Being a Shameless fan aint’ easy
There are very few TV series that I can actually start and continue to watch, let alone finish. I mean religiously watch episode after episode, season after season. Time, (or lack of much needed time) is a relevant factor in my quick abandoning a TV show, but also contributing factors are the inevitable decline in quality or killing of a certain character. But like I said… there a handful of series that I still continuously watch after just a few seasons.
Mom is one of them, but Shameless Is the one I have been loving for several season now. Eight to be precise, and that love has just grown with each new season. Shameless is truly one of the highly acclaimed in not just Showtime’s history, but in American TV history period. But I feel it’s also one of the underrated. It’s hardly ever taken in consideration for major awards (besides William H. Macy in the acting category), it’s virtually unknown, when compared to other TV series like Game of thrones, and there is not much publicity behind it. It’s more world of a mouth type of show (at least where i live), but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be singing praises about it cause, there is so much more to be appreciated there.
The acting is superb even form the child actors, let alone the acclaimed ones, the direction is energetic and feisty, oh and the writing is realistic and brutally honest…. Not since… well EVER…. to be honest there have been a TV show that portray so well a dysfunctional family living an impoverished ghetto life in the south side of Chicago. That’s the Gallagher family to you. Lead by the alcoholic, abusive largely absent and neglectful patriarch Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) his offspring’s are mostly left to take care of each other. With no mother figure either, the younger Gallagher children are raised by the eldest Fiona (Emmy Rossum) with the love end fierce devotion of a ghetto mama bear.
Daily shenanigans of the Gallagher clan include making ends meet with mostly illegal jobs, and finding love in the ruins of their very confined and humble surroundings.
But what makes Shameless a must watch? Well besides all the stuff I mentioned (great acting, writing and directing), there is also the perfect dose of humor wrapped in all that realism. Mark Twain said: Humor is tragedy plus time, and that could not be truer about Shameless. Cause the series has it all. Shameless is now at the beginning of its eight season, and we’ve had 7 outstanding seasons (so far) for tragedy and time. Oh and for humor too…. You see, what bugs me about most long-running TV shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Big bang Theory, and even Friends) is the breaking point that inevitably comes after season 5 or 6. The point of character stagnation. We’ve all seen it before. The point in many TV shows where the show runners are running of ideas about the plot directions and most importantly fresh ideas about the character growth and development. So what do they usually do? Well a couple of things actually.
First, the cop out move is to bring more special guest appearances from many A-list celebrities in an attempt to boost the ratings (Friends did this in the later seasons), and of course to try and pair many un-likely characters in romantic liaisons regardless if they are compatible or not (Grey’s Anatomy, Friends….). No, Shameless is very much different. Yes, sometimes the hookups in Shameless are outlandish and incredible but they are unapologetic about their intentions, not desperate. In those relationships (for the most part) you’ll see one of the most honest and loving expressions of love and devotion. Let’s take the Mickey Milkovich and Ian Gallagher’s love story. The progression and effort that was put in that relationship from the beginning till season 7 is astounding as it is heartbreaking. And it’s not just the portrayal of love, gay partnership and fidelity that’s been on the show’s radar. The show runners touched the subjects of mental illness, addiction, recovery, poverty, abortion, broken families, abuse, redemption and penance in the most honest possible way and it transcended into the characters. It also paid off big time. If it wasn’t the case, the fans would have lost interest and the show would have been caned long time ago.
No. watching Shameless is not easy. But it sure as hell is relatable and fun. There is always some drama in the Gallagher household, and it’s for the best that you marvel at their ability to survive it. You can’t help but hate and love the characters at the same time, and yet as the time progresses, you feel as if they are a part of you. In the past years I grew with the Gallagher’s and I shared their problems. I related to their worries and problems cause they were also sometimes mine. I worried about money, I had a huge fight with my BF and I still have a complicated relationship with my father. Granted, he’s far from being Frank Gallagher, but our relationship is sometimes strained at best.
So, in the end… I cannot wait for season 8. It premieres on November 5th on Showtime and if you haven’t had the chance by now… trust me… now is the time. You have a whole month to binge on the 7 previous seasons.
You’ll get addicted to Shameless. I guarantee it.