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'Shameless' is the perfect distraction during lockdown

The cast of season 10 of the comedy-drama, "Shameless". Picture: Brian Bowen Smith/SHOWTIME.

The cast of season 10 of the comedy-drama, "Shameless". Picture: Brian Bowen Smith/SHOWTIME.

Published Mar 30, 2020


As South Africans ease into an unprecedented lifestyle change to help flatten the curve, TV has become the holy grail of escapism. 

Those fortunate to have streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon have additional options. 

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First, let's chat about what you are watching and what you should keep down to a minimum. Steer clear of channel hopping through the different news channels too often. All that information is going to do your head in and it could easily trap you in a doom-and-gloom state of mind at a time when you need to be positive and keep hope alive.

When the kids stop hogging the remote control, I suggest tuning into "Shameless". Season 10 recently started on M-Net and if you aren’t relating to the storyline, you are guaranteed to be entertained by them.

As much as some things change, some things stay the same. Debbie (Emma Kenney) is still cleaning up after the family. Common spaces are not respected. Everything but the kitchen sink is strewn about the household and Frank (William H Macy) is still a bum of a father. 

Is it just me or has Debbie transformed from tomboy to sex-kitten? Something has clearly changed and I’m not just talking about that storage room filled with high-end dresses, heels, lingerie and perfumes. 

Even her little one is impressed by mama’s ability to wear such fancy clothes and be able to return them. 

“I deserve to feel special. Don’t look at me like that, I’ve got a system. It’s all going back,” she defended.

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Of course, we know secrets have a nasty way of coming out. Until then, she should live the dream (make that double-life).

And Liam (Christian Isaiah) is getting in touch with his roots and channelling his inner Malcolm X. Unfortunately, this doesn’t earn him popularity points with the other kids at school. Nonetheless, he remains resolute in his vision. Lip (Jeremy Allen White) is now a dad and he’s embracing fatherhood while Tami is in recovery after a difficult birth. 

Meanwhile, Kevin Ball (Steve Howey) is going through some kind of mid-life crisis. He’s off his game, gets a job as a part-time male stripper - think along the lines of Chippendales instead of Magic Mike - and he is drinking some weird testosterone-charged smoothie. Ian’s (Cameron Monaghan) finding life behind bars strained on many levels. 

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Overall, while some characters are struggling to adult, others are having the time of their life like Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) and his nympho of a girlfriend.

Frank is up to no good. Of course, that is to be expected. Aside from conning an old lady out of some pain meds, he is milking his leg injury. And his get-rich-quick-schemes reach new levels of absurdity. 

Feeling defeated by his lack of success, Frank is egged on by Mikey, who says, “Those female types have pussy-whipped the masculinity of your soul. Because of men like you, women like Debbie feel entitled and empowered. You need to break the cycle, Frank. Press the reset button. You need to reclaim your patriarch, let’s go back to the house, storm that castle and take back what’s rightfully yours.”

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Things are about to get very interesting in the Gallagher household, especially with Frank taking over as head of the household from Debbie.

"Shameless" is a riot. The writing is genius and the scenarios mirror real-life, tackling pertinent societal issues through a comic lens. 

*"Shameless" airs on Tuesday on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 10pm.

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