My family is from Chicago and I've lived in New Orleans for five years now. I've been told for years to watch "Shameless" but haven't had a TV the entire time I've lived in New Orleans and haven't had much time for TV series. This summer, Netflix added four seasons of Shameless to their site and my boyfriend and I started the series as a way to avoid the grueling humidity that is New Orleans in August.
I love the show so far and am already on season four despite only starting the series a few weeks ago. i'm already dreading the end of the season when I have to start finding alternative ways to watch the other there seasons that aren't on Netflix.
However, one thing as a Chicago native that bothers me a lot about the show, is the lack of diversity. The South Side of Chicago has a huge Irish and Italian populations as well as different Asian and Latino populations and a large African-American one as well. The Gallagher family is Irish Catholic, but there is barely any mention of any Italians, Asians, or Latinos. The show has only two reoccurring African-American Characters, Veronica the neighbor and baby Liam.
Veronica is one of my favorite characters but despite being a black woman in the South Side of Chicago, she is somehow always surrounded by white people. In her wedding episode, it seemed as if her and her mother were the only black people in attendance. In one episode, her brother breaks out of prison to visit her and in another her cousin visits as a notary but with the exception of those two instances, the only black character around is Veronica's mother. There were a few episodes where Debbie befriended a neighborhood bum who happened to be black, but his role in the show was pretty insignificant.
Even the extras in the show are mainly white. The show's plot finds a way to incorporate one of the brothers closeted gay lover impregnating and marrying a Russian hooker and Fiona's boyfriend marrying a Brazilian drug lord's daughter for citizenship, but has no room for more than one black character or even black extras. It simply does not make sense and misrepresents the racial demographics of Chicago and its South Side.