March 31, 2013 by rachelcmann
Another show we’ve copied from the UK. I have never seen the original so I can’t speak to the parallels, but the US version is well worth watching. It’s quite a departure from what I usually watch and I often have a hard time getting through episodes. That doesn’t stop me from watching though and it shouldn’t stop you either!
Basically the show centers around a poor Southside Chicago family (the Gallaghers). The father Frank (William H Macy) is an alcoholic conman, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) is the only kid of six over 18 and she takes care of all of them. For a cast that is primarily minors, the performances are truly awe inspiring. Now in the third season, the struggles of the family are as poignant as ever. Some of the story lines/characters are a bit difficult to swallow (Joan Cusack‘s agoraphobic sex deviant is wonderfully played but odd). Others are frighteningly realistic, like the struggles of one of the brothers with his homosexuality (Cameron Monaghan should be up for an Emmy or Golden Globe). The show is primarily a family drama, but I can’t think of anything else like it on TV. I suppose Raising Hope depicts a family in poverty but that’s as close as I can get (and it’s a hilarious half hour sitcom). There are some comedic moments but it’s mostly tragic. Shameless is an adult show, and it tackles issues I think most shows don’t want to touch with a ten foot pole.
So why do I keep watching it? Apart from a few truly strange departures, this show has a heart that other shows can’t come close to. Despite the tragedies this family faces on a nearly weekly basis I am once again jealous of people who have siblings. This is a family that supports each other through anything, and while I have great parents, I am an only child. So I guess I’m living vicariously through the depictions of strong sibling-full relationships on TV? Who said TV wasn’t a substitute for family? They were wrong.
- Guest Post: A Review of the Top Series on Showtime (popcultureatemymonkey.com)
- Jeremy Allen White: ‘Shameless won’t get more awards attention’ (digitalspy.co.uk)