Shameless needs to set an end date.
Shameless Season 9 Episode 3 was another frustrating hour of this once-hot Showtime drama, and it only made me wonder why the show is pressing forward with the dull and predictable storylines.
At its peak, Shameless was one of the best shows on television, but it's so far gone now that the only way to fix it is to, A) get a new creative team, and B) get rid of some of the characters if there's no story left to tell for them.
The show still packs some humor, but everything else about it is becoming a nonsensical mess. Frank was once one of the best-written characters on all of television, but the current political storyline for him is making me loathe the character more than I should.
At the top of Shameless Season 8, Frank was in employment, and that was a layer to the character we hadn't seen before, so it showed us another side to him.
That's why this whole political storyline is a turkey. He's back to doing everything he can for his own financial gain, and it's like a retread.
He can talk the back legs off a donkey, and that was perfectly illustrated when he managed to sway the customers in the alibi to vote for a man who slept with a fifteen-year-old.
While I'd like to believe that wouldn't happen in real life, the world is becoming such a messed up place that there's no telling whether people would knowingly vote for someone with those tendencies.
What surprised me most was that Kev and V allowed Mo to spend time in the bar, despite their desperate attempts to improve the image of it.
Kev: They made a list of rapiest bars and The Alibi’s number one?
V: They even pay black prostitutes with big boobs. I’m gonna kill that bitch.
Being voted the rapiest bar in town is not exactly the best. If anything, it should stop people from attending, but when you have a couple who are all too happy to embrace change at the wheel, they'll figure it out.
The only storyline I'm remotely invested in is Debbie's, and that's a real shocker.
If you watch Shameless online, you know that she's been through a lot over the years, but having her fight for equal rights has taken her to a new place.
She's happy and has found herself getting closer to the female posing as a male in the workplace. So close that she's questioning her sexuality.
Ian was brutal when he kept shutting his sister down as she questioned everything. He should have listened more rather than tell her that she's not gay or bisexual.
Debbie has never had the best track record in relationships, so there's a possibility that she could like females more than she initially thought.
Man: You’re sure this isn’t about the money?
Frank: Of course it’s about the money.
There's every possibility that she's getting caught up in the moment with this woman because they're doing a lot of things to take down the patriarchy.
Either way, we've been getting a different side to a character we've followed for over eight years, and that's no easy task.
Then there's Lip. Lip has searched for meaning for several years, and he thinks he's found his calling by looking out for people.
Did anyone really expect the whole Xan storyline to be plain sailing? It was only a matter of time before she wound up in the hospital to remind Lip that he's not her guardian.
What this hospital plot showed was that Lip would happily ruin someone's life to get his way. Turning to Brad was a desperate move.
Asking him to pose as Xan's father was low, and I actually clapped when Brad said no and left him high and dry in the hospital.
Brad only got his life back on track after his latest fall off the wagon. He had to battle to get his now-wife to believe that he had changed his ways.
He's in a great place, so the very notion that he would throw it all away for some kid who he doesn't know is laughable.
Lip's made things a whole lot worse by taking Xan from the hospital because an investigation will be launched and his picture will do the rounds in the media.
There is no outcome in which he and Xan will be happy, so he's probably expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.
Liam making his way to public school was a culture shock for him. Gone are his days in the private school, and now he's helping a much older kid get better grades for protection.
I half expected Debbie to show up and take the girl out for bullying her brother, but I liked that Liam showed his initiative and found a way to manage it for himself.
He's not cut from the same cloth as his siblings, and that's why he's choosing to not go on the offensive. He wants to get by in the school and be done with it.
That's all I got, Shameless Fanatics!
What are your thoughts on the direction of the series? Is it time to end it?
Hit the comments below.
Shameless continues Sundays on Showtime.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.