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'Shameless' recap: The more things change...

Season 5 | Episode 1| “Milk of the Gods” | Aired Jan 11, 2015

After what feels like forever, the Gallaghers are back! And for them, it’s summer. There’s nothing better than Shameless in the summer. The weather is warmer, the days are longer, and after a very dark season 4, we are all in need of some good ol’ fashioned Gallagher fun. “Milk of the Gods” does not disappoint.

One of the hardest arcs to watch in season 4 was Fiona’s downward spiral. After years of keeping it all together for her family, Fi completely fell apart. By season’s end, though, Fiona had been released from prison and was starting a new job. In the four months since, Fiona has been reclaiming the life she once knew and loved. She has made real friends at her job, including a boss (Dermot Mulroney) with whom she has grown very close. Her customers love her (and seem intent on seducing her). For the first time in a long time, Fiona is happy. She is the Fiona of days past, comfortable in her own skin, doing what she has to do to get by. There’s a ticking time bomb waiting for her, though: Jimmy’s going to resurface at some point. Fiona’s initial descent into darkness was, at least indirectly, precipitated by Jimmy’s disappearance, so how will he affect her newly found equilibrium?

Lip was the one Gallagher whose life was moving forward last year. He has now completed a full year of college and has returned to the ‘hood for the summer. Neither he nor his girlfriend, Amanda, were comfortable asserting their monogamous intentions for the break, but it seemed they both wanted to. Lip, though perhaps in denial of all the ways college has changed him, is having a hard time navigating his old stomping ground. He has discovered there’s more to life than getting wasted and wasting time, and he no longer has the desire to spend his days with his old neighborhood crew (whom we’ve literally never seen before). He even texted Amanda to check in. Lip was afraid of going to college and becoming one of those people who are too good for their hometown. Now he realizes that although he may not feel like he’s too good, there are certain things he’s no longer interested in—which may very well make people feel like he thinks he’s too good.

Ian and Mickey are living in domestic bliss with a pregnant Svetlana, who is acting as surrogate for a family who believes she’s a kindergarten teacher. Any animosity that existed between Ian and Svetlana has completely disappeared. Mickey, on a mission to take care of his family, dons a tie and heads off to the first “legit” job of his life. (“No guns,” he tells his brother/cousins.) He runs a moving company now, and for a split second it looks like Mickey has found real work, until he sells the entire contents of the truck to the highest bidder.

We have no idea how or when Ian emerged from his depression, but we do know it was without medication, as he is refusing to seek medical care. Ian appears to be acting “normal,” and yet as Fiona and Lip describe the symptoms of bipolar disorder to Mickey, it sounds likely that Ian has swung back to the other extreme. Remember, nobody noticed Ian’s manic episode the first time around, and after a period of serious depression, it makes sense that everyone—especially Mickey—would just be happy that he was functioning at all. Mickey is particularly dismissive of Lip’s assertion that hypersexuality could be a sign of a problem (what 17-year-old gay kid isn’t horny?). He probably won’t be as dismissive when he realizes Ian’s been getting all kinds of jobs from boys across the city. Gallavich finally has the opportunity to be together without any of the obstacles that previously stood in their way (I’m looking at you, Terry). Can they survive Ian’s extracurricular activities? Will Mickey recognize that it’s all part of Ian’s mental illness? It’s hard to imagine how Mickey Milkovich might handle feeling betrayed. Especially by the one person for whom he’s ever let his guard down.

There’s not much to say yet about Debbie and Carl. Debbie is still dealing with the misery of being a teenage girl. Her friends, Holly and Ellie, have stopped talking to her. I imagine this season is going to get quite interesting for Debs as she continues to grow up and figure out who she wants to be. Carl has a broken ankle and is hobbling around Chicago until he manages to steal an electric wheelchair. Carl Gallagher for the win.

Frank has decided he’s allowed to one beer a day with his new liver, and so he’s set out to make the strongest beer possible. He succeeds. Oh Frank, how we haven’t missed you. Meanwhile, Sammi is redefining shamelessness as she acts out decades worth of daddy issues. Now that Frank is healthy and doesn’t need his doting daughter anymore, Sammi is doing everything in her power to get Frank to notice her. This mostly means having various kinds of sex in front of him—and her poor son, Chucky. Yuuuuuck. On another note, Sheila and Frank are actually making a go of their sham marriage. Weird, but also oddly sweet.

And then there’s Kev and V, who are the absolute best. These two perfectly illustrate the tornado that can come through a marriage when kids arrive. Sex can fall down on the priority list, even for a couple like Kev and V, for whom sex used to be a way of life. V is really struggling with motherhood and is jealous of how easily parenting comes to Kev. These two are amazing together and this new chapter is very exciting. I can’t wait to watch their journey this season.

As the season 5 premiere comes to a close, it’s clear that the more things change with the Gallaghers, the more they stay the same. These characters have evolved so much over the years, and yet as Fiona texted the whole gang for an impromptu pool party at 11pm, it all felt so wonderfully familiar.

Shameless airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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