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Aurora Snow’s Shameless: Season 4: Ep. 01 “Simple Pleasures” Review

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“Simple Pleasures”

It’s back! Get ready for another season of Gallagher mishaps. Season four’s premiere picks up right where we left off, just a few months later. For once there’s a glimmer of stability in the Gallagher household, they’re climbing the social ladder, in fact they’re doing so well they can afford to buy orange juice with pulp (no more frozen concentrated slush for this family!). As Fiona said, “We’re creeping up on the poverty line.” While the Gallagher lifestyle may seem farfetched at times, there are millions of families that can identify with their disadvantages and struggle for a better life. It’s about doing the best you can with what you have and the Gallagher’s haven’t had much.

Fiona is three months into her job at Worldwide Cup and on the verge of earning full benefits plus a 401k. Jimmy/Steve, the carjacking boyfriend is out of the picture (quite possibly dead). I hate to admit it, but if Jimmy/Steve is really gone, I’m going to miss him. He brought a certain zest to the show. Fiona has traded in (or should I say traded up?) for her middle class boss, Mike. Fiona is on the verge of having a simplified life, the question is can she handle it? Anyone submerged in chaos for most of their life cannot adjust that quickly to an average status quo. I bet she’ll miss the chaos sooner rather than later. Emmy Rossum finally has the opportunity to show another side of Fiona, one that isn’t so hard up. And so far she’s doing a bang-up job.

Not only is Lip in college, he’s actually being put in his place, for once he cannot skate by on his smarter than thou attitude. He’s no longer the smartest kid on the block, he has to compete. Lip can only take so much before he reaches a boiling point and between his less than stellar roommate, work-study cafeteria job and the TA that gave his essay a ‘D’ his breaking point could be around the corner.

Speaking of breaking points, I thought Frank had finally met his, though he seems to hit new lows with each episode. His liver is failing, he needs to give up the booze but can’t. He’s a fish out of water and succeeding just as well as one. Carl and Frank bond over his illness — after all, no kid wants to see their parents die and as wretched as Frank may be his kid still loves him. Frank doles out fatherly advice about masturbation while Carl cares for his ailing pop by setting him up with booze enemas. It’s classy father/son moments like this that set Shameless apart.

Awkward best describes Debbie this season. She’s tottering around in Fiona’s high heels trying to look sexy, but winds up looking more like a lost little girl who’s wandered into mommy’s closet. With no role model or parents, she’s taken a cue from Fiona and is following in her big sisters footsteps. She’s at that age now when it’s all about boys and being attractive, unfortunately this just makes her an even more annoying character than before.

For once the Gallaghers are doing well. I almost feel sorry for them because the higher they rise the harder they’ll fall. It’s the well-plotted writing that makes these empathetic characters and their story so irresistible. This particular episode was uninspired, but a fun return to the Gallagher home nonetheless.

Aurora Snow Says:

Episode Rating:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Get up to speed on Shameless by reading our review of Shameless: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray

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