Shameless is an American television dramedy that airs on Showtime. It’s a remake of the British award-winning series of the same name, the American version set in Chicago’s Canaryville, a south side neighborhood. The show began airing in January of 2011, with the show being renewed for a sixth season in January of 21015.
The show focuses on the dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, single father of six and frequent drunk. His children learn to take care of themselves in lieu of either parental figure to guide them along. The show differs from other work-class American shows, in that Shameless isn’t a blue- or white-collar family, and the father’s alcoholism directly affects his family. The show is darker and is presented not as some far off world, or in the South, but in your very own backyard. The show’s developer originally went around pitching the show, he had to fight tooth and nail to prevent the core of the show’s location being changed. “We have a comedic tradition of making fun of the people in those worlds. The reality is that these people aren’t ‘the other’ – they’re people who live four blocks down from you and two blocks over.”
The feedback for Shameless has been mostly positive, with the first season receiving a 66 overall rating on Metacritic, indicating generally favorable reviews, and the second season receiving a 76, indicating increasing favorable reviews. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter commented that “Shameless is excellent, compelling television from the first moment. As long as it stays true to the roots of the original, it’s going to be essential viewing.” The fourth episode of the first season retained 100% of its premiere audience, making Shameless the best performing freshman drama on Showtime. Rotten Tomatoes gave the show a 74% fresh rating based on 31 reviews, with the consensus that, “Shameless is a dark, urban dramedy that overcomes its leaps of logic thanks to fantastic casting, intriguing ambiance, and shock value.” As of 2015, seasons 2-5 have a 100% rating.
The most interesting aspect of Shameless is its open and unapologetic display of a family in despair, a family suffering from a father’s inability to bring himself to care about anyone or anything outside of his need for repressing his life. It’s a story that talks about the dark, less comfortable aspects of life, but does so with both meaning and purpose. In particular, it brings to mind and possible discussion the portrayal of sexuality and rape as it’s presented on television. It calls into question the preconceived notions we as a country have about family, and what it means to be a parent. It calls into question what is commonly assumed as someone else’s problem and presents it as something that’s happening right down the street. These ideas aren’t often expressed so blatantly on television, and especially not in a way that forces its viewers to question their own preconceptions of what is and is not reality.
Shameless is a show that isn’t afraid to talk about the darker aspects of the human condition, and isn’t afraid to engage these issues head-on. It’s a show that isn’t ashamed to push boundaries and challenge commonly held preconceptions. it’s a show worth watching if you’re looking for something that makes you think, something that encourages hours of self-reflection and introspective understanding. Look at Charter Spectrum Internet Deals to find more online television entertainment options.