Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I’m Watching: Shameless (Season Finale)

Shameless: Season 1, Episode 12 “Father Frank, Full of Grace”

It seems like this season has flown by, and I’m so glad that these fabulous characters will be back for another go next year. This finale did a great job of wrapping up all of its arcs, bringing most of its plotlines to a close and leaving just enough up in the air so that the new season will find our characters in some interesting places. It looked for a while like Eddie was going to murder Frank after he sat down to eat his sandwich and watch the video not knowing what to expect, and instead he commits suicide and that’s something that Frank might have to live with, though it’s likely that he may not even find out or take responsibility for it. That development is a reminder that this is indeed a black comedy and not always as light-hearted as it often can be. Lip peeing on Frank and the not-so-dutiful father stepping forward and accepting his punishment is an example of the lighter side of things, and I’m glad to see that those still living seem to have come to terms with each other. Steve’s departure is sad, and while it was structurally obvious that Fiona couldn’t actually leave, it was important for Fiona to come to terms with that herself. I was plenty confused because Steve distinctly said that they were flying out of O’Hare and then he was shown waiting at Midway, but I guess that’s just a major continuity error that didn’t mean he was taking a separate flight and leaving her behind. Tony proved himself to be a jerk by accepting Steve’s bribe after he had already gotten Lip and Ian off, and we’ll see how that plays out next season. Jasmine is being positioned as a major character as Fiona decides to turn to her upon abandoning her travel plans, so that should be interesting. I’m curious what will become of Sheila, who will presumably never find out about her daughter’s tryst with her boyfriend, and who continues to make progress every day with a few more steps. Other memorable moments from this episode included Ian’s distress about jail time preventing him from enlisting in the Marines, Carl asking I he can steal a car with no consequences, and Frank having the most peculiar father-daughter talk ever with Karen. It’s been a fantastic year, and I can’t wait for the next one.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Emmy Rossum as Fiona


Richter Scale said...

I haven't commented on this show up to now, because I'd been having trouble seeing it (I don't live in the US and don't get Showtime). I saw the pilot when it first aired and got hooked, but then couldn't find a decent site to watch it until recently, and then watched the entire season in a week and a half (so it felt faster for me than it did you). I loved it! What an awesome show! Even though some of the characters were little too much for me at first, I eventually warmed up to them.

If I had to pick an MVP this season, though, it would be Emma Kenney who played Debbie. That kid stole many of the episodes this season, such as Episode II where she showed her undying (and undeserved) loyalty to Frank, or Episode III where she had to say goodbye to her fake aunt. Emmy Rossum was awesome as well, though, particularly in the latter half of the season and I definitely want to see more of her. I would campaign them both for Emmys. Also Cameron Monaghan (Ian), Jeremy Allan White (Lip) and Steve Howey (Kev). Kev is definitely one of my favorite characters in this show.

I know the Emmys will probably go for Boardwalk Empire, but if they're definitely done with Mad Men (even though I would still give it a fourth Emmy) I would definitely go with this show (unless they submit it as a comedy, but I think it's a drama). This or The Good Wife (since the second season of that show has been outstanding).

Movies with Abe said...

You're very right to single out Kenney, who is terrific, and I think more than anything this show boasts a stellar ensemble. I've always thought of it as a comedy, maybe just because it aired after "Californication" and "Episodes," and therefore categorizing as a drama seems strange, although that's probably likely. Take this, "Mad Men," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Good Wife," and "Dexter," and you have one stellar set of shows and seasons. I wonder what gets the sixth slot? Still a bit early to think about all that.

Richter Scale said...

It's never too early to think about that for people like you and me. Heck, I think about it year-round, it's hard not to at times, especially when you see stellar television. And, yes, if those five shows all get nominated we have a stellar lineup (I'm curious about The Borgias as well, which will begin airing next week). And, yes, even though there are a lot of funny moments, I find this show too dark to be a comedy, and at times so moing that I can't see it as a comedy. Also, remember, even though all of Quentin Tarantino's films are really funny, they are always classified as drama. I think it will be the same case for thisow (also, Dexter could have been classified as a comedy with all its funny moments, but I agree it is very much a drama, and a realy good one).