Shameless Review (Episode 1.04)

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<i>Shameless</i> Review (Episode 1.04)

Every episode of Shameless begins with William Macy, as Frank, telling the viewing audience to watch what they missed last week, usually in Frank’s inimitable style: “For those of you who are too fucking busy here’s what happened last week on Shameless.”

The day starts with a broken water heater and dirty children but quickly goes downhill when good little Debbie steals someone’s two-year-old and brings him home to play with, primarily as a replacement for “Aunt Ginger” from last week’s episode.

By the time the family discovers the “crime” the entire police force is looking for the boy. Taking him back would lead to incriminating questions, and if the Gallagher family isn’t ripe for a criminal investigation, no family is. So they create an elaborate plan that involves Debbie lying, something she’s not keen on doing.

Frank is still living with Sheila while Sheila’s husband Eddie returns home. Their nympho daughter Karen begins to put the make on Frank. To Frank’s credit, (and it’s difficult to give Frank credit for anything), he runs away to his favorite watering hole. Eddie seems to have accepted his fate as a man without a family, even when he’s living with them. The compulsive, phobic Sheila goes on a cupcake making binge.

“What am I going to do?” she asks Franks. “Stop?” he replies.

Officer Tony and his testy partner have some Laurel and Hardy moments while searching for the boy.

Kev, who’s kind of a cross between Ben Affleck and Michael Madsen, mistakenly announces at the bar that he’s going to marry Veronica, then decides it was a good idea and drunkenly proposes to her for real. But, unbeknownst to Veronica, he drops a bomb on Fiona later when he mentions that he’s already married.

We’re learning that the family really isn’t as bad as they appear. It’s just that they have to break a number of laws in order to survive and stay together. After Debbie returns the boy to his grateful parents, telling them she found the boy walking alone, Fiona can only later say, “I hope I’m not fucking up the kids.” But she begins to see signs of some serious mental unbalance in Debbie, especially the next morning when Debbie announces she can’t go to school because of her new doll. “Ginger kept me up half the night with diarrhea,” she says as she slabs a big spoonful of peanut butter onto the inside of a diaper.

Frank continues to get the best one-liners of the series:

“This is what happens when the world goes crazy. People steal kids, and Rastafarians are allowed to roam free.”

“And why are all the news ladies Chinese? They should stick with what they know—railroads and sushi.”

The show’s excellent soundtrack is by none other than Mark Mothersbaugh, the lead singer for Devo and music creator for films like Rushmore, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Thirteen.