Shameless “Summer Loving” Review

Shameless (Showtime) “Summer Loving” (16)

It seems a bit weird that a show as deranged as Shameless could be one of the best family shows on television, but it’s quite true. There’s a center of deep love in the midst of this hard show, which is mean and dark but rarely cynical or insincere. The external factors (Frank’s abusive neglect and sabotage of their livelihood and their mother’s absence) have forced the Gallagher siblings together and they’re closer than most siblings. I love watching a show where the characters actually care about each other in an honest, unforced way, and this show provides that.

Was this episode the best the show’s ever done? No, not by a long shot. Mainly because it focused an awful lot of time on Frank and his love exploit to exploit, in this case a woman named Dottie waiting on a heart transplant. It’s an awkward story I don’t care a bit about. I don’t like Frank as a character (you’re not supposed to) and it’s such a tricky role, I’m not sure if William H Macey isn’t doing everything that can be done with the role. But unless Frank is being used as an obstacle in the lives of his children, I have no real interest in his endeavours.

Ian and Mickey’s relationship has continued to morph into one of the best portrayals of gay relationship on television. Mickey’s coming out with regards to his sexuality is really interesting: one of my favorite moments of the episode was when he decided to show Ian that he could do just as many, no, more! chin-ups than Ian. It was an overt display of strength and manliness. Their post coital chat was filled with sarcastic jabs and burping, because Mickey needed to prove that having a relationship with another male does not make him “a bitch”.

The rest of the show was focused, it seemed, on laying the foundations for storylines which will be paid off and built upon later. It’s the sophomore slump common to plenty of tv shows, so I’m looking at the seeds of discord between Lip and Karen and Fiona and Jasmine as evidence that stuff will get crazy (though, that goes without saying…this is Shameless, after all) further on down the line.

I also hope that the show will feature more interactions between Frank and his children, specifically with Fiona. usually she can’t take any of his bullshit and thus refuses to remain around him for very long. But of the little screen time they’ve shared so far, I’ve enjoyed every second.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comment sbelow.