Shameless is one of the craziest comedy dramas on televison, but that's why I love it. Known for its Emmy worthy cast and off the wall storylines — specifically where Frank Gallagher is concerned — the show has been a fan favorite for seven years now. As a huge fan of the show, preparing for the seventh season was somewhat of a challenge as Shameless struggled a little last year.
Check out the trailer for Season 7:
To be fair, the show has had a pretty rough ride over the past two years due to several of the main cast members leaving the show, but the Chicago-set dramedy learned to adapt and it worked really well during the fifth season. Season 6 proved to be a step in the wrong direction as the Gallagher family were separated much too often leaving us with a collection of random storylines that — apart from the characters sharing a surname — had nothing in common whatsoever. However, it appears as if most of the show's problems have been washed away with Frank in the Chicago lake, as the Season 7 premiere returned Shameless to the show that we all fell in love with.
If you're unable to wait, then you'll be pleased to know that the Season 7 premiere, entitled "Hiraeth," is officially available to stream over on Showtime's official site and on their Youtube channel.
The Gallaghers Are Reunited Again
The Gallagher family are the heart and soul of Shameless; without them there is no show. My biggest problem with the show's sixth season is that all of the family members were separated and barely interacted at all. Season 7 starts incredibly strong on this front and apparently rectifies this issue. Fiona, Ian, Lip and Debbie are all in their childhood home at the same time and it feels like Shameless again. There are also moments of tension which makes it all the more enjoyable — it feels as if we stepped back in time to Season 1.
Another thing that caught me off guard was how involved in each other's lives the siblings are. For example, Debbie knew that Ian was staying at Caleb's and Fiona has become a mom again — getting her siblings up for school and checking they are all accounted for. As a person who enjoyed the first five seasons of the show, it was a joy to see the Gallagher clan reunited. If this continues, then Shameless is in for one hell of a season.
Fiona Is Going Solo
Fiona hasn't had much luck with the men in her life. With the exception of Jimmy/Steve, none of her romantic partners ever felt like they could've been the one for her. Season 6 saw her date Patsy's Pies owner Sean and although the two's relationship was one of the better things about the sixth season, his inability to commit to her proved that he wasn't the man for Fiona.
Season 7 picks up about a month after her almost-wedding and she's the temporary manager of Patsy's Pies. On top of reclaiming her parental role of the Gallagher siblings, she's doing a pretty great job of holding down the fort at the food establishment while the council search for a new manager. Perhaps the most important thing about her character this season is the fact that she pledges to stay single — Fiona will take time to figure out what she really wants out of life, realizing that she doesn't need a man to make this happen. I'm really glad that the show is giving Fiona the chance to figure things out for herself, because she deserves it after sacrificing her own life to raise her siblings. It's Fiona's time now.
Frank Is Back In The House And It's Hilarious
Although William H. Macy often gets credited as the main character, Frank isn't one of the characters who appeals to me much. I'm not a fan of how much screen time gets spent on his antics — I'd much rather see more time spent of the likes of Fiona and Ian — characters who actually develop on an emotional level. I have to to admit though, when his was facing death in Season 4, I did connect more with him because this storyline allowed Frank to break through the satirical barrier that prevented him from being perceived as a realistic character. However, Season 6 separated Frank from everyone else too and this made the show lose its comedy factor.
Thankfully, Season 7 has reunited Frank with his family and we're back to Fiona physically removing him from the premises, making for some comedy gold. Macy is excellent as Frank because no matter how many times the character does the same thing, it's still funny. It's obvious from the premiere that the seventh season will return the power dynamic between Fiona and Frank as they vie for parental control of the Gallagher household. Isn't that what Shameless was always about?
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Ian And Caleb Are Coming To An End
I never liked the Ian and Caleb relationship. However, as much as I loved Ian's earlier relationship with Mickey Milkovich, my resentment for the Ian/Caleb pairing has little to do with that. Caleb seems controlling and rather condescending towards Ian. I also feel that the relationship came out of the blue — Ian had just broken up with Mickey and had very little time to figure out who he was an individual before jumping into a new relationship. This relationship also meant that Ian spent less time in the company of the other Gallagher siblings. I also felt that the sudden separation between Ian and Svetlana's son Yevgeny was unusual and unwarranted. I think that Ian's separation from the other main characters played a large part in why Season 6 felt less like Shameless.
The dynamic in the pair's relationship certainly changes in the seventh season premiere and it becomes apparent that this thing between them was never meant to last. Caleb was introduced as a learning curve for Ian to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. Just be prepared: If you didn't like Caleb before Season 7, you'll really hate him now. I hope we see more focus on Ian during Season 7 — actor Cameron Monaghan is simply wonderful in this part and I feel that, as a character, Ian is easily the most interesting of the Gallaghers.
Svetlana Steals The Show
Isidora Goreshter's Svetlana makes a welcomed addition to the show in her first appearance as a series regular. I've said it before: It's about time that she became more prominent. When Shameless had its less than stellar moments last season, Goreshter saved it — Svetlana's one-liners and humor were easily the greatest thing about Season 6 and I couldn't be more thrilled about the fact that she's now a series regular.
The Season 7 premiere only intensifies why Goreshter should've been made a regular long ago as Svetlana continues to steal every scene that she is in and seeing her working behind the Alibi bar fills me with joy. I was uncertain at first about her inclusion in Kevin and Veronica's relationship, but this episode won me over — the chemistry between the three characters is undeniable. Kevin said it himself, there is literally nothing that she cannot do.
Watch the full episode via Shameless' official Youtube:
Maybe it's unfair to judge a show based on one episode, but if Season 7 continues to explore the storylines set up in its premiere episode, then Shameless fans are in for a treat. Cameron Monaghan recently said in an interview that Season 7 would explore new beginnings for the Gallaghers and it appears that he was right. Season 7 is Shameless' new beginning and so far, it's definitely paying off.
Catch up on Shameless before the new season by watching Seasons 1-6, now on Hulu.
Shameless Season 7 begins airing October 2nd on Showtime. The premiere episode is available to stream now unedited over at Showtime's official site and exclusively on YouTube. What do you hope to see in Season 7 of Shameless? Tell me in the comment section below.