As you may remember, I am obsessed with Showtime's Shameless. Spoilers from Sunday's season premiere ahead.
Are we cool? Okay lets start.
First off, I guess we'll start with the main storyline of this episode, which is actually one of my least favorite elements. Fiona is exactly where we left her, out of jail but attached to an ankle monitor and working at a shitty diner with a bunch of other felons and NA meeting regulars. Although I never once thought of Fiona as an addict, it would have been nice to see how she interacts with people at these meetings since addiction and mental illness has been a huge factor in her life. At the family dinner, I didn't understand why Frank even cared about the Liam thing from last season or why Fiona didn't defend herself. That wasn't a believable interaction for either character and seemed really forced. Also forced is the flirtation between Fiona and her boss. It's not like her to be so obvious and desperate, but maybe she's got self-esteem problems now? I'm not sure. Honestly, Emmy Rossum's acting skills often sound like she is reciting her lines, meanwhile some of the other actors, specifically Joan Cusack and Cameron Monaghan as Ian among some others in the cast seem to have a more natural fall into character. I usually feel like Rossum is "doing a Chicagoan" rather than actually trying to be one, if that makes sense? I know she's from New York, so I think that factors into her performance. New Yorkers are so pretentious about being New Yorkers. Anyway, sometimes her performance makes me cringe, which is a shame, because she is gorgeous, but beyond that not a great actress.
Liam got a haircut. Still the most adorable little boy I have ever seen in my life.
Frank is making really strong beer in Sheila's basement composed of bacon and playground wood chips. It was hard for me to tell but was that a condom in the wood chips and did he just throw that in there or did he toss it aside?? I am really ill at ease because of this.
Ian is having lots of random sex, which is an indication that he is headed to another manic episode but he refuses to acknowledge that he may have a mental illness. Although I like his story, the writers are really bludgeoning us with this. We get it. Shameless viewers don't need you to spell it out for us!
The scene where Mickey beats up one of his patrons for hitting one of his prostitutes and then seamlessly falls into the previous conversation with Fiona and Lip was absolutely perfect on so many levels. I had to watch it twice it was such a good scene. I'm excited to see more depth from Noel Fisher but I also know that this season is probably going to have a Mickey/Ian beat down. Because if there's one thing I know to be true about Shameless, it's that cheating and lots of sex with strangers has ridiculous consequences. This season cut past Ian's depression, which I wasn't too happy about.
Lip says goodbye to his awful girlfriend and adjusts to coming home and apparantly peer pressure is still a thing. It's difficult for me to get anything out of Lip's storyline because these "friends" have never been mentioned or seen before these two scenes in which they were relevant to a shoddy plotline to begin with. Lip is way more complex than the writers give him credit for. The absence of Mandy Milkovich so far seems to bode well for Lip's otherwise lackluster subplot so far.
The Sheila/Sammy feud is really frustrating. I know that's the intention, but I often relate so hard with Sheila that it's hard to watch her struggle with other characters. She keeps getting taken advantage of and it's so hard to watch, especially since she has such a good heart, but that gets overlooked because she doesn't really fit in with conventional norms although she kinda does. It's complicated and that's why I like Sheila and that's probably why she often has conflict. I want to see her stand up for herself though. Also, where's Karen? We haven't heard from/about her in a while...
Kev and V are dealing with life as parents. Pretty standard but there was a lot of V's boobies in this episode. Last season there was barely a V boob, now there's like every V scene exclusively showcases her boobs. Just an observation.
There's the teasing impending gentrification of the neighborhood being brought up. I don't really care much about that but I know the South Side often gets college students-a-plenty so it's surprising this is the first time they've encountered gentrification. I'm also confused where Lip's school is. I thought it was in the University of Chicago area but now they make it look like it's more in the Depaul area. But like, the north side is more literary nerds and south side is tech nerds! Oh well, it's fiction so who cares?
Obviously the Asian woman from the diner is working for Jimmy/Steve, but I doubt we'll see anything of him until late in the season. I'm in the minority of people who enjoyed his reveal, I thought it was unexpected and seemed like a big middle finger to the audience. Characters we hate are often what make a show watchable and I'm eager to see what they do with that now that it's out there.
Showtime has already renewed it for a 6th season so there must be something they know that we don't.