Shameless Living was the spitball title for this episode but I also played around with the idea of naming it “The Year of Living Shamelessly” or something hip like that. The truth is, I’ve been sick, and have fallen head over heals with the show Shameless! Many shows about sex and violence glorify sex and violence whereas Shameless uses sex and violence to glorify deliquesce. A distinctly different storytelling vehicle that stands apart from other shows.
It’s uncommon to have people who inevitably hurt each other, forgive each other. It’s not common where you see characters driven to such extreme conflicts where they physically attack each other then help each other in some way or another in the same breath. The characters presented on Shameless stand a part because of the situation they’re in. A Chicago family living in poverty. An alcoholic father who does anything and everything to feed his own narcissism . A sister raising five siblings on her own and picking up the pieces that her parents smashed apart in the first place.
Watching Shameless has given me a weird sense of nostalgia. I was raised in Oshawa in a similar neighbourhood to the one in Shameless and a lot of the people on the show are almost exact replicas of people I was raised with. A lot of us were introduced to sex and violence at a young age, were exposed to stealing and conning to get by, a lot of the behaviours and actions of the people in Shameless hit home for me.
What stands out on the show is what stood out to me as a kid: The presence of acceptance. There’s something about being raised poor, around blue collar workers, that’s so down to earth that there’s a level of acceptance you won’t find anywhere else. It’s common in suburbia and higher class societies to be judged on the littlest things, where in lower class society there’s no time to judge others so frequently.
Everyday survival is much more important.
Links from the Episode
Questions to Ask Yourself
Is there a working class you identify with more than others? Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar?
How is your tolerance of other people dictated by your personal worldview?
Episode Duration: 17:47