Created (developed for American TV) by: Paul Abbott and John Wells
Starring: Emily Rossum, Ethan Cutkosky, Jeremy Allen White, William H. Macy, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Noel Fisher, Steve Howey, Shanola Hampton, and so many more…
When the 1st episode of Shameless (2011-2021) came out, I was in the 7th grade. Needless to say, I was not aware of the show. Even a trailer would have been too much for me. I would not have even known what I was watching.
A few weeks ago I came across the show on Netflix. I noticed that the dude from The Bear (2022-) was in it, only he was a kid back then. (That’s how the aging process seems to work. You start as a small human and then grow to a bigger one with more hair and teeth. I’m very observant, as you can tell.)
I decided to start watching, expecting not to get through an episode because I am picky with the T.V. shows I watch. If I am going to spend hours watching a story, I need it to be good, or I will spend my time elsewhere. Little did I know that I would spend the next few weeks watching all of the seasons.
Shameless is one of those special T.V. shows that is funny, shocking, and also full of heart. At the core of the show is family, and all that entails.
The Gallagher family is flawed, like all families are, but they are more intense than most families, or are they? While not every family has a raging narcissistic alcoholic at the head of it, every family I know has their own very specific dynamic that everyone in the family learns to live with, or chooses to leave. Watching the Gallaghers grow up, learn to live with each other, and take care of one another is beautiful. As the children age, they are presented with different scenarios, their roles in the family change, and some lessons repeat over and over until the person involved learns their lesson.
To me, this show is a long allegory for life. Ups and downs. Loss and learns. Friends and family. Mistakes and growth. A little bit of it all. It made me feel ok with my mistakes, being imperfect, and becoming ok with who I am right now. I feel like I know the Gallaghers after watching hours and hours of them growing up, through happy tears and sad.
Should you watch it?
Yes. It’s intense at times but it is also funnily outrageous. There are 11 seasons so you have a lot to watch, but take your time. When you’ve watched it all, you’ll probably wish you could watch it all for the first time again. I know I did.
Finally, I love how they make hard times funny but without glazing over how hard those hard times still are. It’s a perfect balance really. Dealing with trauma, making it funny enough to get through it, and then learning from it. I dig it.
I rounded this one. Some of the seasons are more inventive than others, but the underbelly of the show is something special. Truly revolutionary in so many ways. One of the first, if not the first, show to bring important taboo topics front and center and unapologetically at that. I love them for that, for the writers for writing how they did, for the network for letting it air, and for the actors’ courage and confidence needed to make those stories come alive. Brilliant and unbelievably special.
When a family run by an alcoholic is forced to fend for themselves, they lean on their core values, and on each other.
“We’re all addicts are just trying to fill a void, but some of us are just better at hiding it.”
“I just wish I could skip the part where I don’t know the right thing to do and get to the part where I do.”
“We have only two jobs on this earth. The first, to learn. The second, to cope.”
“I’m good at this job because of my illness.”
“Don’t run, be the guy who has nothing to run from. The system will be rigged in your favor, because you’ll be the one rigging it.”