Discuss Shameless

I am just halfway through season 4 now and Debbie has turned into a real psycho bitch. I know this is a dysfunctional family with a narcissistic sociopath father as a role model but at least the kids used to hang together and support each other.
Debbie resembles a crazy little bitch with no redeeming qualities. She seems almost as much a narcissist as Frank.

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Agree! I'm on season 7 and she's my least favourite Gallagher

I like the show for the most part. But sometimes the never ending train wreck aspect of it gets to me. You can just about predict the bad decisions they are going to make. Fiona is the most and sometimes the only responsible and emotionally mature one of the bunch. Lip is pretty responsible as well a lot of the time. Ian has an excuse since he is bipolar.

But Debbie...has no excuse. Her whiny voice, her manipulations, her lies, her insistence that the world bend to her expectations, her idea that the intensity of her emotions means she is correct, and her self-pity are her own fault.

This show is a comedy. It's not meant to be taken seriously. Debbie is crazy but so are all of the Gallaghers. And that's part of this show's charm.

Well it's a tragicomedy. For the most part this is a drama with some funny stuff mixed in. Take Lip for instance; his emotional meltdowns at school in which he seems to think he is being victimized, and his full on raging, self sabotaging, blow-ups are dramatic, not comedic. The writers are using the teenage angst trope quite a bit in season six. Some of the dramatic sequences are funny, but most of them are plain drama. The show is about a dysfunctional family headed by sociopathic narcissistic substance abuser and conman, so it isn't surprising that the kids generally make bad life decisions and are emotionally immature. But there are big differences between them. Fiona is responsible and mature, for the most part. The rest of the kids, to varying degrees, have extremely poor coping skills. Oddly enough Carl is better adjusted than his older brothers.

Debbie is the most emotionally immature of the bunch, barely more mature than her baby.

It's a tragedy and a drama, but it's a comedy first and foremost. You can't take it too seriously.

I find Debbie funny. Like that time she kidnapped that child. Or when she tried to drown that girl at the pool. Classic Debbie.

In real life it wouldn't be funny. But this show isn't exactly realistic.

Even as a comedy...don't really find current (season 7) Debbie funny. I haven't finished the season but so far no qualities that I like, just dragging family. Surprised with Carl...became likable

Yeah I guess you're right. I think it was supposed to be funny when she got filmed defending herself from a female attacker. And all her other shenanigans that followed. I didn't find it especially funny either though I guess. But that doesn't mean it's not meant to be ridiculous.

Hope there can be a 'dramedy' category cos it's really a mixture of both for me. Yes to ridiculous - along with her 'ideas' to earn money earlier this season. I think the only scene I can remember I laughed was when Kev said "It's moo, motherf*cker. It's moo!"

Anyway back to Debbie - hope she redeems herself and get it together by the end of the show. Fiona was I think 14? when she had to take care of 5 siblings.

The first few seasons were funnier than seasons six and seven. It was easy to laugh at the things Frank and the kids got into because it was treated in a light hearted manner, it was clear it was a caricature of real life. Frank and his delinquent children didn't face the consequences they would face if it were real life. Nobody really gets hurt, even when there are gangsters shooting MAC-9 auto pistols at Frank, you know he won't get shot. It is funny to see him running to and fro, escaping once again on his way to the next mess he will worm his way out of. It is still somewhat humorous to watch Frank doing absurd and ridiculous stuff, escaping most of the consequences he would face in real life.

But in the straight drama segments we see the kids making bad decisions, sometimes ridiculous decisions and facing emotionally devastating consequences. It isn't funny to watch someone depressed and crying, in obvious emotional pain. There is nothing wrong with that kind of drama, but it isn't meant to be funny. The writers decided to make Debbie an emotionally immature brat. Like many young teenagers Debbie thinks she is old enough to make her own decisions and doesn't need any advice before doing so. She is hurtful and mean to Fiona (who finally gets her fill of it in season 7) even though Fiona has looked out for her all her life. Debbie lied to her boyfriend in order to get pregnant, scheming to trap him into marriage. Debbie expects the world to conform to her wants and expectations and each time the world fails to do this she angrily says how unfair it is. With Frank as a parental role model it is not surprising that she acts this way. But the reasons she developed this way are beside the point; she is a manipulative, demanding, vindictive, mean person. When Debbie decided to get married she finds out she needs her guardian, Fiona, to come to the courthouse and grant her permission to get married. Debbie waited until the last minute to tell Fiona. She showed up at Fiona's new business and demands she drop everything and come with her to the courthouse that instant. Debbie more than any other Gallagher kid acts like Frank.

I also hope the writers have Debbie eventually wake up to reality, look at herself honestly, and decide to change. I hope we will see her eventually acknowledge how wrong she was, how poorly she behaved toward even those who love her, and she will decide to be a good person. The sooner the better in my opinion.

And I hope the writers will stop having Fiona make stupid mistakes which she is too smart and experienced to make. For example, when she bought the laundromat; she discovered the former owner, an old lady, had not opened her mail. She showed her the check she had sent to her to pay for the business (for 80 thousand dollars) and told her she needed to deposit it in the bank. The frail old lady said "oh just pin it to the bulletin board and I will get to it later". And Fiona pinned it to the bulletin board. That bulletin board was in the public area of the laundromat where anyone could see what was pinned to it.

Come on, I can already guess what will go wrong with this. And Fiona is way too smart to either 1- mail a check for 80 thousand bucks in regular mail, or 2- pin that check to a public bulletin board where anyone could see it and steal it. It lacks verisimilitude, and it insults the audience. Fiona isn't some brainless idiot. The writers are apparently getting lazy and can't come up with a realistic way to create dramatic tension so they made Fiona act like a brainless idiot and pin the check to a public bulletin board. That dottering old lady who can't remember to open her mail, who can hardly keep from falling asleep in her chair, is not going to keep up with that check.

I still like the show but the writing has taken a nose dive.

One more episode left for me. Seems weird that all of a sudden Debbie...(SPOILER!!)

  • (SPOILER!!)
  • (SPOILER!!)
  • (SPOILER!!)

She just turned into a normal person? With no remorse feelings or whatsoever for what a brat/mess she has been for the past years? After being a super bitch, now she's nicely folding clothes and telling Lip to get it together. It's like a reset button lol

@lmao7 said:

One more episode left for me. Seems weird that all of a sudden Debbie...(SPOILER!!)

  • (SPOILER!!)
  • (SPOILER!!)
  • (SPOILER!!)

She just turned into a normal person? With no remorse feelings or whatsoever for what a brat/mess she has been for the past years? After being a super bitch, now she's nicely folding clothes and telling Lip to get it together. It's like a reset button lol

I know, right? But that is the thing with TV shows. They tend to be a little outside of real life experience. A little bit is alright if the show is partly a comedy or if it is psy fi or other genres we understand are fantasy to some extent. But in a drama, which this mostly is, viewers feel cheated when characters begin to demonstrate behavior far outside of what viewers understand and can relate to their own experience of the world. People like Debbie don't suddenly change their personalities like she did. But it is a relatively small thing, and certainly not the only instance of verisimilitude violation.
We don't care about it most of the time because this show is a mixture of comedy and drama. Because of the comedy aspect we don't take things too seriously. But for the most part this is a drama about a dysfunctional family. We follow characters' lives and watch them fall in love, get their hearts broken, suffer emotional pain, and ruin their lives through substance abuse. It is hard to laugh at that stuff when it is played as straight drama, and most of the time it is played that way. In a straight drama, we expect the characters to act within the range of normal behavior. We feel cheated or lied to or something like that when Debbie suddenly starts acting mature and responsible. People generally don't make such dramatic changes suddenly like that barring some life changing events or epiphanies.

We didn't see Debbie undergo anything like that. And we never saw her kind of take an inventory of her own life, recognize how rotten, self centered, manipulative, mean and vindictive she has been. We never saw her go to Fiona and genuinely apologize and ask forgiveness. Instead she suddenly started acting like a different person.
I felt like I had missed several episodes when I saw that.

Maybe Debbie will be a decent human being this season? I think right now she's in the mode where she just wants to succeed at something so she can support her daughter but in the meantime she's treating her husband like he's just there to babysit. I hope she gets it together because I really liked seasons 1-3 Debbie. I know she's not a little kid anymore but I'd like to see her be the kind person she used to be.

@write2topcat said:

I am just halfway through season 4 now and Debbie has turned into a real psycho bitch. I know this is a dysfunctional family with a narcissistic sociopath father as a role model but at least the kids used to hang together and support each other.
Debbie resembles a crazy little bitch with no redeeming qualities. She seems almost as much a narcissist as Frank.

She has yet to do Dallas, and thus isn't beyond redemption quite yet

@acontributor said:

This show is a comedy. It's not meant to be taken seriously. Debbie is crazy but so are all of the Gallaghers. And that's part of this show's charm.

yes, but Debbie is portrayed by such a horrible actress

There is one other point about the change in Debbie. She has done that thing that so many people seem to do when they make significant changes in their formerly bad or destructive behavior; she's become judgmental and bossy, almost a little dictator in how she tells others what they're doing wrong, what they can do, etc. Why do people do that? Before she was a wild child, and now she wants to be in charge of everybody else.

We have all seen former smokers who quit, and then get really vocal and bossy about others who smoke. People who have never smoked are nowhere near as bad as some former smokers are. There is something in their personalities that makes them want the power to tell others how to live their lives.

She is the kind of person who, if she ever held elected office, would create regulation after regulation. Ever met someone like that? I have. It's not enough that they eat vegetarian, sprouts, etc. They want to make everyone else eat them too. Live and let live? That's only for them.

I wish the other kids would tell Debbie to take a flying leap somewhere, tell her she has no authority over them, that she is not in charge, and to shut up and mind her own business. Debbie would be shocked and angry when nobody let her tell them what to do. lol

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