PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Doctor Who” – the Series 11 + the 2019 New Year's Special, "Resolution," Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Doctor Who” airs on cable TV, specifically on BBC America/BBC Worldwide, Sundays at 8:00 PM in the United States.

What: “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science fiction show about an alien time and space traveler who gallivants across the universe with companions in an effort to save people and/or history and/or the universe itself.  The synopsis changes from Doctor to Doctor, but the above statement pretty much encapsulates all of them.

When: Series 11 aired from October 7 to December 9, 2018, on BBC America with a total of ten episodes. “Resolution” aired on January 1, 2019, at 8:00 PM on BBC America.

Where: The show is set literally everywhere in the whole universe at any given time, though not without the Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, and some face of the man (or woman) who pilots it.

Why:  Once upon a time (no, not that show), friends of the Chief CP said precisely this: “Why aren’t you watching Doctor Who?!  It’s science fiction, it’s British, it’s everything you love (short of vampires)!  Watch it! Do it!”  I started with the 2005 pilot of “Rose” and kept right on chugging. Now, I’m a fully converted Whovian, with an obsessive eye to both past, as in Classic, Who and the future incarnations of the “Madman (Madwoman?) in a Box;” I’ve joined a rotating roster of friends who are Whovians in their own right as we meet for another discussion “around the water cooler.”

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

Welcome to a new season of Doctor Who! With another full season under our belts, our “Who” panel of Kristen, Sarah, Nick, Kyle, Hilary, and Chief Couch Potato Kylie reconvened to discuss all things Series 11: the stellar and interstellar as well as the parts that should really be exterminated.  We, again, have many diverse, though decidedly more enthusiastic, thoughts about what we saw, including new companions Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Yaz (Mandip Gill) and the introduction of new villains (Tzim Sha) as well as the re-introductions of old villains, the Daleks specifically, in the New Year special, “Resolution,” which we also discuss in this episode.

Give our latest Doctor Who rundown a listen, and tell us what you think in the comments. Do you agree?  Do you disagree? Can Alex Kingston or John Barrowman or Catherine Tate come back for more, as our original Who panelists continually hope?  What do you want?  What did you like?  What did you hate?  Tell us!  Tell them!

For previous CPU! Doctor Who episodes, check your podcast feeds or click the floating box up right within the header, the picture with the couch full of TV watching potatoes, and search for those words! This particular CPU! episode was recorded in December 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points and episodic stories of Series 11 and “Resolution!” 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 Apple/iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , find us on Google Play, or on Spotify (!) to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next week, schedule permitting, our Supernatural panel returns to the Water Cooler to discuss the beginning of the end – the first half of this final season, Season 15, of the long-running fantasy/horror drama about two monster and demon-hunting brothers. Stay tuned! Tears will probably be shed – at least a few.

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Gallifrey really back?  How is it back?  Is it only in existence at the end of the universe, where the Doctor met Me and Clara?  Where is Gallifrey in current times and in current universes?  We need clarification.

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Series 11 does not answer this question, so it remains a question.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: How many extra regeneration cycles does the Doctor have right now?

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Still a question, which moves forward.

3) Will the TARDIS survive the explosion that sent Doctor Thirteen plummeting to the earth?  Why did Chris Chibnall choose to somewhat mirror the entrance of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor?

ANSWER: Without much explanation as to how, we learn in Episode 2, “Ghost Monument,” that the TARDIS survives and lives to see another day and another Doctor, once Doctor 13 finally finds her lost ship. As to why Doctor 13 mirrors Doctor 11’s entrance, we can only speculate: as our panelists discuss in tonight’s episode, it seems that Jodie Whittaker is channeling some of the more popular Doctors to formulate her own persona. In fact, some of our panelists see echoes of Doctors Four, Ten, and Eleven in her, either via wishful thinking or because Jodie herself is making deliberate choices to evince memories of the Doctors that people most loved (plus, we know she’s friends with David Tennant from their time on Broadchurch and is comfortable drawing inspiration there). Then again, it was a spectacular entrance, so, perhaps, it’s all about the spectacle!

4) Will Jodie be awesome enough to calm the more feisty corners of the fandom down?

ANSWER: If our panelists are any indication, I believe that Jodie’s performance is appreciated by all but the most reactionary corners of this fandom (some still struggle…because that’s the cool thing to do nowadays…).

5) Who will the new companions be, as there are predicted to be three?

ANSWER: The new companions are:

Graham O’Brien (Walsh) – step-grandfather to Ryan Sinclair and husband to Grace, who is in remission from a serious illness.

Ryan Sinclair (Cole) – a warehouse worker and step-grandson to Graham and grandson to Grace as well an old school mate of Yasmin Khan. He has dyspraxia.

Yasmin “Yaz” Khan (Gill) – a probationary detective/police officer and old school mate of Ryan Sinclair.

They all meet the Doctor in the series premiere, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.”

6) Mr. Chibnall has suggested that he will not, at least at first, rely on canonical appearances of villains like Daleks and Cybermen to tell the stories.  What new villains and/or conflicts will he create for our thirteenth Doctor?

ANSWER: And he kept true to his word, which caused some disagreement and debate among our panelists – listen to tonight’s podcast episode for details. New villains include: the Tzim-sha, sniper robots, Krasko, giant spiders, the Pting, and sentient mud. Then, there are some beings who cause conflict without intending to be villains, but we will leave them off the list.

7) Is the Master truly out of the running after what happened in the tenth series finale?

ANSWER: ….as of Series 11, the Master has not returned. But can you really keep a good Master down…?

8) Will Doctor Thirteen find the Time Lords of Gallifrey again?

ANSWER: She hasn’t found them yet, but there’s a whole Series 12 for such exploration.

9) Will Doctor Thirteen be earth-bound for awhile like the Fourth Doctor was?  Will she take over UNIT?

ANSWER: She is Earth-bound for precisely one episode. She finds her TARDIS rather quickly. As for UNIT, we find out in “Resolution” that the governments of the world have stopped funding UNIT, leading to its disbandment. This leaves the Doctor rather displeased.

10) Will Doctor Thirteen meet any of her old companions again?  A meeting with John Barrowman’s Captain Jack would be fun, but our panel continues to hope for the return of favorites like Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble or Alex Kingston’s River Song.

ANSWER: Still a question…

11) What will Doctor Thirteen’s TARDIS look like?  How about her sonic screwdriver?  Will she still have one?

ANSWER: The interior of Thirteen’s TARDIS seems to cross the grunge-like atmosphere of Ten’s TARDIS with the blue, sleek modernity of Eleven’s TARDIS, which is probably a highly deliberate design, if one considers it. Thirteen fashions herself a sonic out of silverware and other random junk, being without sonic in the premiere, and so the sonic is silver, somewhat long, somewhat crooked, and equipped with a yellow light. She makes much use of it.

12) Will the Doctor meet her past selves in her current form this season?

ANSWER: Not in Series 11…

13) Will the show revisit the concept of the Doctor “revisiting old faces,” as was suggested by Tom Baker’s Curator in the 50th Anniversary Special?

ANSWER: Not in Series 11…

14) Will Doctor Thirteen avoid romance?  The panel votes please do.

ANSWER: So far, so good.

15) What will be the explanation for Doctor Thirteen’s latest form (other than that it’s time or some such)?

ANSWER: We aren’t really given one, at least so far, but she seems pleased by the change?

New Questions

1) Will we see a triumphant return of other classic villains, such as the Cybermen and the Master, considering that the Daleks make their triumphant return in “Resolution?”

2) So, seriously, how about Gallifrey?

3) Or, will there be some word about old acquaintances and companions, such as Romana and Susan?

4) Will we learn more about the Doctor’s family, such as the mystery behind the Doctor’s mother?

5) Just how much of the universe will Doctor Thirteen revisit in Series 12?

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! Doctor Who podcast panel, in reaction to Jodie Whittaker’s first turn, were much less diverse than they were to the Peter Capaldi era. Despite initial bouts of skepticism in prior episodes from some panelists, as well as some malaise upon leaving the Steven Moffat era from other panelists, the panel universally praised and enjoyed Jodie Whittaker’s inaugural series as the Doctor. The panelists unanimously opined that her performance, coupled with Chris Chibnall’s overall sensibility and subtly changed tone for the show, injected the long-running cult science fiction drama with some much needed new and fresh energy. The panelists also generally enjoy the new companions; some panelists (particularly Hilary) did not connect to them quite as quickly, but others found this combination of “fam,” with Jodie’s Thirteenth Doctor, to be quite charming. Our panel, as a result, continued a previous philosophical discussion about Who regarding who on the show connects more in the moment for a viewer – Doctor, companion, or the combination of both/all – and how important companions are to the overall story and mythology.  Also, while the panel generally enjoyed the execution of the season, including the episodic storytelling and new villains like Tsim Sha, some of the panelists pined for the Classic Who villains once more, particularly with the collectively appreciated “Resolution” triumphantly bringing back the Daleks. Happily, panelist Sarah additionally rediscovered love for the series upon realizing that she did not have to navigate the perils that a Scottish brogue poses to a native American ear.

Finally, the panel universally praised “Resolution,” as all of the panelists heartily enjoyed the return of the Daleks and the Doctor’s full-fledged realization as the world’s/galaxy’s protector.  The panel further liked the guest stars in the episode and the horror/mystery elements added to the Daleks’ mythology. In fact, with the changes brought on by the new series, new show-runner, and new Doctor, the podcast panel is excited – more excited than they have been in previous seasons – about the upcoming season, with teased new adventures for the Doctor and her companions, including the return of the Cybermen and Kate Lethbridge-Stuart.  The entire panel, of course, continues to eagerly hope for the (unlikely) return of River Song or Donna Noble or Captain Jack or even appearances by any of the modern age Doctors predating Jodie – whatever may happen, though, the panelists remain eager to see what happens in the coming season, Series 12.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Doctor Who 2020 New Year’s Special, “Spyfall, Part I,” aired on January 1, 2020, while Series 12 premiered with “Spyfall, Part II,” on January 5, 2020, at 8:00 PM on BBC America in the United States. The Doctor Who CPU! panel will next reconvene following the season finale of Series 12, at which time we will report on reactions to the new series, the new New Year special, and everything in between.  Until then! 😉

Schitt’s (Schitt'$) Creek, Season 5 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com.  In this episode, recorded in December 2019, our panel of CPU! small townies – specifically, moderator Kylie, Nick, Sarah, Amy, and new panelists Jordon and Josh – gathers Around the Water Cooler to discuss Season 5 of the quirky Canadian comedy depicting a riches to rags family with hearts of gold, i.e. Schitt’s/Schitt’$ Creek.  As always, if you have not watched any of Schitt’s/Schitt’$ Creek, 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!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

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

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Schitt’s (Schitt'$) Creek” – The Season 5 Review and Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Schitt’s (Schitt’$) Creek” is a Canadian sitcom, which airs on cable network Pop in the United States, though it is currently on hiatus.

What:  “Schitt’s Creek,” created by Eugene Levy and Dan Levy, is based on a series of situations contrasting a once-rich family and their worldly big-city attitudes with sudden small-town living and the honest, down-to-earth, hard-working residents of fictional town Schitt’s Creek.

SYNOPSIS

The series stars Eugene Levy as Johnny Rose, a wealthy video store magnate, and Catherine O’Hara as his wife Moira, a formerly successful soap star. The family loses their fortune when their business manager fails to pay their taxes. They are forced to rebuild their lives with their sole remaining asset: a small town named Schitt’s Creek, which they had bought their son as a joke birthday gift years before. The story revolves around the family’s life living in two adjacent rooms of a rundown motel with their pampered twenty-something adult children, David and Alexis, played by Dan Levy and Annie Murphy, respectively.  The cast also features Chris Elliott, Jennifer Robertson, and Emily Hampshire as series regulars.

When: The fifth season aired from January 8, 2019, to April 9, 2019, on cable network Pop in the United States (after first airing on the CBC in Canada) with a total of 14 episodes.

Where: The action is set primarily in the fictional town of Schitt’s Creek, which we can only guess is somewhere in Ontario, Canada, since that is where the show is filmed.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to our series of podcast episodes via the links below!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

We previously caught up on Schitt’s Creek with our “Catching Up on Schitt’$ Creek” miniseries, in which we discussed the first four seasons of the show in two parts.  You can listen to both parts here and at our audio feeds (Apple/iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify):

Seasons 1-2

Seasons 3-4

As you might recall, by popular request, though notably by established CPU! panelists and viewers, Schitt’$ Creek became a new show panel at the CPU! Water Cooler last year. Yet, our Schitt’$ Creek resident townies saw some people move on and other new residents move in – Nick, Sarah, and Amy return, as does your Chief CP, while two new panelists join us “Around the Water Cooler” to talk about Season 5 of this quirky comedy, including the ongoing Rose family dynamics and contributing personalities, the folks the Roses have met and befriended in the town, and the all around fun of this show.

The panel generally continues to regard the series as both smart and subtly funny and unlike anything on typical American TV nowadays, despite the show’s clear influences (as the panel sees it) of Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Riches, and Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara’s prior projects, with a particular flavor of Waiting for Guffman contributing to the proceedings. Of course, in Schitt’$ Creek, these influences mix together to form a special sauce – or, perhaps, day old meatloaf – entirely of the show’s, and its creators’, own making.

This episode was recorded in December 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of Season 5. 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 Apple/iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , find us on Google Play, or on Spotify (!) 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 Star Trek 50+ Series panel returns to the Water Cooler to digest the stilted animation and the enduring spirit of The Animated Series.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) How will the town of Schitt’s Creek celebrate the holidays?

ANSWER: We don’t know about the town generally, but Johnny tries hard to get his family to celebrate the holidays in the vein of how they used to lavishly do so when they were rich. Unfortunately, his family proves lukewarm to the idea.

2) Will Alexis and Ted (Dustin Milligan) get reengaged?

ANSWER: So far, Alexis and Ted remain a devoted couple with no current plans for nuptials.

3) What does the future hold for David and Patrick (Noah Reid)?

ANSWER: Patrick proposes to David this season! Listen to the podcast episode for details.

4) Will Stevie (Hampshire) stay with Jake?

ANSWER: No, Stevie does not pursue Jake further.

5) Will Johnny and Moira’s parental pride in their children carry forward momentum?

ANSWER: We think the pride is implied – if not explicitly expressed…

6) Will Mutt stay in town?

ANSWER: No. Mutt is gone. I don’t think anyone misses him, though he has a baby brother now. Shouldn’t he be more interested in his family?

7) Will Twyla (Sarah Levy) find a nice guy, who is maybe at least a bit less scary than Ivan?

ANSWER: So far, Twyla remains positive but steadfastly single.

New Questions

1) Will we ever see the full (or at least prolonged scenes of) Moira’s infamous “Crowpocalypse” movie? Can we get a full rendition of the Schitt’s Creek Community Theater production of “Cabaret?” Someone make these things happen!

2) Will we see David and Patrick’s wedding? Or, will they elope, and will Johnny and Moira renew their vows with the leftover, no doubt lavish, potential wedding setup, as panelist Sarah predicts? Will Ted propose to Alexis? Will we have a double wedding, as panelist Amy wishes?

3) Will Alexis actually make it to the Galapagos Islands to meet Ted?

4) Will any of the Roses opt to leave Schitt’s Creek? Will Johnny and Moira opt to stay?

5) Will Stevie make it out of town, as Chief CP Kylie predicts?

6) Will the community performing arts center be named after Moira, as panelist Josh predicts?

7) Will Moira direct another fabulous musical production to preserve her Schitt’s Creek legacy? If so, what should she direct? What would she direct?

PARTING SHOTS

Schitt$ Creek remains universally recommended by our CPU! panel to fans of the actors in the cast, particularly of Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, and to fans of comparable and/or influential fare like Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Riches, and director/actor Christopher Guest’s feature films, in which Levy and O’Hara made many joint appearances.  The panelists agree that anyone who watches this comedy “can get something out of it,” particularly whatever the viewer wants to get out of it, because the show is an easy, low-risk binge and, therefore, low commitment overall.  The humor is distinctly the show’s own and may not appeal to everyone; however, it is subtle and satirical all at the same time.  The characters have some caricature-like qualities, which was more emphasized by some of our panelists this go-round, but they embody those qualities so completely, they become fully fleshed out personae for the viewer and accessible to anyone, regardless of background.  Additionally, the panel praises the comedic performances of the four main actors and the writing and generally characterizes the show as “better and better” the more one watches.   In any event, the panelists find the show “fun,” delightfully “weird,” and believe that those who connect to it will have as much fun as we have had watching and discussing it so far!

LOOKING AHEAD

The CBC and, therefore, Pop renewed Schitt’$ Creek for a sixth and final season, which is expected to premiere on January 7, 2020, on Pop. Our panel will reconvene sometime following the series finale for a slightly longer “Goodbye” episode.  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the website, Apple Podcasts/iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, Spotify, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes regarding Schitt’$ Creek as well as new episodes for all of our podcast panels! And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review.  Thank you! 

DC Television Universe, Episode 22, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, 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, recorded in November 2019, our DC Television Universe or DCTU Series panel – including moderator Kylie, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – reconvenes Around the Water Cooler for the twenty-second episode of our DCTU ongoing series.  In this episode, the panel discusses Season 4 of the Arrowverse’s second spin-off, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. If you have not watched any of Legends, 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!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

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

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: DC Television Universe Series, Episode 22, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” – Season 4, the DCTU Panel’s Review and Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” is a superhero/action-adventure drama centered on events and characters inspired by the DC Comic Universe, which airs on the CW.

What: “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” a series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, and Phil Klemmer, which is based on characters from DC Comics. This series is considered a spin-off from Arrow and is part of the so-called “Arrowverse.”

SYNOPSIS

As the series starts, when Vandal Savage murders Time Master Rip Hunter’s family, he goes rogue. Intending to stop Savage, Rip recruits a team consisting of Ray Palmer / The Atom (Brandon Routh); Sara Lance / White Canary (Caity Lotz); Martin Stein and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson, who together become the hero Firestorm; Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl; Carter Hall / Hawkman; Leonard Snart / Captain Cold; and Mick Rory / Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) to stop him. These so-called “legends” discover that the Time Masters are backing Savage in his domination of the world in 2166 in order to facilitate a successful repulsion of a Thanagarian invasion.  The adventures of the “Legends,” however, change each season, as do the members of the Legends themselves.

When: Season 4 aired on the CW from October 22, 2018, to May 20, 2019, with a total of 16 episodes.

Where: The action is set in various locations throughout the DC Television Universe/Arrowverse and throughout time, as the heroes in this show travel through time and space in an attempt to stop villains who aim to alter significant events in the past, present, and future.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the first Legends of Tomorrow podcast episode via the link below!  It should be noted that CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie previously picked up this show during the 2015 Fall Preview, noting:

True, it’s yet another comic book property in an entertainment complex completely inundated and saturated with them – super heroes are what’s cool nowadays.  True, the premise involves digging through the annals of the DC Comic Book Universe to put forth some of the company’s less omnipresent characters (The Atom, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, to name a few).  Yet: it also has Victor Garber, Wentworth Miller, and freaking Rory Pond – Arthur Darvill himself!…DC is behind in the comic book race against Marvel, and the company knows it…[it’s a] must watch.  It’s fate or something.

How – as in How’s It Going? – THOUGHTS

This is the twenty-second episode in CPU!’s DCTU series.  Here are only the prior DC’s Legends of Tomorrow episodes in the series (as we flush out seasons of all Arrowverse shows, though, older episodes will only be searchable via the website – click the upper right dialog box in the header). Listen to each episode here:

DCTU Series, Episode 4, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season 1

DCTU Series, Episode 7, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season 2

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

DCTU Series, Episode 17, the DCTU Mid-Season Roundup, 2018-2019

In our last DCTU episode, our cheeky and feisty DCTU panel – namely Kyle, Hilary, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – continued addressing the most recent full seasons of each of the four “Arrowverse” series in order of the airing of each season finale by discussing the fourth season of Supergirl. Tonight’s episode finds the panel returning to the Water Cooler for the fourth and final time this year to talk the fourth season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, in the twenty-second episode of our DCTU series.  

Thus, tonight’s episode features another spicy, although more agreeable than usual, discussion of Legends’ latest season.  The discussion is less spicy than normal because this season maintained its good standing with a focused story thread, which our panelists either found slightly better or slightly worse than the third season, depending upon each panelist’s perspective, in addition to the continued complete and total embrace of the campy quality of storytelling in general, as the writers and producers seemed to realize that the show works better as “wacky adventures through time” coupled with an overarching story rather than merely one or the other. Furthermore, the show once again features new characters that were, in and of themselves, sometimes more compelling than some other characters that have appeared on the show and/or that have come and gone from the cast roster.  The panel, in fact, remains in agreement that Legends improved so much, the show now ranks as the favorite or second favorite of the four Arrowverse shows for each panelist.

This particular episode was recorded in November 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of Season 4 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. 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 Apple/iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , find us on Google Play, or on Spotify (!) 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 is the day before Thanksgiving, so CPU! is going on holiday! We plan to re-run our latest Doctor Who episodes, as our Who panel prepares to reunite in advance of the “early 2020” release of Series 12, featuring the Doctor as female, with our hot take on Jodie Whittaker’s first series, the eleventh, as the titular doctor. Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Does Amaya’s (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) interference in her own history cause any ripple effects?  Is it the same Amaya that returns to the Waverider? If so, what if she carries on with Nate and becomes pregnant?  Time (ahem) will tell here, we expect.

NEW ANSWER: Amaya, it seems, is back in Zambesi as she always planned. Instead, the Waverider encounters a shape-shifter by the name of Charlie, also played by Richardson-Sellers, who, through happenstance of proximity to the ship as well as other magical interferences, ends up getting stuck in Amaya’s form, though with a distinctive Charlie look. Listen to the podcast episode for reactions to this development.

2) With Constantine (Matt Ryan) joining the Legends and announcing to the other characters that allowing Mallus to break through the magical plane imprisoning him weakened the barrier holding back other magical creatures, what kinds of other creatures will we see?  Will there be some Hellblazer meets the Legends of Tomorrow?  Are there really going to be unicorns and other mythical creatures, as panelists Kyle and the media have teased?  What sorts of situations will the Legends face?

ANSWER: We meet all manner of magical creatures: unicorns, minotaurs, weird werewolf-like creatures, dwarfs, trolls, dragons, and so on. A taste of Hellblazer emerges in the back half of the season after Ray Palmer aka The Atom is possessed by Constantine’s nemesis, in the form of his former lover, Desmond. The demon’s name is Neron, and he uses Ray as a pawn to tempt Constantine to hell. Constantine obliges this bait to save Ray but encounters all manner of hell-spawn from his past, including the soul he lost over which he has the most regrets: Astra, whose spirit has grown to adulthood in Hell. The Legends essentially spend their season tracking down these magical creatures, which have breached the plane of magical existence, to contain them, as they cause all kinds of havoc, including a particularly zealous fairy godmother. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) What circumstances bring Amaya back to the Waverider?  Alternatively, is it really Amaya who returns…?

ANSWER: It is not. It is Charlie in Amaya’s form, but she joins the team anyway.

4) Is Rip Hunter really and truly dead?  In, like, the permanent sense?

ANSWER: So far, Rip Hunter appears to be really, truly, and in all senses permanently dead.

5) Is Damien Darhrk truly dead, since he was possessed by Mallus, who was defeated by the Legends in the season finale?

ANSWER: So far, Damien Darkh appears to be truly dead, though he is a wily sorcerer type. Maybe Constantine will encounter him in Hell in the next season?

6) Ray Palmer gives Nora Darhrk her father’s time stone with the intention of enabling her to escape from Time Bureau incarceration.  Courtney Ford, Routh’s real life wife and the actress behind Nora, has been promoted to series regular for Season 4.  How will Nora reappear next season?  Since the two characters seemed to have some chemistry, owing to their real life marriage, will there be romance for Ray in the future?

ANSWER: Nora runs for awhile but, ultimately, at Ray’s behest, turns herself into the Time Bureau to make amends for her misdeeds as well as her father’s, as he was none too nice. Also, it is clear that Ray and Nora have mutual crushing feelings on each other, so art imitates life and vice versa on the Legends of Tomorrow – today!

7) There additionally seemed to be some flirtatious sparks between Zari (Tala Ashe) and Jonah Hex.  Will we see more of Jonah in service to this budding flirtation?  Is there any chance, still or at all, of him becoming a regular character, next season or otherwise?

ANSWER: Jonah Hex does not return in Season 4. Instead, Zari gets it on with Nate Heywood aka Steel (Nick Zano), although they appear to legitimately care about each other. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

8) What other DC characters will visit this show next season?

ANSWER: Vandal Savage makes an odd cameo reappearance. Swamp Thing gets a few non-sly or subtle references in a spirited episode in which the Legends, Constantine included, have to pose as camp counselors. Other than that, the Legends stay trim and focused upon their decidedly non-DC magical obstacles.

9) An actress named Ramona Young will be portraying “Alaska Yu,” who does not seem to have a clear DC counterpart, in Season 4.  What clues will the show reveal about this new character?

ANSWER: The character’s name is actually Mona Wu. She’s very into fairy tales and, through happenstance via sandwich delivery, becomes a caretaker for the magical prisoners housed by the Time Bureau; that is, until she gets scratched by a werewolf-like creature called a kaupe and succumbs to the curse of wolfie transformations. Unfortunately, she also becomes the panel’s least-liked new addition to the Legends fold. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

10) If Neron is the Big Bad on “Legends,” will we be meeting any Green Lanterns or related? How did John Constantine (Matt Ryan) piss him off?

ANSWER: No Green Lanterns visit the Legends in Season 4. Constantine pissed Neron off by sending him to be imprisoned in hell in the first place with his awesome sorcery skills. Neron holds grudges and likes revenge. Same story, different day.

11) What is Biff, er, Henry Heywood’s (guest: Tom Wilson) master plan? Capture magical fugitives…and then what? What is the top secret plan to which he keeps referring?

ANSWER: It turns out that Biff, er, Hank just wants to build an amusement park in homage to his son, Nate’s, childhood fantasy of a theme park featuring magical creatures that bears no resemblance to any Mouse House or Jurassic type park. Unfortunately, he’s too cryptic for that information to come out until the end of the season and just seems like an ultra-focused, cold father type that leaves Nate feeling unloved. Same story, different day.

11) Why is Mona Wu a thing? What is her purpose? What is Gary’s purpose for that matter?

ANSWER: None of the panel can ascertain these answers, and we are bothered by the thought. The panel generally found Mona only (in some cases) good in small doses, and some of our panel also rumbles that Gary is worth about as much in the long run. Ultimately, her purpose was to care for magical creatures until she became one, and then the Legends adopt her like a stray cat, as they are wont to do with any super-powered being they encounter. The trouble is, her value-added is negligible at best. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

12) Will Nate Heywood aka Steel ever leave bureaucracy and rejoin the Waverider team?

ANSWER: He will, and he does. The magical creature problem becomes more personal when his crush, Zari, gets intimately involved and after the presumed (SPOILER) death of his dad. That’s a watch the season type answer, though, as Nate’s character progression develops over the course of the whole season.

13) Why is Desmond’s death a fixed point in time? Why is Neron, wearing Desmond’s face, interested in Hank Heywood?

ANSWER: Desmond/Neron’s evolution becomes a call to Constantine to join the Legends as well as to save souls that Neron threatens, leaving Constantine with no choice but to allow history to stay its course. Neron sees Hank as a personal pawn, someone to manipulate to gain access to the Time Bureau and the Legends. Unfortunately, it is Neron who destroys Hank in the end.

New Questions

1) Will Season 5 be all Hellblazer come alive, since the Season 4 finale features coins related to souls of real, historical serial killers and general scourges to humanity that Constantine’s treasured Astra may somehow unleash on this world/Constantine with help from forces in Hell aiming to seek vengeance against the sorcerer?

2) What happens to Zari now that the timeline has been changed? Will she find the Legends again? Will she find Nate? Do they have the sort of clandestine love that would allow them to transcend such obstacles?

3) It has been announced that Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford are leaving the show, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, after the fifth season. What swansong will the writers provide for The Atom and Nora Dahrk, especially since the writers have been under-utilizing the Atom quite a bit over the last couple of seasons?

4) The panel grows weary of Ava (Jes Macallan) and Sara. Why must the show force obstacles into this relationship when they have enough supernatural, extraterrestrial, and out-of-time obstacles to contend with in the end?

5) What happened to that dragon?

6) Will Mona be a returning character? The panel votes no. The panel also votes to give Gary a bit less, unless he wants to dress in the Flash costume some more and interact with a shocked Barry Allen from Central City, present day.

7) In fact, it would be a fun scene if Oliver Queen, Barry, and Kara Danvers got to see the Legends’ take on them, circa the Legends Season 4 finale. Make it happen, writers!

PARTING SHOTS

Our DCTU panel continues to recommend DC’s Legends of Tomorrow provisionally, generally regarding Season 4 to be almost as good as (or, in panelist Kyle’s opinion better than) Season 3, the panel’s vote for best or second best of all of the Legends seasons to date. In fact, some panelists no longer think that a potential viewer needs to be a comic book fan, DC or otherwise, to enjoy the show, nor would such a viewer need to appreciate Doctor Who, as the show has consciously moved away from the obvious parallels to the latter, particularly with the elimination of the Rip Hunter character in Season 3.  On the other hand, some panelists feel that to truly appreciate the Legends, one must already be invested in the other Arrowverse shows, at least marginally, to understand the references and in-jokes constantly cracked on this romp of an adventure.

The panelists additionally continue to opine that the writers and producers have finally reached a suave and entertaining balance between “campy adventure of the week” and solid, season-long story around which the characters can compellingly unify while consciously embracing those aspects of the story that, though silly, set Legends apart from the other shows in the Arrowverse.  To that end, Legends remains the favorite of the four shows for half of the panel; plus, the panel feels that the writers have proven that they know what they’ve got, and how to tell the story with what they’ve got consistently, given the entertaining and engaging Season 4, which features panel favorite Matt Ryan/John Constantine as a series regular as well as a fresh story thread. Thus, all panelists sustain both hopeful and excited anticipation for what Season 5 may bring, particularly with the promise that Constantine is sticking around, even as the panelists almost expected, if not wished for, cancellation following the second season – which is quite the turnaround indeed.

LOOKING AHEAD

The fourth season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is slated to premiere on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 9:00 PM on the CW.  CPU!’s next DCTU episode, our twenty-third in the series, will focus upon the mightily foreshadowed, much supersized, magnificently large, massively touted crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which our panel will discuss after the New Year and after the conclusion of the event..  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the blog, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes in the DCTU podcast series as well as of new episodes for all of our podcast panels!  And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review. Thank you!

Will & Grace: Shark Jumpers Anonymous (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in October 2019, our remaining panel Must See TV enthusiasts – Jeremy and Emily (a third panelist departed the panel for life’s greater journeys) – continue an interview-style feature on CPU! entitled “Shark Jumpers’ Anonymous,” in which panelists – and about to be former-panelists – explain why they are making leaps and bounds over predatory fish (or like trees and leaving).  Answering a script of questions, panelists explain why they have stopped watching a particular show – which, in this case, is Will & Grace.  If you have not watched any of Will & Grace, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS!

Do you want CPU! to continue covering Will & Grace on the podcast?  If so, volunteer to be a panelist!  We are a podcast by the people for the people, or, for specifically the Couch Potatoes who wish to unite with us.  If you would like to join this panel (and bring a friend, as we need at least two to revive it), message us via Facebook or Twitter, via our website (couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com), or via email at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.  Where ever you may be in the world, we are able to connect with you – via video conferencing or phone conferencing – or, if you want to submit a written review of the show, send it along!

In the meantime, 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!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

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

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Shark Jumpers Anonymous: “Will & Grace” (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Will & Grace,” a situation comedy that aired on NBC from 1998 to 2006 until it was revived on the same network in 2017. It currently airs Thursday nights at 9:30 PM on NBC.

What: Created by Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, Will & Grace focuses on the friendship between best friends Will Truman (Eric McCormack), a gay lawyer, and Grace Adler (Debra Messing), a straight interior designer.

SYNOPSIS

Will & Grace is set in New York City and also features Will and Grace’s friends Karen Walker (Megan Mullally), an alcoholic socialite, and Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes), a flamboyantly gay actor. The continuing interplay of relationships features the trials and tribulations of dating, marriage, divorce, and casual sex as well as comical key stereotypes of gay and Jewish culture.

When: The second revival season, Season 10, aired from October 4, 2018, to April 4, 2019, with a total of 18 episodes. Season 11 premiered on October 24, 2019; it was announced that the eleventh season would be the show’s last.

Where: The show is set in New York City, New York (mostly in Manhattan).

Why: Listen to the first podcast episode in this series for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Will & Grace.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

CPU! started reviewing Will & Grace last year via its “Will & Grace Revives Series!”  To catch up on prior CPU! episodes, cop to our handy links below:

Looking Back at the Original “Will & Grace,” Seasons 1-8

Season 9

Unfortunately, coverage of Will & Grace on the podcast is about to go the way of the dodo.  The remaining panelists – Jeremy and Emily (one panelist departed the panel for life’s greater journeys) – find themselves at a Fonzie-inspired crossroads: an inability and sheer lack of desire to proceed forward in watching this revived comedy from the “Must See TV” heyday.  As such, though they visited the Water Cooler in the past to talk about a show they once loved, they now elected to continue an interview-style feature on CPU! entitled “Shark Jumpers Anonymous,” in which panelists – and about to be former-panelists – explain why they are making leaps and bounds over predatory fish (or like trees and leaving).  Answering a script of questions, the panelists explain why they have stopped watching the show in question, namely Will & Grace.

If you love this show – never fear.  You can join CPU! as a panelist, for this and for other shows.  Scroll down to “Looking Ahead” for the details!

In the meantime, give this latest CPU! episode a listen and see if you agree or disagree with the panel’s thoughts.  The interviews were recorded in October 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of all seasons of Will & Grace. 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 Apple/iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , find us on Google Play, or on Spotify (!) 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 DCTU Series panel returns to the Water Cooler a final time (at least until mid-season) to end the panel’s annual marathon of end of season coverage of the four Arrowverse shows broadcasting as of the end of May 2019.  In the next episode, our panel revisits those wacky but lovable (DC’s) Legends of Tomorrow, as our spicy superhero-loving panel discusses Season 4 of the Arrowverse’s second spin-off.  Stay tuned!

Lingering Questions (Related to Season 10, which only moderator Kylie has watched)

1) Will we see more Elliott (Michael Angarano) next season?

ANSWER: We do not see Elliott in Season 10.

2) Can Rosie O’Donnell be brought back as Elliott’s biological mother, so that he will have to deal with his two gay biological parents despite his newfound religious conservatism?

ANSWER: Rosie O’Donnell has not returned to the show (so far).

3) Will there be any more musical episodes?

ANSWER: So far, there have been no additional musical episodes, though there was a choreographed dance for Jack’s (Hayes) wedding in the tenth season finale.

4) Will there be any more live episodes?

ANSWER: There have been no additional live episodes so far.

5) Will we see some of the more famous or infamous guest stars of the original run, such as the inimitable Cher?

ANSWER: We have not seen original run guest stars, but Season 10 features recurring appearances by David Schwimmer and Matt Bomer.

6) How long will the relationship between Will’s (McCormack) mom (Blythe Danner) and Grace’s (Messing) dad (Robert Klein) last?

ANSWER: They got married! So, it seems they are in it for the long haul (so far).

7) How long will the business partnership between Will and Grace last?

ANSWER: Not long, since Will got a job as a law school professor. It is probably for the best.

8) Will Jack find his one and only true love?  Is he truly ready for the dread C-word (“commitment”)?

ANSWER: Jack finds Estefan! And they get married! Jack is as shocked as most of us are, probably.

9) Will we ever meet Stan, Karen’s rich husband, face to face?

ANSWER: Not likely, since Stan served Karen (Mullaly) divorce papers this season upon learning of her affair with Malcolm, played by guest Alec Baldwin. They spend a few episodes fighting over Stan’s fortune.

10) Will we ever see Leo (Harry Connick, Jr.) or Vince (Bobby Cannavale), Grace and Will’s ex-husbands, respectively, again?  Should we root for a reconciliation, at least for Will and Vince, since Leo has cheated on Grace more times than should really be forgivable?  What do you think, listener?

ANSWER: Neither Leo nor Vince appear in Season 10. It seems unlikely that they will return, but never say never, I guess.

PARTING SHOTS

The remaining Will & Grace panelists previously discussed a wide-ranging assortment of opinions about the first revival season of Will & Grace, and it is this variety that informs tonight’s shark-related acrobatics.  Of the remaining panelists, one loved it, one claimed to hate it, and the third expressed markedly mixed feelings about revisiting this show eleven years after it left the airwaves the first time around.  In the end, though, everyone agreed that this initial revival season provided some fun escapist nostalgia and, even, the occasional reason to think. Several panelists, however, also declared that moments in the season felt forced – for laughs, for message-filled dialogue, and, at times, to reproduce the chemistry that was.  In fact, the panel mostly agreed that, though most of the cast managed to reclaim the characters that they had not played in eleven years with what seemed like ease, Grace’s own Debra Messing visibly struggled to find the core of the Grace character for a few episodes, whether due to a lack of confidence and/or potentially due to age, in that she seemed unable to engage in the physical comedy that she brought to the character previously.  Plus, her comedic delivery frequently rang as “over the top,” though Ms. Messing eventually found a rhythm that resembled not only the younger version of the character, and of herself, but also reminded the viewer why Grace and Will have been such watchable and such lovably co-dependent roommates and friends for so many years. This fact has only become truer in Season 10, which only panelist and moderator (and Chief CP) Kylie has watched in its entirety. Yet, most of our panelists also struggled with what appeared to be didactic dialogue about our political state of affairs while, at the same time, other panelists expressed being largely grateful that the writers and actors, apart from Messing, stayed true to the core characters they created, now 21 years ago, particularly the “in your face” antics of perennially drunk and often inappropriate socialite Karen.

The remaining panelists waver, however, on their recommendation of the show. Panelist Jeremy recommends the original run over the revival, noting that the revival does not live up to the magic and charm of those first eight seasons, while panelists Emily and Kylie recommend the revival season to long-time fans of the original series, particularly those who have some enthusiasm for those first eight seasons, as the panelists believe that new viewers watching the new seasons for the first time would not be able to appreciate all of the inside jokes, winks, nods, and nudges to the tapestry of comedy woven by the first run of the show. Our panelists also advocate that Will & Grace, at least in its original form, has something to offer most everyone with an open mind and a willingness to see two sides of any coin – as well as a lot of spicy and sexy joke-telling.  The show is fun, it’s funny, it offers plenty of nostalgia, even as the jokes wander heavily into LGBTQ+ culture, which new viewers simply must accept as central to the premise (these are the jokes, kid). Don’t say we didn’t warn you, poodles.

In the end, though, only one panelist – the Chief CP – is left standing as the show heads into its eleventh and final season…unless new panelists join.  Care to be one of them?

LOOKING AHEAD

Will & Grace was renewed for an eleventh and final season, which premiered on NBC on October 24, 2019, at 9:30 PM.  Because the panel (except Kylie) “jumped the shark,” CPU! will not return to the Water Cooler to discuss Will & Grace  again….unless…

Dear Viewer/Listener:

Do you want CPU! to continue covering Will & Grace on the podcast?  If so, volunteer to be a panelist!  We are a podcast by the people for the people, or, for specifically the Couch Potatoes who wish to unite with us.  If you would like to join this panel (and bring a couple of friends, as we need at least two panelists to revive it), message us via Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, via our website (couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com), or via email at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.  Where ever you may be in the world, we are able to connect with you – via video conferencing or phone conferencing – or, if you want to submit a written review of the show, send it along!  In the meantime, Chief CP Kylie will return following the end of Will & Grace to offer some final thoughts.  Stay tuned!