Poor Scholars Television Exchange: Farewell to Troy Barnes, ABC’s new comedies and Shameless’ weird turn

troy barnes

BY SCOTT PHILLIPS AND BRIAN CHIMINO

During the week, Poor Scholars staff members Scott Phillips and 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 farewell to Troy Barnes from Community, the new ABC comedies on Wednesday night and the new plot twists for Shameless. As a courtesy to our readers, this post contains SPOILERS.

Scott:  It was an interesting week of TV, Mr. Chimino, as we bode farewell to Troy from Community during a Greendale-wide game of Hot Lava, while C.M. Punk left the WWE, both of which I’m pretty devastated about.

Which loss are you more upset about and how do you think Troy’s farewell episode of Community fared?

Brian: Mr. Chimino is my dad, so let’s stop that title before it catches on, Mr. Phillips.

Easy answer and it’s Troy sailing around the world with Levar Burton. We don’t even know if this CM Punk fiasco is legit or not. Raw is in Chicago March 3rd, a month before WrestleMania. If he’s not back then, ask me again.

Community continued to be witty and clever in how they handle their interactions. The game of hot lava wasn’t as good as the paintball episodes or the Pillows vs Blankets war, but it was a nice way for Abed to say goodbye to Troy without really saying goodbye, within a game…as clones.

I’m one of those non cultured people who didn’t know Donald Glover until Community and still wish he didn’t split, but can you blame him? NBC had continuously screwed with the show, leaving the cast and crew in limbo. He has to plan for life beyond the show. He’ll be missed.

Which is it for you?

Scott:  Definitely Glover.

You feel as though with Dan Harmon back in the fold for Community that we’re being robbed of some great future moments with Troy and that’s unfortunate.

But, like you said, with Glover’s successful rap career, stand-up and writing prowess, he’ll be fine. And he has a TV deal in the works with FX, I guess.

We’ve talked a bit about Community and Parks and Rec, but how about ABC and their new comedies this season in, The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife?

I’m a fan of both — especially nerding out over the ’80s references in Goldbergs — and we briefly mentioned them both last week, but what is it about these two shows that makes you keep coming back for more?

Brian: Like you, for The Goldbergs, it’s the nostalgia factor. When I first saw the commercials for it last summer, I rolled my eyes. Than I watched it and it’s funny with some heart. It hits the nail on the head with how people interacted before all this technology came around. The situations are relatable as well as far a growing up with siblings at different ages.

It also doesn’t shove the ’80s stuff down your throat.

Trophy Wife just established the characters so fast. They’re all unique and fit in with this big family. Like The Goldbergs, the situations are somewhat relatable and whenever you have a show where the kid actors aren’t annoying, you’re doing a good job.

Hope they both catch on and stick around awhile. I watch Modern Family but think it’s been overrated the past few years. A Wednesday night lineup with Modern Family, Goldbergs, and Trophy Wife would be great for that network, in my opinion.

Scott: Barry from The Goldbergs — the older brother of the show’s main character, younger brother Adam — is one of my favorite new characters on television. His ability to do the teenage boy turnaround of emotionally freaking out over things to being over-confident to the point of hilarity continually amuses me. Also really enjoy the Mother, Grandfather and Adam himself.

It’s odd that I don’t like Jeff Garlin’s Murray Goldberg character — the Dad — because I’m a huge fan of his. I just feel like he’s reduced to the yelling, idiot father. Hopefully his character develops a bit more.

Trophy Wife has such an eclectic cast and I really love the dynamic of Malin Akerman, the two ex-wives and Bradley Whitford.

Marcia Gay Harden in particular as the first ex-wife, is fantastic with her icy dynamic that scares the hell out of her own kids and pretty much everyone else on the show and it meshes well with Michaela Watkins, the second ex-wife, who is just so easygoing, and, well, bizarre.

In terms of Parks and Rec and Chris and Ann leaving? I don’t think it’ll be that sad. They’re great characters on a great show, but Ben Wyatt has taken the reigns from Ann for calming down Leslie Knope’s hyper tendencies and Chris’s plot lines haven’t been relevant in years other than the hilarious moral support he provides everybody else in the department. They’ll be missed, but the show will be fine without them.

And what the hell happened on Shameless? Kind of a crazy week, huh? Between Frank meeting his oldest(?) daughter and angling for a new liver and Fiona’s problems with “addiction” things have gotten very interesting. I just wish they focused less time on Carl and more on the other characters. He’s just not very interesting at this point.

Brian: Thought last week was a good episode for Murray in terms of him realizing that he hasn’t been teaching or communicating with his kids. Otherwise, I see what you mean.

Shameless is confusing me. Creating another daughter seems like a cheap way to go in the storyline but than she had such extreme daddy issues she makes a move on him? The whole Debbie dating a 20 year old is creepy as well.

Fiona is turning into Nancy from Weeds, in terms that she starts out likable but at about season 4, she does things and starts acting a certain way where she starts to become repulsive. Am I alone?

We’re also a couple of weeks away from Netflix unleashing Season 2 of House of Cards. Are you a fan, Scott? I like the show but took me awhile to go thru season 1. We could do a whole conversation about Netflix and how they’re changing TV.

Scott:  I actually don’t mind the Debbie storyline. I think with the way Fiona and Debbie’s other older siblings acted — as well as the pressure from Deb’s neighborhood friends — it feels like something that could actually happen in a show full of completely ludicrous storylines. Plus, I’m intrigued with the missing links in that relationship.

The Fiona comparison to Nancy from Weeds is really intriguing, but I don’t think it warrants that kind of attention — yet. Fiona has always been, for the lack of a better word, a slut, and for her to sleep with her boyfriend’s brother doesn’t exactly surprise me. She still seems lukewarm on Mike as a boyfriend and keeps repeatedly ignoring him when he tries to make things more serious, so the signs are there.

Plus, the whole potential sex addition angle really intrigues me with Fiona for some reason. Maybe she just can’t help herself or something?

I just don’t think Fiona is acting that out-of-character, is my point. She has more free time now and we’re finally seeing the real side of her, I feel.

Nancy Botwin — and Weeds as a whole — just ran off the deep end after season 3 and was never the same. Nancy never slept with the copious amount of random dudes like Fiona did in the early season.

And, you’re gonna be appalled, but I’ve never seen House of Cards. I haven’t had a Netflix subscription in months, so this is partly to blame, but I need to get around to watching this at some point. I’ve heard Spacey is phenomenal.

Brian: Cards is good but there’s a lot to it and you really have to pay attention so you remember smaller characters.

Can’t binge watch because of that. It’s good but no Orange is the New Black.

I know you want to wrap this up, but do you watch American Horror Story: Coven? Guilty pleasure show. Can’t take it too seriously.

Scott: Good to know regarding Cards and I also need to watch Orange is the New Black.

I do watch American Horror Story: Coven and I’m interested to see who they make the new supreme in the finale. We’ll go over that more next week.

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