PS Television Exchange: American Horror Story, Parks & Rec & DVR erasing

poorscholars_twitter2.jpgBY BRIAN CHIMINO AND SCOTT PHILLIPS

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

This week, Brian and Scott discuss American Horror Story, Parks & Rec’s send-off, DVR erasing, and some show recommendations along the way. Oh, and SNL. Lot going on this week.

 As a courtesy to our readers, this post contains SPOILERS.

Scott: Another week of television is in the books and I gotta say, I was thrown off a bit by the series finale of American Horror Story: Coven. Definitely didn’t see that one coming… Brian, what were your thoughts on AHS: Coven and the finale?

Brian:  I try not to predict what happens throughout the seasons of AHS, so can’t say it was unexpected.

It was a fun finale in the sense that during a season with witches, it lacked fun magic outside of resurrection — which I felt was overdone — but we got boat loads of tricks.

We got to see the Seven Wonders after an awesome musical montage with Stevie Nicks, so I dug the finale as a whole but I was disappointed in Cordelia being named Supreme. I was honestly on Team Queenie after all she was through.
Overall fun season. I’d rank it second best after Murder House and with Asylum a distant 3rd. Who was your pick to click named Supreme?
Scott: This was my first foray into the AHS series and I have to say I was rather impressed. I enjoyed Coven because it was one of the few shows on television with multiple strong female characters. The cast was just loaded…
But I wasn’t expecting Cordelia to be Supreme. I honestly thought that Zoe might have a chance for some reason. She was so innocent (and potentially powerful) and I didn’t think Madison would get it.
Touching quickly on Parks and Rec: What did you think of Chris and Anne’s send-off? I really enjoyed Swanson in particular with his take on handshakes and the wooden box.
Brian: Get your hands on the first season of AHS. It’s really a great season of TV. I watched the first two on Netflix stream.
Between Parks and Community, we saw great send offs of main characters. The way the other cast members stayed true and handled it was great. It was pretty perfect. Loved all of Jerry’s initials carved into the box. I’m not good with goodbyes. I guess I keep my emotions in tact so two hand shakes from Ron will be fine for me if I ever moved.

I have to change the subject because I made a difficult, yet major life decision last week, Scott. Back to the Future is my favorite movie of all time, loved Family Ties, and felt Spin City was underrated.
After thinking and pondering and pacing, I made the decision to delete The
Michael J. Fox Show from my DVR. I hope Michael doesn’t read this because I believe if we met, we could be good friends, but I just was not enjoying any aspect of that show and felt I was only recording and watching because of him.
I love getting up Fridays — my day off — and watching Community, Parks and Rec, Big Bang Theory, and Parenthood on the DVR. I would watch The Michael J. Fox Show after those and it left a bad taste in my mouth no matter how enjoyable the other 4 were.
Have you ever had to make that difficult decision to cut a show from your DVR roster?
Scott: Whoa, you dropped Michael J. Fox? For you, that’s completely unheard of. I’m probably the worst person to ask this because I like sticking with shows through the end. I stuck through Weeds and its ridiculous plot twists and the same goes for My Name is Earl. I’m just interested in why writers go a certain way and their thought process behind such changes so I like to see them play out, no matter how ridiculously bad.

That being said, besides those two I’ve come closed to dropping the following:
Spartacus: Once they cast the new Spartacus after Andy Whitfield passed away from his battle with cancer the show was just brutal. But stuck through it.
Strike Back: The first few episodes left me completely unimpressed but Sepinwall likes it so I gave it another shot and it’s gotten way better.
Good Samaritans: I will never watch this show again, but I doubt they make anymore episodes. Holy shit did Netflix make a dud with this one. But with less than 3 hours of run-time total it took an afternoon to get through.
Does not watching The Man Show after Carolla and Kimmel left count?
What are some other shows you’ve dropped from your DVR over the years?
Brian: Gosh, I forgot the awful Man Show after they left. Brutal.

Most recently, I was ready to FINALLY quit True Blood. Then HBO announced that the upcoming season would be the last so decided I’ll tough it out and hate watch 13 more episodes. The show is so bad and cluttered now after the first 2 or 3 were harmless fun.
Just last year, I gave up on Hannibal and Bates Motel. I heard Hannibal got better so may go back and finish Season 1 before S2 starts. Bates Motel was just added to Netflix so may go back and finish season 1…maybe.
I’ll usually DVR everything in the fall or when a show starts and give it three episodes.
Scott, with the Olympics about to start, most things, with the exception of Shameless and True Detective, will be on hiatus for a couple of weeks. We should recommend a show to each other and our readers to seek out.
I would recommend the gem from TBS that just finished its 10 episode first season, and that is Ground Floor. From Bill Lawrence who was behind Scrubs, one of my favs. It looks corny from a distance but I liked it plenty in how it showed different classes of big business correspond. I’m sure you can find it on demand.
I’m also addicted to Chuck, the old NBC show on Netflix. It’s got pretty much everything. Good characters, comedy, action. I’m almost done with Season 2 and I love it.
Scott: Good idea, Brian. I’m pumped up for the Olympics but disappointed that a lot of shows will be on hiatus.  Catch-up time on Justified?
Anyways, I’ve never gotten into TBS shows. All of the previews just look….
awful. But I am intrigued with Ground Floor with the Scrubs pedigree and might have to give it a shot.
For my recommendation I would check out IFC, who has built up a steady stream of alternative comedy shows the last few years.
I know you hate Fred Armisen, Brian, but I love Portlandia. It reminds me of many of the pretentious hipsters I worked with at Groupon and it’s some of the best sketch comedy on television.
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret is really good. It’s David Cross and Will Arnett doing a lot of really funny work off of each other and it only ran two short seasons.
Comedy Bang! Bang! is really out there on the alternative comedy front but the mock talk show delivers some hilarious bits using some great guest stars as themselves. Reggie Watts is also exceptionally talented and amusing to me.
And the mini-series The Spoils of Babylon is really goofy but the cast is unreal. Will Ferrell, Tobey McGuire, Kristin Wiig, Haley Joel Osmond, Tim Robbins and Val Kilmer are all in it and it makes fun of the decadent mini-series that ran in the ’80s. It’s different, like IFC’s humor, but it’s six installments and easy to watch.
Have you ever caught any IFC shows, Brian?
Brian: “Hate” is a strong word to use to describe my feelings towards Fred Armisen. Just never thought he was funny nor did anything memorable on SNL. He was on with Howard Stern last year and was likable so I don’t hate him. I was annoyed how he showed up on SNL last week after a nice goodbye by Seth Meyers on Update.

Justified is must viewing. This past Tuesday was a top-5 episode in the series and next year will be the final season. Get the DVDs or get on iTunes.
I get Sundance and IFC mixed. I tried some dramas like Top of the Lake and Rectify but they’re really slow for me and my undiagnosed ADHD.You’re the first person I’ve talked to that likes Spoils, so I’ve stayed away from it. I don’t get my own taste in comedies. I know tons of people who love Girls but I tried 3 times and I don’t get it. The show, not the species. Although some would argue I don’t get them as well.
I gave Brooklyn NineNine a second chance based on you and I do like it, so maybe I’ll look the others up you mentioned.
Comedy is so subjective though. Are you an SNL guy? Because the new writers and women cast have been great this season after a lackluster last few seasons.
Scott: Girls isn’t a comedy — and Poor Scholarsown Pat Flynn poses this very question in his staff bio — but you just have to take it as a show about 20-somethings.

Disappointed you didn’t like Top of the Lake and Rectify but I thought both were really good. Rectify had one of the best season finales on television last season but they’re both really slow so I get it. The pay-off for Rectify is worth it.
In terms of SNL, I catch episodes here and there but the last few seasons have been so disappointing that I’ve really stopped watching. I was really upset at how they underutilized Jay Pharoah and as you alluded to, there weren’t a lot of great female cast members.
Maybe I should give it a shot? I saw the Drake episode and found some sketches amusing.
Brian: SNL has had its ups (Fallon/Timberlake) and downs (Kevin Hart), but the digital stuff that Samberg was known for has been strong since he left, mostly because of Pharaoh who is being used in a great way. He and Killam have been good for the guys.
I’d say this is the strongest cast all-around in awhile. I record it and watch it Sunday afternoons. Hope the loss of Meyers from the writing team doesn’t hurt much.
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