Sunday, February 18, 2018

TV Review: Shameless, Season 8 (2017)

Shameless, Season 8 (2017) - Created by Paul Abbott, John Wells; Starring Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Jeremy Allen White, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Isidora Goreshter, Jessica Szohr.

By Kenny Howell

Showtime has developed a strategy over the last several years of latching onto a successful enough project for multiple seasons until it just completely runs out of steam.

That can be dangerous as something like Homeland hasn't been able to keep its momentum with some really down seasons. But Shameless has always been Shameless. It never was a great show, it was just an extremely watchable show with a talented cast that was game for all the craziness. It can't get out of its way occasionally, striving so hard to be shocking, but there are still plenty of moments to keep you watching even though we are eight seasons in now.

In Season 8, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has become a landlord and is dealing with the type of situations the Gallaghers created years ago. Frank (William H. Macy) is trying to recover from the loss of Monica, and tries to go on the straight and narrow. Lip (Jeremy Allen White) may have the best storyline of the season, as he plays caretaker for his alcoholic friends while still trying to keep his own sobriety. Ian (Cameron Monaghan) is trying to get back an old flame and gets in over his head by the end. Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) is about to head back to military school, but a new crazy girlfriend might derail that. Debbie (Emma Kenney) is trying to maintain a working mom's life. Kevin and Vee (Steve Howey and Shanola Hampton) are trying to have some kind of working relationship with Svetlana (Isidora Goreshter), even though she has taken the bar over.

That is really just the tip as the writing staff take each character in several different directions. That has always been their strength as they are able to keep each character involved with solid enough storylines surrounding our main story, which usually involves Fiona. It's been eight seasons, but they still keep it going, and it shows, at least in this case, Showtime's faith is paying off.

All eight seasons of Shameless are available with a Showtime subscription.

Rating: **1/2

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