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