With three episodes of Showtime’s Shameless under my always-expanding TV watching belt, I am left with just three important words for you guys: watch this show.

shameless showtime

What is Shameless? This is a TV series that Showtime has made for the US, and is originally a show from The U.K. The USA version stars William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, the alcoholic and irresponsible single Dad of 7 always-teetering-on-the-brink-of-disaster kids. His eldest is Fiona (Emmy Rossum) who acts like the actual single parent.

What bout the rest of the cast? We have Phillip, aka Lip (Jeremy Allen White), who is as smart as he is loyal to his brother. (Teen girls will swoon for White.)  And that brother would be Ian (Cameron Monaghan) who is both a ROTC member and a gay teenager who is sleeping with his boss – an older married Muslim man who has kids.

Next up is Debbie or Deb (Emma Kenney) who likes to wear a purple robe and take care of her Dad no matter what. We still don’t know tons about Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) aside from his love of melting things (a passion I do not understand – unless we’re dealing with cheese.)  The youngest Gallagher is Liam, still an ignorant toddler.

The next door neighbors are Veronica (Shanola Hampton) and Kevin (Steve Howey.) They’re amazing and outrageous.

Lip dates Karen (Lauren Slade Wiggins) whose Mother is played by Joan Cusack.  Another character you’ll love is Steve (Justin Chatwin.) He’s incredibly cute and has this face that makes me feel like I’ve seen him before. A quick trip to IMDB reveals that he was Josh in Weeds!

The show is racy (nudity, swearing, not to mention abhorrent bad hygiene), and not something you want to watch as a family huddled around the TV.

The standout’s of the show so far include the character of Fiona who is rugged and forcefully rowdy in the way we don’t often get in female leads who are also the heart of a show, smart and fast dialogue from the characters of Lip and Steve, the brotherly bonding between Lip and Ian, and the antics of the neighbors and neighborhood in general.

Another highlight? The music! End credits have great tunes. The song at the end of the Shamless pilot is Spoon ‘The Way We Get By).

As a viewer there are two main problems. The first is trying not to hate Macy’s mercilessly unapologetic character so much that it makes you terribly angry (and make no mistake about it guys: this character is rooted in a grim reality.) The show also breaks your heart so often that the comedy has to work overtime to lift everything back up. This series may have originated in the U.K. but this looks like a realistic portrayal of a very American family. For better or worse, this is what we are. So, let’s try to enjoy the ride.

Shameless premieres on Showtime, January 9 at 10PM ET/PT. Visit the Official Shameless Website for more. Never miss your daily Small Screen Scoop fix. It’s low-calorie and guilt-free! Talk TV anytime on Twitter by following @ThisJessicaRae.