Shameless makes my life seem boring in a way that I have never been so thankful for. It’s an American comedy about a dysfunctional family and their single parent, alcoholic dad “Frank Gallagher”, played by William H. Macy. When I say alcoholic, I don’t mean sit at home and drink a bag of wine every night, I mean get out there and party hard, throw up, pop some pills, drink more, get in trouble with the law, a gangster, or any other random and life-threatening hijink, and then pass out in the snow. Rinse and repeat ad noseum and you have the life of Frank Gallagher. Course, this isn’t exactly easy on his giant family, spawned from his debauchery and probably without much memory, and his older daughter Fiona (played by Emmy Rossum) who tries to hold everything together despite everything Frank does.
They are poor, and everyday is a hustle to pay the bills, feed the children, and stay alive in the harsh, unforgiven landscapes of Chicago’s lower class ghettos. This show is always funny, sometimes touching, and mostly just a wild ride that is painful to watch as the characters find themselves in seemingly endless piles of shit.
Emmy Rossum as Fiona, the gorgeous girl
Fiona is a great contrast to her deadbeat dad- she is amazingly gorgeous, selfless to the point of self-destruction, and smart and funny. She’s the mortar that holds the family together, but it takes it’s toll. She’s got a couple of great friends in Veronica Fisher (Shanola Hampton) and Kev (Steve Howey), a kinky couple that support them through everything. If this comedy was a movie, it would be R rated at least- there is so much nudity, drugs, and general debauchery that the MPAA would have a fit. Oh, yeah you get to see her topless. Many times. Many, many glorious times. It’s hard not to fall a little bit in love with her character, for her competence, intelligence, selfless nature and beauty! She’s just so… uncensored.
This show is ridiculous. It’s a non-stop buffet of hijinks, antics, escapades, stunts, skylarking, mischief, silliness, capers, shenanigans, capers, and even a healthy does of tomfoolery. It’s on my list of best comedies of 2011 because it’s maybe the best comedy series to come out of the year, and it’s going on strong for a third season coming up, so you can be sure to see of their exploits for some time to come. If I had to make a criticism of this series, I’d say that occasionally it gets a bit too convoluted, and gets lost in subplots that I don’t find too funny. Still, that could be a matter of personal taste.
If you are looking for a new comedy series, Shameless is definitely worth a look.