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TV shows we love: Shameless

tv show

There is no boring moment in the life of the Gallagher family, where six siblings are basically growing up alone. With their mother out of the picture and their father Frank a chronic alcoholic usually brought home by officers late at night, it is up to eldest daughter Fiona to take care of Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl and baby Liam.

Although there is a British version of the series under the same name, I found the 134 episodes portraying an American working-class family a lot more relatable. The US version, as the UK one, ran for 11 seasons. Released in 2011, the show broadcast its last episode during the coronavirus pandemic on April 11, 2021.

The dramedy questions personal and social ethics as it discusses themes concerning substance abuse, sexuality, domestic violence and sex work. It can also be viewed as a coming of age story while at times it also resembles a romantic comedy.

Major focus is also given to the financial problems afflicting the Gallaghers, with the father appearing as useless as a gigantic piece of decoration somebody forces you to keep at home. But the siblings appear to have adjusted to navigating life around the body of their unconscious father or his anger when he wakes up.

Everything is tied in an imperfect bow, as the series explores in depth every character, from straight-A student Lip, to the family’s neighbhours; a passionate couple not afraid to be open about being physically intimate.

In the end, Shameless is about a family coming together despite all the daily-life struggles. It sends a positive and hopeful message that supporting each other can be the solution to even the most difficult issues.

But the greatest question still remains – how Fiona managed to take care of a large family, work a billion jobs and maintain a social life.

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