Two years ago, in January 2011, Showtime introduced America to the dysfunctional (to say the least) Gallagher family. Every Sunday night, people hunker down in front of their television to see what unbelievable situation this family from the South Side of Chicago has gotten themselves, or were unfairly placed, into.
Shameless takes us into the world of a “no class” family, in which the five children are taken care of by their eldest sister Fiona (Emmy Rossum), due to the fact that their father, Frank (William H. Macy), is a dead-beat drunk and their mother, Monica (Chloe Webb), has run away with a woman—for the second time. There’s the eldest boy Philip (Jeremy Allen White), better known as “Lip,” who is so smart he has college professors begging him to graduate early and attend a university, but who truly believes the only way to survive as a poor kid from the South Side is to cheat his way out, and Ian, a year younger than Lip, who spends all of his time trying to get into West Point, while simultaneously dealing with the fact that he is not only gay, but secretly dating one of the most widely-known homophobes in the city.
The younger sister, Debbie, is growing up before viewers’ eyes, realizing that no matter how hard she tries, her father’s love is something that can only be bought, and never permanently. Carl is the second youngest boy and a troublemaker who cannot help but grow up before his time thanks to having to share a room with his two older brothers. The youngest of the Gallagher clan is Liam, an African-American child who is somehow the biological child of both Frank and Monica.
Also important to the cast are neighbors Veronica, “V,” (Shanola Hampton) and Kevin, “Kev,” (Steve Howey), who have become best friends to Fiona and some sort of parental figures to the rest of the kids.
The third season aired on January 13, with Fiona adjusting to having her boyfriend Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) living in the house, even though he is still secretly married to a Portuguese drug lord’s daughter, not to his liking. Lip has begun some sort of relationship with Mandy Milkovich (Emma Greenwell), sister to Ian’s backdoor boyfriend Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher). V and Kev are working through the fact that Kev’s soon-to-be ex-wife showed up on their doorstep claiming that the child she brought with her is Kev’s, and Frank is using his disgusting mooching abilities to stay with his ex-lover Sheila (Joan Cusack), who is now raising her biological grandchild with her daughter’s (who is out of the picture currently) ex-husband.
Due to the Super Bowl this past Sunday, Showtime aired a re-run, but a new episode will be on this upcoming weekend. Fiona is starting her new job at the local supermarket, where the rest of the female employees have been giving the manager “special favors” in order to get the shifts and positions they desire. Carl gets ready to head to summer camp for the first time in his life, an opportunity he only acquired after Frank told him he had cancer in order to exploit him for money. Mandy receives an unexpected call from her half-sister and her and Lip go to check out the situation she may be in.
It’s an understatement to say that there is never a dull moment in the Gallagher household, which is probably what led to Showtime signing on for a fourth season immediately after the Season 3 premiere. The new episode will air this Sunday at 9 p.m.
By Taylor Zimmerman