Shameless Binge Watching

By Caitlin Herlihy

Last week I read another film student’s post about Shameless. The comedy-drama is on its seventh season, much to the surprise and delight of fans. Despite the mostly negative blogpost, I was interested by the storyline and the widespread praise for the show. Sunday night I capped the weekend with a three-episode binge, so that I could see for myself what all the fuss was about.

Shameless follows the lives of a dysfunctional Chicago family. The father, Frank, is a drunk, and the kids are forced to take care of themselves. With an absent mother, the oldest sister, Fiona, assumes the bulk of familial responsibilities.

It can’t be denied that the kids’ antics are amusing. The show provides a glimpse into an unfamiliar world, so I am shocked by the family’s unending misfortune. Regardless, Shameless reminds audiences of the importance of family despite struggles.

Although I’ve only watched three episodes, I have to say I’m already itching for the family to catch a break. It seems as though it’s one problem after another and successes are limited. If the series continues in this direction, I fear I’ll lose interest and/or become depressed. Maybe it’s just me, but I love to see some good fortune every now and then. However, the show has successfully produced seven seasons and critics predict an eighth season is in the future. So maybe I’m in the minority on this one.

This show is unlike anything I’ve watched before. I think I would enjoy the show more if there was less nudity and better writing.

I feel as though I’m “cheating” on Grey’s Anatomy, but I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry.

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

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9 Responses to Shameless Binge Watching

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I actually really love this show and binge-watched the entire thing way to quickly! With time, you learn to love many of the characters and feel their frustrations. Yes, the nudity goes a bit overboard at times and the writing is not always on par with what it should be, but I have really come to appreciate the individuality that this show has forged. The story line is unlike any show I have ever watched, the acting is usually very realistic, and it keeps me coming back time after time, even when the show sometimes goes to far.
    -Maddie Turner

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Honestly, I love this show so much that I finished the entire Netflix-released seasons in a span of two weeks. It is tough to see the Gallagher family struggle so much, even after something good comes their way. They are happy for a split second and, just like that, it is all taken away from them in a matter of moments. That family has had such a hardship and it seems like they mostly regress rather than progress. In the future series to come, I hope the Gallagher family can find some long-standing happiness, but I guess we will have to wait and see.

    -Shelby Halliman

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Now I feel as if I have to watch the show! I love television shows that make me think critically, and even though this may not be Emmy Award winning writing, I still want to give it a chance for I think it has the potential to ask really interesting questions.

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I’m such a fan of Shameless. It sticks so true to its title. Frank is the definition of this and I want to look away from the screen at some of the things he does, but I just can’t. I can’t hate him! The family has hardships but they have each other. You get used to the nudity.

    -Kendra Thornotn

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I feel as if i need to watch a few episodes for myself. I don’t know which person to believe half are saying it is great the others are saying it is really disturbing. I think its interesting that the mother is absent most shows if a parent is missing its the father, at least from the shows I watch. I give it at least three episodes just as you did then form my own opinion. And it is okay to cheat on Grey’s i have been cheating for about two years now sadly.
    -Dez Wortham

  6. mediaphiles says:

    Caitlin, I have to just say, that while the show may provide glimpses of the Gallaghers, “Catching a break”, they typically are quick to take those breaks and squeeze whatever money or drugs out of them that they can. It is the scary thing and the beautiful thing about the family- they do things that leave you in awe, but then you reflect and realize, that these are things that people already do.

    -Luke Dellorso

  7. mediaphiles says:

    The show Shameless… You Are right, ‘It seems as though it’s one problem after another and successes are limited.’ That is exactly what it is for seven whole seasons. I could understand why you would get tired of watching the same plot over and over again. but to be honest I cannot get tired of it, there is always something and I love it. I am just so eager to know what will happen next.

    – John Armstrong

  8. mediaphiles says:

    I have watched all the seasons, and you realized quickly what all the next episodes and seasons entail – more problems. I do love the show and there is humor underlying this dysfunctional family, but I feel the same way in that you really want them to “catch a break” and have some happiness in their lives. I like your comment about how it is a way for the viewer to really look into a family or situation that is so unfamiliar, and I think that is originally who hooks people into the show.

    Catherine Maier

  9. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with the copious amounts of nudity being a bit much for me. The show as a whole has a lot of really cool ideas and unfortunately there are many moments where I just get annoyed with it. I often feel as though, yes this family has a lot of misfortune, there are so many moments and decisions where I believe they could get themselves out of many of them. I haven’t finished the first season yet, but am unsure as to whether I am going to.

    Michael Cyphers

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