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12 Reasons You Should Clear Some Space on Your DVR for Showtime's Spectacular 'Shameless'

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | January 7, 2014 | Comments ()


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Showtime’s Shameless returns on Sunday, and if you’re worried about being conflicted out on your DVR because of the Golden Globes, Downton Abbey, True Detective, and whatever else you watch on Sunday nights at 9 p.m., there’s good news: The season premiere is on YouTube now. If you’re not watching Shameless, you should be. It’s something akin to the drama version of Raising Hope or Roseanne. It’s darkly funny, but wildly entertaining, one of those shows that’s easy to watch, where an hour feels like 20 minutes, and where what’s happening plot-wise is not as important as simply spending time with these characters. They feel famliar, and familial, and though I wouldn’t trade places with any of them. there’s is still the kind of family with which I aspire.

Basically, it’s Parenthood on the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum, and it is every bit as warm and cozy as Parenthood, only there’s more drinking and butt plugs in Shameless. They are my favorite kind of characters: Good people, trying to do good things, for good reasons. Unfortunately, life, as it so often does, gets in the way.

If that’s not reason enough to watch, maybe these 12 reasons will be:

1. Because if you like this, you’ll like Shameless.

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2. Because Joan Cusack is a goddamn zany — and often heartbreaking — delight.

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3. Because Emmy Rossum’s character is a beautiful flirt.

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4. And so is Cameron Monaghan’s character, and he can deftly remove a shirt.

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5. Because everyone on this show is a liberal user of profanity.

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6. Because no one on television drinks like William Macy’s Frank Gallagher.

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7. Because, trust me, this is not an empty threat.

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8. Because Shameless understands women …

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9. … and men.

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10. Because this show has an answer for every question.

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11. Because anyone who has grown up in an environment like the Gallagher household knows that “this time” is always the same, and part of what makes Shameless so brutally, heartbreakingly real is the fact that the show understands that sh*t luck follows you around when you’re poor, that poorness begets more poorness, and that you get kicked in the ass twice for every small triumph. It’s a cycle that never breaks.

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12. Because, in the end, who cares about success, because all that matters is family, and there’s no hardship or obstacle that can’t be overcome if you just stick together. The Gallaghers are wildly dysfunctional, alcoholics, sex addicts, fuck-ups, and deadbeats, but they come together for one another, they protect each other, they succeed together, and most importantly for a family like this, they fail together.

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Green Lantern

    "Yes" to every comment Dustin made. I got in to the series somewhere around mid season two, and watched it like it was going out of goddamn style. Two, three episodes a day until I had caught up...the show was like heroin! I couldn't get enough, and couldn't believe it existed in the first place.

    I've got to say though, that after watching the first episode for season four I was kinda "meh". Oh it was GOOD, but they were obviously setting up a LOT of pins to knock down, so that killed a little momentum IMHO.

    Still, VERY MUCH looking forward to this season, and MOST recommended! William H. Macy is a goddamn national treasure.

  • Guest

    +1 Dustin.

    *As much as I hated Karen I will miss Laura Wiggins.

  • I have to say, Emmy Rossum has been a delightful revelation to me in Shameless. I didn't hate her, but had NO idea she had this in her. I also pretty much adore the actors who are portraying Lip and Ian and wish I saw more of them in other projects.

  • pthalio

    The actor who plays Ian, was Dewey's Bitey friend on Malcolm in the Middle...blew my mindhole...

  • Tom

    One thing I would add is that sometimes family is the obstacle. They aren't the Waltons, facing obstacles together and always joining together to accomplish goals or survive. Frank is one of the family's biggest problems. Some of the Gallaghers' biggest problems are themselves.

  • dizzylucy

    I just finished season 1. I wasn't liking it much at first, but it's sort of growing on me.

  • kirbyjay

    P.S. The girl with the nose ring who WILL blow your brains all over the floor was originally played by Jane Levy( I think that's her name) from Suburgatory. This one has a much harder edge.

  • kirbyjay

    This is my all time favorite show EVER!! The family. Funny, heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time. Give it a few eps, it will suck you in, or not, maybe it's not something you can relate to or find funny. To each his/her own.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    I've seen the first episode of Shameless, I watched it with my father. It was awkward as hell and has pretty well turned me off of the series. I know that's not a good reason, but there it is.

  • I completely get that - the first episode was trying WAY to hard to be an exact copy of the original source material, and a lot of it didn't exactly translate well. It's also one of the few cases I've seen where William H Macy was more of a hindrance than a help to a project. Please do one of these things: 1) give the American version a few more chances. It gets way, WAY better and seems to be making a better case for longevity than the original or 2) give the british version a try - it's streaming on Netflix and the first two or three seasons are brilliant. It falls way off after that, though.

  • e jerry powell

    I've only watched DVDs of the first British season, and I don't know what I really expected after that. I lost my way with Showtime Sunday nights with about two episodes left season before last (the awfulness that was growth- and Duchovny-ass-free "Californication" was definitely a factor), and I didn't really recover except for "Nurse Jackie." I keep meaning to get back to "Shameless" if for no other reason than to see how the writers managed the necessarily divergent character trajectories (since Anne-Marie Duff left at the end of season one in Britain, where Emmy Rossum is still around in the US version)., but lately I'm so exhausted on Sundays that it's all I can do to manage Bourdain and Masters of Sex before I collapse into a heap.

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