Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shamelessly Biding My Time...

Everyone knows that I am a huge HUGE fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Love it! Probably my most favorite television series ever! Thankfully it is returning to HBO April 1st… And if that is an April Fool’s joke, someone will be pulling a broadsword out of their back (I’m looking at you HBO execs.)

But I’m not going to talk about GoT or mention certain co-workers who have read ahead in the series and are put out with me that I don’t want to talk about what happens next with them. I want it to be a surprise, people! NO spoilers!! Sheesh!!!

No, I’m not going to talk about any of that. I’m going to talk about what I’ve watched while I’ve waited for Winter to finally freakin’ come.

I’ve become mildly obsessed with PBS’s Downton Abbey and Showtime’s Shameless. Sooo much has been said about Downton Abbey with all of their awards and accolades. And I truly do love the series, everything about it.

But today I’m going to focus all of my attention on Shameless, I think mainly because it’s not a series I would think that I would like. Everyone from the alcoholic father (played by the supremely skilled William H. Macy) to the smallest Gallagher (OK, not the baby) is someone I’m fairly certain I would run screaming from in real life. (The exact opposite of the noble Starks I love so much in GoT, and the honorable characters I love in Downton Abbey *don't get me started on the not-so-honorable ones however.)

The Gallaghers are dishonest, promiscuous, and downright shameless in every way. Yet, there is a vulnerability and general likability in each and every main character, and I can’t help but care about them. They resonate with me for some reason, and I find myself thinking about their plights from one episode to the next.

Shameless is masterful television.

From the oldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) who does everything she can to provide for her five siblings, be it honest or otherwise, all while sorting through her romantic woes (who knew there were soooo many frogs to kiss without a single prince in the bunch?)

To Lip (Jeremy Allen White) the brainiac oldest son who spends more time getting high and pining for the not-so-girl-next-door girl to keep his mind off the unlucky stars that and made him a Gallagher in the first place.

To Ian (Cameron Monaghan) the gay ROTC second son who struggles with his own identity nearly constantly, often in a very self-absorbed sort of way.

To Debbie (Emma Kenney) the good-hearted youngest sister who is still a little na├»ve about the world, but who is a fast learner and isn’t above blackmailing anyone to keep her family safe.

To Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) the juvenile-delinquent-in-the-making third son who is everyone’s go-to man for all firearms needs.

And finally to Liam (played by twins Blake Alexander Johnson and Brennan Kane Johnson) who is more of a pawn than anything else at his tender age.

The cast is rounded out with the family’s friends, neighbors, Fiona’s suitors, Lip’s love interest and her bizarre family, and many others that find their way into the Gallaghers’ world or the other way around.

I still scratch my head a bit at the show’s ability to make me care for and about each member of this shameless family (and make me hope that this time everything will turn out all right for them.) As far as the writer in me goes – Shameless is an excellent example at characterization. It makes you care about these people on many different levels. And as far as viewer in me goes – Shameless is an excellent series that transports you to a place you would otherwise avoid like the plague, yet you yearn for it until the next new episode anyway.

The cast is amazing. The scripts are phenomenal. Shameless is masterful television. I know I said that before, but it is worth repeating.

I don’t personally know anyone who is watching this show, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you are watching it... Yay! I can’t wait to talk with you about it. Which Gallagher is your favorite and why?

If you’re not watching it and have Showtime – start watching it immediately and report back to me later! I promise you'll be hooked!

If you don’t have Showtime, what sort of shows do you like? What else should I be watching until April 1st when I will finally get my GoT fix again? Because - as of this moment - I'm all caught up on Shameless too.

Originally posted at Lady Scribes 2/24/2012