Have you been cursed with a crazy family? Does every gathering turn into a screaming match? Is there no such thing as a secret because no one can keep their mouth shut? Do you often think your outrageous family is perfect for a reality tv show?
If any of this sounds familiar, you might love the Showtime series Shameless. Growing up with six siblings, I am well versed on the intricacies of a large, crazy family, and I am addicted to the chaos of the Gallaghers. Shameless follows the story of a family living on the southside of Chicago with six kids that scrape by to support themselves while their deadbeat parents chase their own addictions. From drugs and jail, to mental illness and promiscuity, Shameless covers the struggles of a broken family and the underlying strength the kids find in order to save themselves from a fate similar to their parents. The dark sense of humor and heartbreaking realities of living in poverty create a dynamic group of characters as they come of age on their own and learn to cope with the unfairness of life.
While you might have experienced your own family drama, here is a quick quiz to determine if your family is anything like Shameless.
- Have you or any of your family members been arrested or incarcerated?
- Did you have to raise your five siblings on you own when your parents bailed?
- Does your Father’s career mainly consist of insurance fraud?
- Has your pregnant teenage sister ever run off to a commune only to return home in labor and give birth in the kitchen?
- Has anyone in your immediate family needed a new liver after years of hard drinking only to get the new liver and keep drinking?
- Do you have a sibling that received a marriage proposal during their divorce proceedings from a previous marriage?
- Have any of your siblings “accidentally” kidnapped another child while trying to find a new playmate?
- Did your father ever misplace hundreds of thousands of dollars after “too much celebrating”?
- Are there any relatives buried in your backyard?
- Has your kid brother ever been held for ransom by the people your Father owed money to?
- Has your brother ever stolen another siblings identity in order to join the army only to go AWOL after crashing a helicopter?
If you answered mostly no to the questions, you aren’t nearly as dysfunctional as the Gallaghers. If you answered mostly yes…Contact someone in show biz immediately. You might be able to get a TV deal.
The Gallaghers are so much more than just a crazy family. In between the outright jaw-dropping antics and the twisted humor, there is a glimpse of the people that live these lives. When it is so easy to dismiss others because of their behavior and offenses, people rarely stop to consider the chain of events and misfortunes that led to a life hardship. You can’t help but feel for the Gallagher kids, and it is easy to sympathize with them even after terrible decisions. It shows that bad choices aren’t necessarily made by bad people. Sometimes in the hardest situations there is no right or wrong just surviving.
Most importantly, the Gallagher siblings have an unwavering loyalty to one another. No matter what happens, regardless of who has screwed up, the family works through it (or fights until someone gives in) to support each other. It is an interesting, as well as entertaining, look at the complexities of family life and the far reaching effects of addiction, mental illness, and poverty.
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This post is sponsored by Frontier Communications. All opinions remain my own.