Brace yourself for the show that’s more shameless than Shameless

5 March 2018

Brace yourself for the show that’s more shameless than Shameless

Update: SMILF is no longer on Showmax. Find your next binge in the full series catalogue here.

Usually, scraping the bottom of the barrel is a bad thing. Because that lifts up unsavoury, grimy, dirty emotions, thoughts and even actual dirt under your fingernails. You know, the stuff that makes you want to scrub yourself 10 times over before you actually feel clean.

If you’ve watched dark comedy Shameless, you know what we’re talking about thanks to the wheeler-dealer con-artist family the Gallaghers, “Who are pretty much the dregs of society,” laughs lead star William H Macy as patriarch Frank.

But hold our beers, Shameless – because Showmax has clawed its way through the grime and grit at the bottom of the barrel that’s right at the bottom of the pile to bring you arguably the most awfully brilliantly bad series we’ve ever seen: SMILF (2018-current, Seasons 1-2 are on Showmax). Showmax is the only place in Africa where you can watch both seasons. Stream or download S1-2 of SMILF now »

Frankie Shaw as Bridgette Bird in SMILF on Showmax
Image: CBS

Lead star Frankie Shaw plays Bridgette Bird, a struggling single mom from Southie, the rough side of Boston, and her story is at least partially true.

“She’s loosely based on me,” explains Frankie. “I was a single young mom trying to make it in LA as an actress and I was just over everything. We filmed a scene from the pilot that I wrote. I filmed it because I knew that the grittiness in my head didn’t match what was on the page, so I needed to be in the moment and be the one being filmed to bring it to life.”

“If you tell something in an honest way, people will relate to it.” – Writer, creator, director, star Frankie Shaw

Dark comedy SMILF is first and only on Showmax
She may be a hot mess, but no one can deny that Frankie is trying her best with her son Larry, despite being young, broke, desperate and alone. Image: CBS

While the short-film version of SMILF won an award at the indie Sundance Festival, it also got TV bigwigs taking note of the fact that you can be overtly sexual, rude, crude and lewd on the small screen and get away with it. And Frankie knows how to work the charm, even if she’s standing braless scratching her crotch like a metrosexual who’s just been for a session of groin manscaping.

“If you tell something in an honest way, people will relate to it. I was editing the pilot, for example, and one of the producers wrote me an email, ‘What if you cut the scene where she’s masturbating to the girlfriend?’ And my assistant editor started crying, ‘I did that. When my husband cheated, I did that, you can’t cut it!’ And I was never going to because it’s those weird moments behind closed doors that I feel like when you reach somebody.”

But if you thought that was a bit roff and from the bottom of the barrel, fasten your seatbelts – SMILF is taking you on the rudest ride on TV… and you’ll love it!

SMILF is first and only on Showmax
Bridgette runs into her high school bed buddy Jesse while on a late-night snack run – but it doesn’t end there… Image: CBS

In episode 1, newly single Bridgette wants a hook-up. No strings, no mess, no fuss – straightforward sex. But that’s easier said than done because Bridgette’s been out of the dating game for a while. And when she does find a one-night-stand – a guy she slept with in high school – they end up getting jiggy on her bed where her toddler son has been sneakily hidden under blankets. “Oh my god – that’s a foot!” will either have you crying with laughter or cringing like you’ve eaten an entire lemon. Watch now »

Bridgette and Casey on SMILF on Showmax
Bridgette, as usual, takes things just a step too far, this time with her former pupil Casey. Image: CBS

Episode 2 takes things up a notch when Bridgette beds the teen she used to tutor. C’mon – she’s a 20-something and he’s in college now, and at the age of consent. Not that his mom Ally (Connie Britton) will see it that way, because she paid Bridgette to educate her son on his ABCs and not about the birds and the bees. Never mind the fact that the deed takes place in Ally’s bed. Watch now »

And her quest for an orgasm continues in episode 4 when Bridgette takes her toyboy store clerk into the warehouse for a quick sex session. “How I kept a straight face with all the dirty sex talk is a miracle,” laughs Frankie. “That poor kid. He had no idea what he was getting into when we cast him!” Watch now »

Frankie Shaw as Bridgette in SMILF on Showmax
Bridgette thinks Tinder might solve her problems, but this is SMILF, and we all know it won’t be that simple. Image: CBS

But it’s the season finale episode 8 that takes the cake. Still looking for love, our dirty diva signs up with cellphone dating app Tinder… you know, swipe right for yes and left for no. Despite all she’s been through – and all we’ve seen – nothing can prepare Bridgette for the person she’s matched up with on the app. Sure, she wants him and he wants her – but let’s just say that he’s not exactly a stranger… Watch now »

“I’m flawed. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve been ‘that mom’ that everyone talks about,” says Frankie. “But I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m Bridgette – now get me a beer and a boyfriend!”


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