'Shameless' Season 11 Episode 1 Review: Debbie may be a registered sex offender but is that going to stop her?

'Shameless' returns with its eleventh and final season without a bang yet somehow blending in as if they haven't been gone for over a year already


                            'Shameless' Season 11 Episode 1 Review: Debbie may be a registered sex offender but is that going to stop her?
(Showtime)

Spoilers for Season 11 Episode 1 'This is Chicago'

It's a sunny day in the 'hood, wall murals profess Black Lives Matter in full swing and masked probation-serving convicts drop off their kids as schools reopen amid a still soaring pandemic: This is Chicago — the one that Frank Gallagher adores and clings on to. The one that he also worries is rapidly disappearing thanks to progress and a bigger threat called gentrification.

But even with weed being legal in the state, things are not the same, and with television and film actively incorporating the new normal into their storylines, our intrigues were piqued by what would Frank had to say about the pandemic.

The raging alcoholic degenerate patriarch of the family of scammers would surely have a lot to say, especially with his activism against the gentrification of his Chicago neighborhood being one of his priorities. But no matter how chill he tries to be with the situation, referring to the coronavirus as a "hoax" or even "the Vid", Frank's barrage of whiny complaints about everything under the sun is clouded by the sheer scams his daughter Debbie is able to come up with.

Doesn't come as a surprise really. Debbie was always too fond of her daddy, until big sister Fiona ran the Gallagher household at least. But with the iconic character out of the map, although Debbie grew to show the same stone-cold shrug towards their absentee father, the apple hardly falls far from the tree, and on her list of accomplishments as Frank's daughter, she might have just made being a registered sex offender work in her favor.

'Shameless' returns with its eleventh and final season without a bang, yet somehow blending in as if they haven't been gone for over a year already. The gaping hole left by Fiona is still staring at us loud and clear: there is no replacement, no matter how many power-packed psychotic female characters John Wels mixes into the plot. But that's a story done and dusted, and we're tired of complaining about the lack of force that was her.

Little sister Debbie is climbing the ropes just fine without Fiona and sure knows where to find the company that could turn even being on probation and house arrest to work for her benefit.

While Lip co-parents and works on his relationship with baby mama Tammi and Ian and Mickey continue to struggle to be on the same page about their marriage, Liam once again is largely absent from the season premiere, as Carl takes the spotlight by being the only one acing his dreams. Even Kev and V resuming their weed business with their twins Jemma and Amy rolling joints like a pro at five years old can't take the spotlight away from our unsung hero of the Gallagher family.

Throwback to Season 6, when a 14-year-old Carl told his girlfriend's strict cop father that someday, he would be one too. Sure he does it his own Gallagher way, by proving himself through lying under the oath, but he wins the uniform eventually and if that doesn't make you proud, Debbie's new girlfriend sure will.

Always as the messy redhead, Debbie's means to become anything but a Gallagher has been what's made her more of a Gallagher than the genes in her body. After Julia slammed statutory rape charges against her, Debbie stays at home with her new girlfriend, brewing the prospects of another couple-goals slaying Gallavich with Sandy Milkovich.

We thought they would be a booty call and nothing more, but we meet the two more domesticated than the other married Gallavich couple while Debbie's daughter Franny bejewels her ankle monitor. As the resident handywoman who "does everything", Debbie is having little success with the local sex offender's list registering her victim as a seven-year-old.

But where there's a Milkovich, there's always a way, and Sandy decides to sign Debbie up using her incredibly hot mugshot as a new Instagram account. With the username 'hotlesbianconvict', Debbie's Instagram blows up as the wrongly accused minority convict whom people are discriminating against because of her sexuality. Genius, right? Julia was just 10 months younger, after all, making the girl 17, and a willing participant in whatever happened between the two on a whim.

It was still wrong and Debbie was once again being extremely stupid, but she makes better company now. Sandy's genius idea has others comment on Debbie's new profile with job prospects because who doesn't love a hot lesbian, right?

It is these satires that Wells incorporates into his storylines which makes the heavily controversial 'Shameless' so highly anticipated, and once again Debbie doesn't disappoint. And did we say we're all here for the new Gallavich? Mickey and Ian should watch out, definitely.

'Shameless' Season 11 premiered on December 6 and will air every Sunday at 9 pm on Showtime.

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