Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My newest vice.......

Yes, a t.v. show.

No, it's not reality t.v. ............ I sure hope not!

While channel-flipping the other day, I came across it, Shameless. I don't think there ever was a better one-word title. This Showtime drama is based on the most dysfunctional family you've ever seen. Dad is basically a drunken screw-up . Mom took off months ago with another woman, leaving her 6 kids, ages ranging from about 2-22. Recent paternity tests discovered 1 has a different father. The youngest obviously has a different father, because he's biracial. The oldest, Fiona, is the fill-in mom. She does her best to keep these kids on track, while toying with the idea of having her own life. Nevertheless, they all hustle to make it and let's face it, they are products of their environment. The young ones are wise beyond their years, because of dealing with all of these adult problems. The supposed adult, dad (William H. Macy), is aimlessly stumbling through life half-buzzed, looking for his next disability check. Seriously, these are some amazing, child-actors!

The sad reality is that you can totally see this being a real family. I mean half the time, I'm thinking, you can't make this stuff up. The writers are superb or they are way too familiar with these situations. It's so disturbing that I don't want to like it. I don't want to be intrigued by these complex characters and this underdog family just trying to survive. A part of me says, don't watch this. Then, you're increasing the ratings & they'll keep making it. Then, people will watch it & think this behavior is okay or normal, so they don't mind living it. .............. Yes, I occasionally over-analyze these things & the impact of my viewing habits on major network decisions. Also, I'm telling myself I need to be watching positive television. If I'm going to plop my butt on the couch, at least I can be watching something positive, something inspiring, something educational............ but of course, I'm addicted to this train-wreck!

I'm also naturally drawn to the show because it's filmed in Chicago. Many sitcoms/dramas claim to be based in Chi, but this one is actually filmed here. Watching a rerun last night, Fiona was standing at a stop on my train line. A stop I pass daily. Cool, right? Then, there was a scene at the infamous Midway airport. Just another airport to most, but bittersweet memories for me, as I use to frequent this airport, arriving to the open arms of my future hubby, but then bidding him goodbye a few days later from that same location. Aw, memories. Whew, thankful life has brought me through that chapter!

So back to my point, I don't even know how to fully put into words the complexity of this dysfunction, and as much as I don't want to encourage you to watch, I also DO! It's crude, it's graphic, there's nudity & it's raw America. So, if you're looking for something that fits that void-- well, not that you were looking for it, but if you see it while flipping channels, check it out. . .