The story of a young group of siblings pretty much abandoned by their parents, surviving by their wits - and humor - on a rough Manchester council estate. Whilst they won't admit it, they need help and find it in Steve, a young middle class lad who falls for Fiona, the oldest sibling, and increasingly finds himself drawn to this unconventional and unique family. Anarchic family life seen through the eyes of an exceptionally bright fifteen year old, who struggles to come of age in the context of his belligerent father, closeted brother, psychotic sister and internet porn star neighbors.Written by
Company Pictures (website)
Once in a while, there comes along a TV drama series that makes you glad the medium was invented. A series that makes you glad to be alive; a series that breaks your heart that you have to wait a whole week to see the next episode. Shameless is such a series.
The Gallagher family consists of dad Frank and his six children (their mum apparently abandoned them years ago). Frank spends most of his time out drinking, only returning to the family's council house on a run-down Manchester estate when he's dragged home comatose by the police in the early hours of the morning. The result is that the six kids more or less bring themselves up, with the eldest - 20-year-old Fiona - acting as the token mum.
From all this, it should make for depressing viewing. But the beauty of Paul Abbott's semi-autobiographical drama is that it's not even remotely depressing. The six Gallagher kids, their friends and neighbours form an extended family where everyone loves and supports everyone else; and the result is bawdy, rude, but above all uplifting, heartwarming and fun. The performances are uniformly excellent and to single anyone out would be unfair. The first episode does a wonderful job of introducing the large cast of characters - not just in a cursory way either, but in sufficient depth to make you care about this assortment of misfits enough to want to tune in next week to see what befalls them next.
This is what TV should be. Watch it.
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