And by what the hell, I mean both let’s take a little time to discuss the season so far and also what sort of kind, kind bud is the writing staff at Shameless smoking because things are starting to go off the rails. So of course spoilers.
Frank is still Franking around, but has recently started sleeping with Sammi’s mom Queenie.
Other than that, he’s spent his time giving really horrible, sort of sexually abusive advice to Debbie. So basic Frank.
Debbie in the meantime is about to come into a world of hurt. The fact that she bailed on her faux lesbian relationship with Erica so quickly and was seemingly so relieved to go home means she’s not really as up for the single mom life as she imagined. Either she’s going to realize too late that she’s not ready to become a mom or worse she’ll realize she was teamed up with Frank for a while. That’s the worst life choice.
Ian is figuring out how to be in a real relationship and maybe becoming a firefighter. I want to care about his story more, but it’s definitely the most boring of the show. It’s like the writers spent so much time focused on showing “this is what bipolar disorder is” they forgot what to do with it. He’s seemed slightly grumpy for the entire season, and that’s been roughly it.
Kev, V and Svetlana are still running the bar and generally being awesome. Unfortunately mostly their storylines reflect the cracks in the overall story of the season which I’ll be discussing in much more painful detail in a minute.
Those storylines so far were mostly bad. The mostly good?
Fiona might finally be figuring out how to change the relationship she has with her siblings. After Deb refused to listen to her about getting an abortion, Ian refused to listen to her at the diner and Carl’s refused to listen to her at all, Fiona’s had to renegotiate how responsible for each of them she feels and what she’s willing to put up with for them. It’s unfortunate that the renegotiation has to come so late in the series because there’s easily a season’s worth of material in that conflict. But I’m not sure at this point if anyone could stomach seeing the three middle Gallaghers left to their own terrible devices. Even for Shameless, that shit would be dark.
And as a quick sidenote, after this week’s Last Week Tonight seeing Fiona not only receive an easily accessible abortion, but also reschedule it when necessary seems like a goddamn miracle. Thank you again, TV, for a no drama abortion.
Carl. Jesus, Carl. You’re killing me. Apparently with our resident Bastard-Who-Can-Break-Your-Heart Mickey locked up for the season, Carl is moving into the role. And doing it shockingly well. I wasn’t sure exactly where they were going with Nick’s character, but this was not it.
Fuck. You gotta get out, Carl. Your little baby face is not cut out for this.
OK, and finally the What The Hell? Hey, Shameless, what the hell?
Lip accidentally allowed Amanda to expose his relationship with Helene getting her reprimanded and him fired from his RA job. Actually he wasn’t fired for banging his professor, but because he let his ex paint a mural on his wall. Even though he was told to vacate his room the same day that he was fired, he landed on his feet by becoming a “house boy” at a sorority house on campus. And he still has his teaching assistant job and his possible mentor/ drinking buddy professor.
Ordinarily I would acknowledge that I’m being nitpicky. I’m both obsessed with the show and familiar with show’s setting. So I won’t complain about how there is no North Wallace Ave in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Or that you can’t actually make it from the Gallagher house to Fiona’s work in 30 minutes by El. But when you blatantly disregard details which are not only easily verifiable, but should be readily apparent as “not right” to the majority of your audience, you’re just being sloppy.
Anyone with a passing familiarity with college would know that sophomore undergrads don’t get teaching assistant positions at any college, but especially not at one of the best colleges in the country. And anyone with a passing familiarity of 18 - 24 year-olds knows that you don’t let one super hot dude move into a house with a bunch of women without so much as a background check. The guy just got kicked out of the dorms for all of the inappropriate sex he was having. You’re busy with rush week so you can’t even make sure he is who he says he is?
And the sloppiness has bled over into other areas of the show. When was the last time Fiona and V had an actual conversation? Why do all of my favorite shows insist on erasing all of my favorite female friendships? Was it because V and Kev were too busy dealing the feuding neighbors? Or the Greek guy that Kev might have accidentally killed? Or the half dozen refugee children who were living in their house for a week? Why the hell do the Ball-Fishers seem to be experiencing so many wacky, yet inconsequential adventures?
The bad news is that with only 5 episodes left, it’s unlikely Shameless is going to recover the season entirely. The good news is that Shameless has always done an amazing job with the last two episodes of the season so they might recover it partially. And the best news is that they’ve already been renewed for season 7 so they could still go out on top. Just give us one more great season and call it a day. I’ll always love you, Shameless, but no one wants to see you like this.