“Shameless” season nine premiere is classic “Shameless” and I love it

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“Shameless” season nine premiere is classic “Shameless” and I love it


The "Shameless" season nine poster. Photo Credit: https://tvline.com/2018/07/26/shameless-season-9-trailer-showtime-video-poster/

The "Shameless" season nine poster. Photo Credit: https://tvline.com/2018/07/26/shameless-season-9-trailer-showtime-video-poster/

The "Shameless" season nine poster. Photo Credit: https://tvline.com/2018/07/26/shameless-season-9-trailer-showtime-video-poster/

Melissa Ellin, Editor in Chief

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On Sep. 9 “Shameless” had its season nine series premiere titled “Are you there Shim? It’s me, Ian.” While it won’t go down in history as the best episode ever, it certainly hit all the marks. Fiona grappled with family duties, Ian dealt with sexuality, Debbie did something crazy, Carl was well–Carl, Lip met a new girl and Frank managed an impossible feat. The only surprise was Liam’s character development, but we’ll get to that later, because there is a more pressing matter at hand.

For those of you who haven’t heard, (get out from under your rock) Emmy Rossum (Fiona Gallagher) will be departing from “Shameless” mid-season. What this means for the show’s future is uncertain, and the premiere gave no hints. I personally can’t see the show surviving once she’s gone. She’s the main character, but with Liam’s recent appearance in the show, it’s possible they’ll shift more focus to his storyline and have Lip as the new family guardian.

Season nine Lip may just be the best Lip yet. He’s taken on a fatherly role in his supervision of Xan, his former coworker/”girlfriend’s” niece, he’s sober, he has a job and he may even be looking to settle down. Yes, he did sleep with a woman soon after meeting her, then duke it out with her (at her place of work), but to be fair she started the fight and he was making an effort to get to know her. Seeing as she was the maid of honor and sister to his boss’s wife, she seems to be set up for a reappearance. I’m excited to see where the new and improved Lip ends up.

The youngest Gallagher also made a surprising move. In the premiere, we saw Liam develop morals no Gallagher has ever exhibited. After Frank stole silverware from all of the PTA mom’s he was sleeping with, Liam attempted to give it all back. Additionally, when Liam tells his family of his plan, Lip asks “How are you even a Gallagher?” Hopefully Liam’s strong sense of right and wrong will add something that has been missing from the mix, but if it doesn’t, I still want to see more of Christian Isaiah (Liam Gallagher). After all, Isaiah replaced the previous actors as of season eight. Prior to this, Liam was mute and it was uncertain as to whether he could speak at all. Since Isaiah’s casting though, Liam has changed for the better.

Of course, the other characters in the episode weren’t quite as put together as Lip and Liam. It wouldn’t be “Shameless” if they were, but we’ll start with Debbie. Debbie, Debbie, Debbie, where do I begin? She’s certainly cleaned up her act as I’m no longer in physical pain while watching her on screen, but whether she can continue to keep it up is undecided. Admittedly, Debbie was my favorite part of this episode. Mostly because she took on the issue of the gender pay gap in a way only Debbie could: by making an adult diaper. It should be entertaining to see what else she does this season.

Frank, the lovely Frank, also took on a hot topic in the form of sexually transmitted diseases. Of course, the way in which this was done was not as realistic as Debbie’s situation, yet something anyone “Shameless” fan knows Frank could pull off.

What exactly happened? Well, Frank slept with just about every mother on Liam’s school’s PTA board and managed to give them each three STD’s, and that’s not even the best part. After the entire PTA was tested and the infected were quarantined, it was found that everyone in the room had been cheating. The truly iconic moment was when Frank managed to convince the entire group he had done them a “public service,” and they actually believed him! While the scenario was completely, unrealistic it took me back to the old days when Frank would go on rants and convince people he was a genius. Like that one time when he became an LGBT icon despite being uber straight. It was nice to see the old Frank is still alive and kicking, and to know “Shameless” still has some goodies in store for its viewers.

And, of course, the fate of Ian, a legit LGBT icon (in the world of “Shameless”), was finally revealed. After last season’s cliffhanger we were all wondering just what happened to Ian after he blew up that homophobic man’s car. Well (obviously) he landed himself a spot in jail. You don’t get to blow up a car and get away with it, even if you’re a Gallagher. He somehow manages to become an LGBT activist for the men in prison, and he’s (not so shockingly) off his meds. (Honestly, what sane person blows up a car!) And Cameron Monaghan who plays Ian pulls off the deranged-man act with grace. Monaghan played young, innocent Ian well, but he’s proven time and time again he’s also able to take on the complexity that comes with playing a character with mental illness.

Unfortunately, I think in this episode Ian was used as fodder to further the plot involving Fiona. All in all, Ian had little screen time and when he was on screen he appeared very loco. This was used to demonstrate Fiona shouldn’t help him, and may even need to distance herself from family matters. (Perhaps this is why she leaves?) Needless to say, the major take away from Ian and Fiona’s plot is Ian may just need to stay in prison to learn a lesson, and Fiona (as usual) should allow him to do so, instead of bailing him out.

Which brings us to our next Gallagher, ex con Carl. This episode alluded to Carl slaying at military school, and may be pursuing the army after he graduates, if he can keep himself from going back to jail. At the end of the episode, we were left under the impression one of the cadets had killed Carl’s annoying wife, Kassidi, and Carl was informed of it. While I can’t help but think good riddance, it puts Carl’s entire army future in jeopardy because if she is dead, which appears to be the case, it means he’s an accomplice to the crime, as we see Carl goes home implying he told no one of what the Cadet had done.

As for Ethan Cutkosky who portrays Carl, I’d like to see a little more from him. He’s good at bossing people around, but aren’t we all? True, he didn’t get to write his lines and scenes, but I never get to see much emotion out of him.

The only characters left are Veronica and Kev and that’s because they really only served as comedic relief. It was funny to watch their kids act like dogs, and get treated as such, but they were ultimately an uneventful portion of the episode’s storyline.

Despite the show’s questionable future, “Are you there Shim? It’s me Ian” got me hooked. Even if you believe the premiere was too far fetched, that’s part of the “Shameless” charm. It is a comedy at the end of the day, not reality TV.