When Frank has the strongest storyline of the season, there’s something wrong going on in the writers room. After the superb season four, season five brought Shameless to some of it’s most least structured storylines the show has done so far, failing to utilize it’s casts talents by refusing to write them any storylines of consequence, with the only actor given anything to grit his teeth into being Cameron Monaghan, who plays Ian, who’s been dealing with his bipolar disorder. Even, Mickey (played beautifully by Noel Fisher), the breakout highlight of season four, was given less to do in order to service Ian’s storyline.
Frank was the only character who was given a storyline that ended in some sort of emotional payoff. Fiona, strong, beautiful Fiona, was reduced to a character who was a mess over men, while Debbie also became obsessed with the idea of dating a boy and having a family, despite only just really realizing her own sexuality. Lip was literally given nothing of consequence to (always a shame since Jeremy Allen White, along with Emmy Rossum, is one of the shows strongest actors) and V and Kev were shoved into a storyline no one wanted to see.
To get back to what made season four so great, the show needs to settle down, refocus itself on it’s core characters, and give them all a purpose for the season, something they need to fight for, as is the Gallagher way. It looks like Mickey is behind bars from the short teaser, which doesn’t bode well for this Fisher fan, but otherwise there is some interesting stuff going on in the trailer, quick as it is. We still have to wait until January 10th for the season six premiere, so hopefully this will hold us over until then.