The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The downfall of ‘Shameless’

White trash somehow gets trashier
“Shameless” is a story of a family living on the South Side of Chicago. The siblings are left to fend for themselves with an absentee mother and an alcoholic father. (Image from Shameless Instagram)

In 2011, Showtime released its own version of the UK series, “Shameless.” But despite our love for the US version, we cannot deny the downfall of the show. How it goes from its peak early seasons to its downfall in the latter.

A Family of Dysfunction By Taylor Boggess

One thing about me is, I will forever cherish the early seasons of “Shameless.” The overall essence of the show and what I loved about it is extremely present in those seasons, unlike the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I like the last seasons, but they don’t have the same effect.

The early seasons had the aesthetic that made “Shameless,” “Shameless.” The Gallagher’s struggle to keep the lights on and the “squirrel fund” were staple points in our love for the show. But the producers and writers want to constantly outdo themselves hurting the essence of the show.

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Starting with my two favorite characters, Ian Gallagher and Mickey Milkovich, I loved their development in the early seasons, with Mickey in denial of his sexuality because of his very homophobic father and Ian with his wish to be a trooper in the army, he is actively in the ROTC.

In general, these two characters are one of the few that I like throughout the series and Carl Gallagher being the other. 

Carl is introduced as a delinquent in the majority of the seasons and later has an arc to become a police officer. It shows the audience that while a person may not come from the best background, they can still make a difference in their community. 

In comparison, both Mady and I hated the development of Debbie Gallagher and Phillip ‘Lip’ Gallagher.

Lip was a character that was well-loved by a majority of viewers. He was portrayed as a kid who was simply born into a bad family and with a better living situation he could have thrived. He was the only Gallagher who went to college, and despite later dropping out, he was still written to be the “smart” one of the family.

However, his character ultimately was destroyed when his love interest Tami Tamietti was introduced. While I loved seeing his journey of becoming a father, Tamietti ruined his character with her rich upbringing and inability to see the Gallaghers as who they were.

Then there is Debbie. Everyone hates Debbie. Her character was promising, being one of the only two girls in the family, but she is just plain unlikeable. At one point when she steals a baby which for me sealed her fate as a character. 

I knew she was going to be crazy. I hoped it was the type of crazy I would be able to get behind, but as I should have expected, it was not. She went even more insane as the seasons progressed and the more I hated her.

In comparison, Kevin Ball was likable throughout the whole show, though he had the Joey Tribbianni effect from “Friends.” His character was written to not be the smartest, but they continued dumbing him down more and more as the show progressed.

Similarly, Veronica ‘V’ Fisher was iconic through and through. She was amazing and stayed true to her character while still having character arcs.

Boggess can be reached at [email protected]


The Downfall of Fiona Gallagher By Mady Leick

Fiona Gallagher’s story makes me want to cry. Throughout the entirety of the show, characters waste great potential. 

Lip throws away all of his hope due to his “South Side pride”, Ian gives up on activism because of showmanship, Debbie forces herself to stay in her home when she gets pregnant, all of the siblings have some kind of wasted potential, but no one is as hurt as Fiona is.

Fiona Gallagher is volatile, reckless, hard headed, controlling and strong-willed. She is a blend of her alcoholic father and bipolar mother and acts out in fits of self-sabotage. Fiona is the lead character for the first seasons and gives the audience someone to root for.

Fiona, despite her many faults, is incredibly hopeful. She is always scheming, always doing whatever it takes to get ahead. 

She is the mother figure of the family, raising the Gallagher clan on her own, as both of her parents are too unstable. She legally gains guardianship over them in season 3. This puts a great amount of responsibility on the young adult.

It feels like throughout the show, Fiona comes so close to winning. Time and time again, she almost gets everything she wants. She works incredibly hard to get something, and then something happens, and either she loses it or she throws it away. 

Her story by the sixth or seventh season gets a bit exhausting. Her downfall truly begins when she starts buying real estate in the eighth season. She becomes obsessed with being “the queen of the Southside.” Having no experience in real estate, she falls on her face, broke, back at her family home.This is the final straw for Fiona. She is done being responsible for everyone, and in the end, she leaves the family for the east coast, never looking back. She doesn’t appear in any episode past season 9, not even the finale.

 It’s a sad ending, but leaves the audience with hope that she might be better, but there’s no way of knowing that for sure. 

“We were rooting for you, we were all rooting for you.”

Leick can be reached at [email protected].

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