The Millennial generation seems to be full of very unique surprises. Of the number of things to come out of the generation, a staggering number of college degrees, memes, and a stellar taste in television seem to have taken the spotlight of our accolades. For example, think about The Office; maybe Parks and Rec or Always Sunny in Philadelphia. All of those shows are pertinent to todays society, and if you look deep enough into it, you'll leave just a little bit enlightened. However, it has come to my attention that lately a show called Shameless has been stealing the spotlight; for good reasons too. The Show addresses issues such as, poverty, interracial couples, same sex couples, and last but certainly not least, substance abuse. For those reasons and more, I believe everyone should watch Shameless.
As anybody who has seen they show, they know it takes place in Chicago, specifically Canaryville. The main characters are of the Gallagher clan and include, Frank, Fiona, Phillip (Lip), Ian, Carl, Deb, and Liam, inhabit a house thats in complete shambles. There are literal holes in the walls, the chain linked fence outside is listing 20 degrees or so starboard side, and there appears to be decades worth of “patina” on every surface it can inhabit. Of this inhabitants, Frank is an almost functional alcoholic who scams the government among other entities for money. Fiona is obviously the glue. She works long hours, comes home, takes care of the family, sleeps sometimes, and does it over again. Lip and Ian, although a high school students, pull their fair share of profitable but not so legal schemes. Deb and Carl, who are around ten in the first season kick in what they can. Together, through every variety of disfunction, they manage to keep their household afloat.
Judging by the previous paragraph, it seems safe to conclude that the Gallaghers live in squaller. Lately, especially in this past election, it seems to me as though the middle and especially working class people have been the subject of much debate. Poverty has become a front line political issue, and the Ghallaghers can teach the masses a thing or two about the strifes of the impoverished. First and foremost, unpaid bills are an all familiar ordeal to the Gallagher household. In fact, it is not uncommon for the power or water to be cut, on the account of insufficient funds. The Ghallaghers also resort to stealing when times are desperate. One episode in particular, Val, a neighbor and close friend to the Gallaghers, uses a provocative outfit and her flirtatious abilities to distract a dairy delivery man. While he’s busy gawking at her bosom, a Gallagher is pillaging the back of the truck.
For all who don’t know. Val, the woman previously mentioned, is African American, and her Husband, Kevin or Kev as he’s often referred to, is white. This fact alone brings to light the seemingly often overlooked strifes of interracial couples. According to the New York times, in 2015, only 37 percent of Americans thought that interracial marriages was good for society. However that number was up 13 percent from four years ago. With that said, Shameless also addresses the struggles of being part of the LGBTQ community. There are a number of characters in the show that fall into that population of people, but Ian takes the spotlight. The bomb is dropped in the very first episode when Lip discovers some “saucy” magazine clippings of men. Initially, Lip seems disgusted and believes a “hummer” from the experienced Karen Jackson will cure Ian of his gay tendencies. When he finds out he’s wrong, he gets angry. Eventually, as a few episodes pass, so does his lack of understanding of Ian’s sexual orientation.
Lastly, and perhaps one of the most notable themes in Shameless, is substance abuse. The medical miracle that is Frank Gallagher indulges in every kind of poison, pill, and mind altering substance he can get his hands on. He’s spend just about every waking moment of his life in a chemically modified state of consciousness. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, 24.6 percent of Americans 12 or older have used an illegal drug in the last 30 days. It appears as though “Refer Madness” didn’t teach anyone anything, as marijuana is the most popular choice for users. The Runner up, not springily is prescription drugs, which would explain why the use of heroin is making a come back (as they are both opioids). When the supply of one is cut, the user will switch to the other. An economist would call them complementary goods. Anyway, Franks health eventually deteriorates, and leaves the viewers on a cliffhanger as to whether or not he’ll receive the life saving treatment he needs.
Who would have thought that such an absurd show could possibly address such serious and permanent issues? From poverty, the LGBTQ community, and substance abuse, just to name a few, Shameless brings them to the surface. Along with a very unique type of entertainment, the viewer also gets enlightened, and hopefully more aware of them. Perhaps even more likely to become proactive to such subjects. But that all starts with exposure to the issue, and what better way to do it than to sit down with a carton of ice cream, and enjoy some television.