Shameless Will Never Let Its Characters Succeed, And That’s Why It’s So Great

If you’ve been watching Shameless for a while you’ve likely noticed a trend that’s present with the Gallagher clan and seems to be the whole M.O. that runs in their bloodline. They never seem to succeed all that consistently since something usually comes along to derail whatever success they’re having and thereby assures that they’ll continue to find their way back to the lives they’ve grown accustomed to. The struggle is all too real, as is the depressing notion that they’re stuck in a continual cycle that is bound to keep them down at a level that they don’t enjoy but at the same time can’t break free of.

Think about it, each one of them, aside from Liam and Carl, have tried their best to be someone that can succeed, someone that can take life by the horns and wrestle it into something they can call a decent and fulfilling life, and have eventually come back to the pit that they feel the most comfortable in. How many of us would finally get tired of this constant back and forth game and at least distance ourselves enough from this family in order to have something of our own, something that we could be proud of? The Gallagher’s don’t seem capable of doing this however and there are a lot of reasons why, too many to go into at the moment really. But if you take a good look at just what they’ve been through and what they’ve done so far you can at least see how it’s been kind of an annoying trend that has kept the show the way it is, while still being something that people absolutely love.

Let’s start with Lip, who’s perhaps the smartest person in the house and therefore should be the one that you’d think would want to get out the most given that he has some very serious prospects throughout the series. He’s got an IQ that’s just phenomenal and a natural charm that allows him to do pretty much anything he wants if he just applies himself. But then again he’s kind of a shifty character since that’s how he survives and that’s what he knows to do. He’s also got a massive chip on his shoulder and isn’t always able to see how people are just trying to help him reach his potential. In short, Lip is that guy you look at and think that he’s got a lot going for him and could really do something worthwhile if he’d open his eyes a little wider and stop acting as though he owes his family as much as he gives them. His attachment to his family is honorable since he’s one of those that really helps out, but it’s also been time for him to really go out on his own for a while.

Fiona is another character that’s kind of frustrating but really integral to the show since she too has a great deal of potential but is kind of stuck as the surrogate mother of the entire family and is the one that makes sure that everyone is taken care of and kept on an even course. She’s had her chance to excel during the show and unfortunately thanks to bad habits and the fact that she does like the bad boys more than the straight-laced individuals it would seem she keeps finding herself stuck right back where she came from. The most frustrating part about her is that the moment she found someone that seemed like the right fit, was successful, kind, smart, and very good to her, she went and screwed it up by falling for his trouble-making brother. And to add even more insult to injury her antics almost got Liam killed in the process. Unfortunately for all the good she’s done for the family Fiona has screwed up monumentally a few times.

Ian, huh boy. There’s a guy that you would think knows the meaning of the word ‘discipline’ since he’s been so gung-ho for the military since the beginning of the show that it was hard to see him start to fly off the rails as he did, especially when it came to taking Mickey’s baby and then when it came to trying to take care of the kid. The fact that he wound up in jail didn’t come as too much of a surprise since he was going downhill fast. But it will be interesting to see the arc his character goes through next.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention Debbie, Carl, Liam, or Frank, it’s because Liam is still pretty young to be making any real decisions about his life, Carl has been a budding psychopath for a while, Debbie is caught somewhere between wanting a good life and making the wrong decisions, and Frank is, well, Frank is just Frank, he’s not bound to make any dramatic changes it would seem.


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