Amelia Hamilton is an MRC Culture TV Blogger.
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As the latest season of Shameless nears its conclusion, they're working hard to make sure no Christians will be watching next year. In the January 14 episode "Church of Gay Jesus," Ian (Cameron Monaghan) finds that he is getting more and more famous for being a guy who will "just kind of show up to these conversion things and argue with assholes," and his dad Frank (William H. Macy) decides to cash in.
Common Core must not be very popular if even left-leaning shows like NBC's Great News are taking swipes at it. In the January 11 episode "Competing Offer," when bad guy Fenton Pelt (guest star Jim Rash) can't quite get his story to add up, he blames Common Core math.
Showtime premiered their new drama The Chi on January 7 with a stark and unflinching look at life on Chicago's South Side. Chicago is a city with high unemployment for black men in the state with the nation's highest black unemployment. When one man is asked about being unemployed in The Chi, his response gives interesting insight.
Showtime's Shameless doesn't always live up to its name but, when it does, it really, really does. In the January 7 episode, "The Fugees," gay activist Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) is taking on Christians all over Chicago, shouting lewd things at leaders and congregations alike, which doesn't seem like the most effective way to change minds. Meanwhile, on a trip to Canada, Frank learns to love America again.
NBC's newsroom comedy Great News let the cat out of the bag on the sorry state of modern journalism: If you want to make it in the news biz, you can't be impartial, you have to pick a side and create drama.
In the January 3 premiere of the new spinoff series Grown-ish on Freeform, freshman Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi of ABC's Black-ish) thinks she has the fictional California University all figured out after only three days on campus. Of course, just about everything she's figured out is pretty much worthless and has some kind of political slant to it - all liberal.
On the January 2 episode of ABC's sitcom Blackish, "Working Girl," eight-year-old twins Jack (Miles Brown) and Diane (Marsai Martin) get some terrible advice from their grandmother Ruby (Jenifer Lewis). If you're struggling in school, just use your race to cheat.
Here's hoping Showtime's Shameless decides to leave worn-out tropes in 2017. They certainly closed out the year with a bang, with their New Year's Eve episode "Frank's Northern Shuttle Express" having Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) continue to shuttle "brown people" into Canada for a better life while bringing back cheaper drugs for Americans.
As PC culture continues its march into the ridiculous, NBC sitcom Great News appears to be hurrying it along. Their December 21 episode "PC Culture" saw Carol and Chuck, two of the older members of staff, forced to attend sensitivity training because it is virtually impossible to keep up with what the rules are in order to maintain political correctness. Inititally, they fight back, and they make good points. Too bad the writers couldn't leave it there and had to blame President Trump for the left's inability to enjoy, well, anything.
Netflix's The Ranch, which just released their fourth season, saw the Bennett family struggling to keep their family ranch afloat. Hope came from an unexpected source. Unexpected to see depicted on television, anyway: an oil and gas company. When the company comes in with the promise of a pipeline that will bring money into the ranch, it seems like the answer to their financial problems. Even though they manage to work in some leftist talking points, I was pleasantly surprised to see the oil and gas industry get a fair shake.
On Showtime's Shameless, Frank has been trying to make an honest living, but recently found himself laid off and has found it difficult to find a new job. In the December 17 episode "Occupy Fiona," he's in a bar complaining about his rotten luck when he meets a man who thinks he has it worse. This man, Akram, has it so bad that he has tried to "flee up to Canada," but hasn't been able to get there. This leads Frank to think of a new business opportunity.
With Christmas only one week away, we're helping Santa by making a list and checking it twice of which TV shows are naughty or nice.
The Christmas episode of Designated Survivor on December 13 had an odd way of celebrating Christmas. Namely, it chose a storyline which centered around Christian extremists whose beliefs would likely cause a baby to die. For good measure, writers also added twenty adults, in the middle of a major forest fire, in a standoff with the federal government to insure that the baby doesn't get medical treatment.
If you haven't seen TNT's sci-fi series The Librarians, the season four premiere "The Librarians and the Dark Secret" might not be the best place to start. The show centers on "an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around." The season four premiere, which aired on December 13, saw the group trying to save the Library of Alexandria by stopping a secret sect of the Catholic Church determined to use the library's cornerstones to destroy it.
SMILF, what are we going to do with you? Writer and star Frankie Shaw clearly hates Christianity, as that theme comes through in nearly every single episode. In the pilot, her character Bridgette told her baby's father Rafi that prayer isn't allowed in her home and, just a couple of weeks ago, she suggested that the Virgin Mary was raped by the apostles in order to father Jesus Christ. In case you were wondering, she doesn't have such vocal opinions about other religions, just Christianity. In the December 11 episode Chocolate Pudding & A Cooler of Gatorade, Rafi goes to church seeking help, and the priest forces a kiss on him.
On the December 10 episode of Shameless, we are reminded that teen mother Debbie is a hot mess, as she spends the episode "Icarus Fell and Rusty Ate Him" trying to get her hands on the morning-after pill so that she doesn't end up having a second child on the way at the tender age of sixteen.
Things have been getting difficult in the town of South Park, Colorado, and they come to a head in the December 6 season finale, "Splatty Tomato." With the recent nuclear attack President Garrison (a thinly veiled parody of President Trump) launched against Canada, the world is on the brink of disaster and the kids of the town claim to see the president lurking around at night. The only people in the town who still trust him seem to be Bob White and his family: "The Whites still support the president," they say, but "no one cares about the Whites" anymore. (I see what you did there, South Park!)
Shameless follows a large working-class family whose youngest child, Liam, is black and in a private elementary school. In the December 3 episode of the Showtime offering, "The (Mis)Education of Liam Fergus Beircheart Gallagher," the school gives the kids a test with basic word association. Unfortunately, Liam fails the test, which his dad Frank (William H. Macy) thinks is due to the cultural bias inherent in the wealthy school being out-of-touch with working-class families like his. This leads to him trying to teach the school about regular people and Liam about using the guilt of the "liberal elite" against them.
Things are changing at South Park Elementary School and when PC Principal gets a new Vice Principal named Strong Woman, the last thing he expects is to have feelings for her. A PC man can't possibly have feelings for a co-worker, that would be inappropriate!
Teachers, a TVLand comedy series set in a public elementary school, got oddly political in their Halloween episode which, for some reason, aired on November 29, when they erroneously claimed that public schools don't teach students about Native Americans.