DC Television Universe (DCTU) Series, Episode Eighteen, “Elseworlds” Bonus Review and Recap (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 February 2019, our DC Television Universe or DCTU panel – including moderator Kylie, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – reconvenes Around the Water Cooler for the eighteenth episode of our DCTU ongoing series. After specially requesting a separate recording to discuss the three episode mega-crossover Arrowverse event “Elseworlds,” our panel herein provides said bonus review and recap of the 2018 crossover of casts from CW series Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. If you have not watched any of the DCTU/Arrowverse to date, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite).  Until next time, until next episode…buh bye! 

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

Advertisements

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: DC Television Universe Series, Episode 18, the DCTU Series Panel’s Bonus “Elseworlds” Review and Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: The DC Television Universe or DCTU Series Panel – Kyle, Hilary, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – plus Chief CP Kylie as moderator.

What: “Elseworlds,” the three-episode 2018 Arrowverse crossover event melding cast members from “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and “Supergirl,” three of the four shows that comprise the so-called “Arrowverse” on the CW, otherwise known as the DC (Comics) Television Universe or DCTU.

When: The “Elseworlds” crossover began on December 9, 2018, with The Flash (8:00 PM) and concluded on December 11, 2018, with Supergirl (8:00 PM).

Where: The action is primarily set in the DC Comics Universe, specifically in Central City (The Flash), Star City (Arrow), Gotham City, and on Earth-38 (Supergirl), specifically in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas, and in the North Pole, where Superman’s Fortress of Solitude is hidden.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching each of these shows, listen to our DCTU series in full by clicking the floating box at the top right of our website header, the picture of the couch full of TV watchers, to search for all of the prior DCTU series episodes.  As for why we are covering this crossover separately, read on!

How – as in How Was It?

The Specially Formulated For Your Viewing Pleasure “Elseworlds” Crossover rating scale:

***** – HOLY SMOKES! This is the BEST. CROSSVER. EVER!!!!!

**** – Intriguing.  Please make more, CW/Arrowverse producers.  You get better each time, though you’re not perfect yet.

*** – It was fine/okay.  Nothing special.  There were parts I liked and parts I didn’t.  Allow me to explain.

** – Meh.  I was bored.  Nice idea, but the execution left something to be desired.

* – Not your best, Arrowverse.  Stop trying!

Elseworlds = 3.9, by average of the podcast panel.

SYNOPSIS

“Elseworlds” introduces the characters Kate Kane aka Batwoman (Ruby Rose) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) to the Arrowverse as well as the fictional Gotham City. In the crossover, Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Barry Allen aka the Flash (Grant Gustin), and Kara Danvers aka Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) are drawn to Gotham City to confront Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) over his work at Arkham Asylum.

THOUGHTS

This is the eighteenth episode in CPU!’s DCTU series.  Because we have reached double digits for this massive series, from here on out, we are only going to embed prior episodes from the immediately previous season at mid-season or only the previous episodes of the show in particular that we are covering if we are covering any of the series individually, which you can listen to for reference in advance of the current podcast episode.  All of our episodes, however, are searchable here at the website or, for audio-only types, you can find our page at our file host, the Internet Archive (archive.org), which has all of our episodes compiled in one handy menu.  It’s pretty nice, actually.  If you feel so inclined, please also donate to the Archive, so garage podcasts like your humble CPU! can continue to thrive.  For now, here are the DCTU series episodes since the DCTU 2018 Mid-Season Roundup:

DCTU Series, Episode 11, the DCTU 2018 Mid-Season Roundup

DCTU Series, Episode 13, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season 3

DCTU Series, Episode 14, “Arrow,” Season 6

DCTU Series, Episode 15, “The Flash,” Season 4

DCTU Series, Episode 16, “Supergirl,” Season 3

DCTU Series, Episode 17, the DCTU 2019 Mid-Season Roundup

Our cheeky and feisty and full DCTU panel, again this year, specially requested a separate discussion to dissect the three episode mega-crossover Arrowverse event entitled “Elseworlds.”  Why, might you ask? Well, we might answer. The panel, by and large, yet again, enjoyed this season’s crossover event, particularly due to the fact that it was so jam-packed with all of the nerdy, DC Universe goodness, plus a staggering, possibly record, number of Easter Eggs and pop culture references outside of comic books (DC or otherwise). The panelists additionally felt, yet again, that a separate recording was necessary to digest all of the wonderful everything included in this special event.  Our DCTU panelists, therefore, talk about their mostly positive assessment of the crossover of casts from Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, though some of our panelists might have exhibited more qualms overall with this crossover as compared to last year’s entry, “Crisis on Earth-X.” Give us a listen below, and let us know if you agree or disagree with our thoughts!

This particular CPU! episode was recorded in February 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the “Elseworlds.” 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 Once Upon a Time panel returns – for the last time – to the Water Cooler, in the second of two final triumphant discussions, to Look Back at the entirety of the long-running fantasy series and to say goodbye, both to the series and to each other (for now).  Stay tuned!

PARTING SHOTS

Ultimately, our intrepid DCTU panel proffered more mixed reactions to “Elseworlds” than they did to “Crisis on Earth-X,” the all-series crossover event from 2017.  The general consensus noted that this three episode event was a bit more uneven in terms of pacing and story plotting, though alternatively, it was positively giddy and/or stupid with DC Comics and other pop culture-related Easter eggs designed to keep engaged viewers rapt for hours of repeat viewing. While the panel generally believes that the writers did well to limit the number of “Arrowverse” characters that appeared in “Elseworlds,” there also seemed to be more of a struggle on the part of the writers to utilize even those characters featured in the most meaningful of ways. This struggle was most visible in relation to Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl, who seemed to be along only for color commentary, “adorkable” charm, and to act as a liaison for the real draw, her cousin Superman (guest: Tyler Hoechlin). The crossover also did little to advance the stories of any of the individual Arrowverse series’ seasons proper, though it did seem to function as the unofficial second act of an arguable trilogy beginning with “Crisis on Earth-X” and ending with the teased crossover event of 2019, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”

Still, according to all panelists who saw Justice League in theaters, “Elseworlds” continues to reign supreme compared to most DC cinematic vehicles, despite its small screen medium. On the other hand, some of our panelists, such as Kyle and Spencer, struggled with what they considered to be an anticlimactic introduction to Kate Kane aka Batwoman; some of our panelists, such as Kristen and Chief CP Kylie, lamented the pacing in the Supergirl chapter; and some of our panelists, such as Nick and Kyle, struggled with the written motivations of the villain, the Monitor, while postulating that the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event teased for the end of the year will not be an exact copy of the major DC comics story of the same name.  Aside from other extremely minor nitpicks, however, the panel particularly enjoyed the extended screen time shared by Oliver Queen and Barry Allen in the “Freaky Friday meets Quantum Leap” Flash chapter as well as the protracted appearances of Clark Kent aka Superman and dream girl Lois Lane. Because of these aspects, as well as the high quantity of Easter Eggs (estimated to be more than 100 over the course of the three episodes), the panel highly recommends watching “Elseworlds” to anyone who loves superhero/comic book adaptations, particularly from the DC universe, and to anyone who loves action television and cinema in general.  In addition, since the CW provides the opportunity to watch the three episodes separately from the main series within which they aired, and since the episodes can largely be viewed and understood without needing to see episodes before or after them, the panel believes that anyone who has not watched the crossover and would want to watch it simply has no excuse or cause for delay, especially since the CW app is free to all.

LOOKING AHEAD

The four Arrowverse shows returned or will return from their mid-season hiatuses as follows:

The Flash: Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 8:00 PM
Supergirl: Sunday, January 20, 2019, 8:00 PM
Arrow: Monday, January 21, 2019, 8:00 PM
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Monday, April 1, 2019, 9:00 PM.

On January 31, 2019, the CW renewed all four Arrowverse shows for an additional season, all of which will likely premiere some time in fall 2019 and likely in or around October, if the trend from prior seasons holds.  In the meantime, the DCTU podcast panel will next convene around the CPU! water cooler, most likely in Summer 2019, to begin the annual series of four end of season recaps for each of the four Arrowverse shows.  Until then!  Stay tuned!

Once Upon a Time, Season 7B: Part One of the CPU! Goodbye to Once Upon a Time (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 November 2018, our Once Upon a Time panel – moderator Kylie, Kristen, Eddie, Amie, Emily, and Micah – returns to the Water Cooler to discuss the second half of Season 7 of Once Upon a Time, i.e. the series’ final season and including the so-called seventh season soft reboot of both premise and main cast, in the first part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! says goodbye to this long-running, fantastical yarn of fractured if familiar fairy tales. As always, if you have not watched any of Once Upon a Time, be aware that there are, most definitely, MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite).  Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

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

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Once Upon a Time” – The Goodbye Miniseries, Part 1: The Season 7 End of Season Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for once upon a time season 7 title card

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Once Upon a Time” aired on network TV, specifically on ABC, for seven seasons, from 2011 to 2018.

What: “Once Upon a Time,” a fantasy drama wherein storybook and fairy tale characters are not only real but are living in this world, away from their enchanted kingdoms and worlds beyond reality, and how they all interrelate (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/once_upon_a_time/summary.html).

When: The Season 7 finale – the series finale – aired on Friday, May 17, 2018, at 8:00 PM on ABC.

Where: The show, in this season, engages in a “soft reboot” of its story premise and is (currently) set in Hyperion Heights, a fictional neighborhood deep within the heart of very real Seattle, Washington, as well as in “The Enchanted Forest,” the fairy tale kingdom from where most of the main characters originate. The action takes place primarily in present day, though there are flashbacks to the characters’ past lives and events.

Why: Two primary reasons: one, Chief Couch Potato Kylie loves fantasy and fairy tales, and the Disney network green-lit a live action serial television program about fairy tale characters that they would probably own the rights to, if the characters weren’t already public domain. Two, the creators are Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, two of the head writers of Lost. Whatever else may be said about the latter program, I don’t think anyone could argue that Lost wasn’t well written. All of our panel of enthusiastic Once fans found love for this program via one or both of those reasons themselves.

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

To catch up on prior Once podcast episodes, click the links embedded below:

Season 4A – Frozen

Season 4B – Queens of Darkness

Season 5A – Dark Swan

Season 5B – The Underworld

Season 6A

Season 6B

Season 7A – Hyperion Heights, Part 1

Our super-bonded and magically cohesive Once panel – namely Kristen, Eddie, Amie, Emily, and Micah – reconvene around the Water Cooler “once” again to record Part One of a two-part CPU! series in which Couch Potatoes Unite! says our own protracted goodbye to Once Upon a Time, which is extra emotional for us, as this show and panel was one of our very first three pilot panels!  In the first part of this miniseries, our panel discusses Season 7B of OUAT, in which we digest the culmination of the much ballyhooed, so-called “soft reboot” of Season 7.  As a reminder, the final “Once” season presents all new characters and holds over only four characters with whom we have grown acquainted and grown to love over the first six seasons.  The rest of the original cast departed – at least for a time.  What does it all mean for Once Upon a Time and for our panel? Did everyone watch through to the end, despite the fact that Once seemed to have become something of a whole new show, with a whole new storybook, under the umbrella of the old title?  Or, did anyone jump the shark in lieu of all of this unprecedented change?  Listen to the newest addition to CPU!’s ongoing Once Upon a Time podcast series, and one of the last two episodes of said series, during which we reflect on Season 7B and whether the show ultimately capitalized upon the endless #potential (#drink) of not only the final season but of all the seasons preceding it.  Do you agree with us? Or, do you have your own thoughts? Comment below!

This podcast was recorded in November 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the second half of the seventh season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

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

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, schedule permitting, our DCTU Series panel speedily returns to the Water Cooler with its annual Mid-Season Roundup of the four Arrowverse shows, Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. Stay tuned!

Lingering Questions and Impressions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Is baby Neal magical like his sister? (This question will remain until answered!)

NEW ANSWER: As of the end of the series, baby Neal’s “specialness,” if it exists, is unknown, though we are given a brief glimpse of toddler Neal in the final episode.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: How did Will Scarlett, aka the Knave from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, end up in Storybrooke and without Anastasia, the former Red Queen? And how did he and Belle decide to hook up? (This question will remain until answered!)

OLD FOREVER ANSWER: Will Scarlett is gone.  Where he went is anyone’s guess.  Why he was even brought to the flagship show with so little explanation for his coming and going is the bigger mystery, though panelist Micah theorizes that, perhaps, Will Scarlett visited Storybrooke before he ended up in Wonderland.  The bigger issue is that the writers/producers failed to truly spell that out in a way that satisfies.

3) REPEAT QUESTION: Where did Maleficient go? Will we see more of her? Will she reconnect with her daughter Lily in a more meaningful way? (This question will remain until answered!)

NEW ANSWER: Owing to a brief mention and a brief bit of staging in the series finale, we see a glimpse of a flying dragon, who we presume is Maleficent.  We also learn that Lily ultimately finds her father with the help of her mother…and that her father is Zorro, the masked hero from South of the Border. Of course, this new information raises a Dark-One-ambition-sized host of new questions: is Zorro a dragon? How did Maleficent and Zorro meet?  Where did Zorro go? And when the heck did Disney acquire the rights to the Zorro story? The panel has mixed feelings about whether or not the mention proved worth it in the end, given the fact that these questions persist. But thank you, writers, if you’ve listened to our podcast and our endless questions about this very subject and if this scrap of information was dedicated to us – and to fans just like us! 🙂

4) REPEAT QUESTION: Will the Once writers/producers provide a better, more detailed explanation for why Will Scarlett was on the flagship series? Will they provide a more significant flashback to explain why he and Anastasia are not together anymore? Would Emma Rigby be available to reprise her role of Anastasia? (This question will remain until answered!)

OLD FOREVER ANSWER: Will Scarlett is gone.  Where or where has Will Scarlett gone? If panelist Micah’s theory is correct, he is living his happy ending with the Red Queen, Anastasia, in Wonderland, from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Of course, WHICH VERSION OF WONDERLAND IS THAT WONDERLAND? AND IS THAT ANASTASIA ANOTHER VERSION OF THE ANASTASIA THAT IS LADY TREMAINE’S DAUGHTER? That’s the answer to a perpetual question the world may never know. Because that’s how this show works in the end. The writers set up premises, such as how there are different versions of the same stories co-existing in the same world, without explaining what that means or how that reconciles the various concepts, characters, and elements repeatedly introduced throughout the universe that is Once Upon a Time. That is why our panel introduced a little hashtag for this series we like to call #potential #drink.  And that is why we have had so much to talk about regarding this show for several years.

5) REPEAT QUESTION: Will Maleficient, Lily, August, Will Scarlett, or any of these disappearing characters reappear?  Will their disappearances, at least, be explained? (This question will remain until answered!)

NEW ANSWER: Maleficent gets a brief dragon-depicted appearance in the series finale.  Lily might also as well (I think there were two dragons…were there two dragons?). August last appeared in Season 6. Will Scarlett is just gone, man, in Wonderland or not. As is Mulan. As is Merida. As is Aurora. As is Prince Philip. As is…

6) REPEAT QUESTION: The panelists still want to know where these characters went: Merida, Mulan, Aurora, Philip, Roland (Robin’s son), and other members of the non-Wished Enchanted Forest?

OLD FOREVER ANSWER: Unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown…

7) REPEAT QUESTION: How will the show explain away the new Cinderella (Dania Ramirez), given that this character was previously introduced, played by a different actress and well acquainted to the Snow White character?

OLD FOREVER ANSWER: By not explaining at all, apparently.  The show simply asked us to buy that there is more than one Cinderella – as well as more than one Alice of Wonderland, Anastasia of Evil Stepsister fame, and Jack of the Beanstalk (as well as Hansel of “Hansel and Gretel” fame) out there, and that all versions of these duplicated characters originate from the Enchanted Forest.  Your guess is as good as ours as to how this would be possible, even in the impossible world of OUAT.

8) REPEAT QUESTION: Will we see an older Neal, who, as Emma’s brother, would be Henry’s (Andrew J. West) uncle and Lucy’s (Alison Fernandez) great-uncle? If so, when, where, and how?

NEW ANSWER: Neal appears briefly in the series finale, alongside his parents, Snow White and Prince Charming.  They all convene for a very special coronation in which Regina (Lana Parilla) is named the Good Queen of all the Realms. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

9) REPEAT QUESTION: Where did the rest of Storybrooke go?  Is the town still there?  Are Dr. Hopper and Granny and the Seven Dwarfs still around?

NEW ANSWER: Storybrooke is still there! Of course – and what the panelists did not expect – is that Hyperion Heights does not necessarily co-exist in the same time as the Storybrooke we know and love, at least at first.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

10)  Who or what is “the Guardian,” to which Rumpel (Robert Carlyle) wants to pass the Dark One dagger and essence?  What is the Guardian guarding?  Is it Lucy?  Is it Rapunzel’s (Gabrielle Anwar) eldest daughter Anastasia?  Is it someone we know?  Is it something or someone we don’t know?

ANSWER: The Guardian is identified to be the latest incarnation of Wonderland’s Alice (Rose Reynolds), who we meet this season, who is the biological daughter of the scheming Mother Gothel and Wish Realm Hook (Colin O’Donaghue).  The Guardian carries the binding magic that links the Dark One’s essence to the fateful dagger. Rapunzel’s daughter Anastasia was really just a “MacGuffin” and red herring on the season, as it turns out.

11) How do Drizella (Adelaide Kane) and Anastasia have magic in this version?  How does Rapunzel/Tremaine manifest magic?

ANSWER: There is no answer.  Anyone can have magic potential in this world, it seems.  They probably just have to dig real deep to find it. Still, all of these magic-bearers leave the back stories of Regina and Emma feeling less impressive in the end.

12) Does Drizella truly love Adult Henry?  Or, was she just using him the whole time?

ANSWER: Though it appears that Ivy aka Drizella begins her vengeance schemes by involving Henry in a user-way, she ultimately develops sincere and loving feelings for him in the end, though possibly from confusion, since she has not experienced much heartfelt love from anyone since her sister was lost to a frozen lake, ahem, once upon a time.  As part of her personal character growth, though, she also comes to the realization, on her own, that Henry loves Ella truly, and so Ivy gracefully steps aside, while asking Henry to remain her friend, to which he amiably agrees.  It is a nice moment.

13) Will Alice encounter her mother, Mother Gothel?  Does Alice have magical powers like her mother?  Why is Alice cursed?  Did Mother Gothel curse Alice?  How is it that Alice occasionally awakens from her curse?  Someone explain Alice.

ANSWER: Alice encounters her mother because, as it turns out, Alice’s function as Guardian gives her two purposes, not only as the keeper of the Dark One Essence but also as the potential to fill Gothel’s Coven of Eight witches. Alice has magic like her mother; her ability to see the true nature of things and people, for which she is initially pegged as crazy in Hyperion Heights, as the viewer sees all season, is actually a clue to her magical ability.  Alice’s “curse” arises from the fact that she is a magical being, born in a magical place, which allows her to use wish magic to manifest things, including various happenstances of bad luck that keep following her because she continues to believe that she is the victim of bad luck, at least until Zelena’s daughter Robin helps her to realize the pattern. Once Robin, who Alice loves and who loves Alice in return, gets Alice to see that she is making the “cursed” events occur, she is able to stop the magic. At least until Gothel gets a hold of her later.  But that’s the answer to another question.

14) What is the timeline surrounding Wish Realm’s Hook procurement of the white elephant protection charm from Rumpel – and was that Rumpel Wish Realm Rumpel or Rumpel Prime?

ANSWER: I think our panel lost track of this charm, though I am willing to bet that Wish Realm Rumpel was the purveyor of said charm, since Wish Realm Rumpel becomes a factor by the end of the season. I also think that this question arose from the panel’s potential confusion regarding Rumpel Prime’s time away from the lands we know to spend time with Belle in the Edge of Realms, leaving Wish Realm Rumpel’s exploits during that time largely unexplored. So, perhaps, in the end, the timeline around the charm does not really matter.  We can let some stuff go, though ironically “some stuff” does not include our general distaste for the Frozen arc.  Listen to the podcast episode for the usual roast.

15) Who are the Eight Witches or the Coven of Eight?  Are they real?  What is their purpose?  What are they trying to do?  Is Maleficent one of the witches?  Is Regina?  Is Zelena?  Is Emma?  Is Snow White/Prince Charming?  Are the Wish Realm versions of any of these characters eligible for membership?  Is there one?  Is there a “superior?”  Is that person Mother Gothel?  Is it Anastasia?  Is it Regina?

ANSWER: The Coven of Eight/Eight Witches are real and happen to be a group of magical women, all of whom meet Gothel at a time when she, as a wood nymph, relegated to the magical wooded outskirts of the realms, desired to become human, only to be spurned for her magical ability.  It seems Gothel, as a young nymph, wanted what she could not have: the finery and pretty things that humans enjoy, which are apprently so much more fascinating than earth and roots. Misguidedly, she leaves the nymphs’ hideaway thicket and breaks into the house of an Enchanted Forest damsel, who catches Gothel in the act of using magic. The damsel and her group of “mean girl” friends befriend Gothel, only to pull a “Carrie” and to ridicule her for her use of magic in the end, as those who wielded magic were once scorned by the denizens of, even, the enchanted world.  One of the mean girls turns out to be another magic user in disguise; she joins with Gothel in solidarity and in the bonds of magical girl power. Gothel soon recruits other ostracized bearers of magic to form this powerful coven for the purpose of destroying humanity, fairy tale and otherwise, and of sending the world back to its more natural, plant-dominated roots. None of the Eight Witches are people we know; Ivy aka Drizella once fought for a spot in the Coven but ends up leaving the Land Without Magic with her sister, in order that they might start a new life together and flee Gothel’s hold of Ivy.  Gothel, further, does not have her full Coven until she enchants her daughter Alice to join unwittingly, lest Gothel harm her beloved father, Wish Realm Hook. In the end, the Coven is part of Gothel’s master revenge plot against all of humanity for the ill-advised doings of some entitled teenage girls. Hey, and I thought this show was about fairy tales.

16) Will all of the characters survive?  If not, who will die?

ANSWER: At the risk of the most major SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS, we can reveal that several characters die, including Lady Tremaine/Rapunzel, Mother Gothel, Dr. Facilier, and all versions of Rumpelstiltskin.  We refuse, however, to say how.

As a side note, though, the Blue Fairy’s whereabouts are currently unknown.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

17) What realm is this show’s Dr. Facilier from?  Is he from the Underworld?

ANSWER: Though were are not given much back story on Dr. Facilier, we do learn that the bayou voodoo practitioner first encounters Regina in the Enchanted Forest, when she is the Evil Queen.  Chew on that bacon for awhile.

18) Will the season – and now the series, as it was announced by ABC and by the creators that Once Upon a Time is ending after this season – end with the breaking of the newest curse?

ANSWER: The latest curse is broken before the end of the season; the series ends on a different footnote entirely.

19) Where is Mother Gothel from? What is her back story? Is she driven by vendetta?  Against whom? What are her motivations?

ANSWER: Mother Gothel is a wood nymph; her people have existed as long as the earth has existed.  See above for her back story and the details of her vendetta against the whole of non-magic using humanity, though her plan would have taken out magic-using humanity too. Villains are always so short-sighted.

20) Did Drizella actually cast the curse against Alice/Tilly?  Why?

ANSWER: Alice/Tilly’s curse is of her own making.  Alice has power, as well as a low sense of self-esteem and a fertile need to leave the Tower in which she was born.  Arguably, though, being Mother Gothel’s daughter does her no favors in the end. Drizella/Ivy and Alice/Tilly, meanwhile, have no beef.

21) To whom is Zelena engaged?  Do we know her fiance and husband to be?

ANSWER: Zelena is engaged to an ordinary bloke named Chad, who she meets while under the spell of the latest curse and while posing as a soul-cycling hippie in San Francisco named Kelly.  We have never met Chad before, and the panel was not so happy with the fact that Chad was no one special in the end. It seems our panel found some love for Zelena at the last and wanted her to have some of the special she, for so long, envied in others. But maybe that was the lesson, friends? Sadly, your Chief CP did not make that point during the talk.  Hindsight and all that.

22) How does Henry’s motorcycle run in the Enchanted Forest?  Where are the gas stations in the Enchanted Forest?  How does Cinderella II learn to operate it so fast – is she really Anakin Skywalker?

ANSWER: This motorcycle question will bug Chief CP Kylie until the end of time.  The show does not address the motorcycle and its fuel availability in magical lands. We also do not think Cinderella II is Anakin Skywalker, but both family trees are so convoluted, who really knows anymore?

23) Why are there duplicate versions of various characters, including Cinderella, her step-sisters, Alice (of Wonderland fame), Jack (of beanstalk fame), and so on?  How are all of the different versions from the same Enchanted Forest?  The panel universally agrees that the writers better take some time to explain this plot point beyond “there are different versions of the same story” because we do not understand how different versions can coexist within the same story.

ANSWER: The writers take no time to explain this phenomenon, except to imply, with the events of the series finale, that several versions of one character can co-exist, in different realms and/or in the same lands; that it’s absolutely okay; and that we as viewers should maybe stop bitching about it already.  But WE CAN’T HELP IT. This was literally a conceit dropped on the viewer with the premiere of the Season 7 “soft reboot,” and it demanded a heck of a lot of suspension of disbelief based purely upon assumed trust in the writers to capitalize upon their many moments of created #potential (#drink) on which they never seem to capitalize very well, if prior seasons are any indication. Can we help it if we DON’T HAVE THE TRUST? Of course, it’s all moot now. Both versions of Cinderella attend Queen Regina’s goodly coronation, without so much as an awkward shout-out. Some of our panelists resigned themselves to this development. Clearly, your Chief CP has THE FEELINGS.

24) Will the curse placed upon Henry and Lucy (Alison Fernandez) be broken?  How?  Is Cinderella II really Henry’s true love?  How?

ANSWER: The curse that ties Henry’s life to Lucy’s in the seventh mid-season finale is broken with the help of Lucy’s step-grandmother, Rapunzel aka Lady Tremaine, who, with the help of the resurrection amulet secured from Madame Leota of “Haunted Mansion” fame, sacrifices her life to save Lucy’s and Ivy’s. Of course, the curse that affects everyone’s memory, and that created Hyperion Heights, is not solved through the use of that amulet.  

Also, Ella II does appear to be Henry’s true love. There is no real how offered, except for the meet-cute flashbacks of the first half of the season. Again, we as the viewers just have to go with it, even if their love story is exceptionally underwhelming compared to, say, Snow and Charming’s or Emma and Hook Prime’s – or even Regina and Robin Hood’s. Henry, as the Author, simply relates to a plucky young girl who can fight for herself.  Neat.

25) The producers have teased potential returns of original characters in possible reunions convened in advance of the series finale.  Which characters will we revisit?  Will Jennifer Morrison aka Emma Swan ordain to exceed her contractually obligated one episode appearance and give a nice second episode sendoff for the fans?’

ANSWER: In short, we saw just about everyone, including Snow White, Prince Charming, Emma with Henry’s newborn little sister, and all of the Storybrooke residents we have come to meet over the course of the series, with the exception of Rumpelstiltskin, who bravely sacrificed his life earlier in the episode (okay, but that’s all we’re saying!).  It was another happy beginning. We encourage you to watch this show if you want to know why. With our many ample cautions in the back of your head, of course.

PARTING SHOTS

The panelists, even in the end, continue to offer wildly mixed reactions to the notion of whether or not they were ready for the true end of Once Upon a Time. Though all panelists regard the first half of Season 7 as a surprisingly engaging soft reboot of the show, despite healthy skepticism from all panelists in advance of said reboot, the panelists still universally agree, however, and with no hesitation, that #potential (#drink) contentment with the sixth season finale as a series finale episode would have been achieved if the show had officially stopped at the end of that season.  Though some panelists were utterly won over by the unprecedented soft reboot, the wariest panelists (your Chief CP included), while relieved and in agreement that the writers/producers “stuck the landing,” felt that they had to rush to wrap up not only loose threads from the original six seasons but also nearly all of the seeded plot points of Season 7. Most panelists, aside from Eddie and Chief CP Kylie, regret the lack of network support for at least one more season, but all panelists experienced a high level of satisfaction with the fates of some of our beloved characters, particularly those of Rumpelstiltskin and of Regina, who may have been the true heroes of the series all along, once these characters realized that “everyone writes their own story.” In the end, though, most if not all of the panelists are both happy and sad that OUAT 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 that the series is bad as much as the series traversed a messy, emotion-wrenching course that both engaged and frustrated in the end, a chemical mixture that might leave some of us satisfied with one viewing only.   Of course, only time will tell.

LOOKING AHEAD

Once Upon a Time has officially ended, but the CPU! OUAT podcast panel is not quite finished!  We will publish a second part to this mini podcast series saying goodbye to OUAT, in which we will Look Back at the series as a whole, later this month! Stay tuned, subscribe, like, and follow to keep abreast of that publication, and tell us what you think in the comment forums.  What’s more, review us on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or YouTube, and check out our other podcast episodes related to a growing array of TV shows!  Until next week!  Stay tuned!

The Crown, Season 2: Part Two of the “Catching Up on The Crown” Miniseries (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 our website: couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com.  In this episode, recorded in December 2018, our panel of regal CPU! faithful – moderator Krista, Spencer, Samantha, Kristin (T), and Chief CP Kylie – convenes for the second time around the CPU! Water Cooler to discuss the second season of lush Netflix biopic The Crown, in this, Part Two of our two-part “Catching Up on The Crown” Miniseries.  As always, if you have not watched any of The Crown, be aware that there are, most definitely, MAJOR SPOILERS (history be darned)! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite).  Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

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

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler & Streaming Originals: “The Crown” – The Recap and Review of Season 2; Part Two of CPU!’s “Catching Up on The Crown” Miniseries (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Related image

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “The Crown” is a historical drama and web/streaming series available to Netflix subscribers exclusively, as it is Netflix produced original content.

What:  “The Crown,” created and principally written by Peter Morgan, is 
a biographical story about the reign of Her Royal Majesty (HRM) Queen Elizabeth II.

SYNOPSIS

The Crown traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy, in Seasons 1 and 2) from her wedding in 1947 to Prince Philip (Matt Smith, in Seasons 1 and 2) through to the present day.

When: Season 2 was released to the Netflix streaming library on December 8, 2017, with a total of ten episodes.

Where: The action is set primarily in the United Kingdom, England, and in London, where the Queen and the Royal Family by and large reside.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode covering Season 1 via the link below!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

This is Part Two of our “Catching Up on The Crown” miniseries.  You can listen to Part One here and at our audio feeds (iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play):

Season 1

As you might recall, by popular request, though notably by established CPU! panelists and viewers, The Crown became a new show panel at the CPU! Water Cooler! this month. Our regal The Crown panelists – moderator Krista; Spencer; his wife, Kristin T; Samantha; and me, your Chief CP – reconvened “Around the Water Cooler” to talk about the remaining available season of this lush biopic. In so doing, we ruminate in-depth upon the production values, performances, and general historical accuracy of this show about a living monarch, with some continued, though possibly less modestly, mixed reactions and, possibly more, unevenly engaged suspensions of disbelief.

Tonight’s episode is the second part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! gets caught up on this show, the second season of which was released to Netflix in December 2017.  In this episode, our panel reflects on and recaps Season 2 of The Crown, covering the Suez Crisis in 1956; the retirement of the Queen’s third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan (Anton Lesser), in 1963 following the Profumo affair political scandal; and the births of Princes Andrew and Edward, the latter being born in 1964.

This episode was recorded in December 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the second season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

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

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, our Once Upon a Time panel finally returns to the Water Cooler, one of two final triumphant times, with an animated review of the second half of the long-running fantasy series’ seventh and final season.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

1) What will we see in Season 3? The panel predicts more Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby, in Seasons 1 and 2; Helena Bonham-Carter, in Seasons 3 and 4) than ever before as well as depictions of how the House of Windsor deals with the fallout of her life’s choices.

2) Will we get to see HRM the Queen being more matronly to her four children in Season 3, as they will presumably be older and less reliant on nannies and nursemaids?

3) The Queen will now be played by Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), and Prince Philip will be played by Tobias Menzies (Outlander). Will we as the viewers be able to suspend our disbelief, having watched Claire Foy and Matt Smith in those roles, respectively, for the first two seasons?

4) Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) has been tapped to play Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. How much of the Iron Lady will we see in Season 3?

5) Will the viewers watch televised depictions of further shrinking of the Commonwealth, as more nations asserted independence from The Crown?

PARTING SHOTS

The Crown is recommended by our CPU! panel to so-called Anglophiles; to fans of British/English history; to general history buffs; and to followers of the Royals.  The panelists mostly agree that the production values are notably expensive but predominantly worth the money, given the painstakingly remarkable recreations employed in costumes, art direction, and cinematography. The panelists also proffer that the performances are primarily good, particularly that of Foy and of Kirby in this second season. Plus, they note that the second season (or series if you’re British) is largely choppy in pacing, as the writers and creators of the series seemed to search for additional potentially salacious details on which to ruminate in order to make this largely uneventful period of the Crown’s history a bit spicier and, perhaps, more television-worthy, in their eyes. The panelists further, by and large, continue to struggle with Matt Smith’s depiction of Prince Philip, whether by virtue of performance, direction, and/or writing and the overall historical accuracy – and inaccuracy – of depicted events, including some of the tabloid-esque overtones of the piece, as if the producers wanted to present this series as the definitive, if unofficial, authority on all things House of Windsor.  In any event, the panelists, particularly in lieu of the lush production values and of Foy’s performance, were universally enticed to continue watching additional seasons, despite the upcoming cast changes.

LOOKING AHEAD

Netflix renewed The Crown for third and fourth seasons, with the third season expected to release in 2019, though no tentative premiere date has yet been announced. CPU! will reconvene our The Crown panel some time following the release of the third season.  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the website, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes regarding The Crown as well as new episodes for all of our podcast panels!  And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review. Thank you!

BONUS CONTENT

Moderator Krista went wild with moderate-y research.

Call this: The CPU! Crown Fact Check!

Watch videos of Prince Philip’s World Tour (click the link): here!

Princess Margaret’s “Scandalous” Photo

Princess Margaret 29th Birthday Portrait
Princess Margaret’s “nude” photo, taken by Anthony Armstrong-Jones, 1959

Nazi Connections

The abdicated King Edward VIII, then Duke of Windsor, and wife Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, introducing themselves to Adolf Hitler, 1937

For a complete bio of King Edward VIII:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_VIII

A Diplomatic Dance

HRM, Queen Elizabeth II, dances with Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, 1961

National Public Radio’s take on this event: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/01/21/578674702/netflixs-the-crown-says-one-dance-changed-history-the-truth-isn-t-so-simple

Princess Cecile of Denmark and Greece

Prince Philip’s “favourite” sister, with children

Details of death:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Cecilie_of_Greece_and_Denmark#Death

The Profumo Affair

Secretary of State for War John Profumo, 1960

Details of the scandal:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profumo_affair

The Birth of Prince Edward

Related image
I couldn’t find an internet-available photo of the final pose recreated in the series, so this photo of newborn Prince Edward and Her Majesty’s other children will have to do.

Supernatural, Season 14A (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 our website: couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in January 2019, our newly consistent panel of unabashed Super-Fans – including moderator Kylie, Nick, Jen S, Kelsey, Jeremy, and Jenn K – is back Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 14A (following the mid-season finale) of Supernatural, including the brothers (and mother) Winchester, angel Castiel, devil’s spawn Jack, and the looming threat of Apocalypse World Archangel Michael. If you have not watched any of Supernatural, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite).  Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

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