In its first season, I found Showtime’s “Shameless” to be a promising show that didn’t quite know what it wanted to be when it grew up. The American remake of the popular British drama, often adapting scripts from the original, straddled a line between comedy and drama, but seemed to be much more successful being serious than funny. Or maybe it was just that I found the scenes without William H. Macy as Frank to work better, whether they were comic or dramatic. Either way, Emmy Rossum was fantastic as Fiona Gallagher, as were most of the young actors in the cast. (And recurring guest star Jane Levy is already doing very well for herself as the star of “Suburgatory.”)
We’ll see if the new season, which debuts on January 8 (aka Elvis’ birthday), has a stronger handle on either tone or Frank Gallagher, but in the meantime, here’s the key art for the new season, showing the Gallagher clan figuring out the cheapest way possible to cool off in a typically hot Chicago summer.