‘Shameless’: Is the Show Based on a True Story?

by Clayton Edwards

 The final season of Shameless came to an end in April of this year. Not long after that, it went to Netflix. As a result, most people who followed the show are all caught up. However, we won’t be going into any spoilers for the final season. Instead, we’ll be looking at the series as a whole. So, if you’re still watching, don’t worry.

Shameless ran for eleven seasons on Showtime before coming to an end. Over the course of those seasons, it told the story of the dysfunctional Gallagher family. Like the lives of Frank and his six kids, the show was both hilarious and harrowing.

Behind the dysfunctional family dynamic, though, Shameless told a story of poverty, alcoholism, and a broken home. Those things were at the heart of the family’s best and worst times. If you look at the big picture, all of the family’s problems started with Frank and his love for the bottle. His drinking led to erratic behavior. Additionally, he was the kind of father at which even the most neglectful parents would look down their noses. At the same time, his kids had the kind of bond that comes from sticking together to survive a hard and unpredictable life.

The thing that made Shameless so great is that it felt real. The Gallagher family could have been from anywhere in America. This led many fans to wonder if the show and its characters were based on real people. Fortunately, the answer to that burning question is “No.”

What Was ‘Shameless’ Based On?

While stories like the ones in Shameless play out every day, to lesser and greater degrees the show wasn’t based on a real family or a specific set of stories. However, It was not a wholly original property. Like many great American television shows of the past, this one was based on a British series of the same name.

According to Decider, the British version of Shameless ran for eleven seasons as well. It aired between January 2004 and March 2013. The original series saw the Gallagher family dealing with many of the same issues as the American version. However, they don’t reside in Chicago’s seedier neighborhoods. Instead, the British Gallaghers lived in Stretford, Greater Manchester in a fictional impoverished council house called Chatsworth Estate.

If you want to check out the American version of Shameless, you can stream it from several sources. The whole series is available right now on Netflix, Showtime Anytime, and Showtime. However, if you want to see where it all started, check out the British version. It’s streaming in its entirety on TubiTV as well as Pluto TV. Both of those streaming services are free. However, you’ll have to deal with ads.