Cameron Monaghan Network

09/23/2016 Lillie 0 Comment(s) article, shameless

I’ve been a fan of Shameless from the beginning, the show is full of layers and colors, unlike anything I’ve watched. I think the fascination and obsession of the fans come from a unique blend of outrageous events with six siblings fighting together to survive. The Gallaghers aren’t perfect, they aren’t cookie cutter characters that you can find on any television sitcom or drama. They are imperfect, scrappy and don’t have the same moral compass as most people, but they do live by a certain code that’s uniquely Gallagher.

I’ve always had a fascination with the two oldest brothers Lip and Ian Gallagher because they have a bond and friendship that’s so genuine and heartwarming it makes you want to be a Gallagher. The two brothers are a rag-tag duo who schemed and plotted their way through some questionable and funny situations throughout the seasons.

My favorite Shameless scene still to this day was from the first season when Lip and Ian are sitting in the van, smoking a cigarette and Lip says, “When have I ever let you down?” The way Lip and Ian struggled to navigate through these uncharted waters was both beautiful and genuine. While admittedly it was wrong that Lip went about trying to ‘fix’ Ian he soon accepted his brother for exactly the person he had always been. What made these moments all the more heartfelt is their authenticity.

Like most Shameless fans I go through a whirlwind of emotions every season because unlike most shows, Shameless doesn’t really cater to a happily ever after philosophy. Although I know that going in, I was still caught off guard and disappointed to watch Lip and Ian’s relationship disintegrate into non-existence in season four and five.

Now I’m not naive, I know everyone goes through growing pains and I don’t mind that. Watching Lip and Ian struggle to find common ground in season two was an interesting and realistic look at how siblings struggle. The bitterness and resentment that comes with not feeling good enough or measuring up. For all of Ian’s passion and hard work he never gets the attention and recognition the way Lip does. Ian resents that Lip doesn’t appreciate all he can accomplish without even trying and Lip hates the pressure that’s expected of him. When the tension builds to an uncomfortable degree the boys take grammy’s advice (yes the one who’s out of prison because she’s dying) and decide to handle it in the most healthy way possible with a knock down drag out battle under the train tracks.

Although seeing the two brothers fighting is disturbing something cathartic comes out of the brutal assault. Ian finally expresses all the frustration he’s harboring being in Lips shadow. Lip for all his cocky bravado has genuinely missed having Ian around and explains that although what Ian is saying isn’t wrong it isn’t really his fault he was born first. This is a perfect example of how Shameless is a brilliant show with incredible writing because their journey in season two is heartbreaking, fascinating and real. The reconciliation at the end of season two makes the pain of seeing them fight and struggle worth all the rollercoaster of emotions I went through watching them.

Whereas season two was an incredible journey, season three was just as incredible in a completely different and darker tone. The most notable change in the show is the dynamic of Lip and Ian really falling apart. There’s no drama between them the way we see in season two, but what transpires instead is, even more, heartbreaking. You watch in the matter of twelve episodes, approximately ten hours of drama filled Shameless, the two brothers completely lose touch till nothing’s left but an empty bed and a missing diploma.

The problem with pulling Lip and Ian so far apart at the end of season three, there’s no real way to bring them back together. Their lives have moved apart so drastically that you never get the pay off in season four that we did in season two.

It’s hard to believe that the person who sat in the car with Ian and said “when have I ever let you down” would seemingly forget about his brother when Ian goes missing. The idea that Lip would get so wrapped up into college that he doesn’t see just how much danger Ian is in seems too cold to be real. Then reality checks in and I realize, it actually is incredibly honest. In season two they manage to look beyond the inevitable that they were going in two completely different directions, but life has a way of kicking you in the teeth with reality. The truth is people move on and sometimes your journey takes you away from the people you love or want to be with.

Every season I have a moment where I stop and say wow Shameless writers you are truly brilliant. And season five was no different. Granted it was a season riddled with inconsistency and short-lived plot points that didn’t necessarily land, but this didn’t stop me from being blown away as Lip emotionally brought their story full circle in what was certainly an Emmy award-winning moment from Jeremy Allen White.

“My little brother Ian was just diagnosed bipolar. You know, and– and every day I’m here, I ju– I feel so fucking guilty, you know, that I’m not there helping. You know, and the only reason I-I stay is, uh… You know, I can’t help. Yeah, look, ’cause I spent my whole life, uh, trying to help my– my mom, um… You know, has the same disease. And there’s no help for it…”

The statements are harsh and heavy and undeniably honest. At first, I was angry because it felt like once again Lip had given up on Ian, but then I rewatched the scene and I was gobsmacked by the poignancy. Lip isn’t giving up or leaving Ian behind, he’s simply not a kid anymore. It’s an incredible display of maturity from Lip, it brought me out of my misguided idea that Ian is going to be magically cured of bipolar disorder. Ian can’t be cured, he simply needs to live in his new reality. So really Lips honest moment is actually exactly the same as the moment in the van all the way in season one. Because Lip Gallagher knows he can’t change him so instead he accepts him for who he is.

Ian Gallagher is his brother, he’s not broken, he’s just not perfect, and he doesn’t need to be fixed.

Source – UntitledTV


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