Now if you’ve watched the Showtime show Shameless you may think it’s weird to be taking lessons away from this dysfunctional family, but then again if you’ve watched you also know that The Gallaghers are not only erratic and raunchy but also an undeniably lovable bunch with many redeeming qualities (It’s nearly impossible not to have a crush on Lip Gallagher).
I think the popularity of Shameless shocked many because people nowadays have such a fascination with shows that show the lives of the rich and famous. It is rare that American television embraces a show/family living in the harsh realities of the lower working class. But Shameless has so many life take-aways, even for people who originally cannot see themselves relating to these people at all.
1. Their unwavering family loyalty to each other is admirable.
Each Gallagher sibling may be flawed (although aren’t we all?) but you cannot deny their hearts of gold when it comes to caring for each other. Whether they are on the verge of losing their home, need to pull together money for the electric bill, or one of them is in trouble with the law, the Gallagher brothers and sisters have got each other’s backs especially because of their lack of parental guidance. They pull together and do whatever it takes to make sure they are all ok in the end. Their overall morals may be corrupt but their sense of family is not and we all should admire that especially during hard times.
2. They are not afraid to be themselves.
The good, bad and the crazy. Never once, did any of the Gallagher’s try to hide their upbringing or where they come from, from anyone. They knew their situation was not ideal to say the least- living below the poverty line with absentee addict parents, but they also knew it’s what made them so strong and who they are. More people should be as honest with themselves as they are.
3. Just because you come from nothing doesn’t mean you can’t one day be something.
Lip Gallagher, the eldest brother is a borderline genius with nearly perfect SAT scores and a dream of being an engineer, but he never thinks he’ll be able to get out of the neighborhood. With no money to go (or even apply) to college his dreams seem incredibly unrealistic that he nearly gives up. But with the support of the people around him, he gets into University on full scholarship. Although his aspirations and his journey was not in any way easy- he proved against all odds anyone can accomplish what they set their minds too. So no matter how farfetched your dreams or outcomes may seem you shouldn’t count them out.
4. People are not perfect but that doesn’t make them bad people.
The entire Shameless series is set around flawed characters. Head matriarch of the house and oldest sister, Fiona although very caring and nurturing to her siblings, when it comes to her love life she cheats and self-sabotages her way out of nearly every relationship. And the laundry list of issues the other Gallagher children have goes on and on. There is no such thing as perfect people in this world. We may not agree with every decision a person makes but odds are that they aren’t all bad. Life is about learning to love people and the mistakes that come with them.
5. The truth is very important.
Even if it’s harsh. Majority of the time the Gallagher parents, Frank and Monica, are nowhere to be seen or found in the household (probably for the best) but when they do come around, trouble follows. Leaving Fiona and Lip (and even the younger siblings) to clean up the mess. Fiona often has no problem blaming her parents for the family’s crappy circumstances, toxic environment especially because she has been the one dealing with it for the longest. This usually involves very raw, open, angry and emotional dialogues between the kids and their alcoholic parents (when they are around). Too many people are afraid of telling the truth, especially to the ones we love, because the truth hurts. But you get nowhere in life with lies.
So I’d like to thank Shameless for not only being my guilty pleasure but also teaching me some very surprising lessons. And if you haven’t watched, seasons 1-6 are on Netflix for binging!