Summer TV binging: Shameless (US)

We all know that summer is supposed to be meant for outside activities, sporting, going to festivals, and driving off into the sunset with your friends in a convertible while you all look perfectly skinny and tanned and no one takes out their phone yet magically everything ends up on instagram with a pretty filter. We also all know that the reality is that most of us spend summer inside with the curtains shut and the fans on in a lazy and unsuccessful attempt at keeping out the heat, while watching countless episodes of whatever tv show looks even vaguely interesting.

I`m here to recommend you some good shows to waste all your time with. Yes, you`re welcome. And this time`s recommendation? The US version of Shameless.

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Based on the British show, Shameless is about the Gallagher family, who live in southside Chicago, can barely pay their bills, get raised by eldest sister Fiona while their alcoholic father Frank is out to scam people and bipolar mother Monica is off somewhere very much not taking her medicine but taking lots of other drugs instead.

It sounds very dramatic, and to be honest – it often is. But it`s also billed as a comedy-drama for a reason, as there`s really a lot of very blunt humour in there.

It`s a very rude show too, tons of swearing, drugs, alcohol, sex, you name it. Watching it feels a bit like watching a train crash – you can`t NOT watch, even though the characters make one stupid mistake after another. But for some reason you get attached to the characters (except maybe Frank. And Karen. Ugh) and you want them to do right, to finally have something go right in their lives and you keep hoping that finally happens but it rarely does, and yet you can`t stop watching and hoping.

Be aware of this before you go off to watch it: it`s a very explicit show. And I really do mean explicit. I personally don`t care much about the naked bodies/body parts and I can handle all the sex every episode – but the show also gets very gory. There is a lot of blood and violence, and at one point someone tries to commit suicide and they explicitly show her bleeding and thrashing on the kitchen floor. They will show people getting hit by cars, people getting murdered and cut into pieces, and you really need a strong stomach for some of the scenes.

Still, this show is somewhat of a guilty pleasure, one of those “I`m not supposed to like this but I do anyway” shows, and if you`ve got nothing better to do (or if you do but you`re procrastinating) I recommend this show for you. It definitely has its hilariously funny moments, and there is no lack of heartbreakingly dramatic moments. There is brilliant character development (looking at Sheila, specifically), there are amazing story arcs, and you`ll really end up caring a lot for this family of downtrodden misfits.

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