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.

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