ARTS & LEISURE — February 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

Review: “Shameless” tells a unique story

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The Gallagher family from Showtime’s “Shameless.”

In an age of television that consists of nearly perfect families, the Gallagher’s from Showtime’s “Shameless” are a breath of fresh air for viewers everywhere. The Gallagher’s posses a far from ideal family dynamic that allows for a unique plot line that details their lives as they struggle to make ends meet.

“Shameless,” created by Paul Abbot, originally aired in the UK, only to be sent overseas for a U.S. adaptation under the same name. Both shows aired simultaneously for two years, but after completing 11 seasons, the UK version ended.

“Shameless” aired its first episode on Jan. 9, 2011 and continues to produce episodes to this day. The show’s seventh season recently concluded, with the season finale airing to over a million viewers on Dec. 18, 2017.

The show stars Oscar-nominated actor William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic, single father of six, who lives off of welfare checks and his children’s hard earned money. The eldest daughter named Fiona, played by Emmy Rossum, must assume a parental role from an alarmingly young age due to her father’s lack of parenting. She, as well as the rest of the Gallagher children, must take on various jobs in order to pay the bills and put food on the table.

Phillip “Lip,” played by Jeremy Allen White, is the the second-eldest and family genius. His natural academic ability gives him many opportunities to make something of himself, however, his blatant disinterest in leaving his town and changing his attitude strays him away from doing so. In order to help support his family, Lip uses his intelligence to his advantage, even going as far as to take the SAT for other students.

The third-eldest is named Ian, played by Cameron Monaghan. Ian spends a large portion of the show dealing with and trying to understand his sexuality as well as dealing with his Bipolar Disorder. The fourth-eldest named Debbie, played by Emma Kenney, and fifth-eldest named Carl, played by Ethan Cutkosky, are most easily manipulated by their deceitful father. Frank uses the two in order to get what he wants when the eldest three siblings see through his lies. And the last Gallagher is named Liam, played by Blake and Brennan Johnson.

The show chronicles the lives of the Gallagher family as they deal with a range of unusual events, from teen pregnancy to alcoholism to agoraphobia. The Gallagher’s unique situation allows viewers to watch as this struggling family manages their hectic lives.

“Shameless” has won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series and Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy, for Macy’s portrayal of Frank, as well as two Primetime Emmy Awards. The show also currently sports an 8.7/10 on IMDb.

The unique plot line and character that “Shameless” make it an interesting and entertaining watch. The show’s adult humor may not be the preference of some, but it is highly recommended for those looking for an excellent drama and comedy series.

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