Thursday, March 3, 2011

What I’m Watching: Shameless

Shameless: Season 1, Episode 8 “It’s Time to Kill the Turtle” (A-)

There hasn’t yet been a bad episode of this show, or even a mediocre one, yet, and somehow this installment seems like the most astounding and impressive one to date. Perhaps it’s the brilliant combination of stark drama and lighter comedy, as well as the range of focal points that extend to all of the Gallagher children and their singular patriarch. This episode boasts spectacular performances from the likes of Emmy Rossum as Fiona, Jeremy Allen White as Lip, Cameron Monaghan as Ian, Joan Cusack as Sheila, and William H. Macy as Frank, as well as solid work from the rest of the cast. It’s so interesting to see how each of the children perceive their father’s newfound temporary sobriety, with Lip’s pessimistic attitude being the most intriguing. His turtle metaphor was rather moving, and I liked how Debs told him that they had to kill the turtle and he revealed that she and Carl were supposed to be the turtle in the story. I wasn’t sure how Frank was going to fail, and having his family force alcohol on him to return him to normal was a fitting way to send him back off the deep end. It’s good that Ian is developing a connection with Mickey, though I presume that both Cash and Mandy are going to be rather upset once they find out about it. Kev did a great job of trying to be a father to his very peculiar new adopted daughter, and it’s just a shame that Veronica doesn’t seem nearly as into the notion of parenting. Steve’s good guy, but whatever he’s up to is going to get him into serious trouble with Fiona, unless Debs confronts him before going to her.

By the way, this show has been renewed for a second season, along with "Episodes." Fantastic news!

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