Monday, January 25, 2021

What I’m Watching: Shameless: Hall of Shame

Shameless: Hall of Shame: Episode 4 “Debbie, Carl and Liam: They Grow Up So Fast” (B+)

I suspected that this hour was going to be about Debs and Carl and guess it makes sense that Liam would be part of it too. It’s crazy to me that both Emma Kenney and Ethan Cutkosky were only eleven years old when the show first started, and that Christian Isaiah was even younger than that on his first appearance – only nine! All three of them worked out superbly, and it was fun to end the episode with Kenney and Cutkosky being interviewed way back when. I’d say that the structure of this hour wasn’t quite as sophisticated as the previous halls of shame, but it was still a blast to see the very violent impulses that both Debs and Carl exhibited as children and the many irresponsible decisions they both made. I most enjoyed Carl not even pretending to exhibit remorse and then insulting the judge just so that he could sent to prison. I forgot that Frank had made Carl think he had cancer and then used Liam to beg for money, and also that Fiona had her own issues that led to a rock-bottom moment of Liam getting into her cocaine supply. Carl getting his nephew arrested was also something I didn’t remember, and I feel like there’s so much more that could have been into each retrospective episode and easily filled an entire season for each character. Carl selling guns when Fiona told him not to deal drugs and ending up with all of the teachers pulling out what he sold them when they heard a noise in the cafeteria was another moment that only this show could produce. Of all the significant others, I think that Kelly was my favorite, though I also liked Dominique. I do not miss Kassidi, who I’m pretty sure was murdered, which was pretty startling but not something I thought too much about since she wasn’t a great part of the show. Debs didn’t have much luck in the relationship department, with Claudia and Julia being the highlight, and it was a bit strange that Sandy didn’t even merit an appearance. Liam is probably the most ethical member of the family, but he seems more than eager enough to let the Gallagher influence corrupt him.

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