A new season of shenanigans from the world’s most shameless schemer

21 August 2017

A new season of shenanigans from the world’s most shameless schemer

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

That thing lying on the floor over there that looks and smells like a pile of unwashed dog blankets? Oh, that’s Frank Gallagher (William H Macy), sleeping off a binge in Shameless (2011-current; Seasons 1-6 are now available on Showmax). But don’t be deceived by his shambling, hangdog expression. He’s a man of many talents. Watch now »

Frank might be a compulsive liar, an alcoholic bar fly, a drug user, a deadbeat single dad (six kids and counting) and work shirker, a spendthrift and scrounger… but above all he’s a schemer. His charm hides an expert understanding of emotional manipulation and he knows every crevice of Chicago’s welfare bureaucracy labyrinth. From robbing his children’s piggy banks to burying an old auntie in the garden so that he can keep collecting her social security payments for 12 years (find out more in Season 1, episode 3 and Season 3, episode 5), there’s nothing that Frank Gallagher won’t do for money – aside from actual work.

Here are just 6 of Frank’s shifty, shirk-y, shockingly shameless schemes from Seasons 1 to 5. (Season 6 launched today on Showmax.)

Fake death

Season 1, episode 7

Frank has a $6 000 (R80 000) gambling debt on his back and his schemes – including starring in a Bum Fight video – fail. So he persuades his kids to help him fake his death with the help of some horse tranquilisers. The kids stage an old-fashioned Irish wake and once his debtors leave, Frank springs back to life and enjoys some karaoke. Watch now »

Heart attack

Season 2, episode 3

Frank leeches off women and there’s no place better to find a date than a transplant waiting list that’s full of desperate, lonely people. Frank woos and weds Dottie Corones (Molly Price) to get her government pension after she dies. He secretly intercepts a call from the hospital announcing that a transplant heart is available for Dottie and instead gives his new wife her last wish of, uh, “going out with a bang”. Watch now »

Carl’s cancer

Season 3, episodes 3 and 4

In a scheme to snag a signed baseball from a children’s charity (so that he can auction it off for cash), Frank convinces his little son Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) that Carl is dying from cancer. Frank also shaves Carl’s head and sends him to a kiddies’ cancer camp. Frank then tells the boy that while he’s away at camp, Frank will be hard at work at home searching for a cure. Watch now »

Gay for pay(off)

Season 3, episodes 8, 9 and 10

Frank moves in with a lonely man that he meets at his AA group, who’s just there because he wants company. Frank figures out that he should be able to claim benefits as the man’s live-in partner – if the city would just acknowledge gay couples’ rights – so he starts campaigning. Frank thrives on the attention, especially after an anti-gay group try to “cure” his homosexuality with free sex from women! Watch now »

Liver for love

Season 4, episodes 3 and 4

After being told that he needs a liver transplant, Frank tracks down his eldest daughter Sammi (Emily Bergl) that he abandoned as a baby, hoping for a donor match. Instead of just saying what he wants (or who he really is), Frank pretends that he’d like to date her and plays along when Sammi develops a romantic interest in him (we’re talking full-on kissing and grinding)! Watch now »

One crazy night

Season 5, episode 4

Frank goes to collect an insurance pay-out from an earlier scheme in which he got Carl to break his leg (Season 4, episode 4), only to be told that he’d already collected the money. Confused, Frank retraces his footsteps and finds out that he bought a fancy car, doubled his money gambling, partied with hookers… and invested $113 000 (R1.5 million) in an organisation that makes artificial limbs for homeless kids. Incensed, Frank tries to steal a prosthetic leg right off an orphan as pay-back. Watch now »

Rats, roaches and leeches, bow down. You could never! Watch Seasons 1 to 6 of Shameless on Showmax now.

Start my free trial »

Original African stories by local talent

Nilichoma on Showmax

Nilichoma

The Kenyan Showmax Original docuseries features celebs who received an unexpected windfall, and then blew it all. Premiering on 28 May 2024.

Original
/images/ke.svgMade in Kenya
Melissa de Vries as Frieda and Lee-Ann van Rooi as Suzette in Mince Jou Hare

Mince Jou Hare S1

Shimmy Isaacs’s laugh-out-loud sitcom about a factory worker who opens a hair salon in her home lands on Showmax on 20 May 2024.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Untying Kantai on Showmax

Untying Kantai

Untying Kantai follows King Kantai, a man who has spent 30 years of his life working hard to provide for his family, only to be conned out of his life savings. Now streaming.

Original
/images/ke.svgMade in Kenya
BigGirl Small World on Showmax

Big Girl Small World

Big Girl Small World follows Ciku, a plus-size woman who stumbles through a journey of self-discovery after a humiliating scandal. Stream now, with new episodes every Wednesday.

Original
/images/ke.svgMade in Kenya
Siyabonga Thwala as Khaya and Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Ndoni in Empini on Showmax

Empini S1

Empini is a high-stakes, action-packed drama about Ndoni, a deeply troubled private security bodyguard in search of answers. Landing 23 May, with new episodes weekly.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Original Sin: My Son The Killer on Showmax

Original Sin: My Son The Killer

Original Sin: My Son The Killer follows the murder of Andrea Venter by Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, who then went on the run from South Africa to Brazil.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Tracking Thabo Bester on Showmax

Tracking Thabo Bester

From the makers of Devilsdorp and the director of Convict Conman comes the true-crime documentary South Africa has been waiting for. All the episodes are streaming on Showmax.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
The Illuminated S1 on Showmax

The Illuminated

The Showmax Original docuseries The Illuminated explores different religious movements in South Africa. All episodes now streaming.

Original
/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
What will be the cost of vengeance? Empini S1, coming soon
Ultimate Girls Trip SA: What happens in Jamaica?