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Shameless: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray Review)

ShamelessThe Gallaghers are feeling the heat in Season Five! In the swelter of another Chicago summer, Fiona juggles a crush on her boss with a steamy affair and the return of her ex! Frank balances his brand-new liver against his old unhealthy appetite for liquor, drugs and trouble. Lip heads home from college and struggles to hang with his old South Side friends. Debbie has her first real boyfriend, Ian’s dealing with serious health issues, and Carl’s just dealing. Change is rampant as trendy coffee shops and yoga studios pop up in the hood, and the Gallaghers stumble toward finding out who they are and how to truly love. William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum and a stellar cast kick butt in all 12 seriously hilarious and heart-wrenching episodes. 

 

Shameless

The Series 

I should start by saying that I have seen the first three seasons of Shameless but missed out on the fourth one. I thought I would be like a fish out of water but it was no big deal adapting to the antics of season five. From what I gathered (and the hilarious recap) Fiona got addicted to cocaine, became careless, left it in the easy reach of Liam and then worst almost came true. Fiona also went to jail and Frank almost died but got a new liver to destroy just in time!

Yeah, that’s the main recap. As season 5 kicks in Fiona is under house arrest but also has a job, is doing fairly well there, but can’t really go anywhere else with the ankle bracelet hindering her plans. Frank is back it again – boozing and doing drugs and waking up in strange and hilarious places. Lip is in college now, or at least trying to get into his dream school while dating Amanda, who pretends to rich and spoiled but likes that Lip is poor, dangerous, and super smart.

One of the more grating yet hilarious storylines going is Veronica and Kevin’s Veronica gave birth to twins and Kevin has become the surrogate mother, because Veronica wants to carry on like she never had them. My favorite exchange after some drama was when Kevin calls her out on her child neglectfulness and asks her what did she expect when she had kids and she responds that she thought it would be like before but with more people in the house. You had to be there.

The more things change the more they stay the same and Shameless: Season 5 fits the mold. This is a good and bad thing, though. It seems that almost every character is a screw up, is given a sliver/glimmer of hope and what do they do? Screw it all up. That part of the season got old quick but it held me in its grasp, because the aftermath of these bad decisions were, more often than not, hysterical. I just don’t necessarily like the fact that we’re five seasons in and everyone on the show carries a “shovel” wherever they go. Granted, if the series continues to be hilarious then I will continue to watch. Season six will be out on Showtime next month.

Episodes

Milk of the Gods

I’m the Liver

The Two Lisas

A Night to Remem- Wait, What?

Rite of Passage

Crazy love

Tell Me You F**king Need Me

Uncle Carl

Carl’s First Sentencing

South Side Rules

Drugs Actually

Love Songs (In the Key of Gallagher)

 

 

Shameless

Video 

Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Shameless has always looked great on Blu-ray and this season is no different. Contrast and sharpness levels are accurate and I did not detect any instances of postproduction meddling.

Depth: The show has always been bright – it generally takes place outside and never looks overly pastel-ish. It’s a very natural looking show.

Black Levels: Black levels are generally crush-free and look good when featured.

Color Reproduction: The color wheel is a bit on the neutral side. Banding and pixilation are not an issue on this Blu-ray release.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones remain on the natural side unless someone is doing copious amounts of narcotics or nearly dying. Frank looks the worst, though.

Noise/Artifacts: I only detected minimal noise and anomalies but not enough to give a low score.

 

 Shameless

 

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, German, Dutch

Dynamics: Shameless sounds great on Blu-ray. It may be a drama-edy for the most part but the Blu-ray quality handles those elements and more without a problem.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel handled the low-end effects properly – there are a few action oriented beats and those came through nicely.

Surround Sound Presentation: The neighborhood is alive with the sound of chatter, fireworks, gunfire, etc. None of the rear surround effects ever interfere with the front sound stage.

Dialogue Reproduction: The salacious dialogue sounds great at all times.

Shameless

Extras 

The special features are quite light but informative. There two featurettes that shed light on season 5 in addition to interviews with the cast and crew. The commentary track on the episode of Tell Me You F**king Need Me is surprisingly candid but also quite serious. It’s weird listening to it, because one expects Frank and Fiona to be talking instead of Emmy and William. Deleted scenes round out the supplements.

  • 2 All-New Featurettes – Shameless Sex and Gentrify This!!! (HD)
  • Commentary on Episode 7 – Tell Me You F**king Need Me
  • Unaired Scenes (HD)
  • Digital HD Copy UltraViolet

 

Shameless

Summary 

Shameless is like a car wreck. No matter what happens – you can’t look away. Yes, it can get irritating due to some of the characters choices but the humor is what keeps it above water. It’s beyond scathing. The Blu-ray has near-reference video and audio, with some decent special features. If you’re already a fan then you need this. If you’re new to the Shameless world then you have some catching up to do!

 

 

Shameless: Season 5 is available on Blu-ray & DVD!

 

ORDER NOW!

Shameless

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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