SPOILERS AHEAD – So do not watch if you have not watched the series finale.
A few years ago, I did a list of my Top 5 dramas. Not long after I made the list, all the shows went off air except for Shameless. It hung in there (arguably more than it should have) and finally drew the curtains on Sunday, April 11.
The many things COVID has taken away include befitting TV send offs. I feel bad that Shameless isn’t going out with a bang and with the fan fare that it deserves. I am not going to lie and say that Shameless didn’t lose its way the last few years, it absolutely did. It had a resurgence with Season 7 where it even made my best things I watched list, and then there were rollercoasters. Personally, I don’t know if it recovered from first, Ian leaving (then returning) then Fiona permanently leaving. They should have wrapped it up then.
Shameless has always been a well rounded show as a dramedy. The antics of the Gallaghers were always sure to have your jaw to the ground but it also gave a glimpse into life living on the South Side when you are poor. I’ll leave it to Chicago natives to judge how well it was depicted but the Gallaghers were terrible people but they were also a victim to the cards they were dealt and were always just trying to find a way to survive. Survival was their key word followed by “by any means necessary”.
Every year, I’d think they couldn’t sink lower and every year, the writers found a way to. I loved how I grew to know the family. I had my faves (Lip and Ian), my least faves (Frank, of course and Debbie). William H. Macy definitely got his flowers and received some awards but I do believe that Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White, Noel Fisher and a few others were overlooked.
It is very hard to stick a landing but I think they got the finale right. I’d always said there was no way Frank survives a Shameless series finale, so it was the right thing to kill him off. It was great seeing the characters (kind of) grow up in their own way. The bond between Liam and Frank was so touching (recasting Liam a few seasons ago was one of the best things ever. New Liam gives the best side eye). Liam having to make the hard decisions and facing disappointment yet again was a subtle reminder that while they were transitioning to new chapters, life’s difficulties never go away.
The progression of Ian and Mickey’s relationship has also been one to watch. The way Noel Fisher is able to portray Mickey as a product of his upbringing, oscillating from tender to harsh and how Ian understands him, is such a joy to watch. The scene with the crib and the surprise anniversary party *makes heart symbol*
While it was great everyone was getting 6 figure offers left, right and center allowing Vee and Kev to move to the South, I think it was very glaring that Fiona was not a part of the finale. I couldn’t figure out if she was included in the house sale money and also that Frank didn’t include her in his death bed letter. The flashback as Frank reminisced reminded us just how young they were! Boy, does time fly.
I won’t keep you any longer but Shameless has a place in TV history. All 11 seasons wasn’t smooth sailing but as a collective, it left its mark. I am not sure we have any other family like the Gallaghers on TV. It has been a great ride for those of us who have been watching. For those who haven’t, it’s definitely worth the binge if you have the time (on Netflix).