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Why You Should Be Watching Shameless

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Season four of Shameless ended last Sunday with a fantastic end to an overarching story and a great tease for what’s to come for season five. Shameless isn’t the show that everyone’s watching, mainly because everyone is watching The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. The dramedy isn’t for everyone, especially since the setting of the show takes place in Southside Chicago where the vagrants walk the street, the drunks roam around sleeping in dumpsters, and the criminal activity is at the forefront while police activity takes a backseat. Though the fourth season ended now’s the perfect time to get involved with the Gallagher’s on Shameless on Showtime.

Shameless follows the lives of the Gallagher’s an unapologetic family just as dysfunctional as your family. The family consists of: Frank, the drunkard, low life father; Fiona, the oldest sibling whom takes care of her family and the holds the household down; Lip, the smart, smartass with his heads too high in the clouds; Ian, the military nut, whose also gay; Carl, the destruction adolescent; Debbie, the caring, (not so) innocent youngest sister; and Liam, the black brother. They deal with everything from deep seeded family issues to scrounging up cash to make sure the gas bill is paid.


Along with them are Kevin and Veronica, the best friends and neighbors to the Gallagher’s, an agoraphobic, germ phobic Sheila, and a slew of other colorful supporting characters. The tone of the show dips from laugh-out-loud comedy to finger-biting drama; the writing on the show is just superb. Shameless isn’t afraid to take you to a place of joy and then kick you right in the gut moments later.



Most people claim that the show is basically unwatchable because of how the show makes people feel when they watch it. The show deals with subject matter that no other show is dealing with right now including poverty, ghettos, drunkenness, and criminal activity in such a realistic level; the last show on the air that wasn’t afraid not to pull punches was Breaking Bad.

Shameless isn’t afraid to show you the grime and grittiness of the streets these character’s live on and isn’t afraid to romanticize Southside. The characters, in the early seasons, are really out there and wild and, at times, predictable. However, the longer you engage with these characters the closer you feel to them.


The story arcs for each character may feel contrived a few points throughout but the performances by the actors (from the likes of William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White, Joan Cusack, and more). No matter if the story can become much larger than life, the cast manages to bring the performance back down to earth.


The show isn’t that popular mainly because the show deals with so many things that are much closer to reality than most other popular shows. Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, The Walking Dead are shows with fantastical and mythical subject matter. While Shameless is more [somewhat] realistic, it doesn’t get the love it deserves.


Even though season four of Shameless ended this past Sunday doesn’t mean you don’t have the chance to catch up with the Gallagher’s. Each season consists of 12 episodes so you have [approximately] 48 hours to catch up on. Netflix currently has the first couple seasons on DVD but are only streaming the original English version. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t watch this show

Jonathan Silva is a graduate and current student at Full Sail University going for his Master's Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing for film blogs like Get The Big Picture or listening to music, he's either watching movies or playing video games. His love for all things entertainment shine through in his writing.