I think I’ve established in one or two articles previously that I’m quite fond of TV shows; when I’m not reading, sleeping, or trying to have some kind of social life, I’m usually watching a show. Today, I’d like to talk about that one TV show I’ve been obsessing over for the past few weeks : Shameless (US)
Shameless is a TV show created by Paul Abbott, that can be classified as drama or black comedy. It tells the story of the Gallaghers, a dysfunctional family living in South Side Chicago, composed of an alcoholic father, Frank, a long-gone mentally ill mother, Monica and 6 children living more or less by themselves : Fiona, the big sister who takes care of the kids, Lip, the genius who’s so stupid about it, Ian, who wants to join the army and who’s gay, Debbie, the smart girl, Carl, the kind-of-sadistic kid and Liam, the baby (who’s mixed-race and supposedly the legitimate kid of two white parents, what’s up with that??).
To this day, March 5th, the show has 4 full seasons, the 5th one not being over yet. Every season has 12 episodes of 52 minutes approximately. My personal favorite season being the third one, although I love the fourth one nearly as much.
This show is about family struggles, taking place in a tough neighborhood, and we follow these kids as they grow up, and the adults as they ‘survive’ there. It includes a lot of violence, sex and bad language, so I would not recommend this to sensitive/easily shocked people (I’ve been a bit shocked by a few scenes myself).
The one reason I would recommend this to a lot of people, though, is the complexity of the characters and how well they’re played. This is something that interests me both in literal and cinematographic works : the psychological side of it, the depth of the characters, the realistic side of it all. And this is the very strong asset of Shameless (US) : the characters are complex, neither evil or good, they do horrible things and yet they’re still human beings, who grew up in a tough neighborhood. I’m not saying it’s right on every aspect, because as I mentioned earlier it’s also a ‘black comedy’, and so there is some humor sometimes about matters not easy to laugh about. It still tackles some sensitive subjects pretty well at times, like mental illness or addiction.
I’d be lying if I was saying the one homosexual couple in this show isn’t a big part of the reason I’m so obsessed with it. I don’t want to say too much about it, but those who watch the show will know whom I’m talking about pretty fast, I think. This couple is very important to me; their story is a beautiful, painful tale of love, with two boys growing up in this tough neighborhood, how they learn to accept themselves and one another.
“What you and I have, makes me free.”
I simply couldn’t resist putting that quote here…
I think I can officially say Shameless (US) is currently one of my top 3 favorite TV shows out there.