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Shameless: The Complete Second Season(TV) (2012)
Season Two of Showtime’s boldest, bravest series dives headfirst into the sweltering heat of a Chicago summer, grabs Gallagher family life by the throat, and never lets go. Boozed-up Frank’s scams constantly fizzle. Grammy Gallagher visits after a stint in prison. Bipolar Monica returns to fan Frank’s flames. Hard-working Fiona plays the field…until Steve comes back with a hot new wife. Lip drops out to care for his and Karen’s baby. Ian’s gunning for West Point. The Gallaghers may lack rent money and toilet paper, but there’s never a shortage of heart or a moment of shame in this acclaimed drama.
For more about Shameless: The Complete Second Season and the Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray release, see Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on December 18, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Cameron Monaghan, Ethan Cutkosky, Jeremy Allen White, Emma Kenney
Directors: Peter Segal, Randall Einhorn
» See full cast & crew
Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review
"I'll keep that in mind when I'm feeding my family dogfood this winter."
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, December 18, 2012
Shameless is, in a word, shameless, and it's in that complete disregard for boundaries, moral fortitude and, well, good taste that the depraved Showtime series unearths surprising dramatic heft and sociopolitical relevance. With an outrageously negligent patriarch who puts every other alcoholic degenerate on television to shame and a troubled twentysomething operating as mother, father, breadwinner and sole stabilizing agent, the Gallagher clan, from youngest to oldest, is a mess of almost ludicrous proportion. It's all played for laughs and sympathy -- and sometimes both -- and paints a picture so objectionable that it's hard to look away. But there's a strange bond that develops between the Gallaghers and their premium cable audience, and an even stranger need to see if Frank, Fiona or one of the Gallagher kids will catch a break. Or rather catch a break they won't somehow sabotage a few scenes later.
Just a friendly warning: the series tends to be a tough slog, and Season Two is far tougher than Season One. It's also a rewarding slog... if, that is, you're able to weather the worst of the Gallagher storms, stomach the most self-destructive behavior Frank (William H. Macy) and Fiona (once sweet little Emmy Rossum) indulge in, endure the most delinquent misadventures of the grade-school Gallaghers, and happily hold out hope until that fateful moment when someone, anyone shows a fleeting sign of redemption. Shameless isn't for everyone, that's for sure. Those who warm to its particular brand of crude, rock-bottom dramedy, though, will be treated to another season of terrific performances, unpredictable story arcs, and perverse, deviant depravity unlike anything a viable series should be able to contain.
That said, it takes the better part of a dozen episodes to reach a point when the show's nasty habits and dangerously borderline unlikable characters start to pay off, and only eventually comes around thanks to the efforts of the smartly cast actors that engage so earnestly in all that economic muck and emotional grime. Vile and grating as Frank is, Macy uncovers a sliver of a soul in the sadsack father of six. Testy and temperamental as Fiona can be, Rossum works every angle and plumbs every depth to find the scared little girl doing her best to keep her family afloat. Even the youngest members of the cast, grossly maligned as their junior Gallaghers are, deliver the goods, Jeremy Allen White cheif among them. Justin Chatwin, who arrives late to the party several episodes into the season, accomplishes a great deal with the few hours he's afforded, rounding out a smartly, sometimes hilariously assembled stable of supporting talent and familiar faces that includes Joan Cusack, Steve Howey, Shanola Hampton, Laura Slade Wiggins and countless others. Shameless may be hard to watch, the Gallaghers may be an unsavory lot with a few too many sickos and sadists in their ranks, but the series is ironically one of Showtime's most addicting.
The Complete Second Season Episodes:
Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
Like its first season counterpart, The Complete Second Season is backed by a raw but refined 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation that outclasses its HDTV counterpart, stands shoulder to shoulder with Showtime's other Blu-ray stunners (Dexter and Homeland), and rarely deviates from its high-quality course. Colors, though intentionally yellowed, are suitably striking and well-saturated, skintones are relatively natural, and detail is exacting. Take note of every grimy inch of the Gallaghers' abode, every back-alley block of South Side's streets, and every last touch in the series' convincingly rundown production design. Notice the spittle and bits of bread caught in Frank's stubble, the stray hair or two that falls across Fiona's face, the nasty stains on the Gallaghers' couch, the frayed fabric of old hand-me-down clothing... I could go on, but you get the idea. Edges are sharp and clean, textures are surprisingly well resolved, and delineation is decidedly decent. (Even if muted black levels follow.) What's more, there isn't any substantial compression oddities or distractions to be found (minus the bristly noise that spikes on occasion). Ultimately, Shameless' second season looks as good as its first, and anyone who enjoys the show will be thrilled with everything it has on tap.
Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Frank and his family are no strangers to chaos and general rabble rousing, and Warner's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track latches onto every drunken wail, disheartened sigh, exhale of ecstasy and throaty bark of triumph that escapes the Gallagher clan's lips. Low-end output is hearty and healthy, lending the full weight of the LFE channel to whatever the situation or trouble calls for. The rear speakers aren't far behind, reveling in the sonic subtleties of Canaryville's snow-dusted streets, South Side's crowded bars and the series' most unsavory locales. Interiors boast terrific acoustics as well, exteriors are packed with ambient flourishes, and the soundfield is as immersive as they come. Dialogue doesn't disappoint either. Voices are crisp and clear, lines are never lost in the pandemonium, and quieter scenes are as impeccably prioritized as louder sequences. There are only a few mishaps to be heard and each one is a product of the series' rough-n-ready sound design, nothing more. The Complete Second Season is an AV pleaser.
Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I could have reduced my entire Complete Second Season review to a shoulder shrug, an "ehhh," and a "it's not for everyone." Those who manage to stick with the Gallaghers, though, will be treated to an unexpectedly human dramedy that sometimes sheds its ugliness and unruliness to reveal something softer and more beautiful inside. And even when that isn't the case, Macy, Rossum and really the entire cast's performances make Shameless one of the most addicting series on Showtime's roster. It all still feels like a boundary-bumping gimmick, sure, but there's more to the show, and the Gallaghers, than first impressions tend to convey. Warner's second season Blu-ray release is even better, with a top notch video presentation, a strong and salty DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, and a solid selection of extras. Shameless may not be for everyone, but those who invest in Frank, Fiona and the Gallaghers will quickly find that they haven't wasted their time.
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Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray: December 18-25 - December 15, 2012
For the week of December 18th, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing Premium Rush to Blu-ray. Criminally underseen during its initial theatrical release - the $35 million feature only grossed $20 million domestically - Premium Rush might be the year's most ...
• Shameless: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray - October 1, 2012
Warner Home Video and Showtime are bringing Shameless: The Complete Second Season to Blu-ray. The 2-disc set is accompanied by an Ultraviolet copy containing all 12 episodes. Shameless: The Complete Second Season arrives on Blu-ray December 18th.
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