Shameless Finale

Nora Toscano, Entertainment Editor

On Sunday, April 11, Showtime’s Shameless aired its final episode after eleven seasons. Shameless’s pilot was released in 2011, and most of the main cast stayed on the show for all eleven years. Since the show is centered around siblings and started when most of them were relatively young, viewers were able to watch the cast grow up as their characters did, which made the finale very emotional for cast members and viewers alike. 

Some may critique the lengthiness of the show but I thoroughly enjoyed all of the seasons. From the Pilot, the audience is entirely engrossed in the chaotic day-to-day lives of the Gallaghers. They are wild, make terrible choices, and do absolutely crazy things to make ends meet, but they’re fun, and accepting, and are extremely entertaining to watch. Each sibling commits insane actions, yet you find yourself loving them and rooting for them all the same.

Beyond that, the show’s writing is absolutely beautiful. Though it is based on a UK version, writers John Wells, Davey Holmes, and Sheiela Callaghan tell stories so preposterous yet so realistic and true that they strike audiences in their souls. The show is funny: the dialogue and situations are hilarious, yet the story remains deep, honest, and heartbreaking. It allows an audience to watch a family be there for each other over a decade, watch them mature and fall in love and make mistakes. The stories are pure and touching: watching Lip fight alcoholism like his absentee father and Ian get diagnosed with bipolar disorder like their runaway, always off-her-meds mother was tragic. Watching them not turn out like their terrible excuses for parents with the support of their loyal siblings was truly beautiful. The writing, in general, is astonishing. There is a certain rawness of some performances: Fiona’s tearful speech to her mother shaming her for not being there and Ian pleading not guilty to arson by reason of insanity brings any audience to tears.

Many critics and fans believe the earlier seasons are better than the later ones, and I have to agree. The final season was the worst in my opinion, partly because of the COVID storylines (which, granted, they had to include for the sake of accuracy). However, the final episode was phenomenal. I knew going into it from interviews that it would leave a lot of questions unanswered, and I was annoyed, but after watching, I understand why and I believe it was a smart choice. The last fifteen minutes of the show especially were pure genius. The multiple parallels to the pilot were painstakingly amazing, and Frank’s final monologue touched everyone.

Shameless seasons 1-10 are available on Netflix and season 11 is available on Showtime.