Each season of Shameless is ranked from worst to best.

It’s a shame that the final season of Shameless is far from its finest hour. It is considered by many to be the weakest season ever, especially because until the last few episodes it doesn’t feel like a suitable ending. This may in part be due to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed filming dates back and forced the writers to redo early episodes at short notice (via Hollywood Reporter). Like Season 10, this walk is pretty spread out, with the characters essentially spinning their wheels until the curtain ends. There is very little momentum in the character arcs and few changes to speak of. Lip’s central conflict this season is that he goes out of his way to provide for Tami and Fred, stumbling along the way according to the norm. Debbie still hasn’t been able to make sense of her life, and her main problem of the season – coping with a potential future away from her family – seems too low. Ian and Mickey’s story, while charming, has no real urgency, especially with their wedding day in the rearview mirror.

The glue that holds this season together is William H. Macy, who plays Frank in the latest stunning performance. Suffering from alcohol-induced dementia, Frank’s mental slump is equal parts amusing and rightfully heartbreaking. His closing speech as he ascends to the afterlife, an echo of his opening speech in the pilot episode, is definitely a powerful scene. If only the season as a whole would come to a legitimately bittersweet ending a little more.

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