First things first, a couple weeks ago Nicole created a crazy fantastic TV Spreadsheet for anyone who's so inclined to add to and fill out. It's basically a one-stop place for all the best TV shows and a tally of all the internet badasses who love them. It's also how I'll choose new friends from here on. (Friends is in the lead with 37 votes but Friday Night Lights has a very respectable 24.)
One show I specifically added to the spreadsheet and one show that only has my one measly X beside it is Shameless, a Showtime show about a poor Chicago family. It's so dark and twisted I think the show likely turns off people pretty quickly. There's a lot of raunch, a lot of sex, a lot of sad situations that are plain hard to stomach. There are also a couple characters (ahem, Karen) that have shown almost no redeeming qualities and you're basically like, "Oh, okay. You're pure evil. That's interesting."
So, I get why it's not for everyone. It's just that I find flawed, desperate, nearly unredeeming characters fascinating and I find the other characters that love them heartbreaking or heartwarming or hopeful or something else interesting to watch.
William H. Macy plays the absentee alcoholic father, and he's just incredible in the role. (Especially after watching his short stint on Sports Night. This is a man who can act, would anyone deny that?) But the show is so little about him. He's worthless, that never really changes, but the show is about how his children (there are six of them, in total) survive without/in spite of him. They're all so royally fucked up, yet you get the feeling they're all going to be fine (well, save for a couple).
It's kind of dramatically over-the-top at times and I sometimes roll my eyes at sheer weirdness of it all, but then something very graceful and beautiful grounds the drama and it's just like you're watching your own fucked-up family.
Anyway, I'd love for someone else to mark an X on the TV Spreadsheet next to Shameless. It's one of my favorites, and I can't seem to find anyone else who watches it.