Shameless is a Showtime series about a poor and dysfunctional family living in a Chicago ghetto. It’s got everything that I want from a TV show: sex, violence, humor, drama, love triangles, drugs, alcohol, criminals and petty thugs, amazing writing, and great characters played by great actors.
William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, a drunken loser with six kids. He’s selfish, egotistical, and spends his days drinking and ignoring his kids. The beautiful Emmy Rossum plays Fiona Gallagher, his oldest child and surrogate mother to the rest of the kids. She runs the household and keeps the family from falling apart. They are the two main characters of the huge ensemble cast and they drive the main storylines of the first season. Frank moves out of his house and starts mooching off of Sheila Jackson (played by Joan Cusack), who is recently separated from her husband, and collecting huge disability checks for her agoraphobia. Meanwhile Fiona gets a new boyfriend named Steve (played by Justin Chatwin) and she reluctantly lets him into her chaotic life.
Season 1 introduces you to the Gallaghers and how they live. They aren’t your typical family. They come from a broken home. They hate their mother for abandoning them, and still love Frank despite all the shit he’s done. He never left them. He’s a deadbeat deplorable drunk, and a terrible excuse for a human being, but it taught them to rely on themselves rather than him. All the kids in the family work and hustle to make money to pay the bills. They look after each other, stand up for each other, defend each other, and are fiercely loyal to each other. They watch TV together, eat and drink and smoke together. They aren’t perfect, but they are proud of that.
You also get to meet a few other characters from around the neighborhood, friends, enemies, cops, drunks, sluts, and thugs. There are a lot of characters and subplots and arcs and I’m too lazy to write about them all. You might notice I didn’t even write about all the Gallaghers. There are just too many of them. They all have their own character traits and they all get something to do. Shameless is a great show. It only took me about fifteen minutes to get hooked. It’s more addicting than Breaking Bad. That’s a bold statement, but I’m sticking to it. Breaking Bad doesn’t have nudity and Shameless does. Emmy Rossum is beautiful and you can see her boobies. Game over.
Critically Rated at 15/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young