Why ‘Shameless’ continues to succeed on Showtime

This past Sunday, the Gallagher clan blessed our screens once again in the season 8 premiere of “Shameless.” This premiere was similar to previous ones, jolting us right back to where everything left off and making it feel as if we never left.

And that’s the beauty of this show: all the characters are wonderfully crafted with three-dimensional personas, personal growth and long-term development. It helps the audience overlook the oftentimes outlandish storyline and keeps viewers returning year after year.

Family patriarch Frank is consistently a sleaze ball and he grows more delusional each season which commemorates his own whacked-out version of evolution. When it comes to actor William H. Macy, he can truly do no wrong, and Frank just wouldn’t be Frank if his motivation for making amends wasn’t spurred by smoking half a pound of meth.

Emmy Rossum’s Fiona is my personal favorite and has undergone an abundance of transformations. Just as she seems to have clawed her way out from rock bottom, some sort of self-inflicted misfortune heads her way. This season, the boss-ass-bitch version of Fiona will continue to take advantage of the gentrification of the Southside, and I’m all here for it.

Ask any non-“Shameless” watcher if they find Jeremy Allen White attractive, and they would laugh in your face. But Lip is the troubled heartthrob we can’t help but fawn over. He’s a genius with a good heart and was dealt a poor hand when his alcoholism destroyed his future. Yet we’re all still rooting for him and his pursuit of love and sobriety, because his chain-smoking self deserves the world.

Ian Gallagher’s “glo up” is worthy of all the praise. Portrayed by Cameron Monaghen, he went from fully accepting his homosexuality to embracing his bipolar diagnosis and escaping an unhealthy relationship all within the span of a couple of years. Ian had his fair share of off-the-rail moments (including the fling with his ex Mickey), but ever since he set his mind on becoming a paramedic, he’s made a string of right decisions, and I only hope to see this continue.

Everybody loves to hate Emma Rose Kenney’s Debbie, but she doesn’t get enough credit. Although she is selfish, manipulative and annoying, she truly cares about her daughter, and this season, I’m eager to see even more maturity.

Ethan Cutkosky has also been able to flaunt his acting abilities, with Carl moving beyond his previously prescribed limits as psychotic misfit. We’ve witnessed a lot of his puberty phase and now the beginning of his young adult life as he does a 180 by enrolling in military school. He’s the kid brother we never wanted but are definitely proud of.

Even as Kev and V are predominantly used for comedic relief, they too have experienced their share of ups and downs. The writers have done a fantastic job creating a well-rounded picture for any of the characters who see significant screen time.

While I’m not wild about the incorporation of Trump’s America in season 8, the shenanigans will surely continue to reach beyond your typical dramedy sitcom, and so will the capabilities of the actors. As long as “Shameless” is on air, I’ll always tune in for the Gallaghers and their rock star cast.

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