Shameless – “Aunt Ginger”

I’m finally getting into the Showtime series Shameless. Though I’m not currently up to date, I’m going to review the series like everyone’s watching it for the first time, so bear with me

Season One, Episode Three

shameless-s01e03

Grade: B-

The Gallaghers are up to no good again, but this time it takes a family effort to pull off what they do. What’s that? An investigator visits the house to research why Aunt Ginger’s social security checks have been being cashed even though she’s supposed to be in Milwaukee. Fiona legitimately has no idea what’s going on, but all she has to do is pay Frank a visit at the bar to find out some answers. Turns out he’s been cashing the checks even though Aunt Ginger is dead. So either the truth comes out and Frank’s in big trouble, or they devise a plan.

With the help from Veronica, they’re able to rent an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s from the nursing home to pass off as Aunt Ginger. And it works! Some of the scene with the fake Aunt Ginger and the family were sweet, mostly with Debbie helping her with breakfast and making rice crispie treats, but other than that it was just another ridiculous plot-line we’re supposed to laugh at.

I know Shameless is only three episodes in, but I cannot wait to learn more about Fiona. There is some deep inner troubles she’s dealing with, on top of taking care of her incredibly difficult family, and it shows when she’s attempting to make something out of her love/personal life. Using Tony as her rebound, then finding out that he was a virgin before their encounter in his cop car, seems like enough to send Fiona running for the fences. But on top of that, she learns about Tony’s judgmental mother and it seems like that’s going to end it. Except you can never tell with Fiona.

She ends up going back to Steve at the end of the episode, but there is a lot of uncharted waters we haven’t sailed yet. I’m just not sure if I’m going to really be invested in a back-and-forth ride between Fiona and Steve. Or at least not yet.

And then there’s the Ian story-line, who has to admit he’s gay just to avoid being beat up. This all seems semi-authentic, but nonetheless there was a lot of heart at the center. The way Lip defends his brother and even gets pounded for it is a nice showcase of how close the Gallaghers can be at times.

It seems like Shameless is going to continue to try and push the envelope with events and ideas that might be offensive, but so far I’m okay with it. Though the show still needs to find its identity before becoming a true success. Right now, it’s just a show about a lower-class family trying to stick together, even though they sometimes have no reason to do so. Are we looking at crass humor? Dysfunctional family drama? Or just a show with gimmicks?

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