My latest must watch TV series is the British series Shameless. Set on fictional Chatsworth council estate in Manchester, the series is centred on Frank Gallagher and his family of six children. Their mum, Moira, left when the youngest child was only a few months old, leaving Frank to look after the children. However instead of stepping into his fatherly duties, Frank turned to the bottle and its oldest child Fiona (20) who has taken charge of raising Carl (11), Debbie (9) and Liam (3) with help from Phillip/Lip (16) and Ian (15). Supporting characters include neighbours Kev and Veronica as well as Steve, Fiona’s boyfriend and Sheila, Frank’s agoraphobic and worry riddled girlfriend who he lives with instead of living with his children (personally this character drives me batty).
The story lines are often muddled and the relationships between the characters are complicated and twist and turn in a variety of ways. However what really stands out is the strength of the bonds of the Gallagher children and who will do anything to help each other, whether it be planning an elaborate scheme to return a child that Debbie accidently kidnaps or all planning to pack up and leave when Fiona’s boyfriend needs to disappear and she wants go with him. The children seem to watch over their father too, revolving around him and looking out for him when they can to the point where it sometimes seems like he’s not their father, but more of an uncle or friend.
Having said all that, this series is not a lovey dovey feel good family show. It is set on a rough council estate in Manchester and there are some quite adult issues explored in the show (there is a reason why this series has an MA15+ rating). The things mentioned in the paragraph above are in each episode, however the story lines can be quite adult. But if you’re after something a little different, with a combination of British humour and a range of differing storylines then consider giving Shameless a look.
Yarra Plenty Regional Library has the first 3 seasons of this BAFA award winning show on DVD that are available for you to borrow now.