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ElectricBoogaloo

S10.E08: Debbie Might Be a Prostitute

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Debbie weighs the pros and cons of a new career path; Frank uncovers the truth about Faye's living situation; a miscommunication between Ian and Mickey has disastrous consequences; Lip and Tami disagree over who should be taking care of Fred.

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Original air date: 12/29/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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I never complain about seeing Constance Zimmer but the whole "Debbie might be a prostitute" storyline was so dumb and such a waste of a good guest star.

I fully expected V to go full on South Side on Collette Wolf (who I recognized from You're the Worst and AP Bio) after everyone's faces got burned by here snail patches. Isn't the point of MLM schemes to get a lot of downlines so you keep making money from their sales? How can you do that if your product burns the shit out of people's skin?

As for Ian and Mickey's plan to get married so they wouldn't have to testify against each other about Paula's murder, my understanding of spousal privilege is that it only applies to things that you tell each other after the marriage takes place. But poor Mickey. First Ian talked him into this plan and then changed his mind after finding out that his coworker was the one who threw Paula out the window. What about all those great reasons you gave Mickey a few hours ago about how you love each other and want to be together? Those aren't valid once murder/prison are off the table?

I mean, at the very least Ian could have said, "Since we both know we didn't murder Paula, there's no need to rush into getting married right away. We can still be engaged and take our time planning a wedding," and then they would have time to talk about his fears about marriage rather than just flaking at city hall. Sheesh, Ian, way to break your boyfriend's heart!

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I like Ian and Mickey together but communicate well they do not.   Mickey has never been one to be able to vocalize his emotions.   Ian isn’t much better though.

I know people don’t like Debbie or the actress for whatever reason but I enjoy her and find her latest story entertaining. She likes this woman who is waaaaay out of her league as treats her like a prostitute but then the money is good so she is conflicted.

The Frank story is actually intriguing but maybe something that should have been dealt with years ago.   Franks “lovable louse” routine has to have left people in his wake besides his own family.    How many lives has he destroyed just to keep the drug fueled haze he like to live in?  

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

As for Ian and Mickey's plan to get married so they wouldn't have to testify against each other about Paula's murder, my understanding of spousal privilege is that it only applies to things that you tell each other after the marriage takes place. But poor Mickey. First Ian talked him into this plan and then changed his mind after finding out that his coworker was the one who threw Paula out the window. What about all those great reasons you gave Mickey a few hours ago about how you love each other and want to be together? Those aren't valid once murder/prison are off the table?

I agree Ian’s position shifted mighty awkwardly.  On Boardwalk Empire, a man asked a woman he loved to marry him, but it was also so she couldn’t testify, and he had a much better way of doing it.  He was just like, “will you marry me so you don’t have to testify?”  And the woman was like, “Don’t we have love?”  And the guy was like, “Yes, but I knew you weren’t  naive enough to know that’s why I was asking.”  And they got married.  It was just well-written stuff.   Way different than some of this.

Then there’s the spousal privilege (not having to testify against your own spouse) vs the marital communications privilege (communications between spouses not entering into evidence), as has been mentioned, and I wish they would have hashed that out a little more.  Ian is playing this murder of the parole officer all wrong.  First of all, Mickey is a hardened criminal, so if I were Ian, I would assume he did it.  I wouldn’t ask any questions, because that’s knowledge I wouldn’t want to have.  If Ian was right, and Mickey had done it, Mickey could take care of himself.  I still don’t know why they would have to get married.  All Ian knew was that Mickey came home late.  No secrets was divulged, there would be nothing to testify about, and even if there were, what happened to...lying?  Committing perjury?  Suddenly Ian can’t commit perjury??

I was happy to not get yelled at in the opening!  Lip gave those of us who watched the choice to fast-forward instead of cussing us out, because that was getting old.

Lip being overprotective of Freddie to the point where he interrupted intimacy to worry about a diaper rash is like Kev being overprotective of the twins, which resulted in Vee having an orgasm on some guy’s leg at the club.  It doesn’t ring true that he’d be this cautious.  He’s usually laid-back about everything.  

What did Debbie mean when she told Lip that the woman she hooked up with was older, but not older in a rapey way?  Isn’t that blurring the lines about rape?  If she’d have had voluntary sex with an old woman with grey hair and wrinkles, it would be rape?  I’m maintaining the idea that there’s no way the older woman would be so into Deb that she would just let her order room service and spa days.  Deb’s friend, maybe.  

When Frank was at The Alibi and asked Faye what could possibly be so wrong with her home, and did she have a husband?  It was funny when she was like, “no, much worse,” and he was like “children?”  I also laughed at Frank by way of Kurt Cobain in 1995.

They should have put another zero on that tax credit Kev and Vee received in the mail, putting it at just over eight thousand dollars.  Anyone who owns a business and a home, or at least rents a home, and has two kids, isn’t fazed by $800.  I love how Vee suggested Disneyland.  Yeah, $800 might just cover a day at the theme park, not hotel, air fair or incidentals, which really accrue during travel with children!

Liam’s storyline was pretty funny.  At least it was a new, clever take on the kneeling during the National Anthem thing.

Hasn’t Carl been trying to do the military/police thing since, like, season five?  It’s never been any good.  

This wasn’t a particularly strong episode, but it had a moment or two.  

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Re Frank, since most of his scams backfire one way or another, while his getting a slap on the wrist back in the day because of racism might have made me feel sorry for him if he had stayed clean since then, but Frank being Frank he's not only ruined his own life, he's dragged his kids down with him, so I've got no sympathy for him.

Re Kev & Veronica, since the only reason they're still in business is because they crashed an AA meeting, I don't have much sympathy for them, either.

Re Liam & Debbie, bore, rinse, repeat.

Nowadays,Lip & Ian are the only Gallagher kids I care about. Lip & Tami have their problems as parents, but at least they're trying, in their own way, unlike Frank. As for Ian, while I agree that Ian shouldn't get married for the wrong reasons, IMO it was Mickey who went too far. I don't care how hurt Mickey was, he shouldn't have hit Ian. As far as I'm concerned, being hurt isn't a license to hurt others.

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Mary Kay Place is always a welcome guest star on any show so I enjoyed the role she played here. I also liked what they are doing with Ian and Mickey. I've gone from being repulsed by Mickey to really caring about him in the last several seasons. The whole thing at the courthouse was just so heartbreaking. It's also interesting people are still meeting up at Patty's diner since nobody (in the regular cast) works there anymore. 

One sticking point - the scene at the beginning clearly showed that Paula was thrown through the window during daylight. It appeared to be morning, in fact, so the fact that Mickey came home late shouldn't have been relevant.

I don't think we've seen Mickey's dad since Mickey came out to everyone at the Alibi and his dad started a huge fight and got arrested again. 

Now the other side of the coin. It's painful watching the writers struggle week after week trying to come up with something for Vee and Kevin. Their shenanigans are stretched so thin they are rivaling Frank's now. And aside from Frank there is no interaction between them and any of the Gallaghers anymore. Fiona really was the glue that tied those characters to the rest of the show.

Don't care about Debbie, Carl or Liam. As I said last week, the kid playing Liam is serviceable, but not compelling. Debbie I'm just sick of and Carl's story is floundering.

Don't care about Frank either, but I will say the show did a great job casting "young Frank" for the video tape from 1995. William H. Macy is actually 69 so 24 years ago he would have been 45, not that young looking kid in the video, but I'll let that slide.

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11 hours ago, LibertarianSlut said:

Lip being overprotective of Freddie to the point where he interrupted intimacy to worry about a diaper rash is like Kev being overprotective of the twins, which resulted in Vee having an orgasm on some guy’s leg at the club.  It doesn’t ring true that he’d be this cautious.  He’s usually laid-back about everything.

And his being a person with "genius intelligence" has really been downplayed to the point that now he just another Gallagher jerk.

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So this sounds crazy, but I was really surprised to see Mickey's dad in this episode because I would've sworn he died a season or two ago. I even remember his funeral, with Mickey being drunk and making an impassioned speech to the casket about what a shitty father and human being he was and how he was glad he was dead and ended it with "fuck you" and stormed out, but...I guess that never happened?

Apparently I'm losing my mind.

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14 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Mary Kay Place is always a welcome guest star on any show so I enjoyed the role she played here.

Despite the many roles she has played, she will always be Sharon Cherski's mom to me (even though she only played that character in a handful of episodes). She was great in this episode - so upbeat and so awful.

7 hours ago, preeya said:

And his being a person with "genius intelligence" has really been downplayed to the point that now he just another Gallagher jerk.

To be fair, when you spend all your waking hours fixing other people's bikes and changing diapers, there isn't much opportunity to use your genius. Just because you're smart doesn't mean you get the opportunity or an outlet for it. A lot of times in younger students, it's common to see the really smart kids get bored so they start acting up in class or otherwise causing trouble.

Heh, now that I'm thinking about it, that also happens with animals. Mr. EB's roommate had a really smart dog but the owner was not providing her with enough training/stimulation/enrichment activities. Sometimes she would just leave her in the yard all afternoon and then she would come back and see that the dog had dragged half the yard in through the tiny dog door and into the kitchen and then proceeded to get into various drawers and cabinets, ripped open boxes and bags, etc. Thankfully his roommate finally admitted that this dog was too much for her to handle (she already had a much older dog who was super chill so I think she really believed the new dog would be the same). One of the neighbors knew someone who put her in touch with some sort of bomb sniffing dog training program and the smart dog LOVED it. She loved learning things and having tasks to do. Once she was given all of this stuff to do, she had enough mental stimulation and was no longer tearing apart the yard.

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5 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Despite the many roles she has played, she will always be Sharon Cherski's mom to me (even though she only played that character in a handful of episodes). She was great in this episode - so upbeat and so awful.

To be fair, when you spend all your waking hours fixing other people's bikes and changing diapers, there isn't much opportunity to use your genius. Just because you're smart doesn't mean you get the opportunity or an outlet for it. A lot of times in younger students, it's common to see the really smart kids get bored so they start acting up in class or otherwise causing trouble.

Heh, now that I'm thinking about it, that also happens with animals. Mr. EB's roommate had a really smart dog but the owner was not providing her with enough training/stimulation/enrichment activities. Sometimes she would just leave her in the yard all afternoon and then she would come back and see that the dog had dragged half the yard in through the tiny dog door and into the kitchen and then proceeded to get into various drawers and cabinets, ripped open boxes and bags, etc. Thankfully his roommate finally admitted that this dog was too much for her to handle (she already had a much older dog who was super chill so I think she really believed the new dog would be the same). One of the neighbors knew someone who put her in touch with some sort of bomb sniffing dog training program and the smart dog LOVED it. She loved learning things and having tasks to do. Once she was given all of this stuff to do, she had enough mental stimulation and was no longer tearing apart the yard.

Poor dog was bored and neglected. Glad it found a good home.

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On 12/30/2019 at 7:33 AM, LibertarianSlut said:

Lip being overprotective of Freddie to the point where he interrupted intimacy to worry about a diaper rash is like Kev being overprotective of the twins, which resulted in Vee having an orgasm on some guy’s leg at the club.  It doesn’t ring true that he’d be this cautious.  He’s usually laid-back about everything

 

Hm? I always saw Lip as an uptight prick. I don't think I've ever perceived the character to be "laid back" about anything -  but whatever.

Anyway -- last ep Ian started with the -- we have to kill the parole office (Don't remember her name) and by the end of the ep Micky was like-- yup we gotta kill her -- which ---Hilarious!!

So I actually thought either Micky or Ian had pushed her out that window and both their alibis sounded lame so I laughed when it turned out to be that other chick from the ambulance.

Debbie is a hooker--- she just isn't ready to admit it to herself yet.

I knew something sinister was up with that woman who "picked" up Frank at the bar. She just honed in on him way too fast and lured him with aged scotch -- one of his many weaknesses.

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9 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Despite the many roles she has played, she will always be Sharon Cherski's mom to me (even though she only played that character in a handful of episodes). She was great in this episode - so upbeat and so awful.

To be fair, when you spend all your waking hours fixing other people's bikes and changing diapers, there isn't much opportunity to use your genius. Just because you're smart doesn't mean you get the opportunity or an outlet for it. A lot of times in younger students, it's common to see the really smart kids get bored so they start acting up in class or otherwise causing trouble.

Heh, now that I'm thinking about it, that also happens with animals. Mr. EB's roommate had a really smart dog but the owner was not providing her with enough training/stimulation/enrichment activities. Sometimes she would just leave her in the yard all afternoon and then she would come back and see that the dog had dragged half the yard in through the tiny dog door and into the kitchen and then proceeded to get into various drawers and cabinets, ripped open boxes and bags, etc. Thankfully his roommate finally admitted that this dog was too much for her to handle (she already had a much older dog who was super chill so I think she really believed the new dog would be the same). One of the neighbors knew someone who put her in touch with some sort of bomb sniffing dog training program and the smart dog LOVED it. She loved learning things and having tasks to do. Once she was given all of this stuff to do, she had enough mental stimulation and was no longer tearing apart the yard.

 

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9 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

To be fair, when you spend all your waking hours fixing other people's bikes and changing diapers, there isn't much opportunity to use your genius. Just because you're smart doesn't mean you get the opportunity or an outlet for it.

True, but this is by choice. He's not the only one with a dead end job and a kid.  He should have used his intelligence to better himself, instead he allowed all his demons, and Gallagher upbringing to cultivate his unattractive situation(s).

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And his being a person with "genius intelligence" has really been downplayed to the point that now he just another Gallagher jerk.

It's a fair point, because when this show first began (10 years ago!) Lip was getting paid to take other people's SATs. And even aced an SAT test nobody had ever seen before when he got caught by the SAT people.

That said, when he finally made his way to college he didn't do so well. He needed Amanda to organize his time and keep him on track before he could even pass his own classes. 

Some people are just really good at taking tests. Lip's brain works that way. But like the other Gallaghers he's self-destructive. He actually had to be forced into going to college in the first place, he had so little ambition. So I don't find his current predicament terribly out of character.

Edited by iMonrey
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And his being a person with "genius intelligence" has really been downplayed to the point that now he just another Gallagher jerk.

This is the part that saddens me.  I think Lip is smart - but they have to show he cannot succeed. If he succeeds then the family by default - has a modicum of success too (no more schemes for money, etc.) 

Edited by chabelisaywow
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3 hours ago, taanja said:

Hm? I always saw Lip as an uptight prick. I don't think I've ever perceived the character to be "laid back" about anything -  but whatever.

Actually, you’re kinda right.  I think I was fooled by his weird, lazy-looking face, but he and Fiona could be uptight pricks.  Then there were things they were oddly lax about, which was confusing.  I do think it’s inconsistent writing though, for Lip to be so uptight about Freddie, when last season he was completely willing to let Tami do whatever she wanted regarding the pregnancy, even putting the baby up for adoption when he had parental rights.  He was never really into kids that I can recall.  He had nothing to say about Liam leaving that prestigious private school—which was a lifetime opportunity—but he’s got a hard-on for a precise amount of diaper rash cream?  Alrighty then.

20 hours ago, preeya said:

And his being a person with "genius intelligence" has really been downplayed to the point that now he just another Gallagher jerk.

Yeah, I completely forgot Lip was supposed to be a genius.  I think it’s bad writing, but I guess an argument can be made that AA possibly dulled his shine.  In AA they say things like, “your best thinking got you here,” and a lot of people start to put their intelligence on the back burner in favor of group mentality.  That’s why I would suggest SMART over AA for anyone who wanted to stop drinking (and Lip’s drinking wasn’t severe enough for AA IMO).  If that was the case, and he did dumb down because of AA, they should have told that story.  I’m still waiting for Lea DiLaria to come back and sponsor him like she was supposed to. That could have been ripe for parody.  And smart.  And funny.  So of course she disappeared with no explanation.

I don’t think it’s an excuse that Lip is only around simple things, so he became simple.  I think, once again, that’s the writers being inconsistent.  I’m book smart, although nowhere near as smart as Lip was supposed to be, and I don’t have a lot of intellectual stuff in my life, but even if I’m not reading a book on economic or political theory (which I get from the library or used on Amazon), I’m always listening to a podcast to enhance what I know.  This stuff is all cheap or free, and you can listen to a podcast almost anywhere.  Either you’re a curious person or you’re not, and Lip used to be a curious person, so I think he should be shown listening to a radio show on physics every so often or watching a documentary on TV to maintain the character.  

The only other thing I can think of is that he’s depressed.  Depression can cause disinterest in things that used to bring pleasure.  But if that’s the case, again, why not tell that story?

I don’t think the writers know how to effectively write depression.  I think the biggest mistake this show made was shifting from comedy to drama.  That, and rehashing the same stuff when there are so many other stories to be told.  

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4 hours ago, LibertarianSlut said:

I’m book smart, although nowhere near as smart as Lip was supposed to be

All the Gallaghers are supposed to be "street smart" (i.e. able to fend for themselves and survive) with the exception of Lip who was/is both street smart and book smart.  That being said, I still stand by my original post that his "genius intelligence" has been downplayed and now he's just another damaged Gallagher jerk.

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Being smart/doing well at math & science/scoring well on standardized tests does not automatically mean that you make good decisions, you have self discipline, or that you will automatically become a millionaire. It just means you excel in certain things and that doesn't necessarily translate to anything later in life.

When I moved to California in fifth grade, they tested me and put me in the gifted program. When I went to high school, I was in honors courses. I had classes with the same smart kids for six years. Yes, some of them went on to become doctors, engineers, etc. but not everyone did. There was one kid who was still technically in the gifted program but by eighth grade, he wasn't required to participate in the program because his grades had dropped. He didn't suddenly get stupid. He was just making some bad choices that I won't get into. Some of the people who were in my honors classes now have regular office jobs (meaning they aren't VPs or making six figures).

12 hours ago, LibertarianSlut said:

I don’t think it’s an excuse that Lip is only around simple things, so he became simple.

I don't think that Lip became simple. I think that his time is occupied by his job, his baby, trying to make Tammy happy, and making enough money to afford all the stuff that the baby needs. I think right now he doesn't have the time or the energy to want to read a physics book for fun or whatever. Like many people who live pay check to pay check, he's just trying to get through the next hour, the next day, the next week.

School was a struggle him for several different reasons. Don't forget that he dropped out of high school (Fiona kicked him out of the house for that) and only went back and graduated because of other people's insistence, not because he actually cared about getting his high school diploma.

He only went to college because Mandy applied for him. Even if he hadn't gotten kicked out of college, I have no problem imagining half a dozen different scenarios where he dropped out for various reasons. I think he was afraid to become successful because (1) it would make him financially responsible for the family and (2) he would feel like a sell out.

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 I think Lip is smart - but they have to show he cannot succeed. If he succeeds then the family by default - has a modicum of success too (no more schemes for money, etc.) 

The same was true with Fiona. Every time she was doing well, whether it was selling cups or owning her own apartment building, she would sabotage herself, then when things went south she would spin out of control. 

I think you have a valid point that the show is invested in keeping the Gallaghers down, because that's what the show is about. But considering their circumstances and upbringing it at least feels somewhat organic that they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

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8 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I don't think that Lip became simple. I think that his time is occupied by his job, his baby, trying to make Tammy happy, and making enough money to afford all the stuff that the baby needs. I think right now he doesn't have the time or the energy to want to read a physics book for fun or whatever. Like many people who live pay check to pay check, he's just trying to get through the next hour, the next day, the next week.

 

I agree that might be true, which is why I specifically said he could listen to podcasts.  He could most likely listen while at work, and even if not, he could listen during his transportation to and from work.  I also said he could watch a documentary on TV, because they do show him watching TV.  There are 24 hours in a day.  I’m sure Lip has a free hour.  He could pick up a physics book and read a page per night, which is what I do when I have to get through dense material.  He was not acting smart before the baby or Tami came along either.  I do not believe his curiosity would have just waned.  

I’ve found that people wildly underestimate the amount of time they actually have, because they spend so much of it bulllshitting and texting and playing on their phones.  I notice it in my colleagues.  Most people have so much more time than they realize.  Having free time scares some people, because it means they could accomplish something, so they meander it away.

So I maintain that the show could have written Lip as intellectually curious and insanely busy, but they didn’t because they forgot that he was supposed to be smart, and now he’s just another Gallagher jerk, as @preeya said.  

If he’s depressed or steeped in AA bullshit, they should tell that story, instead of expecting us to get it through osmosis.  

This show has dropped the ball on plot and character consistency so many times that people have speculated that they just brought new writers in who’ve never even seen the first few seasons.  So I’m not going to give them the benefit of the doubt with regard to Lip’s intelligence.  I’m just going to opine that it was poor writing.  

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On 1/1/2020 at 11:32 AM, iMonrey said:

The same was true with Fiona. Every time she was doing well, whether it was selling cups or owning her own apartment building, she would sabotage herself, then when things went south she would spin out of control. 

I think you have a valid point that the show is invested in keeping the Gallaghers down, because that's what the show is about. But considering their circumstances and upbringing it at least feels somewhat organic that they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

That is exactly how I see them all-- they are their own worst enemies.

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On 1/1/2020 at 2:01 PM, LibertarianSlut said:

I agree that might be true, which is why I specifically said he could listen to podcasts.  He could most likely listen while at work, and even if not, he could listen during his transportation to and from work.  I also said he could watch a documentary on TV, because they do show him watching TV.  There are 24 hours in a day.  I’m sure Lip has a free hour.  He could pick up a physics book and read a page per night, which is what I do when I have to get through dense material.  He was not acting smart before the baby or Tami came along either.  I do not believe his curiosity would have just waned.  

I’ve found that people wildly underestimate the amount of time they actually have, because they spend so much of it bulllshitting and texting and playing on their phones.  I notice it in my colleagues.  Most people have so much more time than they realize.  Having free time scares some people, because it means they could accomplish something, so they meander it away.

So I maintain that the show could have written Lip as intellectually curious and insanely busy, but they didn’t because they forgot that he was supposed to be smart, and now he’s just another Gallagher jerk, as @preeya said.  

If he’s depressed or steeped in AA bullshit, they should tell that story, instead of expecting us to get it through osmosis.  

This show has dropped the ball on plot and character consistency so many times that people have speculated that they just brought new writers in who’ve never even seen the first few seasons.  So I’m not going to give them the benefit of the doubt with regard to Lip’s intelligence.  I’m just going to opine that it was poor writing.  

But Lip was never any of that.  He was smart but only ever used that smarts as it pertained to street level hustles.  He dropped out of school at the chance his girlfriend was pregnant.    His next girlfriend had to fill out the college applications because he thought college was for suckers.   He struggled his first year because his high school taught more for blue collar work then college.  
 

Yes Lip is smart but he has never particularly cared about exploring his intelligence any further then the next score.   

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27 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

Yes Lip is smart but he has never particularly cared about exploring his intelligence any further then the next score.   

I’m not sure I agree with you.  What about how much he geeked out over making robots in Miami with Amanda’s dad?  This is what I mean when I say the curiosity was there.

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On 12/30/2019 at 8:33 AM, LibertarianSlut said:

All Ian knew was that Mickey came home late.

And their PO was murdered in broad daylight, so coming home late at night wouldn't have even mattered.   But maybe they didn't know that detail.

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I liked this episode: Seeing the Milkoviches again and that confusion about who murdered the Parole Officer. Also the kneeling storyline. And the racist aunt.

But yes, it seems the storylines are getting shallower and shorter. Seems like they ran to the well one too many times. But it has been a good run for shameless anyways.

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Oy, this show has gotten silly.  Escargold? Hemorrhoids?  Really? And Frank's situation would have been a better stinger than Carl's Junior Police Academy situation.

Showing my age here, but what do I care - I have a tummy full of Viognier.  Was that Loretta Haggers playing Auntie Oopie?  I really like that character's name because we have a cat named Oobie.  He was so tiny when we adopted him that he couldn't really meow - he just went, "Ooooo", so he became Ooobie.

That is all.

    

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The discussion about Lip and his intelligence is part of the larger problem the show has always had with their portrayal of the family. 

I grew up middle class.  We were not rich, but I never had to worry about going without a house or clothes or food.  Or going without parents who literally weren't around.  its not a concept I can even grasp. 

But this show attempts to portrays that type of existence that most of us luckily don't have to experience.  The kids grew up having to fend for themselves in a way most viewers never had to imagine let alone experience.  Granted I am sure it is exaggerated, to some degree, but that is the comedic element to it. 
 

However despite that fact, these characters, the kids at least, even if we don't like them, have talents and abilities that could advance them beyond the life they were thrust into growing up.  Or at least that is how the writers portray them.  Lip is naturally smart.  Carl has real leadership skills.  Ian is a talented EMT with a true passion for helping others.  Fiona had some business savvy, though not as much as she always thought. Debbie is a tough, no nonsense mom and woman. 

And they all find themselves given opportunities as a result of these skills throughout the show.  As a result of these opportunities, they find a modicum of success for a period of time.   They have chances to leave the type of life behind they grew up with, or at least grow out of it to some degree.  Not that they were on the road to easy street, but they are given paths out of poverty if they follow through with them. 

The problem is they all screw it up along the line by falling back to the life they are accustomed to living.  They break rules, both laws and social norms, that place them right back where they started, sometimes, or often times, even lower than before.  Part of that is the nature of TV.  If the characters grew and matured too much, they would leave the show, then the show would stop.  Its the nature of the business, so I understand why the writers choose those arcs for the characters 

However in many ways its a disservice to the true poor in the country that the show relies on as the base for its portrayal.  It reinforces the idea that those who are poor will never make it out of poverty because of choices they make or because they are just inherently never going to leave behind they life they knew as kids.  I know, its TV not real life, but for viewers whose only portal into this existence is via this show, it ends up reinforcing negative stereotypes about the poor working class. 

I realize Lip tried to go to college and his Alcohol abuse, his addiction and illness, caused that to fall apart.  However, there is no reason he couldn't get back in college now.  And even beyond that, he actually has a decent job, as does his baby mama.  I am not sure why they have to live in a trailer or why they are still so poor.  I realize they have a baby, which is expensive, but they have no rent, no car, what are their expenses otherwise?  Food.  I know day care, if they chose to use that, can be expensive, but they shouldn't be struggling THAT much based on the lifestyle they are living now.  Basically they should not be at poverty level based on the level of income and how they are living.  Maybe Lip helps out the rest of the family, but even still, and I hate to say this, because I hate her, Tami was exactly right to say what she did to Lip.  The ways of stealing and cheating people out of money, which he had to do to survive as a kid, shouldn't really be necessary anymore.  Now it seems he just does it because he can, not because he needs it. 

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