Saturday, 6 September 2014

Top Five- Just Joking! Shameless (US) Review

Holy cannoli! A post by Rhona, on time and not in list form? What madness is this? Okay, okay, that's enough from you, wise-ass. Shall we just get on with the review?
Shameless (2011) Poster
Fun drinking game - take a shot whenever someone says
the name Gallagher. You'll be blackout wasted in four minutes!
Okay, so this is an American remake of the 2004 British series by the same name, but I've not seen the original version, so I won't be pulling any comparisons between the two shows. The main reason I began watching the show was because I was watching a Comedy Actress Roundtable and I was pretty familiar with four of the six actresses that were being featured - Emmy Rossum and Edie Falco being the two I wasn't overly knowledgeable of, however I thought both said some pretty funny and interesting stuff, so I took it upon myself to take a look at their respective shows. Now that I've all caught up with Shameless, I'll need to crack on to Nurse Jackie! Also, not to lie, but another big reason for getting into the show was Tumblr. Yeah, gifs galore finally piqued my interested.

For a bonus edition of the previously mentioned drinking game:
drink whenever someone mentions that they're a family!
Guaranteed liver failure in minutes!
First things first: Frank Gallagher. Wait a second ... who ... who are you? William H. Macy? Where have I heard that name ... Jerry Lundegaard! Crivvens, aren't you a startlingly different character? Okay, so Frank Gallagher is a piece of shit. There is literally no other way I can describe him. He looks out only for himself, he ruins lives and routinely fucks everyone else over in the name of getting himself ahead; and yet, there are times where I do feel genuine sympathy for the character, because shittyness (shittiness?) aside, whenever something bad happens to him, he still has a family that loves him (sometimes) and he's still a father to whom these children would be fatherless without. Likewise, I do feel triumph as well when he overcomes his obstacles! But this is a growing process, as early seasons I wouldn't have felt a damn thing if he died and never returned, but now I do feel like the show would be missing a crucial element without him. He's a great source of humour - whether it's in an Always Sunny In Philadelphia style where the comedy is derived from how terrible a person he is, or whether from the fact that he can actually be funny, he is a vital character.

When you get passive aggressive e-mails
from your lecturer about not attending seminars.
Whilst talking about the humour of the show, it would be very wrong of me not to simply even mention Sheila Jackson, portrayed by Joan Cusack (I'll save you the time, she's Rosalie Mullins, you're welcome). It took me a while to understand her character and type of humour, but when I did, I realised how big a gem she is in the show. Up against the crude, filthy and downright horribleness of the Gallaghers, Sheila is a jarring contrast of adorable, homely, motherlyness. She offers a world of support to the people who surrounds her and just tries her best to make the world a better place, even if she doesn't really succeed that well. She has her share of mess ups, but they pale in comparison to that of say, Frank. I am heavily invested in Sheila as a character and if something bad happens to her, I will not be okay. It took her a wee while to find a place in my heart, but now that she's got it, she has sunk her teeth in and is not letting go any time soon.

Let us move on to the rest of the Gallaghers. We have Fiona (the previously mentioned Emmy Rossum), eldest of the siblings and the resident mother figure, since their actual mother is no longer in the picture. Her character arc is probably the most interesting and most varied of all the characters. She is very complex and if there was one thing I would wish for more screen time of, it would be scenes with her and Veronica, her best friend/next door neighbour, because their friendship is glorious as it is hilarious. If there was one thing I would wish for less of, it would be Steve, douche-baggy boyfriend. He has his moments, but he's pretty much a whiney little baby.

However, his whiney little baby-ness is actually pretty funny, because everyone else recognises his whinyness and childishness. Life (e.g the writers) like to shit on Steve quite a lot, and for someone who wasn't particularly fond of that character, that is rather amusing. Next we have Lip (portrayed by Jeremey Allen White), eldest son, a super genius who won't hesitate even for a second to exploit his intelligence in order to get girls into bed. Lip is a bit of a rollercoaster of a character; one minute I'm totally on his side regarding a situation, thinking, "Yes, he is definitely in the right!" and then he'll screw it up and take it too far, if he's even right in the first place. There have been many a time where I've thought Lip has acted extraordinarily unfairly to someone and have been actively rooting against him. But much like all the Gallaghers, family is everything to him, and it's tough not to find him endearing. After that is Ian (Cameron Monaghan), second eldest son who spends his time juggling school, a part time job, training to join the army and trying not to let anyone know he's gay, even though he's not really that subtle. I thought it was cool seeing a character that the writers knew was going to be gay straight away, because too many times have I been watching a show and seven seasons in, oh my god, the shock, the horror, a character is revealed to be gay, simply because the writers storylines were becoming stale and they needed something to spice up the show and decided on a pretty poor way to do it. Then two seasons later, oops, haha, just a phase.

(right to left: Lip, Carl, Liam, Kev, Fiona, Veronica, Debbie, Frank, Ian)
Then we have Debbie, Carl and Liam, the young'uns (okay, they're all meant to be young (even though Ian upwards all look definitely not fifteen). Debbie is the little cute thief/coffee addict, Carl and budding psychopath and Liam, the black toddler who no-one really questions. I mentioned Veronica previously, so I'll give her boyfriend, Kev, a quick mention. Kev is great. Moving on! I'll give a quick mention to Mandy and Micky Milkovich, who are also great characters. Mandy is also a character that I go between rooting for and wanting nothing but the best and for her to succeed and then feeling like, maybe she should chill out a little. Micky is fast becoming one of my favourite characters. He's funny, he's violent and he's constantly bewildered by the stupidity that surrounds him. Their father, Terry, is awful. Not in a Frank kind of awful where he can redeem himself, just straight up disgusting and awful. That is all.

I'll wrap things up there! Till next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment