Poor Scholars Television Email Exchange


During the week, Poor Scholars staff member Scott Phillips and new staff member, Brian Chimino, spend a lot of time talking about the latest and greatest that television has to offer.

Here’s Brian and Scott on a few shows returning like Shameless, Community and Justified while also talking a bit about True Detective and the other shows they are catching up on.

Scott: So, Brian, it’s a great time to do an email exchange on television with so many shows back on the air after the break for the holidays.

What are the three shows you’re currently watching that you look forward to the most each week and why?

There’s a lot of great shows running but January also the month saw the debut of a number of new seasons as well. Any that are standing out to you early?

Brian: Not just after the holidays, anytime is a good time to talk TV since there are hardly seasons anymore. Remember when summers were all re-runs?

I have to pick just three? This is like Sophie’s Choice.

I love “Shameless” every Sunday on Showtime now that it’s back. Easily the fastest hour of the week. Forget about pushing envelopes with that show. The writers shove the envelopes over a cliff and it’s always interesting. Is there a bad or uninteresting character on that show? Not counting Liam.

“Justified” on FX is a few weeks into its 5th season. Timothy Olyphant kills it in the lead and it’s a great mix of comedy, drama and action. Great one liners. Characters may not be as great as other shows but the situations they get in work. Do I need to loan you my Season 1 and 2 DVDs?

I like a lot of sitcoms these days, “Parks and Rec” and “Big Bang Theory” are up there, but I think you’ll agree that these first four episodes of “Community” have been a riot with Harmon back behind the wheel. When Glover leaves, it will create a huge void but I’m confident the writers will find a way to make it work.

We’ve talked and agree that even after only two episodes, “True Detective” on HBO is fantastic. I’m not all that glued to the actual case yet but Harrelson and McConaughey have been great to watch.

I guess you can put “Shameless” and “Justified” in this category. I feel like I’m missing out or forgetting something. Help me out.

Scott: I completely agree on both “Shameless” and “Community”. The return of both of those shows this month makes me very, very happy.

Starting with Community, I just think it’s on another level right now. As you mentioned, with Dan Harmon back, this season is off to a fantastic start and all of the characters seem to be back within themselves after a bizarre Harmon-less season.

I’ll miss Troy when he leaves, but this show has so many strong characters and ridiculously creative story arcs that it’s a must-watch show on a weekly basis.

I really like how “Shameless” has started. You can kind of root against Fiona for a change with Lip and Ian out of the house and Debbie being more responsible for Liam, and I like that.

Now we get to see why “First Date Fiona” (God, Kevin is the best) has so many personal problems now that the kids aren’t smothering her every moment.

And what of Ian and Jimmy? How do they come back into the storyline?

I have yet to catch “Justified” but Rambo Nomolos and Brian Godar from the Poor Scholars staff speak highly of it and have told me to borrow their DVDs as well, so I need to give it a shot.

And how good has “True Detective” been? Like you said, thin on storyline so far but really deep into the characters, which I like. Both Harrelson and McConaughy seem like different characters when they play the decade-apart versions of the same character and I find that interesting.

Harrelson’s character stays more of the same, but his ability to go from charming and caring to outright loudmouth lunatic are on full display here and with Wooderson, you just see an emotional range and understated performance that you don’t expect from him.

It’s solid.

Are you catching up on any shows of old lately? There’s a lot of good shows, but in the morning when I write I like to have something on in the background.

I’ve just gotten into Boardwalk Empire after coming around on it and season one was killer.

Brian: It’s too bad Community will never be recognized for an Emmy. It’s just so witty and fast paced. It’s like me saying that owls are the reason for my bad analogies.

On to Shameless, I remember reading after last season by the writers that Jimmy is dead. They didn’t imply it very well so maybe they’re throwing us a curve but it did feel like they went as far with him as they could.

I’d also be more worried if I didn’t know where Ian was. The Gallaghers just seem to shrug his absence off.

I just started watching Chuck on Netflix streaming. Was recommended to me while it was on NBC but never wanted to jump into it in the middle. I like it a lot. Just started Season 2 out of 5. Hard not to develop a crush on Yvonne Strahovski while watching it. It’s a fun mindless show.

Have you attempted the BBC version of “Sherlock” with Benedict Cumberbatch? Season 3 just started here in the US but first two are on Netflix. Only 3 episodes a season so it’s easy to catch up.

I tried Boardwalk when it first started. Got about 4 in and just wasn’t hooked. Heard Season 2 is when it hits it’s stride so may use the HBOGo app after it’s final season runs later this year. HBO needs to find some new shows. I can’t stand “Girls” but they’re losing Boardwalk, Newsroom. And a show I hate myself for still watch, True Blood.

I’m also watching Six Feet Under every once in awhile. It’s very good but really dark and depressing sometimes.

Scott: I haven’t caught up on the BBC shows quite yet.

I’ve caught bits of Luther (no idea, it was just on once and I watched it) but other than that, I haven’t seen much else. I know a lot of people are into those shows and Doctor Who.

Closing out this exchange with some questions on some shows we haven’t discussed:

How is Parks and Rec going to close out an interesting season?

And is Brooklyn Nine-Nine one of the three best comedies on television? The last few weeks have been fantastic.

Brian: Luther Rocks. Put it on your list.

Well, Anne and Chris only have a few episodes left before they ride off into the sunset but it seems like a reset with Leslie back at her old job. Good question. It got renewed for another year which is great. Those characters keep evolving, so I guess I’ll just sit back and enjoy.

I haven’t gotten into BNN. I watched the first couple and didn’t care enough to keep it in the rotation but now people are raving about it and it’s won the Golden Globe. So my answer is no. Comedies I’m enjoying along with the aforementioned few are “The Goldbergs”, “Trophy Wife”, and “Ground Floor” which just concluded its first season. It’s not as good as it once was but I’m still enjoying the final season of How I Met Your Mother as well.

Thanks for involving me with this. Now leave me alone. I have shows burning a hole in my DVR.

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