Tag Archives: Showtime


Shows To Watch 2012: Shameless

What do you get when you have six kids (the oldest raising the other five); a deadbeat dad, who’s only full-time occupation is to be a con artist and get hammered; a high-end car thief that is actually an ivy league drop-out, and an agoraphobic? The building blocks for the U.S. Showtime series Shameless.

There is nothing envious about how the Gallagher’s live. They are a lower-class family living in Chicago, fighting to get by financially and trying to figure out life.

But this is no pity party.

I can’t help but laugh at the absurd predicaments that the Gallagher’s find themselves in, usually all thanks (or no thanks) to Frank Gallagher a.k.a ‘Frank the Plank’ (William H. Macy), the single parent to the six Gallagher children.

Frank is constantly scheming ways to make a quick buck and support his addictions. This can involve pretending to be homeless, hurting himself on the job to continue collecting disability and even taking a woman with Alzheimer’s out of a nursing home to play as the Gallagher’s longtime deceased Aunt Ginger — all so he can continue to collect her social security check when the state comes calling. Macy gives the role the life and energy it demands without stealing the show.

Even though Frank is around, he is never really there for his kids – and they are probably better off.

So, Fiona (Emmy Rossum), the oldest of the Gallagher children assumes the role of mom and dad. Fiona works odd dead-end jobs to keep a roof over the heads of the five younger kids that live in the house. There is Phillip, who is academically inclined (and gets busted for taking the SATs for other kids); Ian, who is struggling with the secret of being homosexual (only a handful of people know); Debbie, the charismatic sister with a heart of gold (she only keeps a small amount of the money she collects for charity); Carl, if he’s not getting suspended he’s setting something on fire, and baby Liam.

Shelia Jackson (Joan Cusack) plays the kooky neighbor with a weird obsession with shoes in her home and is the agoraphobic mother of Karen (Phillip’s girlfriend) and wife to Eddie, a blue-collar worker that is obsessed with religion and clowns. In season one, Shelia and Eddie separate, and Eddie moves into the basement with his clown collection while Shelia and Frank develop a relationship (literally) over his head. Cusack and Macy have a loving and comedic relationship that is really blossoming in the show and something I cannot wait to see more of in season two.

Season two finds the Gallagher’s getting ready for summer, the kids are out of school, and they are all getting odd jobs to make extra cash to keep things afloat through the winter. Frank is up to his usual conman gimmicks that leave me laughing out loud; Shelia has overcome (mildly) her agoraphobia, and Fiona is dating around trying to forget Steve, who at the end of season one, took off for South America to hide from the law.

I’d tell you more, but I think they can do it best themselves.

Shameless Season 2 airs January 8, 2012 on SHOWTIME.

The Borgias

Shows To Watch In 2012: The Borgias

Showtime is known for producing hit series such as “The Tudors” and “The Sopranos.”
Now, Showtime has produced a combination hit with the original crime family, “The Borgias.”

The Borgias” first aired in April 2011 and had the highest ratings for a Showtime season premier in the past seven years. The show began to take shape in 2010 during the final season for “The Tudors” after four popular seasons.

The show is set in Rome and the Vatican in the year 1492. Rodrigo Borgia is in control of the papacy and holds this position through unscrupulous means and continues to use those around him to achieve advancement for the Borgia family.

The first season of “The Borgias” has Rodrigo Borgia a.k.a Pope Alexander, played by award-winning actor Jeremy Irons, winning the cardinal conclave of votes to become Pope of Rome through bribery and other “unholy” means. The newly elected Pope has three sons and a daughter from courtesan Vanozza dei Cattanei (Joanne Whalley), whom Rodrigo leaves for another mistress, Giulia Farnese (Lotte Verbeek).

Juan (David Oakes) the eldest son of Rodrigo, is a hot-tempered soldier with a deadly concern for his own interests; Cesare (Francois Arnaud) the second eldest son, has followed his father into the church as a cardinal but has hired an assassin to work for him in the Borgia family name; and Joffre (Aidan Alexander) the youngest son, is still too young to cause much trouble. The most famous Borgia, Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger), transforms from a young girl into a woman through the murderous death of her friend Djem (Elyes Gabel), an arranged marriage to an abusive husband and pregnancy out of wed-lock.

The season two promo trailer aired on Showtime in Dec., but as of yet is not available online. If you weren’t lucky enough to see it, it is fair to say that season two of “The Borgias” will be darker and more dangerous. The situations Lucrezia faced in season one has given her the fuel to develop her infamously dark reputation. We get a taste of the murderous Lucrezia as she lights a rope on fire that is attached to a chandelier. The metal chandelier hanging over the bed of a passionate couple falls fast. It doesn’t clearly show who she is murdering, but it definitely does its job plying fans with curiosity. Brothers Juan and Cesare appear to be even more at odds and I’m taking a historic guess that their rivalry may become deadly. The King of France has been “welcomed” into Italy and handed a plague infested Napels to rule, I’m sure he isn’t happy about that and in reality the Borgias want him gone. A war is on the verge.

Rodrigo is finding more lovers, as well as is his mistress Giulia Farnese; and from the trailer, it appears as though one of her lovers may even be Vanozza, Rodrigo’s previous paramour and the mother to his children …

Set your DVRs because this season will be nail biting and steamy.

For more information visit sho.com.

The Borgias Season 2 airs April 2012 on Showtime.