DCTU Series, Episode Nineteen: Arrow, Season 7 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cpu-final-01large.jpg

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 August 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 nineteenth episode of our DCTU ongoing series.  In this episode, the panel discusses Season 7, now the penultimate season, of the Arrowverse’s namesake, Arrow. If you have not watched any of Arrow, 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 19, “Arrow” – Season 7, the DCTU Panel’s Review and Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for arrow season 7 title card

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Arrow” is a superhero/action/crime drama centered on events and characters inspired by the Green Arrow franchise/DC Comic Universe, which airs on the CW.

What: “Arrow,” a series developed by writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg that is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. The series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who, five years after being stranded on a hostile island, returns home to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow.

SYNOPSIS

The series follows Oliver Queen (Amell), billionaire playboy of Starling City (now Star City), who spends five years shipwrecked on the mysterious island of Lian Yu. Upon his return to the city, he is reunited with his family, including his sister, and friends. Oliver awkwardly survives his days back in the city by rekindling his relationships, while he spends his nights hunting down and sometimes killing wealthy criminals as a hooded vigilante. John “Dig” Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) assist Oliver in his crusade as does his ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy Rodgers); flashbacks show how Oliver spent his time and gained the skill-set that he uses as (now) the Green Arrow.

When: Season 7 aired on the CW from October 15, 2018, to May 13, 2019, with a total of 22 episodes.

Where: The action is set in the fictional metropolis of Starling City, the primary setting of the Green Arrow franchise – though as of Season 4, the city was finally re-branded to be Star City like in the comic books.  The action does branch out in flashbacks to international locales, including Hong Kong, the Middle East, Russia, and a fictional island called Lian Yu. In Season 7, some scenes occur in Star City twenty years into the future – though which future is the essential question ending the seventh season.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the first DCTU podcast episode, where our panel covers the first two seasons of Arrow, via the embedded link below!  It should be noted that CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie was hesitant to watch it, feeling somewhat loyal to Justin Hartley’s portrayal of the Green Arrow on Smallville, which ended in 2011, while Arrow premiered in 2012.  Also, the Chief CP is pretty leery of character fatigue in comic book properties of late, which may be the subject of a separate podcast or blog entry.  So, what finally convinced me to watch it? Other than a few good recommendations from viewers like you, listen to that first podcast episode to find out the reasons why I finally picked up the show in the end.

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

This is the nineteenth episode in CPU!’s DCTU series.  Here are only the prior Arrow 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 1, “Arrow,” Seasons 1 and 2

DCTU Series, Episode 2, “Arrow,” Seasons 3 and 4

DCTU Series, Episode 10, “Arrow,” Season 5

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

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

In our last episode, our cheeky and feisty DCTU panel – namely Kyle, Hilary, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – met at mid-season “Around the Water Cooler” to discuss the progress of the four Arrowverse shows to date as well as to talk the awesome three show crossover event, “Elseworlds.”  Now, we begin addressing the most recent full seasons of each of the four “Arrowverse” programs in order of the airing of each season finale, beginning with the seventh – and penultimate – season of Arrow.  Thus, tonight’s episode finds the panel returning to the Water Cooler to talk TV universe progenitor Arrow following another rocky, inconsistent, and bloated Season 7 in, this, the nineteenth episode of our DCTU series. 

The discussion herein evaluates the success of the Green Arrow’s season nemeses, specifically the return of Ricardo “The Dragon” Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) and Oliver’s (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER) secret, vendetta-seeking half-sister, Emiko Queen (Sea Shimooka); the tedious number of (sometime) Green Arrow sidekicks; Oliver’s stint in Slabside Penitentiary in the first half of the season after turning himself in to the vigilante-hunting authorities in the Season 6 finale; Oliver’s subsequent release from prison and his service, along with the rest of Team Arrow, to the Star City Police Department as an unmasked vigilante and as part of a “legitimate” crime-fighting task force; the projecting “flash forwards” to Future Star City and the goings-on of Oliver’s and other team members’ children in that later decade; and a season ending that, essentially, services not so much Arrow’s core story as it does set up the highly anticipated, highly marketed next DC Universe crossover event, the television adaptation of seminal Universe tale “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”  What’s more, officially, as of this episode, for the entire panel, the assignment to watch Arrow as part of this podcast series has become nothing more than “begrudging,” as the panelists unanimously struggle with Arrow, and with their waning affinity for it, more than with any of the other Arrowverse entries. Unlike last season, however, the panel apprehensively hopes that the writers will find a way to leave viewers with a smile by the series finale, given the remaining, shortened eighth and final season consisting of only ten episodes. Many of our panelists are not optimistic that these writers, which have accomplished little to evolve most of these characters in seven seasons, can achieve that feat, especially given the departure of key cast members, most notably Rickards, whose last episode as Arrow’s Felicity and as a series regular was the Season 7 finale.

This particular episode was recorded in August 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of Season 7 of Arrow. 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 panel returns again to the proverbial Water Cooler to discuss Season 5 of The Flash, as our Arrowverse revisits continue.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) The panel members, largely bereft of hope for improvement of the overall quality of Arrow, did not ruminate upon many questions going into Season 7.  The biggest question on several panelists’ brains centers on why Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) returns to Star City and how he reintegrates into the new team.

ANSWER: This season, Roy first appears in the premiere, in a Flash Forward to Future Star City (FSC), a setting twenty years forward from the present Star City that we have become accustomed to watching. Roy also returns to present-day Star City in Episode 20, after Team Arrow recruits him as Arsenal to help with an operation designed to prevent the season’s overarching villainous organization, the Ninth Circle, from proliferating and activating a biological weapon. The panel, by and large, feels strongly that Roy and, therefore, Haynes is wasted this season on the FSC conceit and via his brief return to Star City’s version of the present. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

2) How will the show survive without Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne)?  Quentin dies at the end of Season 6 after he takes a bullet for the team; his portraying actor left Arrow and joined the cast of a new show on NBC called The Inbetween. The panel reacted negatively to his departure, believing Mr. Blackthorne to be one of the most consistently engaging parts of the show throughout its lifespan, other than Oliver/Stephen Amell.

ANSWER: Though the panel no doubt misses Quentin in theory, the panelists do not mention Quentin’s absence or their opinions regarding the effect(s) that his absence presents to the show’s seventh season in the instant podcast episode. Of course, we will always wish Mr. Blackthorne well, and The Inbetween was picked up by CPU! during the 2018-2019 pilot preview, to be consumed when we somehow find the time to watch it amidst other requested and picked up podcast candidates.

3) Oliver, in Iron Man fashion, announces to the Star City public in the Season 6 finale that he is the Green Arrow as part of a deal he makes with the FBI in order to guarantee the agency’s help in defeating the Dragon, in exchange for Ollie’s confession of illegal vigilante activity.  The last few moments of the finale find Ollie in federal prison.  Panelist Kyle has read that the first episodes of Season 7 will feature the “Longbow Hunters” and a widely panned story line from the comics called “Supermax.”  How long will the audience be forced to watch Oliver in prison?  What effect will these so-called “Hunters” present to Star City?

ANSWER: Oliver remains in prison for precisely seven episodes. During that time, the Longbow Hunters act upon order of Ricardo Diaz/the Dragon to menace Felicity, William, and Team Arrow, as Diaz is dead set on making Oliver pay for interfering with his and his cohorts’ plans in Season 6. The presence of the Hunters is largely regarded as anticlimactic and boring by our panelists, though we discuss this reaction more thorough in Episode 17, our 2018-2019 Mid-Season Round-Up (see above).

4) Will Dig take up the Green Arrow mantle once more while Oliver is in prison?

ANSWER: No. The Team lays low, with Anti-Vigilante law in full effect while Oliver is stuck in Slabside. Yet, another (fake) Green Arrow appears, apparently intent upon carrying on Oliver’s/the Green Arrow’s legacy. Of course, this Green Arrow is not all that he – or she – seems. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

5) Will William follow the trajectory of Connor Hawke in the comics?  What is William’s purpose on the show, except to complicate Oliver’s life (and presuming he has a purpose)?

ANSWER: No. Connor Hawke is a separate character, who we first meet as an adult in FSC. William, as an adult, also appears in FSC, though he never picks up a bow and arrow. Instead, he joins forces with other familiar and not-so-familiar faces, Connor included, to save the city in this future world and to help carry on the legacy of Star City’s vigilante tradition, started by Team Arrow. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

6) Will Earth 2 Laurel Lance aka Black Siren (Cassidy Rodgers) return in Season 7?  In what capacity?  Why would she care to do so if her almost family and almost father no longer exist?

ANSWER: Yes. Laurel aka Black Siren returns in Season 7 to serve as Star City’s District Attorney, as she poses as the version of Laurel that died in Season 5. She also becomes better friends with Felicity and is determined to work toward redemption, since Black Siren is somewhat murderous and crime-prone when we first meet her. She cares, as it turns out, because she sees Quentin, the Earth 1 version, as the father she lost all over again. In addition, she seems to yearn for respect and validation from Oliver, Felicity, and perhaps even from Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), particularly for attempting to be a good person again. As a result, this version of Laurel and her character progression were regarded more warmly by our panel than other aspects of the show’s seventh season. Listen to the podcast episode for the panel’s reactions to Black Siren’s Season 7 arc.

7) Diaz survives his most recent encounter with Oliver and escapes; he even watches Oliver’s city-wide proclamation that he is the Green Arrow on television through gritted teeth.  It seems as though Diaz is tougher than the average crook, which is fueled by some precedent set by the comics-version of the Dragon.  Will Diaz return in Season 7?  How will he affect Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow?  Will he somehow affiliate with the Longbow Hunters; will he make another attempt on Oliver’s life?  Or, is his character finished on Arrow?

ANSWER: Yes. Diaz returns in Season 7. He spends the first part of the season hellbent on making Oliver pay while in Slabside as well as by making Felicity and William suffer at the hands of the Longbow Hunters and other paid hit-men on the outside. This causes Felicity to “go dark” in an attempt to take Diaz out of the equation, which prompts her to seek help from Diaz’s former ally, Earth 2 Laurel, which is how they become close. This also prompts other members of Team Arrow, particularly Dig and Curtis (Echo Kellum), to respond with concern as Felicity becomes increasingly paranoid and obsessed with the idea, even if rightly, that she is not safe until Diaz is captured and jailed or even killed and even if said killing is by Felicity’s own hand. Diaz employs the Longbow Hunters for his purposes and makes several attempts on Oliver’s life, viewing him as a sitting duck while in prison and inciting inside allies to make Oliver’s life a living hell. Diaz, in fact, appears throughout most of the season, though in Episode 14, he meets a most grisly and anticlimactic end. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

8) Where does Anatoly go in the end?

ANSWER: Anatoly aka KGBeast reunites with the Bratva, though he also becomes one of Diaz’s targets in Season 7. Diaz captures and tortures Anatoly until Team Arrow rescues him. Where he goes after that, we are not absolutely sure, though we presume that he has finally returned to Russia. After all, his friendship with Oliver remains somewhat icy.

9) Will we see more crossovers with the other Arrowverse properties – apart from mid-season – next season?

ANSWER: Other than the “Elseworlds” crossover, covered in Episode 18 of our DCTU Series of podcast episodes, the only other character crossovers this season occurred in Episode 12, when Grant Gustin appears as Barry Allen to provide an interview for a documentary entitled “The Hood and the Rise of Vigilantes,” and Episode 18, when Caity Lotz appears as Sara Lance aka White Canary in an episode homage to the Birds of Prey. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

10) Will any of Green Arrow’s other traditional rogues return, including Count Vertigo, Clock King, etc. (panelist Kyle has all but lost hope)?

ANSWER: No. Panelist Kyle is sad.

New Questions

1) Where does the Monitor take Oliver Queen in the series finale? Does Oliver help the Monitor to save other Earths in the multiverse, as panelist Kristen predicts?

2) Will any of Season 8 focus specifically upon tying up Arrow’s story, to the extent that it needs tying up, or will these final episodes particularly propel Arrow toward its segment within the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover?

3) Will Emily Bett Rickards at least return for the crossover and/or the series finale, since she is no longer a series regular?

4) Where will Season 8 begin in the Star City/Earth 1 timeline, considering that Katherine McNamara, who plays Mia Smoak, was promoted to series regular for Season 8? Will Season 8 continue to focus, exclusively or intermittently, upon Future Star City? Will it be FSC before, during, or after the Crisis on Infinite Earths?

5) If Colin Donnell is returning to the show as a version of “Tommy that we have never seen before,” as panelist Kristen reports, will he appear as the official Merlyn, the villain as depicted in the “Green Arrow” comics, as panelist Kyle hopes? Or, will Oliver encounter Tommy, in addition to John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn and Susanna Thompson’s Moira Queen, as other versions of themselves in other Earths of the DC multiverse?

6) What is the “place of no return” to which the Monitor refers when taking future Felicity to meet future Oliver in the season finale?

7) Will Oliver die in “Crisis on Infinite Earths?” More importantly, if he does die, and if the infinite earths collapse into one shared universe as the comic book story goes, will Oliver be resurrected and/or will he be an element or aspect of the new version of Earth that we presume will result from the “Crisis?”

8) Have Colton Haynes and Katie Cassidy Rodgers permanently left the show? Panelist Kyle reports that a “Birds of Prey” spin-off was pitched to the network, which would be led by the Black Siren character, as portrayed by Cassidy Rodgers.

9) What effect will the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” have on each of the Arrowverse shows, Arrow included, since the cross-over is Episode 9 of Season 8, and Episode 10 is the series finale?

10) How will Arrow end? Will it satisfy? Will it match the high quality of the first two seasons or be more of the same? And what will our DCTU panel’s reactions be in the end?

PARTING SHOTS

Our DCTU panel universally agrees that Arrow Season 7 fared somewhat better than Season 6 in terms of storytelling quality, while cynically believing that overall show quality is likely irredeemable for the eighth and final season, with only ten episodes remaining by which to effect any such redemption, if such redemption is possible.  The panelists opined that the seventh season’s pacing and writing remained choppy and disjointed, though our panelists experienced surprise in discovering that the season’s first half, which Oliver spent much of in prison, proved to be better than the season’s second half.

Still, many of the panelists continue to describe Arrow and the obligation to watch it as a “slog.”  To wit, the panel universally hated both Emiko Queen as one of the season’s “villains” as well as the Future Star City story line, feeling that particularly the latter element seemed to be a complete waste of time in light of the impending crossover event, with the panel’s collective knowledge of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” story informing individual panelists’ opinions.  The panel additionally continues to offer mixed reviews regarding the Green Arrow’s sidekicks, with all panelists struggling to understand the purpose of each of them, even as the team seemed to work together more cohesively this season in the face of their many external threats, specifically Emiko, the Ninth Circle, Diaz, and the Mayor’s as well as Star City’s general anti-vigilante sentiments.

Moreover, the panel members now fully agree that Arrow continues to suffer from sloppy story mapping; an appalling lack of character evolution, particularly for the title character himself; and a repetitive story structure utilizing a formula that the writers do not seem to want to abandon or scrap for any reason, even when the formula does not work – which has ultimately been true for three to four seasons and apart from the Slabside arc starting Season 7. Still, whatever might happen in the final season, the panel hopes beyond hope that the writers can pull out a satisfying conclusion befitting the story, which the panel strongly feels that the steady (and handsome) portrayal of the Green Arrow by Stephen Amell, as well as the superb production values marking the Star City based quadrant of the multiverse for these past seven years, deserve. In addition, like the troopers they are and for the sake of the podcast and our DCTU Series, the panelists are prepared to strap in for the Arrowverse’s namesake program’s final ten episodes. Thus, to the Arrow writing and production team, we only say this: don’t fail this city – or this property and this character that you have now serviced for almost eight seasons.

LOOKING AHEAD

The eighth and final season of Arrow is slated to premiere on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, at 9:00 PM on the CW.  CPU!’s next DCTU episode, which will focus on the fifth season of The Flash, will publish next week!  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! 🏹

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

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!

DC Television Universe (DCTU) Series, Episode Seventeen: 2018-2019 Mid-Season Roundup of “Arrow,” Season 7; “The Flash,” Season 5; “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season 4; and “Supergirl,” Season 4 (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 seventeenth episode of our DCTU ongoing series. The panel was also subjected to (now for) something kind of different but mostly the same here at CPU!  We decided to check in with each other in advance of this season’s end, when we will visit each show’s current season in four episodes, one for each show, by rounding up our thoughts so far about all of the Arrowverse shows.  We play games and aspire to reach our usual level of spiciness and hi-jinks!  Our panelists talk about their current, sometimes cursory, assessment of the progress of Season 7 of Arrow, Season 5 of The Flash, and Season 4 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 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

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: DC Television Universe Series, Episode 17, the DCTU Panel’s 2018-2019 Mid-Season Roundup (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: “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” and “Supergirl,” the four shows that comprise the so-called “Arrowverse” on the CW, otherwise known as the DC (Comics) Television Universe or DCTU.

When: 

  • Arrow currently airs Mondays at 8:00 PM; Season 7 premiered on October 15, 2018.
  • The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM; Season 5 premiered on October 9, 2018.
  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 9:00 PM, though it is currently on hiatus; Season 4 premiered on October 22, 2018.
  • Supergirl airs Sundays at 8:00 PM; Season 4 premiered on October 14, 2018.

Where: The action is primarily set in the DC Comics Universe, specifically in Star City (Arrow), Central City (The Flash), National City (Supergirl), and throughout space and time (“Legends”).

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 four shows at once (for now), read on!

How – as in How Busy Are We? – THOUGHTS

This is the seventeenth 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 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 2017 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

In this episode, our cheeky and feisty and full and otherwise busy DCTU panel was subjected to (now for) something kind of differently but mostly the same.  We decided to check in with each other in advance of this season’s end, when we will visit each show’s current season in four episodes, one for each show, by rounding up our thoughts so far about all of the Arrowverse shows.  We play games and engage in additional snarky shenanigans, however, which reach our usual level of spiciness and hi-jinks, but you know me – I don’t want to oversell it!!  Our panelists talk about their current, sometimes cursory, assessment of the progress of Season 7 of Arrow, Season 5 of The Flash, and Season 4 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.  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 current seasons of all four Arrowverse shows. 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 week, our DCTU panel returns to the CPU! water cooler for a special, bonus, specially recorded, specially requested episode during which we discuss the Arrowverse’s 2018 mega crossover television movie event, “Elseworlds,” for which we “saved” discussion about said crossover specifically for this specially special bonus episode, as you will hear advertised throughout tonight’s episode.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

(New Questions Only; All Questions, New and Old, Will Be Addressed End of Season)

1) Echo Kellum, who plays Curtis Holt aka Mr. Terrific on Arrow, is leaving the cast in this next half season (remember: we do not discuss the next half, if that half has already started airing, in the Mid-Season Roundup). How is Mr. Terrific written off the show?

2) What is the point of the “flash forward” story line, and why are the Arrow writers introducing it so late in the game? Are they really so hard up for material? Is Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) really dead in this future? If not, where did she go, and what the hell is happening? Is this future on another Earth or on our Earth? Where is Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) in this future?

3) How will Oliver encounter the New Green Arrow (NGA), and what will he learn?

4) Why do we care about the Longbow Hunters? Aren’t they kind of lame?

5) What is Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash’s (currently played by Tom Cavanaugh) plan on The Flash? Why is he using Nora West-Allen aka XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Iris West’s (Candice Patton) daughter from the future, for his evil? Or, is she working for him and why?

6) What is the little journal, containing presumably Speed Force writing, that Nora is carrying around with her?

7) How much longer will Orlin Dwyer aka Cicada (guest: Chris Klein) be a factor? The panel has some decidedly mixed reactions to him.

8) 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?

9) 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?

10) Why is Mona Wu (Ramona Young) a thing? What is her purpose? What is Gary’s purpose for that matter?

11) Will Nate Heywood aka Steel (Nick Zano) ever leave bureaucracy and rejoin the Waverider team?

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

13) Why is Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) truly experimenting with Black Kryptonite/Harun-El on Supergirl? What is she really hoping to accomplish?

14) Will we see more of Clark Kent aka Superman (guest: Tyler Hoechlin) or Lois Lane (guest: Elizabeth Tulloch) on this show?

15) Just how many versions of Parasite are there in this universe?

16) How much more of a factor will Ben Lockwood aka Agent Liberty (guest: Sam Witwer) be this season?

17) Why does Kara Danvers aka Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) even need the DEO? Superman isn’t employed…

18) Why should we care about Nia Nal aka Dreamer (Nicole Maines)?

PARTING SHOTS 

The panel proves to be truly all over the place, when reacting to the Arrowverse’s current season, in the episode at hand; what the panelists are able to agree upon is that the Arrowverse is equally all over the place in terms of quality and watch-ability, which produces a panel discussion pockmarked by a decidedly reduced exhibition of enthusiasm.  Half of the panel regards The Flash as the continued shining jewel of the multiverse, while the other half of the panel believes that Legends of Tomorrow has improved so masterfully, it is now the best of the four series.  Half of the panel finds Arrow to continue to flounder at the bottom of the heap, despite being the show that started it all, while the other half of the panel cringes, with rising disappointment, at the plummet in quality that Supergirl has seemingly experienced this season.  Notably, all members of the panel agree that the latter show has experienced a shockingly marked decline in entertainment value and in engagement, with a ham-fisted social allegory that clubs one over the head to the point of tedium and an apparent struggle to find new cohesion as cast members change and as, even, older characters transform and veer away dramatically from what they appeared to be in earlier seasons.

The panelists further enjoy the show about the Scarlet Speedster and the show about the non-legendary Legends most, believing that they boast consistently entertaining humor, tight ensemble casts, and an enjoyable and ingenuous addition in the character of Constantine.  Similarly, the panelists, by and large, regard the show about the Emerald Archer to be marginally better this season compared to previous seasons, with less recycled story-lines and squandered story potential, but continue to struggle with the overall story direction and their personal disinterest in the story itself, having felt disengaged for several consecutive seasons. Plus, they are starting to worry at what the writers, producers, and network might try to do if Stephen Amell leaves the cast, believing that no version of Arrow can survive without him.  More than ever, the panel has expressed growing dissatisfaction (if not outright resentment) at the thought of having to continue to watch both Arrow and Supergirl for this paneleven as the panelists look forward to what the second halves of The Flash and “Legends” seasons might bring to our collective viewing experiences.

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 to discuss the 2018 mid-season crossover event “Elseworlds,” which will publish next week.  Until then!  Stay tuned!

DC Television Universe, Episode Fourteen, Arrow, Season Six (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 July 2018, our DC Television Universe or DCTU panel – including moderator Kylie, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – reconvenes Around the Water Cooler for the fourteenth episode of our DCTU ongoing series.  In this episode, the panel discusses Season 6 of the  Arrowverse namesake, Arrow. If you have not watched any of Arrow, 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