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Shameless U.S. – Season One –Episode Five: “Three Boys” Review

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Written by : published Friday 29th July 2011

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Watch Shameless US at: http://www.thetvking.com/tvshows/18427/shameless-us/

What a relief it was to find Shameless U.S. back on top form this week. After last week’s average outing, Veronica’s fake wedding and Frank’s health scare at the doctor’s resulted in a welcome return to Aunt Ginger levels of quality entertainment. 

Three Boys found Frank (William H. Macy) undergoing a routine check-up at the disability clinic. Waiting in line, he ridicules the other patients to pass the time, viewing the mandatory appointment as a burden keeping him away from the bar. When Frank’s results come back, the doctor, a world-weary, chain smoking cynic, is concerned by the presence of a large lump ‘down under’, a third testicle, Frank calls it. Further tests must be made before the doctor can give Frank the okay. The news sends touchy Frank into a spiral of depression and armed with the perfect excuse to drink hard and a moan hard, the Gallagher family patriarch gets down to what he does best.

Elsewhere, Veronica’s mum is ecstatic at the news of her daughter’s engagement to Kev. She reveals that Veronica’s (Shanola Hampton) father put a nice chunk of inheritance away for his little girl before he died, but that the money can only to be accessed after she gets married. Dollar signs light up in Veronica’s eyes, but Kev, who is already married, looks mournful. Taking his life into his own hands, Kev reveals the awful truth to a disappointed Veronica, but Fiona (Emmy Rossum) comes up with a plan that will ensure the couple see the money after all: a fake wedding.

It’s still amazing to see the transformation William H. Macy has undergone in becoming Frank Gallagher. His grizzly, unshaved mug and unkempt locks are a far cry from the mild mannered, by-the-books characters he usually plays, and that’s just aesthetically. Contrary to Macy’s turns in The Cooler and Fargo, Frank is, despite his drunken foolishness, smart, cunning and in charge of his own destiny. And the American actor has visibly embraced the role wholeheartedly, playing the inebriated loser with gusto; at times losing himself completely in the part.

We meet a new cast member this week as Veronica’s brother Marty (Anthony Anderson) makes his debut. Marty is an escaped convict suffering from Tourette’s syndrome. He has a penchant for setting things on fire and his arrival in town is not met positively by Veronica who fears that her brother will ruin her fake wedding. Veronica and Fiona embark on a plan to keep Marty away from the wedding, and anything flammable.

Anderson’s portrayal of Marty was quite over the top at times, but the scene in which Veronica reflected on their childhood together was touching, even if it was followed by the revelation that it had all been a ruse to incapacitate her “big little brother”.

Ian (Cameron Monaghan) faces a massive dilemma in Three Boys. His lover Kash (Pej Vahdat) has a free-house for the night and wants to introduce Ian to his home. The romantic night-in backfires terribly when Ian, feeling uncomfortable surrounding by so many reminders of Kash’s marriage, finally comes to realise that their affair would have terrible repercussions if it were ever made public.

Also regarding Ian’s story, despite their relationship being fake it’s obvious that Mandy (Jane Levy) is going to get her heart broken by Ian sooner or later. The hugs and kisses she continues to plant on him suggest that she’s falling in love and that can only mean the inevitable return of her gruesome brothers. 

The Gallaghers seem to have a knack for breaking hearts, with Fiona’s treatment of love struck copper Tony (Tyler Jacob Moore) stinging. Yet again, she has to decide whether she wants to give goodhearted Tony a shot or stay with miracle man Steve (Justin Chatwin) and predictably Fiona ends up with Steve. There was no real sense of danger in Fiona’s ‘choice’; her decision to stay with the wheeler dealer was always set in stone. Why can’t Fiona see that Steve isn’t the right man for her? His smugness is becoming irksome and Chatwin, whose most notable acting role was in the critically-panned Dragonball Evolution, seems out his depth with the role.

The series felt quite detached last week, Casey Casden treading too much familiar ground and at times feeling jarring and disjointed. Three Boys didn’t feel that way whatsoever and there was a real gritty heart beating underneath the action and dialogue. The wedding reception was realistic in its rowdy atmosphere and Frank’s speech, preceded by the smashing of his pint glass to attract attention, was perfectly suited to the series’ tone.

Shameless U.S. seems to be back on track but the series has fallen into quality-control pitfalls as recently as last week. If the show can stay consistent with its output then there are good things ahead for fans, but this remains to be seen. Fingers crossed.

 

8/10

About the author JakeCunliffe125

JakeCunliffe125

I am a first year Journalism student studying at Huddersfield University. So far so good.

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