Parents' Guide to

Shameless (U.K.)

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature British drama is both gritty and sweet.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (4 ):

This decidedly mature show focuses on how the Gallagher children cope with living in what often seems like total anarchy. They each find their own way to come to terms with their father's behavior -- which is often shamelessly ridiculous and sometimes downright mean thanks to his endless drinking. They also spend a lot of their time evading the British authorities, who would separate the clan and place them in foster care if they knew about their circumstances. Meanwhile, in the absence of any real parent, the children embark in their own process of self-discovery and problem solving, which often leads to funny-but-inappropriate behavior like lying, stealing, sexual activity, and drug use.

Despite these serious themes, Shameless manages to tell the Gallaghers' story in a sweet, amusing way thanks to outstanding writing. And while the show's vision of Britian's impoverished working class is somewhat romanticized and over the top, it also offers pointed commentary about Britian's welfare system. Overall, it's an entertaining pick for mature viewers, who will be able to appreciate its underlying sensitivity and celebration of family loyalty and love. But with strong content that runs the gamut from frequent swearing to nudity, it's definitely not for young kids.

TV Details

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