Shameless “Can I Have A Mother” Review

Every episode of Shameless is one huge juggling act of tones. This is a show that has some really dark moments and can turn around and introduce some slapstick comedy a heartbeat later. It’s a credit to the actors and the writing that the transitions are so smooth. This is what I would call a challenging show. That it’s taken me so long to finally "get" Frank is, to some extent, a fault of the writers, but it’s more a fault of my own and now that I do "get" the character Frank and am not irritated every time he appears on screen, I really appreciate what the writers and William H. Macy (who, I believe, co-wrote this episode) have done with that character. This is a character who we’ve seen plenty of times on shows and movies aimed at older kids: the abusive father who is rarely more than a villain in the shadows. This show dares to humanize him (to an extent-Frank still has his utterly ridiculous moments) and, with this episode thanks to the reintroduction of Grammy, it shows the cyclical effects of abuse and it manages to pull off the scene were Fiona comforts Frank by telling him "Don’t worry. My parents sucked too." It’s a scene with so many layers and it’s heartbreaking and sweet and weird and dark all at once. I can’t think of another show on television that could pull off a scene like that.

Shameless has very much embraced serialized storytelling to an extreme. There are so many characters and storylines moving at once that it’s difficult to analyze this show on an episodice basis whereas with a series (and I’ll pick another Showtime hour long drama) like Homeland, which is also serialized though not to the extent of Shameless, there’s more of an episodic beginning, middle and end. Read More... 


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