100 episodes

Love TV, movies, music, and books? So does Mary Carver, and so do her friends. The Couch is a place for cozy conversations about pop culture and why it matters. A writer known for finding Truth in unexpected places (and telling you the TV show you absolutely must watch next), Mary sits down with fellow fans of books, shows, music, and more to chat about all the things we love (or don't), why they love it (or don't), and why it matters (it always matters).

The Couch with Mary Carver Mary Carver

    • TV & Film
    • 4.9 • 51 Ratings

Love TV, movies, music, and books? So does Mary Carver, and so do her friends. The Couch is a place for cozy conversations about pop culture and why it matters. A writer known for finding Truth in unexpected places (and telling you the TV show you absolutely must watch next), Mary sits down with fellow fans of books, shows, music, and more to chat about all the things we love (or don't), why they love it (or don't), and why it matters (it always matters).

    Taking a Deeper Look at Little Women (with Melissa Zaldivar)

    Taking a Deeper Look at Little Women (with Melissa Zaldivar)

    Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be an actual scholar of your favorite author or book? To spend your days diving deep into the background of how a beloved story came to be and then getting to share everything you’ve learned with people who love the book, the author, the entire story as much as you do?
     
    Well, I’ll be honest and tell you I hadn’t thought about this before, but now I’m obsessed. My friend Melissa Zaldivar is on The Couch this week to talk with us about Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, and Orchard House (the home Alcott lived in and where she set the events of Little Women). As a tour guide of the Orchard House, Melissa is an expert on all of this and generously shares her insights and expertise with us.
     
    She’s also an editor and a writer, as well as both fun and thoughtful. You’re going to love getting to know her.
     
    Of course, because this is The Couch, where side notes and rabbit trails are always welcome, Melissa and I do touch on college majors, plastic pumpkins, and “witness houses,” a term that was new to me but makes so much sense.
     
    Before we jump in, I do want to make sure you’ve signed up for my email list. In just a few days, I’ll be sending out my free, downloadable and printable WHAT TO WATCH GUIDE for October. So many new series and movies are coming out, so you don’t want to miss this! And next week, I’ll be sending an extra edition of the newsletter with a whole lot of big news. I’m talking a giant giveaway, a new exclusive Couch community, an updated Hooked on Holiday Movies bundle, and details about the first-ever Hooked on Holiday Movies Live Event! You do not want to miss any of this, so go sign up at marycarver.com/email.
     
    Okay, this is a fun episode. Let’s get started!
     
    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
     
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Orchard House The 1994 movie adaptation The 2019 movie adaptation The BBC Radio dramatization (audiobook) Taste by Stanley Tucci This is Us Parenthood GK Chesterton Greta Gerwig  
    NOT-SO-GUILTY PLEASURES:
    Flying a drone Putting up fall decor  
    DON’T FORGET:
    Join The Couch on Facebook! It’s so much fun! Find Melissa at @melissazaldivar on Instagram, and get a free digital copy of her upcoming book, What Cannot Be Lost, at https://thegoodbook.com/not-lost. And you can find me on Instagram at @marycarver or at marycarver.com.  
    Welcome to The Couch!
     
    This post may include affiliate links. This means that if you click and purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

    • 50 min
    Streaming Shows Worth Subscribing For, part 1 (with Kayla Craig)

    Streaming Shows Worth Subscribing For, part 1 (with Kayla Craig)

    Are you overwhelmed by all the streaming choices out there? Do you find yourself accidentally subscribed to too many services and unsure what to watch, where to even start? Well, worry no more! I am here with my friend, Kayla Craig, to share our favorite shows on all the streaming networks in the first episode of what we’re calling a limited series.
     
    In other words, we talked so long that we have to chop this into parts. But in the end, you’re going to have a solid watch list for whatever streamer you’re committed to this month. And I’ll even be updating my printable Streaming Guide for you to reflect our recommendations.
     
    Kayla, by the way, is not just my friend (though she is that, which you’ll notice as we get sidetracked so many times during this episode). She’s a writer and podcaster, most recently sharing prayers and liturgies for parents in a beautiful book and practical podcast. She’s a pastor’s wife and mom of four kiddos living in Iowa, and she’s one of my favorite people to talk television with.
     
    As I mentioned, we do get off topic a time or twelve, but that’s okay. As you know, side notes and rabbit trails are always welcome on The Couch, so be prepared for us to talk about pumpkin-flavored foods, our current beefs with Amazon and a cable company that will remain nameless (but will probably also remain total garbage), potato salad preferences, and my enduring hatred for all things bonnet-related.
     
    It's almost time to get started, but real quick I do want to let you know that I’ve got some big news coming soon. It might just be officially fall this week but holiday movies are coming. And that means Hooked on Holiday Movies will launch in just a few weeks—this time with exclusive episodes and community on Patreon and an updated bundle to make your holiday movie season the best ever. So stay tuned for that!
     
    All right, let’s dive into the first part of this series called Shows Worth Subscribing For!
     
    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
     
    Big Shot The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Bluey Marvel Big City Greens The Mandalorian Starstruck Hacks Somebody Somewhere Julia Theodosia The Gilded Age White Lotus Station Eleven The Way Down Ghosts (the BBC version) Secret Headquarters  
    NOT-SO-GUILTY PLEASURES:
    Abbott Elementary Pumpkin Spice Oreos Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Pumpkin Spice Goldfish  
    DON’T FORGET:
    Join The Couch on Facebook! It’s so much fun! Find Kayla on Instagram at @kayla_craig and @liturgiesforparents, or on the Liturgies for Parents podcast. And you can find me on Instagram at @marycarver or at marycarver.com.  
    Welcome to The Couch!

    • 58 min
    The Books That Hit All the Right Notes (Funny, Romantic Mysteries) with Jessica Howard

    The Books That Hit All the Right Notes (Funny, Romantic Mysteries) with Jessica Howard

     
    What do you call mysteries that are also romance novels but are also really funny? Is there a name for that genre? I don’t know what it’s called, but these are the kind of books I’m loving right now, and my friend (and friend of the show) Jessica Howard is here to talk about this mishmashed genre and some of our favorite reads in it. Whatever it’s called.
     
    Of course, because this is The Couch, where side notes and rabbit trails are always welcome, we also talk about our favorite blankets, watching The Bachelorette, and listening to audiobooks on road trips.
     
    If you love this podcast, would you do me a favor and tell a friend? Share your favorite episode on Instagram or Facebook (and tag me so I see your post)! As I say, there’s always room for more friends on The Couch.
     
    All right, let’s talk books!
     
    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
    Our list of funny, romantic mysteries on Amazon  
    ALSO MENTIONED:
    Kindle Unlimited (two months for $4.99) Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir Cozy Mysteries for Fans of Stephanie Plum Blue Moon series by Lucy Score  
    NOT-SO-GUILTY PLEASURES:
    Blankets from Sam’s Club The Bachelorette (and recaps from The Popcast) I Take My Coffee Black (audiobook) by Tyler Merritt  
    DON’T FORGET:
    Join The Couch on Facebook! It’s so much fun! Find Jessica on Instagram at @howjessicareads, join her Cozy Book Club (on Instagram), and sign up for her weekly book-ish newsletter too. And you can find me on Instagram at @marycarver or at marycarver.com.  
    Welcome to The Couch!
     
    This post may include affiliate links. This means that if you click and purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

    • 56 min
    It's a Jolly Holiday with Our Favorite Disney Songs (with James Walters)

    It's a Jolly Holiday with Our Favorite Disney Songs (with James Walters)

    Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? In a little town, a quiet village? Am I a man or a muppet? And what are the bare necessities of life? And finally, is this episode going to get a whole bunch of songs stuck in your head? Yes, both, and absolutely. You’re welcome.
     
    My brother and good friend of the show, James Walters, is back on the couch this week to help me create an exhaustive list of the very best Disney songs ever. We’ve got historical context, musical backgrounds, spreadsheets, and list-making parameters galore, so buckle up! We’re about to get real nerdy about Disney music.
     
    Of course, though we try to focus on this very important topic of the day, this is still The Couch, where side notes and rabbit trails are welcome. So do we touch on horror movies, Zac Efron, and school supplies? Yes, yes, we do.
     
    Before we get started, will you take two minutes to give this podcast a five-star review? Just click here on your phone or go to The Couch in iTunes, scroll all the way to the bottom, and click, “Write a Review.” I know you hear all your favorite podcast hosts say it all the time, but it really does help other people find our show. So help your fellow pop culture fans out and leave a review!
     
    Okay, let’s not get lost in the woods (spoiler alert: that’s another reference to a Disney song). Time to start this episode!
     
    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
     
    Spotify playlist with all the Disney songs we love Human Again (new song in Beauty & the Beast) You’re Welcome video with LMM & Jordan Fisher Weezer singing Lost in the Woods Pentatonix and Voctave version of At Last I See the Light The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia from Designing Women  
    ALSO MENTIONED:
    Carrie Leprechaun Schitt’s Creek More HBO Max – Hacks, Starstruck, The Flight Attendant More Apple TV+ - CODA, Come From Away Zac Efron singing Bet On It in HSM 2 The Couch Podcast episode #124 (beach movies with Tori Rask) Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar Lemonade Mouth Balderdash board game  
    NOT-SO-GUILTY PLEASURES:
    HBO Max – Julia, The Gilded Age, Dune Apple TV+ – Schmigadoon!, The Morning Show, Ted Lasso Netflix – Stranger Things Grown-up school supplies (including this pencil sharpener)  
    DON’T FORGET:
    Join The Couch on Facebook! It’s so much fun! Find James on Instagram and buy his candles from his Etsy shop. And you can find me on Instagram at @marycarver or at marycarver.com.  
    Welcome to The Couch!
     
    This post may include affiliate links. This means that if you click and purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Fall Movie Preview (with Dawn Camp)

    Fall Movie Preview (with Dawn Camp)

    Kids are going back to school and pumpkin spice everything is back in the store. So you know what that means, right? Time to talk about fall movies!
     
    My good friend (and good friend of the show) Dawn Camp is back on the couch to talk about the movies we’re planning to watch this fall. As always, we have recommendations for date nights, girls nights, family nights, and even take yourself to the movies night. Or afternoon. Or whenever you like to see a movie on your own. And, don’t worry, we also give you the premiere dates of the movies we have no interest in watching but will still be big ol’ hits. Basically, if it’s a movie you need to know about, we’re gonna talk about it!
     
    A couple notes: As we mention in the episode, we are well aware that premiere dates and other info is all subject to change. And wouldn’t you know it, info changed as soon as we finished recording. Don’t get too excited about the Shazam! sequel coming out at Christmas, because it’s been bumped back to March 2023. However, we DO have a premiere date for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery! That’ll be out on Netflix on December 23. So, mark your calendars for all these movies but also maybe write in pencil.
     
    As always, side notes and rabbit trails are welcome here at The Couch, so it’s no surprise that Dawn and I got into legal thrillers, book subscriptions, climate change, and what happens when the power goes out at the movie theater. It’s a lot and it’s a good time. Let’s get started!
     
    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
     
    The Summer Movie Preview (The Couch Podcast episode #117) Harris Goes to Paris Minions: The Rise of Gru Where the Crawdads Sing Good Luck to You, Leo Grande Top Gun: Maverick The Sea Beast Luck Persuasion Secret Headquarters Thor: Love & Thunder Mystery 101: Playing Dead Clifford the Big Red Dog Join our weekly (virtual) movie watch parties with The Couch Facebook group! And all the new fall movies coming out (check out the trailers here)  
    NOT-SO-GUILTY PLEASURES:
    The Lincoln Lawyer book – it’s actually free with Kindle Unlimited! The Lincoln Lawyer movie and series Only Murders in the Building, season two Book of the Month Club (get your first month for just $5 with my link) The Bodyguard by Katherine Center  
    DON’T FORGET:
    Join The Couch on Facebook! It’s so much fun! Find Dawn on Instagram at @dawncamp or on her website, And you can find me on Instagram at @marycarver or at marycarver.com.  
    Welcome to The Couch!
     
    This post may include affiliate links. This means that if you click and purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Pay Attention, Class! We're Going Back to (TV) School (with Jenny Rapson)

    Pay Attention, Class! We're Going Back to (TV) School (with Jenny Rapson)

    It’s back to school season! And while that may mean difficult goodbyes or mornings that come way too early after a summer of sleeping in, it also brings routine and structure and, for this podcast host, the ability to get a cheesy bagel and eat the whole thing by myself, in blessed quiet. And so, whether you are ready to celebrate or lament a new school year (or perhaps you don’t have kids at home so you aren’t concerned with a school calendar at all), I’ve got a fun episode for you this week!
     
    My good friend (and good friend of the show) Jenny Rapson is back on the couch to talk about our favorite TV shows that are school-adjacent. We didn’t just list off all the series we could think of about school-aged kids, though. No, we made sure to have clear criteria for what shows receive an A+ from us.
     
    Of course, because this is The Couch, where side notes and rabbit trails are always welcome, we do stray into a few other topics as well. For the second week in a row, we’re talking about game shows here, and I confess to a basic task I’ve never mastered.
     
    Before we get started, I do want to let you know about a sale on graphic tees made for fans of pop culture and this podcast. If you head over to marycarver.com/shop, you’re going to find hand-selected shirts I know you’re going to love. This week in particular, I moved my favorite Saved by the Bell, Boy Meets World, and Derry Girls shirts up to the top of the page—even above my own Hooked on Holiday Movie shirts! But no matter what show, character, or genre of pop culture you want to proclaim your love for, it’s probably on sale (up to 35% off) this week. So, go crazy! Get yourself a new shirt for a new season! As for me and my house, I think I’m going to snag one with a quote from Mr. Feeny. That’s marycarver.com/shop.
     
    All right, that’s enough chitchat. Time for class to start!
     
    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
     
    Head of the Class Boy (and Girl) Meets World Glee Never Have I Ever The Goldbergs (and Schooled) Freaks & Geeks My So-Called Life Derry Girls Abbott Elementary Saved by the Bell High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Friday Night Lights Community Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper On My Block  
    NOT-SO-GUILTY PLEASURES:
    Password, hosted by Keke Palmer Making lazy iced coffee at home  
    DON’T FORGET:
    Join The Couch on Facebook! It’s so much fun! Find Jenny on Twitter, Instagram, and her website. And you can find me on Instagram at @marycarver or at marycarver.com.  
    Welcome to The Couch!

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

Ilchar ,

So much fun!!!!

I learn , to laugh and live On the Couch . . Always interesting and uplifting to me. Mary doesn’t know me but she is one of my best friends ❤️

Ms. S. Sterling ,

My favorite entertainment podcast

This is the podcast I listen to when I want to relax! Mary is so insightful as a guide through the world of entertainment, and I always get new ideas of what tv shows/movies/books I want to watch/read. I love that Mary takes good entertainment seriously, but in a lighthearted way! Thanks for the 100 episodes and I look forward to listening to the next 100!

Dorina Gilmore ,

A breath of fresh air + a belly laugh

I love Mary’s podcast! She is funny and deep at the same time. She always introduces me to great recommendations for viewing, reading and listening! ❤️ I’ve been a guest and an avid listener to The Couch. 🥳Congrats on 100 episodes, Mary! 📺 📚 🎶

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