“Shameless” Series Finale Review: Sticking to your guns and staying relatable

By Jordan Colbert, SPORTS EDITOR
“Time’s precious, don’t f—ing waste it. Have a good time. I sure as hell did.” The series finale of Showtime’s “Shameless” highlighted the end of the road for the infamous Frank Gallagher and left us with the most “Frank-esque” quote to end it all on.

After over a decade-spanning 11 seasons, the infamous Gallagher family is finally calling it quits. Fans around the world watched the Gallagher family grow up together and while the show initially set out to tell the story of the perfectly imperfect lives of a lower-class family living together on the south side of Chicago, what it transformed into was a relatable piece of media that never shied away from political statements or drawing a line in the sand.

While it can be argued that Shameless’ best years are well behind it and could have wrapped up the series upon Emmy Rossum’s heartbreaking exit from the show — the show never lost sight of what it was. It’s because of this that even through a flawed ending, the end of the road has been well-received among its loyal fanbase.

Shameless’ final season remained bold in the midst of trying times and never aimed to shy away from politically centric jabs. The show made it crystal-clear what side of the fence it stood on regarding important topics such as gentrification, the Covid-19 pandemic, and race relations in America.

In the Gallagher’s final run through the southside of Chicago, each member of the clan faced a “coming of age” dilemma that is sure to strike some familiarity in young Americans looking to navigate through life. From Carl’s personal vendetta as a police officer facing uncertainty about his occupation in a world fearing cops, to Lip struggling to find work and support a family in an economy affected by Covid n-19, or Ian and Mickey setting off on their own only to experience the extent of Chicago’s gentrification, Shameless has always excelled at staying relevant and relatable to the times.

While the finale stumbled its way through the death of Gallagher family patriarch, Frank, getting the opportunity to see him look back on his climb up to the great beyond while looking back at some of his family’s fondest memories throughout the series presented the perfect opportunity to capitalize on fans’ nostalgia.

The juxtaposition of Frank looking back on the past while the remainder of the Gallagher plans are in the hustle and bustle of planning for an uncertain future among the usual frantic energy that embodies the Gallagher drama was almost poetic. Frank offering “fatherly” advice to each one of his children as he heads toward the skies does a great job at shifting the focus on the series culmination toward a celebratory tone rather than one of uncertainty.

All in all, the series finale of Shameless proved to be perfectly imperfect, much like the Gallagher family throughout the series. It was messy but never lacking in love. Staying true to itself up until the very end and always in Gallagher fashion.