Shameless (1.08)

TV Reviews Shameless
Shameless (1.08)

This week, everyone’s working for a living—even Frank.

The Gallagher household is financially on hard times, more than usual, and resorts to drastic measures. No diapers? No problem that a cork up the butt can’t cure. No toilet paper? Use streamers if one doesn’t mind a bit of chafing. It gets even worse when there’s a mix up on Fiona’s paycheck. Needing immediate cash, she resorts to working in a sports bar with next-to-nothing on.

It doesn’t help that Steve is MIA. (We get a quick glimpse of another life involving a rich family and maybe another girl.) The pressure eventually gets to Fiona and she breaks down. But when Steve finally shows, instead of being angry she smothers him with kisses. Emmy Rossum, as Fiona, shows again that she’s the glue that keeps the family, and the series, together.

As part of a medical study, and to receive $3,000, Frank must remain sober for three weeks, wearing a special ankle bracelet that will detect any alcohol. “In my whole career I’ve never seen such a spectacular display of alcoholism,” says the doctor.

The family has mixed emotions since they all believe he will just go back to drinking once he receives the money. But the younger kids enjoy the extra attention he gives. Unfortunately, while strung out on sugar he proves to be even more of a screw up when he’s sober, and by the end of the episode they have coerced him back to booze.

Every scene with William Macy is a pleasure. In playing Frank, the actor must feel like a baby in a candy store, his opportunities for emoting are so boundless. He is a shoe-in for an Emmy nomination.

Kev and V take in a 13-year-old foster child for some extra money. They discover she is one of five wives to a 65-year-old member of a religious sect that is under investigation. At one point, she misunderstands Kev and invites him to sleep with her, a proposition he nobly turns down. If that’s not surprising enough, the child asks if her son could visit.

In other news, Ian continues to secretly have sex with his pretend girlfriend’s brother. Sheila loses Frank back to his family when he’s sober. Lip visits the university professor who caught him in the SAT scam and finds that he’s attracted to the collegiate life as a concerned Karen stands by.

__Showtime just announced that Shameless has been picked up for a second, 12-episode season._

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