Round 4, Tuesday, 4/26/22, “Shameless” (US version)
2011-2021 originally on Showtime
Writing credits and number of episodes credited with: Paul Abbott and John Wells (134,) Nancy Pimental (26,) Dominique Morrisseau (23,) Sherman Payne (14,) Etan Frankel (13,) LaToya Morgan (12,) Sheila Callaghan (12,) Corina Maritescu (12,) Lisa Morales (11,) Krista Vernoff (8,) Nathan Louis Jackson (7,) Davey Holmes (7,) Joe Lawson (7,) Molly Smith Metzler (6,) Philip Buiser (6,) Alex Borstein (5,) Mike O’Malley (5,) Cindy Caponera (2,) Mark Steilen (2,) Daniel Brocklehurst (1,) Stan Frankel (1,) William H. Macey (1,) and Steven Schacter (1.)
Directors: 55 different directors, with Iain B. MacDonald directing the most episodes, with 17.
Genres: comedy, drama
The Gallagher Family
William H. Macy at Frank Gallagher – faux patriarch and the addict you grow to hate – and love.
Emmy Rossum at Fiona “Fee” Gallagher – Oldest child and steps into maternal role young when mother abandons the family.
Jeremy Allen White as Phillip “Lip” Gallagher – Oldest brother and serves in paternal role as Frank is a non-functioning – other than to f*ck things up – parent
Cameron Monaghan as Ian Gallagher – in the closet gay who hopes to become a career soldier in the beginning of the series
Emma Kenney as Deb Gallagher – immature and air-headed in the beginning of the series
Ethan Cutkosky as Carl Gallagher – none too bright, but always scheming in the streets to help his family out
Brenden Sims as Baby Liam and Christian Isaiah and Child Liam Gallagher – the child Frank had with a different mother; Liam’s mom also abandoned him and left him for Frank (I.e Fee and Lip) to raise
Shanola Hampton as Veronica “V” Fisher – V and Kevin are a couple that live a couple doors down and are like family with the Gallaghers. They are always ready to help. V’s mother lives nearby.
Steve Howey as Kevin Ball – Kevin was raised in foster care, and he turned out OK. V and Kevin both work at a neighborhood bar in the first season.
Noel Fisher as Mickey Milkovich – a violent young man from a violent, criminal family.
The Bar Patrons
Michael Patrick McGill as Tommy
Jim Hoffmaster as Kermit – There are a lot of patrons that come and go in the bar, but Tommy and Kermit are permanent fixtures there.
The Gallaghers are an Irish-American family who lives in a large, ramshackle home on the South side of Chicago, right near where the L passes. There is a smallish living room, a decent-sized kitchen with a laundry area off the kitchen, and bathroom on the main floor. There is an unfinished basement. There’s a winding staircase that leads upstairs just off of the front door; there’s a more functional staircase leading upstairs off of the kitchen. Upstairs is another bathroom and several bedrooms. Out the back door is a vacant lot that they use to store vehicles, camp out on, put an above-ground pool on, have bonfires on, etc.
The bar is non-descript and looks like any other small, urban, neighborhood bar. It has an upstairs apartment where the owner, an old guy, lives. A lot of the plot lines for V and Kevin take place here.
Synopsis: Shameless is a situation comedy that fully develops story lines for each of the above-named characters, (with the exception of bar patrons, Tommy and Kermit.) Frank, the drunk junkie that has seldom worked an honest day in his life, pulls the family into all kinds of jams when he tries to flim-flam the vulnerable and keeps trying to scam those that are well on to his games. Fee and Lip fill the parent roles, with the other kids chipping in as they are able to. There is a shared jaded disappointment that alternates with rage at their father and an easy bonded relationship between the siblings. Each occasionally verbalizes a wish that their mentally ill, addict mother, Monica (Chloe Webb) might return someday.
Impressions: If I had to choose one adjective to describe the situations The Gallagher Realm finds itself enmeshed with each week, it would be outrageous, or, as the title suggests, shameless. The family and the satellite characters who orbit them operate on a different set of morals and ethics, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t functional or that they don’t love each other (when they aren’t hating their father for his ongoing dumb sh*t.) As the series covers 11 years, we get to see all of the kids except Liam grow to adulthood, and some to parenthood. We get to watch them mature and grow into decent human beings, despite the painful, often traumatic learning experiences that they are routinely pulled into through their dad’s actions or their own choices.
There is a large and varied circus of characters that wander in and out of episodes and seasons that are always entertaining. Throughout all 11 seasons, the plots remain fresh. There are several political themes that are covered, including gentrification, LGBTQIA+, homelessness, mental illness and inpatient care, corrections (prison life,) sex addiction, agoraphobia, the public service underbelly, human trafficking, drug dealing, grifting, and so much more.
Etc.: There are 48 items of trivia at imdb on the series.
Awards: 16 wins and 69 nominations