I will admit, as obsessed with television as I am, I actually hadn’t a clue that the network Showtime was premiering a new drama early this January. So when I went to the movies over the weekend and saw a trailer for the drama, Shameless, I was immediately intrigued. After watching the pilot episode, I must admit, I think Showtime has new hit on their hands and it certainly may go down as one of my favorite new dramedies in the past couple of months.
Shameless is about a dysfunctional family in Chicago bordering (heck, they may even be) on poverty. The patriarch of the family is played by none of then the always great, William H. Macy, who plays Frank Gallagher, who is an alcoholic making his wages off a disability check, most of which he spends on alcohol. Meanwhile, it’s his eldest daughter Fiona (played by the amazing, Emmy Rossum) who pretty much has to look over a family that has had to learn to look after themselves. Emmy Rossum is absolutely fantastic as Fiona, and while I am not 100% convinced with her new boyfriend played by Justin Chatwin, I still think there is a ton of potential for this couple.
Part of what makes this series so compelling is its cast There’s Lip (Jeremy Allen White), a genius high schooler who makes extra cash “tutoring” and taking kids PSAT’s for them. He also has a thing for a girl whose mother is played by Joan Cusak, who I love. I see potential for her crazy germaphobe character. Lip shares a bedroom with his brother Ian (Cameron Monaghan), who is struggling with his homosexuality. In all honesty, I found Ian’s storyline very compelling. There seems to be a lot of sexuality storylines on TV nowadays, but this one seems real and honest and I sure as hell look forward to seeing how it plays out.
The youngest three children are, Debbie, Carl, and toddler Liam, who is most likely the offspring of an affair Frank’s wife had with his sponsor. Debbie is financial wunderkin and she’s telling Carl that “he’s almost nine and that he’s going to have start pulling his weight” in contributing to the family funds. Fiona, is helped out by Veronica and bartender Kev (Steve Howey and Shanola Hampton), the eccentric hip young sex crazed neighbors next door.
Shameless is based off the same series by the same name in the UK, it’s even created by the same person Paul Abbott. However the American series is also produced by John Wells (Southland, ER, The West Wing). Together they’ve created a new interesting drama that has a ton of potential. I can’t wait to see more of these wacky characters. This show may not be for everyone. There is a reason that it is titled Shameless. It’s messy, raw, and offbeat. However, in my opinion, that is what makes this series so compelling. Where this series goes will be interesting to see, especially with characters like Fiona, Ian, and Lip and even Frank for that matter. Its addicting, its gritty, and its worth the watch!
Shameless premieres Sundays at 10/9c on Showtime.