Wow, this is a huge step down from the premiere. I'm sure there are plenty of people who may not agree with me on this one, and I completely respect that, but jeez.. there was just way too much going on here and everything that was actually happening felt ridiculously over-done and goofy. The show works better as a quirky drama, but somewhere between the random sex scenes, the musical montages with rock music set to scenes where the Gallagher family tries to find Frank or find coupons and steal food, between all that, the show turned into a weird sort of comedy with awkward drama moments. Whereas the characters were on the brink of being fleshed out in the pilot, there's blandness all around, except for Macy, who delivers a powerhouse performance here.
That's not to say there wasn't some promise in the scenes. I still enjoy the characters despite the step back, and if anything, the only character I'm not exactly in love with at this point is Steve, played by Justin Chatwin. I thought his character was charming at first, but he's starting to come across as slightly creepy. I'm sure that's not the way he's supposed to come across to the audience, but the way that Fiona responds to his advances make him out to be a weirdo.
William H. Macy was also superb here as Frank. I'm still really annoyed that we're watching this "shameless" family and the events of their life without exactly understanding how their lives could be this messed up. People aren't just born this way; there has to be some method to the madness, something that sparked the sudden spiral downward for Frank and company. I'm sure they'll get to it, or maybe I'm just hoping too much. Either way, I'd really like to see some background information on this family.
Also, one more thing: get Joan Cusack out of this show. "Shameless" has more than its fair share of dysfunction.. as if we need a sex-addicted agoraphobic mother who has copious amounts of kinky sex toys and likes to cook food for her suitors. That entire scene with Frank and Karen's mother was awful. The rest of the episode wasn't much better, but at least we know the show has some potential, and I've heard word that the third episode is the best of the first three.