“Shameless” stands as Showtime’s brilliant corruption of the token family sitcom, festering with deeper themes of dysfunctional family Americana. Picture, if you will, the classic Thurber family living in a crackhouse, with the morbid wonkiness of the original Addams Family strips. The intertwining and lovably sketchy twists of The Gallagher family tend to veer out of control to heights that evoke Shakespeare with a malt liquor habit. Hide your valuables and say your prayers, because season three begins this Sunday, January 13th at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
With that in mind, it’s time to recall The seven most “Shameless” moments with toppers entirely unique to the series.
On top of the ordinary madness of the Gallagher household, Debbie responds to the absence of her Aunt Ginger by stealing baby Casey Casden from a front yard birthday party. Fiona struggles to rally the family to tactfully return the baby while a storm of SWAT teams, news flashes and amber alerts amasses around them.
“Pure Shameless” Topper: Unsatisfied with the sex of her new playmate, Debbie dresses Casey as a girl and shrinks his Superman costume in the dryer.
Frank, having shacked-up with Sheila in the Jackson house, finally succumbs to urges that have been gnawing at him for the better part of the first season and shtups Sheila’s daughter Karen. Did we mention that the teen, goth, nympho neighbor is also the girlfriend of his son Lip?
“Pure Shameless” Topper: Karen makes sure to film her dalliance with Frank, using it to break the heart of her puritan father and driving him to commit cartoonish suicide.
Rounding out an incredible season finale, a second infamous moment from this same episode occurred as a result of the aforementioned pedophelia. When a battered Frank stands below his son’s room, begging for Lip to open the window, his eldest son obliges him. What follows is a moment of unparalleled television history, right up there with Sam and Diane’s first kiss: William H. Macy gets pissed on.
“Pure Shameless” Topper: Frank’s character not only takes what’s coming to him, but does so with a chuckle of pride for his eldest son and walks away.
Alibi bartender and family pal Kev grows so much weed that the electric bill is over $9k, prompting Lip to hatch a scheme in which they attempt to make a dent by peddling weed, beer and buck-a-piece cigarettes from an old ice cream truck. When a playground tween asks Lip for a couple of joints, he playfully quips, “You 14, got I.D.?”
“Pure Shameless” Topper: Lip shows off a “cop-finder” GPS that he has modded to a professor, who offers him a spot on a research team, only to turn it down to use the gizmo for his ice cream truck operation.
Frank has weaseled his way into Dottie’s life, having learned that she has a terminal heart condition. While she agrees to marry the soused hamclown, she later confronts him on his deception, stating that her daughter will inherit her house. Frank, heartbroken for the wrong reasons, settles for $2,000 and a flat screen television to boink Dottie to death.
“Pure Shameless” Topper: after slithering from atop her naked body, Frank shimmies Dottie’s wedding ring off of her finger before amscraying from the scene of the crime. Classy.
Grammy Deb epitomizes the essence of a lifetime commitment to shadiness in the Gallagher clan: she sports a neck chain tattoo, sets up a meth lab in the basement of the house and fires a handgun at Sheila. The family learns that she is dying of cancer and excuses some of her O.G. tendencies. Despite their differences, Sheila and Grammy share a tender moment in which the eldest Gallagher tells her former enemy to “(not) pussy out on me”, giving her permission to suffocate her with a pillow.
“Pure Shameless” Topper: Sheila composes herself while still perched atop the pillow that killed his mother to break the news to Frank, “Your mother has passed.”
By the end of season two, Sheila’s accepted living with her husband’s ghost and sparks up an affair with Jody, the inept biker husband of her daughter Karen. In one of the strangest and most twisted birth scenes on TV, Karen’s child is revealed to be an Asian baby with Down’s Syndrome. Karen is wickedly detached, simply wanting rid of the baby despite the fact that she’s strung Lip along into believing that he is the father.
“Pure Shameless” Topper: Sheila is a massive agoraphobic and is horrified to leave the safety of her own house and traverse out into the world. The farthest she has ever ventured has been to steal a baby from a hospital.