If there’s one thing I’ve discovered during this (probably the best) season of Shameless yet, one of the most significant running themes is that opportunities are fleeting for the Gallagher’s family and connections. So many of these characters scramble to keep their grip on the little pieces of hope or stability that they find, and they either get fried or completely destroy themselves. The problem is that constant sensation that everything has been falling apart, which has left me with some sinking feelings all season long. Here are my thoughts, hopes, and fears for the season finale and season 5.
There’s something about the way women swoon over gay relationships on television. Shameless has drawn a great deal of romantic attention for Mickey and Ian’s tumultuous affair. Whole Tumblrs are devoted to their moments together. I cannot help but wonder why I, and so many other women, are drawn to what is objectively a damaged and abusive love-affair constructed from internalized homophobia and slowly loosening repression. I have to wonder if observance of tortured gay relationships provides a means of satisfying a deeper desire for male tenderness while only proximally experiencing the abuses of that relationship. It makes me think back to the last Showtime-based gay relationship that ever got this dark: Queer as Folk’s Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor.