Still Watching: Shameless

Shameless has strayed so far from it’s original quality that it’s practically a different show.  I don’t blame Emmy Rossum for leaving after nine seasons and do wonder as a talented, beautiful actress who can sing how much she missed out on in her career by staying on this dead horse for as long as she has.  I know the ability to sell the show to streaming services and it’s “second life” when it came to Netflix is why they are still producing it – but the question is – are you still watching it?

I could write a phone book about what’s wrong with the show, there are dozens of specifics but they all come back to the same overall point – this was once a show about something that has now become a series of comedic set pieces that if  they require an ongoing narrative to be abandoned for the joke to work – they will do that in a heartbeat.  This show essentially has three main characters (now that Cameron Monahgan’s Ian is in jail)  Emma Kenney’s Deb and Ethan Cutkosky’s Carl have been able to expand their story lines as they’ve gotten older, especially as they both hit 18 in season 8 which has kept the show somewhat watchable.  But if you step back to just those three main characters – they have had almost no interaction for the last five seasons.  Sometimes Emma Rossum’s Fiona and Jeremy Allen White’s Lip will share a cigarette denouement of a episode, but William H. Macy’s Frank has essentially been on a different show for more than half the run.

So now that the second half of season 9 has started back up (and boy do I want to get old man yells at cloud cranky about recent season conventions – if it’s off the air for more than a year it’s a new season GOT’s!)  are you still watching?  Does the quality drop bother you?  Did you see the ICE choir thing in the last episode and think as I did that it was the most tasteless thing this show has ever done because it’s about real people suffering in the real world rather than their stupid fictional characters?