‘Shameless’-ly hiding in plain sight:

Why watch Showtime’s cult hit?


MCT Photo

Actor and director William H. Macy who plays alcoholic father Frank Gallagher. He has been awarded both a Prism and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his work on “Shameless”. Macy has been Golden Globe and Emmy nominated for his performance as well.

What do you get when you mix a dark drama about substance abuse and raising a family in squalor with a lewd, absurd comedy? Why you get Showtime’s hidden but critically acclaimed gem, “Shameless”.

This dark comedy follows the trials and tribulations of the Gallagher family living in destitute conditions on the south side of Chicago. The kids of this mad clan have to try to survive despite their runaway mother with bipolar disorder and abusive, alcoholic, drug-addicted father, Frank.

“…I found myself very attracted to the family and the way in which these kids were raising themselves and cared for each other and looked out for each other so then you add all the humor,” executive producer John Wells told thefutoncritic.com.

Currently in its fifth season, this show was adapted from a British show of the same name, but in its run has diverted from the original and made its own story.

Those faint of heart, beware, for while “Shameless” provides stellar performances, gorgeous direction, and chilling writing, the show is highly lewd and vulgar. Some scenes depict sex, drugs, violence, and even partial nudity.

“Living down to its title in every possible way, the show’s apparent lack of moral center and a prurient default setting will certainly put off some viewers,” Washington Post writer Hank Stuever said.

“Shameless” is also characterized by its bold story lines like the ground-breaking relationship between third-oldest Gallagher, Ian (played by Cameron Monaghan) and street rat Mickey Milkovich (played by Noel Fisher).

Commonly held as one of the best ever portrayed the story of Ian and Mickey has garnered praise for evolving from a fling into an intense romance despite challenging obstacles such as Mickey’s homophobic father and Ian’s bipolar disorder.

“… it’s a story about two people who are just trying to figure out how to be with each other, and that’s something that I think is hugely relatable for everyone,” Fisher said in an interview with BuzzFeed.

Crude but heartfelt, “Shameless” is a modern masterpiece that cannot be missed.