Let’s Psychoanalyze “Shameless”

Have you ever wondered (as I have) how Frank Gallagher (played brilliantly by William H. Macy) became such a despicable man? He abandoned his children, but returns often to steal from them and verbally abuse them.  He’s a falling down drunk, an obnoxious know-it-all, a user and a taker and worse.

What could make a man so awful?

Enter Grammy Gallagher this week, played flawlessly by Louise Fletcher.  Grammy manages to get a sick furlough after serving only 12 years in prison for selling meth.  Lovely.  The abuse that she bestowed on Frank this week during her homecoming was absolutely horrifying to watch.  As much as we may detest Frank, nobody wants to watch a man being degraded by his mother the way Grammy degrades him.  She tells him how she wished, from the moment he was born, that the hospital would admit that they gave her the wrong son and trade him in for a better model.  She is verbally abusive to poor Sheila (also played fabulously by Joan Cusack), Frank’s on-and-off agoraphobic girlfriend, in her own home, which she has entered uninvited.

Even you will feel for Frank after watching this episode.  Fiona did, and she does not give her father a lot of slack, particularly because she was more-or-less singlehandedly left to raise herself and the rest of his family after their mother left and he abandoned them.

For any child who has been abused by their parents this will not be easy to watch, but it will explain a lot.  The saddest part is that so many repeat the mistakes their own parents have made with them, and Frank has taken on drinking and children abuse and neglect from his horrible mother. 

For any parent who is unkind to their children — shame on you! Go get help! You had them, now nourish them and love them and take good care of them.  If you can’t, find a way to get the assistance that you need in order to allow them to have the benefits that every child born into this world deserves.  Remember, they didn’t ask to be born — we chose to have them.

On the other hand, Grammy seems to adore Frank’s children, her long lost grandchildren.  She moves into their home and lavishes them with gifts using some of the money from her old meth business.  Go figure.  It is a fact that bad parents usually make even worse grandparents, but maybe the “Shameless” writers didn’t read that study, or maybe Grammy Gallagher is just the rare exception.

“Shameless” is television at its best.  The story line and characters continue to grow and develop flawlessly every week.  If you haven’t been watching you should definitely start(unless you don’t like great entertainment).

Go “Shameless”!


About mallorylayne

midlife mom seeking meaning for the rest of her life.
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