Showtime Sunday: 2014 Premieres of Shameless, House of Lies and Episodes are Sinfully Good

Three of Showtime’s best shows are returning this Sunday, January 12, 2014 beginning at 9PM with Shameless, followed by House of Lies at 10PM and Episodes at 10:30PM. All three shows ended on a tumultuous note last year, which makes the stakes even higher in the highly anticipated premieres. Romances are rekindled, kids start growing up and business deals are struck– read on below for a sneak peek at what’s in store for Showtime fans tonight.

Shameless Season 4 Premiere
 

At the end of season three, the Gallaghers were drifting apart: Lip was off to college, Ian off to the Army, Fiona said a final goodbye to Jimmy and Frank found out he had to give up booze or die. Season four picks up not long after the eventful finale, but the dynamics of the family have shifted. For one thing, the once bustling house is mostly quiet now. With the older Gallaghers away, Debbie and Carl both shine.

Look out for Debbie in particular. Now that the teen years are upon Debbie, Fiona might just have a mini-me on her hands. The sisters are going through a readjustment period as they both find themselves at the beginning of new relationships. Speaking of which: start taking bets on how quickly Fiona and Mike fall apart. Fiona is happy in the premiere, but Mike is far too dull to fit into the Gallagher clan for long.

The premiere isn’t overstuffed with action, but it is a solid beginning for what is sure to be a transitional season for Shameless. Aside from the Debbie and Fiona parallels, Lip’s trouble fitting in at college is the episode’s strongest plot. The weakest is the show’s continued need to find something for Joan Cusack to do– the writers seem to have lost interest in Sheila, but they’re unwilling to let her go at the same time. That’s a small quibble for an episode that set up a number of interesting stories that are sure to put the Gallagher family through their paces this year.

House of Lies Season 3 Premiere
 

There are three Pods now, people, I repeat three pods. None of them are as magical as the original Pod though. With Marty’s old team divided up, each member faces their own set of unique challenges at their respective firms. Marty finds himself sweet talking a hippie in China, Jeannie has ascended to the top of the food chain, while poor Clyde finds himself in a terrible position. (No really, you are going to want to give Clyde a hug.)

Like with the Shameless premiere, House of Lies‘ opener is mostly set up, but Don Cheadle gives a blockbuster performance. Marty is desperate, lonely and more than a little bit frustrated with the new direction his life has taken. A brilliant beginning sets the stage for the episode’s machinations, but it is the superb ending that will have you begging to see where Marty takes his new outfit next. That goes double for Jeannie.

Episodes Season 3 Premiere
 

The fictional Matt LeBlanc reaches yet another new low as Episodes kicks off its third season. If you didn’t think that was possible after he slept with his stalker, then you were most definitely wrong. The sad part is, he seems to have the best intentions, he just can’t help himself from self-destructing. He’s not the only one though. Every character’s happiness is tenuous as relationships start over on unsteady ground and the dirty business that is Hollywood keeps creeping up on Carol.

The aftermath of the big dust-up in the season three finale appears to set everyone on a new path, but Episodes isn’t a show interested in keeping its characters sane. That is exactly why you shouldn’t be surprised when the cracks in the various new beginnings start appearing sooner rather than later. As for the episode’s scene stealer, that distinction belongs to John Pankow’s Merc. He isn’t in the episode for long, but his big scene got the biggest laugh from me.

 

Rest assured, all three shows are full of the debauchery we’ve come to expect from Showtime’s stellar winter lineup. As usual, Shameless wins hands down on the “I can’t believe they just went there” front, but the entire night is worth watching. Don’t forget to check them out beginning at 9PM with an all new episode of Shameless.

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