15: The Glorious Wonder of Shanola Hampton

A couple of years ago, my sister was going to a party I wasn’t invited to. It was a rough time for me, as we are pretty-codependent, and in my grief, I turned to a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and Netflix. E was a big fan of the show Weeds, but I had fallen off the wagon sometime in the first season. Netflix, wouldn’t you know it, had the first three or so seasons streaming at the time, and I was prepared to dive back in again.

The pilot of Weeds, in case you don’t remember, features a very young, very floppy haired Justin Chatwin, and from the moment I saw him peering out of the backseat of Nancy Botwin’s van, I knew I wanted to watch a show starring somebody that charismatic, and so I did.

To this day, I maintain that season one of Shameless is one of the most perfect seasons of television in recent memory, and that its unsung, shining star is Shanola Hampton. Playing dry, sarcastic, lovable and often very naked Veronica “V” Fisher, she and her live-in boyfriend Kev (played by the absolutely delightful Reba and New Girl star, Steve Howie) are the next door neighbors of the show’s main focal point, the Gallagher family. Shameless is one of those shows I tell everyone to watch; from co-workers, to family members looking for a fix, to friends I haven’t seen in years. I own both the first two seasons on DVD and never hesitate to share, because perhaps they’ll get hooked like I was and start watching it obsessively too.

When Shanola first started tweeting about her latest film, I was immediately interested. I’d loved everything I’d seen from her previously and I couldn’t wait to see what else she could do.

Things Never Said opens tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see it. Kalindra, the poet with dreams bigger than herself and the husband she’s built a life with are the fascinating protagonists in this tale-as-old-as-time story, and it’s one that I imagine most folks can relate to. I certainly do.

Check it out this weekend like I’m planning to, and then please come back and talk about it with me! (Also do this if you: are as obsessed with Shameless as I am, can’t understand how it’s possible that [SPOILER] happened in the most recent finale, and are waiting with baited breath to see if that hunky Jake McDorman from Greek is coming back for season four!)


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