Shameless Review (1.05)

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<i>Shameless</i> Review (1.05)

Lying in a hospital bed, Frank (William Macy) says, “Here’s what you missed on Shameless last week. I got really drunk. (Long pause.) I’m not sure what happened after that.” The 21st Century’s version of a family sitcom continues.

The citizens of Chicago’s projects have an interesting outlook on life in America, especially in The Alibi Room. When Frank is told he needs to have a biopsy taken from his testicles, resulting from the doctor’s concern that Frank has three family jewels even though he’s had them his entire life, Frank begins to worry. But a fellow bar patron reassures him. “Look at Lance Armstrong. He had that ball cancer? Ends up fucking a rock star!” Over dinner, however, Frank believes he’s going to die when Sheila tearfully consoles him, telling him he can have Eddie’s cemetery plot. The biopsy scene with the pretty nurse who shaves him and the chain-smoking, large-needle-bearing, manly grandma doctor is painfully priceless.

Frank sits in on a group therapy session for cancer victims (all women) and gives his two cents on his supposedly cancerous balls. “No underwear that’s been devised to hold them effectively in place, they’re a bizarre appendage.” This is the effectiveness of Frank’s character. His non sequiturs are not simply out of place. They often make sense in the most absurd ways.

Kev and Veronica break off the wedding plans after wondering why they should mess with a good thing. But then Mama tells V her late daddy left her an envelope—not to be opened till she’s married—that supposedly has money to buy her a new house. The wedding’s back on. That is, until Kev tells V that he’s already married from a long time ago. So the wedding’s off. Except that Fiona suggests they go ahead and have the wedding but just don’t file the license. So the wedding’s on, again. But since Mama insists on a real Catholic priest (played in a cameo by original SNL cast member Garrett Morris), the Gallagher boys do a “sting operation” on a different, local, boy-friendly priest who won’t require the license.

After the bachelor and bachelorette parties, V’s Tourette-ridden, arsonist brother (Anthony Anderson) shows up after breaking out of prison threatening to burn the wedding dress unless V allows him to stay for the event.

In spite of it all, the wedding successfully takes place and “the envelope” is opened. Predictably, it’s not the windfall they had expected.

In a series replete with colorful characters we’ve only had glimpses into the slightly psychotic mind of young Carl Gallagher (Ethan Cutkosky), who, in this episode, attempts to microwave a goldfish. Shameless has more psychoses than an entire day of soap operas.