Shameless centers around the Gallagher family, which includes six children who must learn to take care of themselves. Their father, Frank Gallagher, who is played by William H. Macy, is an alcoholic. He comes home only to beg or steal money from his children to support his habit. The kids, meanwhile, must do whatever it takes to support themselves and survive, even if their methods are sometimes "shameless."
The Gallagher family, who live in Chicago, is kept together mostly through the actions of the oldest child, Fiona, who is played by Emmy Rossum. Fiona quit high school so that she could take care of her siblings. She now works odd jobs to support her family but still finds time to hang out with her friend and neighbor, Veronica. In the first few episodes, Fiona also catches the eye of handsome but dangerous Steve, whose reoccurring role throughout the series creates a tense romance.
Each of the children in the Gallagher family also has an interesting story to tell. Fiona's second oldest brother, Lip, is a genius who uses his school skills to take tests for other students. Ian Gallagher is hoping for a career in the army, but hides a secret from his friends and family. Debbie, the youngest sister, is sweet and caring, and simply hopes for her family to remain together.
Throughout the series, viewers follow the intense stories behind each of the characters. As the kids meet friends and potential love interests even more fascinating characters are introduced and followed. The plot is always surprising and their never seems to be a dull moment in the lives of these children who must act like adults.
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Frank is concerned that he and his new family will lose their Home for the Homeless shelter, so he prepares a little goodwill for the neighborhood. In the meantime, Fiona gathers business by throwing a speakeasy bash at Patsy's Pies.
Kevin, Veronica and Svetlana open a topless maid service; Frank gains new pals at the shelter to replace his family; Debbie's new lifestyle comes to an abrupt close; Carl gets a syphilis scare; Ian battles with a breakup; business at Patsy's hits the skids.
Frank, prepared to disown his kin, takes Liam under his wing and begins a new life barricaded on the upper floor of the Gallagher house. Meanwhile, Fiona starts running Patsy's Pies using her own ways; Debbie gets into trouble in the stroller company; Ian attempts heterosexuality; and Carl discovers himself pushed into abstinence.
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Justin Chatwin, who plays Jimmy, Fiona Gallagher’s on-again, off-again lover interest, will not be returning to the hit series 'Shameless' as a regular for season 4.
With heavy hitter "Dexter" and freshman phenom "Homeland," Showtime has become drama-heavy in the fall. Not so this winter. A veteran comedy ("Californication"), a sophomore dramedy ("Shameless") and a highly anticipated new show ("House of Lies") highlight Showtime's midseason schedule.