Saturday, February 3, 2018

TV Show Review: Shameless (Season 8)

The irreverent comedy returns for an impressive eighth season. The Gallagher family is still up to their crazy antics and wild behavior. Frank (William H. Macy) has decided to make a clean start after going on a meth binge and losing his ex-wife. He sobers up and heads out into the job market. He finds success as an employee in the gardening section of a department store after the manager identifies with him. He trains Liam (Christian Isaiah) to take advantage of their poverty. After enrolling his youngest son in a private school due to diversity, Frank starts to flirt with the wealthy mothers who find his can-do attitude attractive. Eventually, the Man interferes and Frank is laid off due to budget cuts to the company. Frank sets out to apply for a job but finds the job market is not looking for a man with his experience.

Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has taken on the job of being a landlord hoping to make a success of her life that has been chaotic since the start. She renovates rooms after evicting clients who leave shit smeared on the walls. Her various tenants are a mess though she finds friendship with a lesbian couple. She realizes that she can find peace away from her family drama by staying at the apartment but things don't always go easily. Lip (Jeremy Allen White) works to keep his sobriety while helping other drunks who kept him out of trouble. he finds distraction in a motorcycle repair shop and also physical relationships. He still has a crush on the waitress in Fiona's diner but keeps it a secret when he finds out her husband has been cheating on her. 

Veronica (Shanola Hampton), aka V, and her husband Kevin (Steve Howey) are fighting with their former lover Svetlana (Isidora Goreshter) who has taken over their bar. Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) plans to return to military school if only he can afford the tuition since he was rejected for a scholarship. He ends up starting a rehab program where he captures clients but this leads to him falling in love and marrying a subject. Debbie (Emma Kenney) works to take care of her baby and earn a welding degree but the smallest amount of success has her flirting with guys and risking getting pregnant again. She takes on illegal jobs with her welding experience but when an on-the-job injury crushes her toes and she doesn't have insurance, an especially gruesome scene leads to her losing those digits.

Ian (Cameron Monaghan) works to win back his old boyfriend and becomes involved with various youth groups. He fights with Fiona over the ownership of a property as Fiona works to prevent the potential shelter because it will drive down the surrounding property value. Eventually, they come to a compromise and Ian shifts his wrath to those who perpetuate gay conversion therapy. His mental disorders cause him to drive his cause to the extreme ending up with him being wanted by the police. Fiona is sued by a roof worker but comes up with a plan to evict them when they squat in her apartment. Lots of other insane things happen through the twelve episodes that are plenty cringe-worthy and hilarious.

Shameless is the sort of show that isn't afraid to push the boundaries or present controversial situations as it explores issues of poverty and family. These characters have grown a lot over eight seasons as they continue to make mistakes and push their way out of the ghetto. The show never fails to come up with absurd scenarios that are funny and astonishing. The show has adapted to the current event and often makes political statements without ever being too preachy or sentimental. This Showtime series continues chugging along making quality television that is as good as it was when it started. 

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