serve time in federal prison.

SYNOPSIS

Taylor Schilling plays Piper Chapman, a seemingly run-of-the-mill woman and maker of homemade soaps who just became engaged to be married to Larry Bloom, her unemployed but wholly supportive writer boyfriend. Unfortunately, Piper learns that she must serve a short sentence in federal prison after she is implicated in the bust of an international drug cartel, of which her former girlfriend, Alex Vause (Prepon), was a member and who Piper aided and abetted.  Piper’s wild and adventurous past, including her ambiguous sexual orientation, becomes a secret revealed not only to Larry and his family but to her family as well.

What’s more, Piper finds, at first, that she is wholly unequipped for prison. Though some, like unabashed, self-proclaimed “lesbian junkie” Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne), are kind and helpful to her, others, like kitchen head Red (Mulgrew) in the first season, show her no mercy, particularly after Piper accidentally criticizes the cooking.  In addition, the guards, all men, are mostly drunk on their own power, the prison counselors play favorites and are easily offended, and the prison population is divided by race, unofficially but automatically, which offends Piper’s liberal sensibilities.  If all that weren’t complicated enough, Piper’s ex Alex is sent to the same prison, and Piper’s emotions are deeply conflicted, as she reasons that only Alex could have pointed the finger to get her in trouble in the first place, while at the same, the old attractions between the two women remain undeniably present.  In the meantime, Larry attempts to make the best of his temporary separation from Piper, though he is less than comfortable with the news that Piper and Alex are doing time together.

When: All 13 third season episodes became available for viewing on June 12, 2015.

Where: The show is set in New York, though flashbacks for each of the prisoners who comprise the cast of characters sometimes venture away from New York.

Why: I saw the teaser trailers for the series while watching other programming on Netflix and also on network TV.  I was originally drawn in by the fact that Kate Mulgrew, best known as Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, plays a Russian prisoner and the “mama” of the motley cast of inmates.  I later discovered that Laura Prepon, aka Donna from That ’70s Show, is also a featured regular.

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

After branching out from blogging reviews about Orange is the New Black’s first season, to expanding to one of our first ever podcast episodes to discuss the second (listen here), this particular panel of fellow Couch Potatoes and Orange enthusiasts grew as we sat down to talk all things season three of the wildly popular Netflix drama for this latest podcast episode.  In fact, this episode is the first of two CPU! entries focused entirely upon OITNB’s third season, as moderator and Chief Couch Potato Kylie, Kristen, Krista, and Nick, newly joined by Eddie and Amanda, engaged in heady discussion about some of the plot lines we saw emerge in this slightly differently structured third season.  What do you think?  Do you agree?  Do you disagree? What are your hopes, fears, expectations, speculations, or predictions for the resolution of some of third season’s cliffhangers going into season four?

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, and/or our iTunes channel.  Let us know what you think!  What’s more, return to the blog and the YouTube/iTunes channels next week for part two of our OITNB discussion, which will include the usual CPU! features, such as questions raised by the third season and parting shots.  Until then!

 

LOOKING AHEAD:

Orange is the New Black was renewed for a fourth season, which is tentatively slated to premiere in June 2016.  Part Two of this podcast will premiere next week!  Stay tuned!

Meet the (New) Blogger! – Edgar (Eddie)

We here at Couch Potatoes Unite! are expanding.  You have already heard voices, old and continually new, on our podcasts!  Well, some people wanted to get into the blogging act as well.  From time to time, there will be guest writers reviewing shows on the blog. Because I don’t watch everything.  Because I don’t always have time or interest.  Though, maybe I’ll be convinced to watch more by these additional reviews. Such is the life of a small screen enthusiast.

Anyway, one of our regular podcast panelists wanted to write a review, which will be published later today.  For now, read all about him (his info will also be accessible on the About page, reachable by the little square box in the upper left of the header).

INTRODUCING EDDIE (or EDGAR, his actual name)!

Edgar is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He works for Charter Communications and enjoys musical theater. Since he works for a cable company, it may come as no surprise that Edgar loves TV. What’s more, he likes to analyze TV – thus, a podcast panelist and TV reviewer was born!

Edgar enjoys trying to figure out what TV writers are thinking when they craft their shows. To wit, some of Edgar’s favorites include Sense8, Lost, and Once Upon a Time, basically shows that offer mystery that Edgar can analyze and figure out, as he likes to be one step ahead of the show.

Edgar is very excited to be a team member of Couch Potatoes Unite! You can hear his voice on the CPU! podcasts for Once Upon a Time, Orange is the New Black (episodes to come), and the one-time “Looking Back” podcast about True Blood (so far!). Writing reviews is a new degree of TV appreciation for Edgar, but he very much enjoyed it and can’t wait to write his next review or sit around the water cooler again.

You will next hear Edgar’s voice when CPU! podcasts about Orange is the New Black, but for now, stay tuned for his forthcoming review about Sense8!

Welcome, Edgar!

Welcome, Edgar!