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In less than a month, the Gallaghers are back with season nine. If you've been living under a rock the past eight years, let me enlighten you with reasons why the crazy lovable family from Chicago will make you log in to your Netflix account and get comfy for a roller coaster journey.
The U.S. version of Shameless has an amazing cast and it is surprising for some die-hard fans to know that we were close to not having Emmy Rossum play the tough, keep-the-family-together, older sister Fiona because producers thought she was too clean-cut. Rossum did not take no for an answer and thankfully the producers reconsidered and gave her the role. Rossum embodies Fiona and takes you on a journey of love and heartbreak but always wipes the tears away and comes back with determination and fire to live a better life. Eye candy for both men and women alike, Fiona partakes in some very steamy scenes with some very hot guys throughout the series. She is everything a strong, independent woman is and her love for her siblings is what keeps the Gallaghers going through the tough and harshest of moments in their lives as well as the happiest.
V and Kev: The Couple Next Door
What can I say about these two lovebirds? Veronica and Kevin are one of my favorite couples of all time across the television universe. V and Kev are official members of the Gallagher family. Even though they may not have the last name, they still caught the Gallagher drama bug and are always there to help whenever they get the call. Kevin may not the be the brightest of the bunch but Veronica is there to make sure no one messes with her man if she hears about it in time. Veronica is the best friend living next door, partying with Fiona when she needs a break and always there to share advice whenever she is feeling down. I wish I had V and Kev as my neighbors because there is never a dull moment in their home or in their bedroom. For them, it's just another regular day at home. Like everyone else in the family these two go through their own roller coaster, but in the end they always come back to each other because Kev can't be Kev without his spicy mama V and she can't live without him either.
Holy smokes, ladies, you are in for a heart robber with the oldest boy in the Gallagher family. Phillip Ronan Gallagher, nicknamed "Lip," is played by the handsome actor Jeremy Allen White. Lip is considered the smartest Gallagher in the family and even though he has the brains, his troubled environment and close resemblance to Frank pull him back in various occasions. Like Fiona, Lip has his way with the opposite sex and finds himself in some steamy relationships and not-so-functional relationships as he tries to figure out his place in the world.
Oh, Ian. I think of all the Gallagher's, Ian is the one whose early-on relationship with Mickey made me cry and wish for their happy ever after. But let's be honest, the name of the show is Shameless and there is more to each character's journey that will keep you wanting more. This face may be familiar to fans of the series Gotham and yes, it is the same actor, Cameron Monaghan, who plays The Joker. Shameless likes to tackle some tough issues that appear throughout our society and Ian embodies two very important ones being a gay young man with bipolar disorder. Ian closely resembles one of his parent's mental health and it is the mother he rarely sees who reminds him of who he may become. The struggle to stay sane and find a figure to whom to follow brings him on a journey of self discovery and eventually find a role where he is able to help others.
Here is one character you will learn to love to hate with all your will power, I guarantee. Frank Gallagher is the father of most of the Gallagher children (let's not kid ourselves, little Liam has no resemblance to Frank and his pale complexion) and he has earned himself the award for shittiest father. Fiona wears the pants and takes charge of the family expenses and keeping a roof over the family's heads while Frank is out and about drinking his liver out finding himself in a park or even, on one occasion, in good ol' Canada. Frank can't be trusted with anything and if he finds himself any money, he will surely use it on drugs and drinks at The Alibi. He is very good at running away from his responsibilities and finds a way to snake away from people who he owes money. He is really good at avoiding the real world. But the show can't exist without some Frank and all the hate Chicago has towards him and his ingenious survival skills.
Carl Gallagher is the kid you have to keep an eye on because in one second he will find a blow torch and try to set something on fire just for the fun of it. Seriously, this kid started the show at a young age and he picked up on all the bad habits a young sibling finds interesting. As the fourth Gallagher in the family, Carl gets himself into a dangerous business but later on finds a better path for himself with a uniform service of the United States. Even though he is all about the money, he was raised well enough to help his family out and then enjoy the spoils of his earnings. He loves his siblings and stands by them and is always down to throw a punch if need be. He is a firecracker of a kid but you cannot help but love him as well.
Sweet Debbie, one of the very few Gallagher kids to still love her father and estranged mother, grows up so much in front of our eyes. Like Carl, Debbie can't help but fall down a spiraling path. She is a good girl who believes in family and wishes for a happy family but waits for it to come true. With women like her sister Fiona and V, Debbie tries to understand what it means to be a woman and look as well as feel feminine. She will make you laugh and sigh as she embarks on her own journey as Debbie Gallagher.
*The actress, Emma Kenney, still plays an important role in the upcoming season nine and it appears she completed the season before her treatments.
Ian and Mickey
These two will take you on a roller coaster of their own. The one that made a lasting mark, Mickey, a homophobic robber who lived in the neighborhood, would not be someone who you would think of having a relationship with Ian. Like the Gallaghers, Mickey grew up in a dysfunctional family scrapping by through robberies and other means with his male family members. I could not resist but include them as a reason since their relationship had me on the edge of my seat and screaming for them to stop playing stupid and stay together. They were able to keep their relationship a secret for some time before they finally came out and let everyone one know they were a thing. But do not be fooled. Mickey, having a soft side for Ian Gallagher, would still give Ian a few hard punches as they showed their affection for one another with swings after swings until they both were too beat up to punch anymore.
There is never a dull moment.
No matter what, each episode has something to offer. Whether it is a good swing at Frank, a robbery, or even breaking things to let out some rage, there is always something this family is getting themselves into. You won't want to miss a thing and luckily for you, you won't have to wait a week for the next episode until you catch up with all eight seasons and have to wait like me.
Shameless is a series that will take you through all of the emotions and there are many more characters I have not mentioned here (in hopes of not spoiling too much) that will feel relatable in one way or another. There is a lot this family goes through as the city of Chicago itself changes with such things as gentrification, which you see the characters adapt to and continue to survive. The Gallaghers do not have high means to live a luxurious life, but they do have lots of heart and courage to stay alive and stick together through thick and thin.
Eight seasons are waiting for you now on Netflix so what's your excuse to miss Shameless?