If I could recommend one must see show this year it would be Showtime’s Shameless starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. The show about an alcoholic father (Macy) who is jobless and walks through life aimlessly drunk and his six children who learn to fend for themselves. The show wrapped up its third season in January…which means I’m stuck waiting for the fourth season which will hopefully resume in January 2014. Emmy Rossum plays Fiona Gallagher daughter of Frank Gallagher (Macy), she is the oldest of six children…she’s 21. She works at random jobs while the young ones (Carl and Debbie, Liam is two) find ways of making money so they can all contribute to the household expenses. useless father who comes in and out of the house whenever he wants. There’s also Philip ‘Lip’ the second oldest, he’s still in high school, and he’s literally a genius. People pay him to do their SATs since he’s done it a hundred times, he completes it with flying colours. Then there’s Ian the third oldest, he’s training in the ROTC to eventually work in the army…and he’s closet gay. But with a house that full and crazy….nothing can stay a secret.
The show is unique and nothing like I’ve seen before. It is a dramedy, adding humour to situations most of us would find appalling and heartbreaking. There are moments where you’re dying of laughter and then 30 seconds later you have tears in your eyes when you realize how brave these kids are. They live in horrible conditions, they see things even adults should never see, yet they can always find the silver lining. For what they’ve been through, and what they’ve seen they turned out alright…well for the most part. It’s amazing to watch them all work together as a family to survive and keep a roof over their heads. They are always in survival mode.
William H. Macy delivers an incredible performance as Frank Gallagher, it’s hard to picture him as a real person…he just embodies everything that is Frank the deadbeat dad who can’t function without a beer in his hand. There’s the mom Monica, but she’s hardly in the show. She drops in and out a few times, each time failing to live up to the mother role she promises her children. Every time she comes back the younger kids believe she’ll change, she’ll finally be the mom they need…but it never turns out that way. We don’t know a whole lot of why Monica left the family, she suffers from bi-polar depression but there’s more to it that might be explored in season 4. I feel like his family had a life before Monica left, Frank might’ve been an okay father, but when his wife left him with 6 kids he just gave up on life. Frank also has two brothers, who are completely normal, the one brother is wealthy…and we find out later on that he’s actually Ian’s biological father.
The third season ended off with a somewhat calm yet sad tone. Fiona’s man Jimmy is missing (kidnapped by a Brazilian drug lord for failing to take care of his daughter). Fiona doesn’t know any of this…well she knows about his Brazilian fake wife, but Jimmy just married her so she could get her papers and make her father happy. The INS locked her up…and now the father has kidnapped Jimmy we have no idea where he is. Fiona accepts the fact that Jimmy is gone, she says one last goodbye to his voice mail on a phone that is 1000 ft below water. Frank is in the hospital, he’s dying because his liver has begun to fail him after all the years of drinking. He refuses to sit alone in the hospital, he gets up and walks out into the cold Chicago air with his hospital gown,loafers, and butt sticking out. He walks and walks…we don’t see where he ends up but I’m assuming he’s making his way home. Hopefully, this is the scare that will change Frank for the better.
So if you’re looking for a show to catch up on this summer…Shameless is my pick. Shameless returns to Showtime January 2014. No official air date has been released.