"Shameless" Episode 5 "Three Boys"

2/11/2011 Posted by Admin

"Shameless" Episode 5 "Three Boys"

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover

Up until the last two episodes, "Shameless" had some nice upward momentum going. And now, here we are, back at the bottom where testicle jokes and characters with Tourette's are considered the highest form of comedy. You're better than this, "Shameless," you really are.

Episode 5 revolved around two equally idiotic plots. The first involved Frank (sort of) getting a new lease on life after a testicular cancer scare and the second was all about the little "I'm already married" reveal from Kev. The latter plot was perhaps the most disappointing because it didn't really pay off or offer much in the way of development. Kev's wife turned out to be a seemingly garden variety psycho who threw plates at him but was beautiful. We aren't really given an explanation for why Kev hasn't just divorced her because apparently we're supposed to focus more on the fact that Veronica's late father left her an undisclosed amount of money as a kind of dowry and the Gallaghers need to help her get it by throwing a fake wedding.

As if that wasn't enough for the plot, with its family pillaging and total lack of stakes, we get introduced to Marty, Veronica's brother who escaped from prison just to be at her wedding. But the show can't stop there, oh no. It has to add on all kinds of "hilarious" characteristics for Marty, such as his pyromania. And his bipolar disorder. And his Tourette's. Falling under the "Family Guy" school of thought (which makes sense, with that show's Alex Borstein penning this episode), "Three Boys" was the ultimate example of never knowing when to say no to extremes. Because if something's funny in a small, regulated dose it'll surely be funny when overdosed, right? Right? Right? Right?

Even Frank, who can normally save this show from its bad habits, was a disappointment in this episode. Despite providing the episode with its title, Frank's plot went absolutely nowhere, had no pay off and was completely irrelevant. We learn Frank has three balls. A sketchy free clinic doctor thinks this might be a problem and Frank somehow doesn't realize it's not normal to have three balls. He gets a biopsy and everything is fine. That is literally the entire progression of the storyline, with one severely stupid mention of "getting a second chance at life" thrown in for good measure and the unceremoniously dropped the next second.

Elsewhere, Steve disappoints Fiona, Sheila (surprise!) can't make it out of the house to go to Kev and Veronica's "wedding" and Karen and Lip have their requisite underage sex scene. The whole thing was so predictable and bland I feel like I could have reviewed this episode without anything to go off of except for brief snippets of dialogue. The sole shining light was, once again, the awkwardness of Ian and Kash's relationship.

The show has been surprisingly brave about exploring the ickier aspects of the two's relationship and this episode offered a potential epiphany for Ian as he realizes his sneaking around with Kash isn't so fun when the stakes are literally right in his face, as they were when the two attempted to spend an evening together at Kash's home and thus surrounded by evidence of his "blissful" family life. I feel like I could love this show if it could find a better balance of these two worlds, that of the Gallagher's righteous amorality and the stickier problems they mostly don't even know about. "Shameless" needs to ditch the blunt humor and superficiality and focus on the unique traits it has, otherwise it's going to get lost in the current sea of quality TV very, very soon.

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