SHAMELESS “Nana Gallagher Had an Affair” Advance Review

SHAMELESS (Showtime) "Nana Gallagher Had an Affair"

SHAMELESS “Nana Gallagher Had an Affair” Season 1 Episode 10 – SHAMELESS examines second chances in the “Nana Gallagher Had an Affair” episode as Monica’s arrival throws the Gallaghers into chaos and Karen spends some time with her father.

Mommy’s home and as we saw at the end of the last episode, no one is exactly killing the fatted calf to welcome Monica home given both her history and the turmoil whirling around her. She also brings Bob, whom I think is the first character misfire of the series. While she helps flesh out Monica’s personality, Bob is much too one- dimensional and grating, and some of her scenes are downright painful to watch.

Conversely, Chloe Webb is the right blend of contemptible and pathetic as Monica. Her story-so far-isn’t as satisfying as I had hoped, but her presence adds new layers to the Gallagher family dynamic and to Fiona as she struggles with her mother’s return.

Parental issues aren’t confined to the Gallaghers. Karen is still thrilled by Eddie’s offer to give her a car if she goes to the purity ball, but of course it’s about so much more than the car and nothing goes quite as she expected. Not only is this subplot remarkably effective on its own, right down to a new Sheila development, but it’s a terrific parallel and contrast to the Gallagher parental shenanigans. The always terrific Laura Wiggins does her best work to date, as Karen hints at both hope and vulnerability and then lets loose.

Ian-Lip scenes are always some of my favorites, and I’ll give Monica credit for helping to bring these two even closer together as their actions force an uncomfortable revelation. Ian is distracted by the bloody turn his love triangle took, and Frank drags Carl into one of his schemes. Just when you think Frank can’t go any lower, he shimmies right on under the bar. Unfortunately due to the meatiness of the central storylines, these subplots are given short shrift and give a choppier than necessary feel to the episode.

The beauty of Shameless is that there really is no limit to what we can learn about the Gallaghers and those in their circle. Each new revelation opens up new avenues of storytelling and enriches the characters. While this episode doesn’t flow as well as some and suffers an abundance of Bob, it gives a new view into what binds the Gallaghers together.

A taste of the episode:

“I’m a grower, not a shower, but trust me, when it’s time to show, I grow.”

“It’s too late. They already hate her.”

“That’s a nice outfit. What is that-pirate wench?”

“She’s like mouth herpes: the gift that keeps giving.”

“Like if we got the alcoholic gene from Frank.”/”Or the dummy gene from Monica.”

“Say that again and I’ll rip the tongue out of your head.”

“I was gonna get hit with a pipe!”

Once you’ve had a chance to watch Shameless tonight on Showtime at 10pm eastern/9 central, I hope you’ll come back and post what you thought. If forced to choose, who do you think is the least destructive parent: Frank or Monica?

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