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Shameless Season 3

The Gallagher clan is back for the third season of Showtime’s Shameless. William H. Macy plays Frank Gallagher, the alcoholic deadbeat father of six kids. Emmy Rossum plays Fiona Gallagher, his oldest child and surrogate mother to the rest of the kids. The first two seasons were about meeting the Gallaghers, and a few other families and crazy characters around their neighborhood. Season 3 is all about exploring the relationships between those characters.

            Frank has always been deplorable, but he’s at his absolute lowest in this season. His relationship with his kids has always been strained and it finally reaches the breaking point. Fiona kicks him out of the house, he responds by anonymously reporting them to child protective services, temporarily breaking up the family. Fiona has relationship problems with her boyfriend, Jimmy (Justin Chatwin), who is stuck in a green card marriage with the nymphomaniac daughter of a dangerous drug lord. Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) has a love triangle of his own, sleeping with his best friend’s brother and with Jimmy’s closeted father. Next-door neighbors Kev and Veronica (Steve Howey and Shanola Hampton) want a baby but can’t conceive, so they ask Veronica’s mom to be the surrogate and that leads to some awkward love scenes.

Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White) still doesn’t know if he wants to go to college or not. He’s in a twisted relationship with Mandy Milkovich (Emma Greenwell) and he still has feelings for Karen Jackson (Laura Slade Wiggins), the succubus who broke his heart and ran away. The Jackson family is almost as dysfunctional as the Gallaghers. Sheila Jackson (Joan Cusack) is kind of crazy and is sleeping with her daughter’s rejected ex-husband, Jody (played by Zach McGowan). We knew from Season 2 that he’s a recovering sex addict, in Season 3 we find out what that means.

            Sex, drugs, violence, and family values… Shameless has it all. Showtime doesn’t get the same respect as HBO, but they would if more people watched this series. This is quality television. It’s a marathon show. You sit down to watch one episode and end up watching three. There are only twelve episodes per season, so you have to pace yourself or else you will run out episodes to watch and your life will seem hollow.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Shameless Season 2

Shameless is a Showtime series that is based on a British show with the same name. It’s about a dysfunctional family trying to survive in the ghetto. William H. Macy stars as the drunken patriarch of the Gallagher family. He spends his days in a stupor and avoiding his kids while mooching off of lonely ladies in the neighborhood. Emmy Rossum plays Fiona, the oldest daughter and the one who runs the house. Season 1 focused primarily on Frank and Fiona, getting to know the rest of the Gallaghers, and introducing a few other people from the neighborhood. Season 2 seems to generally give Lip the big storylines.

Jeremy Allen White plays Phillip “Lip” Gallagher, the oldest son and a reluctant genius. The biggest arc of the season involves his infatuation with his slutty best friend, Karen (Laura Slade Wiggins). She gets engaged and married to a tool even though she’s pregnant with Lip’s baby. Lip tries to get her to break her relationship, he has a major fight with his brother about her, he drops out of school to get a job to support his baby, Fiona kicks him out of the house because he dropped out of school… he just seems to be the driving force in a lot of episodes.

Other Season 2 highlights involve the return of two important women in Frank’s life. His mom Peg (Louise Fletcher) gets released from prison and comes back to make Frank’s life a living hell. And his absentee wife comes home for a while. Chloe Webb plays Monica Gallagher, a bipolar drug addict with a habit of abandoning her family. Her kids resent her, they can’t trust her, and they hate the fact that they can’t help but love her. As terrible as Frank is, she’s a much more destructive influence on the kids. It becomes apparent that Monica is a drug and Frank is addicted. Nothing good can happen when they are together.

Shameless is a great show on a great network. If you like quality entertainment, rich storylines, and well written characters, then you should check it out. You shan’t be disappointed. Plus it has nudity. That’s always nice.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Shameless Season 1

Shameless is a Showtime series about a poor and dysfunctional family living in a Chicago ghetto. It’s got everything that I want from a TV show: sex, violence, humor, drama, love triangles, drugs, alcohol, criminals and petty thugs, amazing writing, and great characters played by great actors.

William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, a drunken loser with six kids. He’s selfish, egotistical, and spends his days drinking and ignoring his kids. The beautiful Emmy Rossum plays Fiona Gallagher, his oldest child and surrogate mother to the rest of the kids. She runs the household and keeps the family from falling apart. They are the two main characters of the huge ensemble cast and they drive the main storylines of the first season. Frank moves out of his house and starts mooching off of Sheila Jackson (played by Joan Cusack), who is recently separated from her husband, and collecting huge disability checks for her agoraphobia. Meanwhile Fiona gets a new boyfriend named Steve (played by Justin Chatwin) and she reluctantly lets him into her chaotic life.

Season 1 introduces you to the Gallaghers and how they live. They aren’t your typical family. They come from a broken home. They hate their mother for abandoning them, and still love Frank despite all the shit he’s done. He never left them. He’s a deadbeat deplorable drunk, and a terrible excuse for a human being, but it taught them to rely on themselves rather than him. All the kids in the family work and hustle to make money to pay the bills. They look after each other, stand up for each other, defend each other, and are fiercely loyal to each other. They watch TV together, eat and drink and smoke together. They aren’t perfect, but they are proud of that.

You also get to meet a few other characters from around the neighborhood, friends, enemies, cops, drunks, sluts, and thugs. There are a lot of characters and subplots and arcs and I’m too lazy to write about them all. You might notice I didn’t even write about all the Gallaghers. There are just too many of them. They all have their own character traits and they all get something to do. Shameless is a great show. It only took me about fifteen minutes to get hooked. It’s more addicting than Breaking Bad. That’s a bold statement, but I’m sticking to it. Breaking Bad doesn’t have nudity and Shameless does. Emmy Rossum is beautiful and you can see her boobies. Game over.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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