6 Shameless Reasons You Should Be Binge-Watching Shameless
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6 Shameless Reasons You Should Be Binge-Watching Shameless

Nobody f**ks with the Gallaghers.

6 Shameless Reasons You Should Be Binge-Watching Shameless

If you've been living under the rock that is a non-Showtime subscription like myself, the recent addition of "Shameless" to Netflix was probably one of the most exciting things to happen to you all summer. Since June, I've been obsessively binge-watching the dramedy that is the Gallaghers' lives, falling in love with the dysfunctional South Side family. With six seasons under its belt and a soon-to-be seventh, "Shameless," thanks to its impeccable casting and its well-written storylines, is a hidden gem that deserves more recognition. Even hard-to-please Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a perfect score for four seasons and counting. Still don't believe me? Here are six more reasons:

1. The Characters.

"Shameless" follows the family of Frank Gallagher: a selfish, alcoholic father of six whose main talent includes cashing in fake disability checks to support his drinking problem. With his wife's absence, his eldest, Fiona, one of the more poignant characters of the show, takes over the parental duties of her five younger siblings: Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl and Liam. Lip is the only Gallagher with enough intelligence to give him a future outside of the South Side. Ian's struggling coming to terms with his sexuality and how it'll affect his dreams of joining the army. There's Debbie, the well-natured sweetheart who starts to struggle with seeing the good in people as she transitions into a teenager, and Carl, who shows psychopath tendencies. And then there's Liam, the baby of the family, who's still too young to understand the dysfunction he was born into.

2. The Complexity.

Every single character has a meticulously thought out and incredibly well-written backstory, consisting of their own quirks, hardships, interests, struggles and so forth. Constantly growing and developing, hardly any character is the same as they were in season one. Take Mickey Milkovich, for example. Who would've thought that the neighborhood thug insistent on killing Ian would end up being one of the more vulnerable, flawed characters on the show? With "Shameless" 's attention to character development, it's nearly impossible to dislike any of them. (Except for Karen in season two. That one's totally possible.)

3. The Relationships.

Of course, while the characters themselves are just as fascinating to watch, they wouldn't be complete without their interactions with each other. In the series, there are no traditional, superficial and watered-down relationships like those typically depicted on TV. Instead, we're given the reminiscent ones of real life. Whether they're platonic or romantic, these relationships are gritty and brutally honest - and completely dependent on one another. As the show says: the Gallaghers don't have much, but they have each other.

4. The Cast.

No matter how perfectly written each character is, it's the actors' performances that makes them all the more compelling. Prior to the series, Oscar-nominated William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum were the only known stars, yet the rest of the cast has quickly proven to be just as worthy of recognition - especially Noel Fisher and Cameron Monaghan as they tackle their complicated dynamic, as well as Joan Cusack with her role as an obsessive, agoraphobic mother. And remember Van from "Reba"? He's now a dyslexic bartender in all his comedic glory - and a great one, at that.

5. Lack of Filter.

While it may be centered around the life of a family, "Shameless" is not family friendly - and for good reasoning. The series explicitly portrays drugs, sex, language and everything else profane and in-between, which is what makes it so realistic. It brings attention to real-life issues that are often overlooked or that are too 'sensitive' to talk about: addiction and dependency, homophobia, poverty and class barriers, abuse and mental health.

6. It's Relatable.

Maybe you can't relate to having an alcoholic parent or coming from a poverty-level home. Regardless, you can still relate to "Shameless". Whether it's working to make ends meet, dealing with a breakup or an unrequited love, having low self-esteem, being sick of school or even something as trivial as fighting with your siblings (but still loving them at the end of the day, of course), trust me when I say: this series is the one for you.

Season 7 of "Shameless" premieres October 2nd at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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