The Will & Grace Revives Series, Episode Two: Will & Grace, Season Nine/Revival Season One (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in July 2018, one of our sassiest panels – including moderator Kylie, Andrew, Jeremy, and Emily D –  gathered Around the Water Cooler to recap and review the first revival season, otherwise known as Season Nine, of NBC’s totally fabulous classic sitcom Will & Grace.  This is the second part of a CPU! podcast miniseries in which we look back to look forward at this revival of one of our favorite television programs, which will, in turn, connect to “Water Cooler” coverage of further revival seasons of the show as long as they are made.  If you have not watched any of Will & Grace, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS. Tell us what you think in the comments below, and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

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

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PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Will & Grace,” the Season Nine Review and Recap – The Will & Grace Revives Series, Episode Two (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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

Opening Tomorrow: “Assassins”

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For more information, visit Heritage Theatre’s website!

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.

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 first revival season, Season 9, aired from September 28, 2017, to April 5, 2018, Thursdays on NBC.

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)

If you have not listened to the first episode in our “Will & Grace Revives Series,” click the embedded link below:

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

Frequent CPU! contributors and panelists often suggest shows for CPU! to cover in our podcast episodes – loyal listeners should have picked up on this particular trend by now. Well, when the Peacock network decided to join the ranks of conglomerates reviving successful network properties from periods past, and Will & Grace became the chosen candidate for NBC’s latest revival featuring every member of the original cast except Shelley Morrison (Rosario), some of the CPU!ers became decidedly atwitter and began encouraging a W&G podcast series in short order.

Here at CPU!, then, we saw an opportunity for a new CPU! podcast series in which CPU! panelists could look back at the program that started it all while looking forward “around the water cooler” as new season(s) of the revival are released. Thus, herein we offer the second episode of our own miniseries covering the various versions of this popular, and frankly fabulous, sitcom, which we at CPU! are calling our “Will & Grace Revives” series.

Returning panelists Andrew, Jeremy, and Emily (D) join your Chief CP around the Water Cooler once again for this second episode of our “Will & Grace Revives” series.  In this conversation, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments from the first revival season, Season 9, of Will & Grace, as, after eleven years off the air, we return to the lives of Will, Grace, Jack, Karen, their friends, their neighbors, their families, and their rather copious respective lines of romantic partners.  Oh, and about that original series finale?  Fuggedaboutit!  No, literally, forget about it.  As it turns out, Karen was having some sort of drug-induced flight of fancy while taking a nap.  Her dreams are weird!

This podcast was recorded in July 2018 and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the Will & Grace series. 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 DCTU Series panel returns to the Water Cooler to begin the panel’s annual marathon of end of season coverage of the four Arrowverse shows.  Our first episode in the coming series of four revisits those wacky but lovable (DC’s) Legends of Tomorrow, as our spicy superhero-loving panel discusses Season Three of the Arrowverse’s second spin-off.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

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

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?

3) Will there be any more musical episodes?

4) Will there be any more live episodes?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

PARTING SHOTS

Our panelists discussed a wide-ranging assortment of opinions about the first revival season of Will & Grace.  One loved it, one claimed to hate it, and others 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, with the notable exception of one panelist, 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.

Still, at times, some 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 stayed true to the core characters they created, now 20 years ago, particularly the “in your face” antics of perennially drunk and often inappropriate socialite Karen. Additionally, a couple of panelists also criticized some of the more obvious nods to the original eight seasons, as the producers appeared to return to a perceived endless parade of guest stars, winks, and nods to the original run of the show, similar to what seemed to populate the last few seasons of Will & Grace prime.  Yet, all panelists, even if one was begrudging, admitted to having fun while viewing this revival run – even if only for a few isolated episodes, jokes, moments, and particularly while watching the Jack and Karen characters.  To wit, the panelists universally praised three specific episodes: the one in which Jack learned he had a grandson; the one in which Karen mourned the death of Rosario while throwing her a quinceanera; and the one in which Grace tried to help her dad following the loss of her mom, formerly played by the now deceased Debbie Reynolds (rest in peace).

Ultimately, the panelists universally 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 only Season 9 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. Plus, if one enjoys humor with plenty of sass, one would be remiss not to at least check out the whole show, original and revival seasons together, as the four main characters and plenty of the supporting ones will surely meet any prescribed need for sass within minutes of the opening credits.  Our panelists also advocate that Will & Grace 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.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you, poodles.

LOOKING AHEAD

Will & Grace was renewed for tenth and eleventh seasons by the Peacock network; Season 10 premieres on Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 9:00 PM.  If you would like to catch up on any of Will & Grace, including the original eight seasons of the show, all seasons are currently available to stream on Hulu.  In the meantime, our Will & Grace panel will next return to the Water Cooler following the airing of the tenth season finale, some time in 2019, as this panel will now be converted to one of our ongoing show panels (with two openings!  Contact us if you would like to join the panel!).  Until then!

Schitt’s (Schitt$) Creek, Seasons 1-2: Part One of the “Catching Up on Schitt’s (Schitt$) Creek” Miniseries (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 June 2018, our panel of established CPU! faithful – moderator Kylie, Nick, Sarah, Andrew, and Amy – convenes for the first time around the CPU! Water Cooler to discuss the first two seasons of a quirky Canadian comedy depicting a riches to rags family with hearts of gold, i.e. Schitt’s/Schitt$ Creek, in this, Part One of our two-part “Catching Up on Schitt’s (Schitt$) Creek” Miniseries.  As always, if you have not watched any of Schitt’s/Schitt$ Creek, be aware that there are, most definitely, MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

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

PODCAST! – Pilots, Premieres, and First Looks: “Schitt’s (Schitt$) Creek” – Recapping Seasons 1 and 2; Part One of CPU!’s “Catching Up on Schitt’s (Schitt$) Creek” Miniseries (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.

When: The first season aired from February 11, 2015, to May 6, 2015, and the second season aired from January 19, 2016, to March 29, 2016, on cable network POP in the United States (after first airing on the CBC in Canada), each with a total of thirteen 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 the podcast episode via the link below!

How – as in How Was It?

The pilot/premiere rating scale:

***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING. HOLY SMOKES!

**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing. I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.

*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens. There are things I like, and things I don’t. We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.

** – I will give it three episodes. Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together. No matter how unlikely.

* – Pass on this one, guys. It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.

Schitt’s (Schitt$) Creek = 4.8, by average of the podcast panel.

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.

THOUGHTS

By popular request, though notably by established CPU! panelists and viewers, Schitt$ Creek has, as of this publication, become a new show panel at the CPU! Water Cooler!  Requesting CPU! panelists include Nick, our panel silver medalist who likes to meditate in CPU!’s “nerdy” and “funny” realms; his wife Sarah, who joins him for talks about lots of shows as long as they are not comic book adaptations; Netflix and “Looking Back” aficionado Andrew; and Amy, who appeared once before around the Water Cooler to Look Back at Ally McBeal. These four and the Chief CP as moderator gathered “Around the Water Cooler” to take a “First Look” at the first two seasons of this quirky comedy. In so doing, the panelists examine the Rose family dynamics and contributing personalities, laugh along with the folks the Roses meet in the town, and generally praise this show effusively. The panel generally finds the series to be as smart as it is 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, chicken enchiladas – entirely of the show’s, and its creators’, own making.

Tonight’s episode is the first part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! gets caught up on this show, which premiered on United States cable network POP in 2015.  In this episode, our panel reflects on and recaps the first two seasons of Schitt$ Creek, reacting to the various quirky characters and notably hilarious situations in which they find themselves.

This episode was recorded in June 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first two seasons. 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 Thursday, schedule permitting, our Series of Unfortunate Events panel returns to the Water Cooler to react to Season Two of Netflix’s adaptation of the Lemony Snicket novels.  Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

Schitt$ Creek is 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 agreed 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 but embody those qualities so completely, they become fully fleshed out personae for the viewer and accessible to anyone, regardless of background.  One panelist described the series as “surprising,” stating that he did not expect to like it as much as he did.  Additionally, the panel generally 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” and believe those who connect to it will have as much fun as we have had watching and discussing it so far!

THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW

The CBC and, therefore, POP renewed Schitt$ Creek for a fifth season, which is expected to premiere in January 2019, though no tentative premiere date has yet been announced. CPU! will next visit Schitt$ Creek for Part Two of this “Catch-Up Miniseries” following the release of Season 4 to Netflix, which currently has the streaming rights to the series and which has, in the past, released seasons of this show to its service in the fall.  Our next Schitt$ Creek episode will focus upon the third and fourth seasons of the show and will bring our humble podcast to current times, appreciations, and readiness for Schitt$ Creek coverage going forward.  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 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! 🙂

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

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

Episode Sponsored By: Heritage Theatre Group

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

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

Opening Tomorrow: “The Cherry Orchard”

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For more information, visit Heritage Theatre’s website!

Moderated by: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

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

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

SYNOPSIS

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

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

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

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

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This podcast was recorded in June 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the second season of Jessica Jones.  Do you agree or disagree?  Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

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

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, we launch a new panel “Around the Water Cooler,” as some of our most frequent panelists, along with one occasional panelist, find themselves up Schitt’s Creek without a paddle while they catch up on the first two seasons of the Canadian cable comedy in the first part of a two-part miniseries produced for just that purpose.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

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

ANSWER: He has not yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

PARTING SHOTS

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

LOOKING AHEAD

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

American Horror Story Series, Episode Seven, Season Seven: “Cult” (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, our returning panel of casual to serious horror fans (and rotating moderators!)–including moderator Kylie, Nick, Sarah, Emily, and Kallie–gathered Around the Water Cooler to chat about the seventh season of American Horror Story, otherwise known as “Cult.”  This is the seventh episode of an ongoing CPU! podcast series examining one of our favorite television programs throughout its anthology of various seasons depicting different and unique horror stories per season, and it was recorded in June 2018. If you have not watched American Horror Story: Cult, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS. Tell us what you think in the comments below, and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

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