My Love-Hate Relationship With The Characters Of ‘Shameless’

Warning: This post contains spoilers up to Season 6.

Since taking a maternity leave, I’ve had lots of time (mostly during the wee hours of the morning) to relax and keep myself awake while my newborn sleeps. I decided to binge watch Shameless on Netflix – and now I’m angry that I’ve finished the series and how much the characters made me think and feel, as if I don’t have all the feels already! LOL

Anyway, I was so upset after getting into Season 4 that I decided I would write about the show in the hopes that someone can make me like Debbie again. *rolls eyes*

So here it goes!

Image credit: UntitledTV.com


I love Frank. In fact, he’s one of my favorite characters and although he wins “Worst Father of the Year” every year and I should probably hate him, I don’t. Why? Because unlike many of the other characters, Frank keeps it real with himself. He knows who he is and he stays true to that episode after episode. When you think about it, he really isn’t all bad. He’s mostly bad but there is some good buried deep within him. He showed a different side of himself as and when he ran off with Bianca (I think that’s her name) to help make her last days her best. He does care at times, even if it begins with a selfish reason. Now I was disappointed in him when he wanted Carl to continue dealing drugs, but hey…he is an alcoholic drug abuser himself so you can’t really expect him to cut off the money supply Carl willingly provided him with.

What I love most about his character is how he made me think about what it must be like for a person who truly struggles with alcoholism and drug use. So many times I think about people like that on a very surface level and their struggle is a lot deeper than what you see. It’s a disease and it affects every aspect of their life. It was interesting to watch his children still love him and try to put up with him despite his major character flaws.

Image credit: Screener


Oh Fiona, where do I begin? I was reading threads in a Reddit group about the show and it seems like fans give her a much harder time than she deserves, in my opinion. Sure she makes terrible decisions when it comes to her relationships and she can be extremely self-absorbed at the worst times, but can you blame her? She was forced to raise herself and her five siblings on her own, with pretty much no help or appreciation. She sacrificed her life to make sure her brothers and sister were taken care of, never graduating high school or going to college. Does she even have a dream? In the scene when she decides to become their legal guardian, the judge warned her that she was probably making a mistake but I think she did what she thought was best at the time and she also did it to keep the kids together in the event they were reported to child protective services again. I don’t know anyone with a heart who wouldn’t have done what she did in that moment.

I think her reactions to every situation she was faced with at home were appropriate and showed how much she loved her siblings, especially when she found out that Debbie lied to her about being pregnant. (Ugh I could strangle Debbie!) I would’ve been the same way, no doubt, but I’ll get into that later. I’ve already started Season 7 and it seems Fiona is taking a turn and I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it. I think it’s the turn her character needs but it’s also very extreme and unrealistic for her to do it in the way that she is.

Image credit: The AV Club


Lip is my second favorite character after Frank because he’s just so complex and cool. Maybe it’s the signature cigarette in his mouth or the way his hair is all over his head yet still manages to look styled, but Lip is definitely the cool kid of the show. What I love about his storyline is that he really wants to get out of the ghetto and make something of himself. He’s by far the most intelligent in the family and is fully capable of making his life out to be whatever he wants it to be. At the same time, he is constantly pulled back into the family mess because he feels its his responsibility to be there, even when he doesn’t want to be and tries not to be. He can also be self-sabotaging at times and I believe it’s because he gets in his head and begins to feel that he doesn’t deserve more. I think his family is his worst enemy but all he has at the same time. That’s a tough one.

Image credit: CraveOnline


I don’t have much to say about Ian. I could take or leave his character, honestly. I feel like he was the child that no one paid much attention to so he acted out in his personal life and ultimately suffered for it. I really hated that he fell for Micky and I think his feelings for Micky and Micky’s refusal to acknowledge himself as gay is the life event (of all the possible events) that triggered the onset of his bipolar disorder. His need and desire to be accepted and be given attention is what, in my opinion, fueled his toxic relationship with Micky. In the end Micky eventually decides to “come out,” but I don’t think he deserved Ian.

Image credit: International Business Times


I HATE Debbie’s character now and she was one that I enjoyed watching initially. Go figure. Some of what I dislike is about the actress who plays Debbie (like the way she holds her mouth and lips and the way she over-acts sometimes) and the rest is just how Debbie’s character was developed throughout the series. I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s begin on a positive note with what I actually liked about Debbie. Prior to Season 4, she was extremely likable as a kid who just wanted to help out, keep her family together and find happiness. I enjoyed watching her help Fiona out and felt sorry for her every time Frank or Monica let her down. As a child she was very enterprising and wise for her age, seeming to understand the life she lived and how important survival is. She was just a kid trying to find her way and was unfairly stripped of her innocence.

By Season 4 she’d become absolutely terrible. Most teenagers go through a rebellious phase but unlike Debbie, they rarely become the total opposite of who they were before. She doesn’t exhibit any of the characteristics she had as a child, particularly the one where she makes wise decisions. The fact that she wanted to have a boyfriend and lose her virginity so bad that she raped a guy seven years older than she was and intentionally tried to trap another guy with a baby (but really ended up trapping herself) was the stupidest s*** I’ve ever watched unfold on television. No one could get through to her and she felt like she knew what was best for her…how can you at 15???

I’m currently watching Season 7 and I still don’t like her or the stupid decisions she’s making and honestly, a part of me is happy that it’s such a struggle for her to take care of her child and stay in school. (Evil of me, I know.) I’m convinced that there is nothing she can do to redeem herself with me. I’m totally over her.

Image credit: TvSerial


The way I feel about Carl is the opposite of how I feel about Debbie. Whereas I liked her and then began to dislike her, I initially disliked Carl but grew to like him. In the beginning I felt like he was a lost cause. He couldn’t spell, had flunked the sixth grade several times and seemed to only have an interest in things that were sharp, flammable or illegal.

Carl’s turning point came at a great time for the family and himself because I can see him taking a similar (but probably more successful) turnaround as Lip did. I was proud of him for leaving the drug game and resisting the pressure by Frank to keep selling drugs. I was impressed because I didn’t see that one coming, especially not from someone who was so deep into the streets and had been since he was a kid.

Image credit: International Business Times

Kev & V

I put these two together because it just seemed like the right thing to do. I’ve liked Kev’s character throughout the series but I’ve had a love-hate thing going with V’s character. I like that Kev and V hold down the Gallagher family like they’re part of the family themselves. I know from my own experience that in life sharing struggles with your family and friends is a hell of a lot better than having to deal with it on your own. My issue with V is that she is too smart to do some of the dumb stuff that she does…like being a webcam girl…pretty much forcing Kev and her mom to have bad word so they can have kids (that she really doesn’t want)…allowing Svetlana to enter their bedroom and the list goes on.

I didn’t take much interest in any of the other characters on the show…except for Mandy. Mandy is a special girl that was just a product of her environment and I hated to see her in some of the situations she put herself in. I’m about three episodes into Season 7 and the story seems to be rushed from episode to episode so it’s hard for me to follow with the gaps and all of that. I heard it was renewed for an eighth season so I’m guessing things will get better.

Do you watch Shameless? What’s your take on the show and it’s characters? Share with me in the comment section!

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