It takes a while for some shows to reach the tipping point where they break through the cultural conversation and get talked about in a serious way. Most recently this occurred with Enlightened, Mike White’s fantastic half-hour comedy that just wrapped up its second season on HBO. This breakthrough came for shows like Breaking Bad leading up to its third season, Girls and Louie before they started but even more so as they began their second seasons, and Arrested Development just as it was concluding/being cancelled. Nearing the end of its third season on Showtime, Shameless has yet to break through this ethos.
I think that will change soon. In today’s media landscape, shows tend to find their audience after their season has concluded, and the quality of one season becomes projected onto the next. Some shows also just require some momentum to work properly, and take time to build up that momentum. This third season of Shameless has seen its momentum build to its highest yet, and I’m fairly certain the brilliance of this season will result in this show becoming one of the most anticipated when its fourth season is set to arrive next year, as it has already been renewed by Showtime because they never cancel anything. And people seem to be watching it quite a lot. All that’s missing is the critical chatter.
With that in mind, I’d like to offer 6 of the show’s greatest strengths for critical consideration. It doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
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