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Shameless: A New Showtime Series with William H. Macy as the Alcoholic Frank Gallagher, Reviewed

Shameless showtime pic 237x300 Shameless: A New Showtime Series with William H. Macy as the Alcoholic Frank Gallagher, ReviewedShowtime’s Shameless:  A Hot New Show or Just a Glorified FX Style Cliché

By Matt Goldstein

 William H. Macy stars in the new Showtime series Shameless as the white trash drunken alcoholic Frank Gallagher.  As Frank is a complete waste of life and space, the characters that drive the show are Frank Gallagher’s family, daughter Fiona who takes care of the family with Frank basically incapacitated, sons Lip, Ian, Carl, daughter Debbie, Fiona’s love interest Steve and neighbors Veronica and Kev.           

Fiona has the thankless job of cooking, cleaning, assigning chores and taking the role of mother and father in the house.  Ian, a gay teenager who’s in the army is sleeping with the neighborhood store owner Muslim who’s married with a family.  Lip, older brother and best friend of Ian, tutor’s the local bad girl Karen and receives extra special treatment from his prized student.  Steve, Fiona’s love interest is a high level car thief and although skinny and good looking, can knockout a bar bouncer with one shot.   Veronica, who is the neighbor and best friend of Fiona, is dating the bartender Kev and has a very wild sex life.       

While a bit fun and entertaining, the snappy dialogue and cliché character bios fill the plot line but fall short of anything real.  For one, white trash people don’t have snappy dialogue!  White Trash starts and ends with a good college education and none of these characters should know what they’re talking about at any time. 

 William H. Macy overacts his way through a character he knows nothing about.  Maybe typecast a bit as a middle class wimpy neurotic nerd in other movies, Macy is overdramatizes the life of an alcoholic. 

The tutor receiving a study time BJ, the gay army teen sleeping with an Arab Muslim, the high profile car thief Steve who steals nothing but Ferrari’s, the drunken out of work dad who spends every dime on alcohol and nothing on the family, the oldest sister as the motherly figure, all add up to a cliché, overdone glorified FX biker/fireman show with more sex, nudity and cursing.  But hey, whack snappy dialogue and overtly surreal artificially complex characters are exactly what America loves, especially with sex, drugs, alcohol and partying. 

We’ll give this show a few more episodes but don’t expect much.

Shameless:  B-




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5 comments to Shameless: A New Showtime Series with William H. Macy as the Alcoholic Frank Gallagher, Reviewed

  • Susan

    Shameless is funny & entertaining. Just injoy the crazy show!!!!


  • Tim Rodgers

    I know a lot of white trash with Masters degrees… But I digress…
    I have not seen the show, but I will say this… 1 out of 5 Americans have a close family member that is a drug addict and/or an alcoholic. I am not sure what is cliche about a show that portrays the realities of that dysfunction. Children of Alcholic Parent Disorder is a legit issue. Child and adolescent psychiatrists know these children are at greater risk for having emotional problems than children whose parents are not alcoholics. Alcoholism runs in families, and children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics. Most children of alcoholics have experienced some form of neglect or abuse

    But good is good and bad is bad. I’ll have to give the show a tumble…


    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    It’s definitely not the alcoholism that is cliche about the show. It’s more of the over dramatized characters and the uniquely distinct but problematic yet charismatic character bios. All the character’s have these greater than life stories that don’t match reality. It’s over written for entertainment more than it is a real story. I understand that though, Showtime has to sell a show that people watch, as the most realistic portrayals never seem to get the good ratings or real attention.

    But I completely agree with you about alcoholism. There are no words to describe the horrors of that disease. If Showtime actually tried to show the reality’s of alcoholism maybe they would have a real show.


    Tim Rodgers Reply:

    Remember John From Cinncinatti? WTF???? Anyhow, there was a reason why Shameless wasn’t a must see for me. You are probably hitting the nail on the head!


    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    What? You didn’t like the alien jesus surfer who might or might not have healed people and sometimes or might not have went to the bathroom?

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