There’s an old, schlocky TV writers’ term called the “Hey, Myrna.” It means they’ve concocted a scene specifically to make some boob tube aficionado in his stained undershirt stand up from his Lay-Z-Boy, kick over his TV dinner tray and scream to his wife, “Hey, Myrna get in here … the hot redhead just took off her necklace.”
Shameless is the champion of the “Hey, Myrnas.”
The first time I “Hey, Myrna’ed” about Shameless to my husband (whose name is Alex, for what it’s worth, but Myrna is a much more fun name) was while watching the Showtime dramedy’s first season.
It was because of what the show did with what could otherwise have been a rather benign scene about a child protection service worker who pays a visit to Kevin (Steve Howey) and Veronica (Shanola Hampton), the best friends and neighbors of main character Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) and her plethora of siblings. The setup of the scene seems familiar, and clearly destined to play out familiar narrative beats – until the social worker opens her mouth. Read more…