Stars: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White, Cameron Monaghan, Justin Chatwin, Emma Kenney, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton
The dysfunctional family set-up has long been overused in the TV market, but we can’t recall too many examples of the otherwise trite device that match Showtime’s Shameless in terms of vulgarity and nudity. Going that extra mile to drive home the familial malfunction is exactly what gives the crude yet warm-hearted series its strength.
William H. Macy, reveling in a gaudy role, plays an alcoholic, single father of six kids, whom all live in near-poverty and do their best to not turn into raging fuck-ups like dear old dad. Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, Emmy Rossum gets naked. Often. Even better, she’s excellent as Macy’s oldest, most legally responsible child. Together, she and Macy anchor a show that dexterously walks the fine line between raunchy comedy and affecting drama.