Shameless: Gripping family drama that loses charm post the departure of Emmy Rossum

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Family drama is one of the genres that I stay away from due to my “self-taught” idea that I’m not a sentimental guy. Shameless broke that idea to pieces with an excellent family drama which I enjoyed it to the core.

I was skeptical enough to start the series due to the genre and coz If I start a series I need to finish it completely irrespective of how it turns out. Anyway, I started watching the series on a friend‘s recommendation and I must say I’m glad that I found this series. The story is about a dysfunctional family of a junkie mom and a drunk dad with 6 kids trying to make their ends meet in a fast-developing South Chicago neighborhood.

The most important thing that worked in favor was the amazingly written characters that just make the setting so lovely. An episode is of 50–55 min each and within that time, 6 parallel storylines are put forward in a neat and efficient manner that didn’t bore me at all.

Irrespective of the story, I have always loved it when they come with deep and unique characters. Shameless wins handsomely as it contains a set of amazing and relatable characters that make you wanna know more about them. William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher was so terrific as the narcissistic asshole who couldn’t care less for the others. Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher was literally the soul of the series who made me invest in the series emotionally. All the other major characters were perfectly portrayed leaving no space for shortcomings. Among those, I was particularly impressed by the performances to Steve Howey as Kevin Ball, Jeremy Allen White as Philip Gallagher, Noel Fisher as Micky Milkovich, and Kate Miner as Tamietti. On the same note, I hate Emma Kenney as Debbie Gallagher (I literally wished for bad things to happen)

Another major gainer was the general discussion topics that keep popping across like Sobriety, Parenting, Homophobia, and Racial stereotyping among the Americans. Special mention to the soundtracks played throughout the series which suited the scene perfectly.

On the downside, once Emmy Rossum left the series post 9th season, there was no emotional investment for me to watch the last 2 seasons and it sucked ass badly. Only Philip and Frank’s plot kept the boat sailing. The obscenity went overboard at places that didn’t fit with me very well. As much as I can understand “survival of the fittest” for the numerous scams they pull, the moral righteousness was thrown to the bin and it did irk me at times. The final problem was the casual racial jokes and a particular sexual abuse joke(scam) which was terrible in taste and I wish it could have been avoided.

Overall, despite the notable flaws it had, I will still recommend Shameless for the distinctive characters and the immersive experience it provides the viewer.

~Loved it!

Following are some description of the two my most loved characters in the series:

Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher: A lead character has the most important role of pulling in the fans to invest in the series and their lifestyle. Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher was one such lead character whose charming face and the gleeful eyes that lits up whenever she smiles was the major reason that had me hooked throughout the series. The emotional investment was so much that the happiness and sadness transcended on the screen and I kept rooting for her to come out successfully on every single occasion. The effect of the character was only felt when she didn’t star in the last two seasons. The series went numb and I couldn’t careless for the other character, such was the impact. Fantastic performance!

William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, a character that reminded me a lot about Michael Scott from Office US sitcom:

When I started watching “The Office”(US Sitcom), I hated Michael Scott to the worst possible extent. As much as I know, people enjoy the brand of humor that Steve Carell brought in as Michael Scott, I couldn’t enjoy much. Yet, the character grew on me as the show proceeded and slowly I started getting the vibe of the character. In the final two episodes of Michael Scott in season 8, I didn’t want to shed tears coz of the reason that I have hated him for the majority of the series. Yet, I couldn’t control them in the airport scene with Pam, one of the most emotional scenes in the sitcom.

William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher was equally or even a par above narcissistic asshole than Michael Scott and I despised him for 80–90% of the series(though I enjoyed his philosophical thoughts at places). When the series proceeded, I guessed I might end up liking him in the same way I liked Michael Scott. As expected, in the final season I felt pity for the character and even rooted for him. I couldn’t hate the character anymore and felt bad whenever the kids treated him ill irrespective of the fact that he deserved it completely.

The turnaround for both the characters couldn’t have been better.