The Gentrification of Shameless

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Comments (4)
  1. Karen says:

    Great article Sarah! I agree that the the trifecta for S1-5 was the writing, Mickey’s character development, and Noel Fisher’s incredible acting ability.

  2. Izzy says:

    Yes! Thank you, suddenly my lukewarm feelings towards season 7 make sense to me. I thought it was because the stakes weren’t high enough, but it all ties together into the same idea. The world isn’t out to get the Gallaghers in the same way it used to be.
    Do you think this ties into the Gallaghers need for redemtion? Back when they were literally struggling to put food on the table and keep the lights on it was easy to route for them, even as they did terrible self destructive things. Now they do terrible things whilst casually taking out $80,000 bank loans, and it’s just less relatable somehow. All the opportunities they need seem to be layed out in front of them, but they repeatedly ignore them and it’s frustrating instead of endearingly to watch.

  3. Giuly says:

    Sarah, you don’t know me, but I love you! This article is just impeccable!
    I know that the reactions after season 7 were positive, it was way better than season 5 (which was saved by Ian, Mickey and Bianca/Frank) and 6 for sure, but I feel Shameless has now a completely different vibe than season 3, the pinnacle of the show in my opinion. It’s not necessarily a bad thing but I feel the writers lost touch with the reality they were portraying in the first seasons. The Gallaghers were the epitome of the low class family, struggling to pay bills, to have food, playing the system that never supported them. In season 2 and 3 we got the bigger picture. The Milkoviches were fundamental to describe how the south side was actually like. What we thought was bad, poverty and terrible parenting, was even worse! The Milkovich’s family represented crime, gun violence, sexual assaults, rape, beatings and psychological abuse, it’s “fuck the system” at its best. Besides, the hood was a great protagonist, with its own dynamic, its own rules, its own way to preserve itself.
    We didn’t have to necessarily like these characters (Gallaghers included), but we had to understand them! They were survivors, they were fighters and their best traits were the strength and the loyalty/love they had for each other. What people do when they are put in the corner and the system failed them, how much the environment shaped them? Why is the right path so difficult to take for some people? This was the “heart” of shameless.
    You mentioned Mickey, he IS the south side as much as Frank. Mandy (and Debbie maybe) are the broken girls left behind. But what about Svetlana? A prostitute, with a dark past, smart, ruthless but a loving mother. She IS the southside too! What happened to her? People hate her now, she is just a bitch or the girl in the threesome. She was disregarded and transformed into the villain, the threat to stability, just like Mickey.
    But what about the Gallaghers? Justice and fate are ALWAYS on their side! They live in the southside but they are not the south side, the hood doesn’t live in them anymore! Where is the neighborhood around them? You could have set s7 in another city and we wouldn’t have seen the difference.
    The fact that people are changing their minds and are calling Mickey, Mandy or Svetlana or Jimmy just “bad/wrong people”, unstable, criminal is the reason why I think the writers lost touch with the message of the show. We are back to the “black and white”, “right and wrong” judgment. Do I agree with what they do? Hell no! But the reasons (or thought process) behind their gestures are no more explained or acknowledged. Everything is a plot to demonstrate how the Gallaghers are better, how the Gallaghers deserve better! Look at Lip! He screwed up millions times but he has still 100 opportunities. Mandy is a prostitute.
    Is this “success” realistic, though? I understand that people like them institutionalized, they are more normal, more successful. We all want to achieve that, people love to win and they are the winners. Who cares about the losers? They never had a chance anyway, right? They brought it upon themselves, now some people say.
    People call me cynical when I say that I don’t want an happy ending for every Gallagher (the finale of 712 was cliche to me), but I think that’s the whole point if you set the story in the hood! I expect someone to end up like Frank, to continue the cycle of the hood.
    The Gallaghers (and their ungrateful asses) were real and more fascinating in their poor, fucked up lives! If that’s the route they are following they should just make them sell the house and move, leave the shell of the caterpillar, but without disrespecting the characters that embodied the south side and allowed them to become butterflies.

    1. kristy defreitas says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

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