Shameless (2011– )
8.6/10
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1 user 1 critic

Simple Pleasures 

Lip is struggling at college. Debbie is growing up and discovering boys. Carl is entering puberty. Frank medically is worse than ever and Fiona is going out with her boss.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Ian Gallagher (credit only)
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Storyline

As we catch up with the Gallagher clan, Fiona is dividing her time between caring for the household and working at Worldwide Cup with her boss/boyfriend Mike Pratt. While her job and relationship are going smoothly, life at home is thrown into a state of upheaval with the reappearance of a drug-addled and deathly ill Frank. With Lip off at college and Ian still missing, Fiona attempts to connect with Debbie and Carl, who are dealing with the upheaval of their adolescent hormones (or lack thereof). Season premiere.

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

12 January 2014 (USA)  »

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Connections

Features Dance Dance Revolution: Revolution X (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Is It True
(uncredited)
Performed by The Pollywogs
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User Reviews

Maybe finally moving beyond Fiona
12 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Shameless is a bit of an odd show. Sure, there are plenty of over the top white trash moments throughout the first three seasons and enough baby daddy drama to satisfy anyone's guilty pleasures, but the oddness is in how the show continues to maintain one's attention when the plot becomes rather hollow.

Entering this fourth season, many visceral conflicts that characterized past seasons are settled and in their stead is a premier episode that feels a bit Shameless-lite. Sure, there is the serious decline of Frank's health after a lifetime of alcoholism, Debbie's rushed transition into adolescence, more baby mama drama from Kev and V and Mickey learning to live with Ian's absence, but this episode doesn't hit with the same urgency like the previous season premiers. And yet there are major improvements already over last season.

With the departure of Jimmy and the attainment of financial stability, the focus of the show is finally not to Fiona. Debbie, Carl, Mickey and Kevin all get more time in the limelight and more to do. For what seems to be the first time, we see Mickey in the bar talking with Kevin and while it does seem out of place at first, it is a welcome evolution. Kevin gets two big concurrent problems within the episode, also another first. And, while the memory of her attempted murder and psychotic episodes haven't quite faded, Debbie behaves more like a normal girl her age-she shirks her responsibilities, goes out of her way to hook up with boys and shows no interest in her deadbeat father.

I am quite torn. Nothing truly big seems to be coming at the moment, at least not in comparison to what we have already seen, but if this less insane installment in the overarching narrative drifts away from the fixation on Fiona-Frank-Lip-Ian it has been nailed, bolted and riveted to,it could be a refreshing if odd change of pace.

"Frank is a cockroach, you can stomp on him, spray him... but he always comes crawling back up out the toilet bowl."-Kev Ball, 2014


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