Shameless is so refreshing!

I started the popular Showtime series, Shameless, not too long ago and I can honestly say that this is my new addiction. I am almost finished with the third season and cannot wait to continue. It is such a refreshing take on family values as well as the unfortunate situations that they have to go through to make ends meet.

Still from Shameless, “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1, 2011).

Taking on the role as the head of the family, 21 year old Fiona Gallagher has the task of not only making sure five of her siblings are happy, health, and fed, but also finds herself taking care of her estranged, alcoholic father. In most shows that I’ve seen, there is usually a single parent dynamic, but, in this series, the kids are running the show. When researching the idea behind the show, series creator, Paul Abbott, fought to keep the show set in the south side of Chicago. His reasoning for this was because many shows like Shameless normally take place in the deep South or in a trailer park. Abbott wanted to stray away from this idea because he thought this would take away from the realism of the story. He believed that these types of problems do not only happen in the South and I agree. Poverty is not centralized in the South. It is all over and effects so many families each day.

Still from Shameless “But at Last Came a Knock” (Season 1, Episode 9).

In episode 9 of Shameless,  we meet the Gallagher family’s mother. This further deepens the Gallagher’s situation as the root of of their issues is brought to fruition. It shows that no matter how hard they try, the Gallaghers cannot seem to escape their past. Throughout the community, their father is known as a deadbeat which does have an affect on them in the long run. Not everything works out for them, but they always stick together no matter the consequences. Establishing this dynamic is important because they are making the best out of a bad situation. I really give my praise toward Fiona due to the fact that she had to drop out of high school and put her life on hold to take care of her family. She is definitely a strong female character that I root for throughout the series because she always confronts her situation with a brave face. Rarely, do you see her break down in front of her family. It is a sign of reassurance that everything will be okay. This maintains the bond that they all hold so dear. I recommend watching it whenever you get a chance.

-Shelby Halliman

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11 Responses to Shameless is so refreshing!

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I remember first watching this show last summer. It wasn’t on purpose for me to start watching, just happens that nothing was on TV and i ran across this show and started to really like it. I don’t binge on it like my other shows but i do enjoy watching because like you stated, It is such a refreshing take on family values as well as the unfortunate situations that they have to go through to make ends meet. When there is nothing on television I watch shameless.

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I love Shameless too! You touched on some of the key reasons that I have continued to watch the show for so long. I was unaware of the reason for the show taking place in Chicago, but I thought that was interesting for you to share and gives a better sense of the reality that the creator wanted to establish.

    Catherine Maier

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I just started Shameless and am absolutely hooked! Like you said it is very refreshing and I have never seen a show like it. So many boundaries are pushed, especially with drugs, language and nudity, yet they all work to enhance the story. I am holding out hope that they will finally escape their tough past, but it seems like no matter what they do, they cannot escape hardship.
    -Maddie Turner

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I have not watched this show but am very interested after reading your post. I love shows that push the boundaries of stereotypes and offer a refreshing perspective of a social dynamic. I really enjoy the show Modern Family because it emphasizes how there really is no “normal” family structure in this day in age and how it can be a beautiful thing. I also like the concept of the kids running the household, because there are so many people I know who had to grow up early as a kid to take care of others. Following a storyline with that aspect would be very inspiring in my opinion. I took for granted my safe and structured family life throughout my childhood so I commend those who faced challenges and obstacles I cannot begin to understand.

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I could not agree with you more! Shameless is an addicting series that looks at the more ghastly side of human nature: I consistently find myself saying, “This is absolutely terrible that someone would commit such an atrocious act, but the scary thing is, it is possible.” This is precisely why I find the show to be so intriguing- it is real. It does not sugar coat anything, but instead shows us what the world can be like and gives us an idea about some of the terrible things that people can do. It additionally provides a new take on family values and does not make an attempt to present the Gallaghers as a wholesome family. Instead, it shows the worst parts of the family!

    -Luke Dellorso

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I have heard a lot of really good things about this series recently and I will definitely have to give it a watch as soon as possible!

  7. mediaphiles says:

    After reading your post and hearing about this show in class I decided to start watching it and i’m hooked! Though I have only seen two episodes I love the idea of the kids literally running the show and I agree that it is very refreshing and not at all cliche.

    -Kendra Thornton

  8. marymdalton says:

    So, I watched it devotedly for the first few seasons — and even found it refreshing in a seedy way — but eventually started to feel dragged down with the family. Only watched the second half of this season. Not sure what the future holds…

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