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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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Shrek Forever After

Shrek is a great movie. Shrek 2 is almost as great, but is even funnier. Shrek the Third sucked. Sucked, sucked, sucked. Terrible, horrible, awful…. But Shrek Forever After is pretty good, a much improved film over the third flick. And it has a pun in the title. Mike Mitchell directs and Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas all return.

In Shrek Forever After, Shrek makes a bad wish and the evil Rumpelstiltskin erases the day he was born. So basically Shrek has 24 hours to get Fiona to kiss him with Donkey’s help or he will fade from existence. The problem is that because he was never born, Donkey and Fiona don’t recognize him. Shrek and Donkey aren’t friends, and Fiona doesn’t love him.

Everybody has seen Shrek. Ok, maybe not everybody, but most cool people have. And if you are cool and have seen Shrek, you probably liked it and watched it a few times. Maybe you even bought it, I don’t know. But if you’ve seen it a few times, you know it pretty well, and so it’s pretty cool to go back and explore all the differences from the first movie. This movie goes back to the original movie, and tries it’s best to recreate it while still being it’s own movie. I hope that makes sense.

There’s an actual plot. It’s an interesting story, and it doesn’t need to rely on outdated pop culture references to help lengthen the running time (like in Shrek 3). It’s not a classic movie like the first in the franchise. It’s not even as good as Shrek 2. But it’s a solid sequel, a worthy addition to the franchise. Shrek 3 should not have been made, but Shrek 4 is a good story. If they had a box set without the third movie I would buy it.

There are a few new characters like Rumpelstiltskin and the Pied Piper and a whole bunch of ogres. Even returning characters have different personalities because this is an alternate reality, a “what if” story. It’s kind of a refreshing look at familiar characters.

Watch it if you liked the first two Shrek movies. Ignore the third one. You’re not missing much. They called this one The Final Chapter, but I can see them making another one. It made $752,600,867 worldwide and that’s enough incentive to put Shrek back on the big screen. I know they made a Puss in Boots spin-off but that’s not the same thing. I can’t think of a good movie title pun for it though.

Critically Rated at 12/17

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