PS Television Exchange: HIMYM, Shameless, True Detective


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 How I Met Your Mother, Shameless, True Detective, and some sitcom talk along the way. 

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

Scott: With the Olympics going (are you watching by the way?) a lot of TV shows are taking time off, so lets discuss a few shows we haven’t talked about in our previous installments. Before we get to new episodes of Shameless and True Detective how about this final season of How I Met Your Mother?

What are your thoughts on how the season has gone so far and how do you see it playing out?

Brian: It’s bad enough that the one show, ONE SHOW, you’re not watching right now, Justified, is having a great season and we can’t talk about it, but we’re going to hold off on talking about the last 10 minutes of True Detective and the last 10 minutes of Shameless? You’re the boss.

Quickly, I do not watch the Winter Olympics. I really don’t care for any of the events. Which is odd, because I love the Summer Olympics and pretty much every event.

HIMYM has been down for the past few seasons and I held optimism when I heard the final season would pretty much take place during the weekend of the wedding. As the season has gone on, I’m not a fan of the structure. Outside of a few episodes, we have taken the characters out of their elements and surroundings and even separated them for the majority of the season.

It was established in like episode 2 of the whole series that Robin was not the mother but yet we are STILL going back to Ted’s fascination with her, Ugh. I’m not hating the season but there is a lot that I find annoying.

I loved the 200th episode that tied up loose ends with the mother and the clues throughout the series so they can still easily redeem themselves. And for how I see the rest of the series going, I’m going out on a limb and predicting that Ted meets his future wife.

The show has had a nice 9 season run with a great following. Where would you put HIMYM on the list of your favorite sitcoms? It’s not on Seinfeld’s level, but I would put it as a middle of the road comedy. It’ll live on in syndication.

Scott: I’ve been a big fan of HIMYM and I’m not typically a sitcom guy in terms of comedies. Agree of your assessment of the show’s historical place — although calling it “middle of the road” seems to undermine 200+ episodes and nine seasons, which is really tough in this modern era — and the last few seasons have been borderline brutal to watch.

It just comes down to Ted Mosby being a pussy.

Ted’s always whining or fantasizing about this ideal life that is seemingly going to fall into place and it gets the other characters out of whack. Barney is the only reason to stay on board most of the time. Marshall and Lily have some moments…

And boy… How about Shameless? Those last 10 minutes were super intense. What an absolutely crazy episode going on there. Cocaine and Liam? Wow.

What did you think of it? And the episode overall. Tons of storylines. Ian’s return. Fiona. Crazy episode.

Brian: I didn’t mean middle of the road as HIMYM is bad. More like 2nd tier. I don’t need tweets from Mosbymaniacs ripping me.

This season of Shameless has been ok but it kicked itself in the butt Sunday. Like I’ve said before, Fiona continues to repulse me now. Careless and stupid but makes for great TV. Lip back in town helps the show although I do like his college storyline.
What do you make of Ian? He seems comfortable and happy in that bar for once. Didn’t need to see his roomie naked though.

Scott: It seems like they’re leading Ian down a new road, which is fine. It adds a new dimension and takes some tension off Frank’s storyline. I’m tired of Frank and Carl and Fiona screwing up is good TV. Lip is probably the best character on the show besides Kevin.

Kevin is an all-timer when it comes to television characters with speeches and one-liners.

How caught up are you on Brooklyn Nine-Nine — which is fantastic.

Brian: I’ve gone back and watched a couple of B99’s. I like it where I’ll keep watching and will try and catch up sometime in one way or another. I don’t love it where I feel like I have to go watch the first 10 right now, but I’ll get around to it sometime.

It’s a nice complement to New Girl. I’m rambling because I don’t want people to think I don’t like it because that’s false.

After we finished last week and I mentioned I’m done with The Michael J Fox Show, and NBC followed suit, I was thinking of shows I watch, that I don’t particularly enjoy, but give into peer pressure and watch to fit in. Do you have any of those?

Scott: Yeah, stick with BK-99. And I enjoy Tuesday night comedy between ABC and Fox. It isn’t bad.

I watch Walking Dead to see what everyone else is watching. It’s decent but I’m not super into it. I’m too invested at this point. Probably same thing for Girls at this point. Game of Thrones annoys me at times as well.

What about you? Anymore shows like that?

Brian: Oh My God, I don’t see why people like The Walking Dead. I can’t stand all the dumb characters. Even people who watch it religiously complain about everything. I rarely hear great things from the viewers unless someone is killed off. I gave it a season and a half and had to stop.

I watched the first 5 episodes of Thrones, but it just wasn’t for me. I see why people like it but I couldn’t keep track of everyone. That’s a show I may revisit sometime.

True Blood, I feel the need to finish that cluster of a show. I hate myself for watching it but the last season is coming so I may as well tough 13 more episodes out.

You got me thinking more about sitcoms with the HIMYM talk and I’d like to hear some of your favs of all time. Sitcoms have changed so much since the 80s. They seem less episodic with more story arcs.

Some of mine have to be Seinfeld and Cheers. Parks and Rec will definitely go down as one of my favs when it’s all said and done. One I love that I feel goes underrated is Scrubs. That show cracked me up and I still go back to it sometime. It had one of the better series finales until they decided to try a dumb 9th season that I hope people ignore if they go thru it on Netflix.

Scott: For me, I love Seinfeld, Parks and Rec, Frasier (need to revisit that), The Office, The Wonder Years, My Name is Earl’s first season, Community, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Some you might not consider a true “sitcom” and that would be fair, but those are just some shows I respect.

Closing out with True Detective, how did the episode play out for you?

Brian: Once again with True Detective, I feel the show stalls a bit when focusing on the case. Woody Harrelson continues to shine as he goes through so many emotions at the drop of a hat. I love his whole personal storyline.

But than that last 10 minutes came and blew my mind. I’m a nerd when it comes to technical stuff and admittedly didn’t realize it until reading about the episode later, but that whole sequence in the house was one 6 minute take. Perfectly executed in every facet.

We’re taught that what makes an action sequence are quick cuts and camera movement and that scene only had one of those and it was fantastic. Scorsese and Altman and DePalma perfected the long take and it worked great here. It put you in the scene and finally got me pulled into the case. We’re halfway home here and can’t wait for next week.

Scott: I think maybe the case is stalling the show because the detectives themselves are a bit stalled. I think each episode ends with an unbelievable amount of tension and wouldn’t trade the last scene of episodes 3 or 4 for anything. Awesome.

And that one long shot to end the episode is just incredible. I’ve gone back and re-watched it now and so many little details to get out of it.

What do you think?

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