February 20, 2012 12:00 PM

>SHAMELESS

Now in season 2, Showtime’s Sunday comedy-drama is about a rotten tree and its bruised fruit. Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) wastes his life drinking, hustling for money and fighting his impoverished children, most of whom have inherited his desperate knack for the con. The show is technically flawless—so is Macy, strutting like a mangy Mick Jagger—but the Gallaghers’ raucuous, defiant pride never really engages me. I feel like I’m stuck in a documentary about the underclass. []

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