we Shameless Season 11 Episode 1 Review: This Is Chicago ~ Naija Poets

After months of delays, Shameless is back and more uneven than ever. 

Shameless Season 11 Episode 1 picked up with the Gallaghers in a COVID-19 world, but it was probably the emptiest episode in the series' history. 

If you watch Shameless online, you know the root of the show has always been how the Gallaghers struggle by being not as well off as your typical TV characters. 

In fact, that's probably been part of the allure of the series for so long, and with shows embracing the pandemic, Shameless is the show I pegged to do it the best. 

These characters are genuinely struggling to make ends meet, but somehow, the premiere's execution managed to butcher much of the character development they've endured. 

Narratively speaking, there was no direction. A show in its final season should have set up conflicts that need to be resolved by the time the series finale arrives. 

In the case of Shameless, all of those conflicts were seemingly resolved at the close of Shameless Season 10, making "This Is Chicago" feel like a sketch show, filled with scenes of characters doing stupid stuff. 

The only character who felt like their usual self was Carl, and it's because his storyline actually has a purpose. 

He strives for change in the South Side and can bring the skills he has attained growing up in what can only be described as one of the highest crime areas in the U.S.

He may not be the smartest character, but he knows how to do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself. 

Debbie's storyline, on the other hand, bordered on offensive. Her sexual encounters with an underage teenager landed her on the sex offender's register and a criminal record. 

It was bad enough that the people who updated her records missed out on the "1," and everyone thought she had sex with a seven-year-old, but for her new girlfriend to pop up and make Debbie go viral for being "wrongfully convicted" was even more offensive.

The whole experience should have been a teaching moment for Debbie. Instead, she slept with an underage teenager and is now being made out to be some sort of Saint on Instagram. 

Shameless is no stranger to pushing the envelope, and, boy, we've witnessed some wild moments throughout its 10-year-run, but it's hard to see the humor in this storyline. 

Debbie is adapting to the new life, but being made famous for committing a crime is simply lazy writing in an attempt to get people talking about the show again. 

Ian and Mickey's marital bliss imploding was always in the cards. They are two very complicated human beings, but did we really need the side dose of convoluted drama?

We waited years for them to get together, so for them to bicker over whether to be monogamous and whether to share their money felt like a slap in the face. 

The way they decided to choose whether to have sex with other people or not felt like another forced way to make us doubt what Mickey really wants. 

We know he's not the brightest, but we should have been told what he had written on the piece of paper without all of the ambiguity.

Cameron Monaghan and Noel Fisher exited Shameless a few years ago and returned last season because they felt there were still stories to tell for their counterparts. 

They found their happiness on Shameless Season 10 Episode 12, and somehow, it's been ripped away from them. 

Where is the logic in that? They used to be fun to watch on-screen together, but it's one stupid scene after another with them nowadays. 

Frank is his usual self, and that's part of a wider problem with the series. He likes the sound of his own voice, so being fed liquor for implying the Gallaghers created the South Side was just par for the course. 

William H. Macy is at the stage in which he's being wasted on the series. There's no progression for the character, which makes me not want to watch any of his scenes. 

There used to be an element of fun nestled into his arc, but nothing Frank does is remotely exciting or worth talking about these days. 

Gentrification on the South Side has been on the horizon for years on the series, and the pandemic is only further accelerating it. 

I appreciate that Frank is worried about where that leaves him and the people he's grown up there with, but his plan to destroy gentrification will only end in disaster. 

There's a lot of money at stake, and the property developers are not going to roll over for a man who is quite simply the worst. 

Kev and V selling marijuana and keeping the bar open during the pandemic were not in the least bit surprising. They've broken many rules over the years. 

And I dare say their decision to keep the bar opened on the down-low is due to the crippling financial burden closing up shop puts on them. 

Even though they have the gym and the bar, they still struggle to make ends meet at the best of times. 

What did you think of the return? Are you digging the new storylines, or do you feel like the show has run its course? 

Hit the comments. 

Shameless continues Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime. 

source https://www.tvfanatic.com/2020/12/shameless-season-11-episode-1-review-this-is-chicago/


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