Cram a family of six with one alcoholic father, several teens and a couple of spirited youngsters into ramshackle, Back-of-the-Yards house in Chicago, and it doesn’t take much to figure out there won’t be any privacy. Except, maybe, the bathroom. Throw that door open and who knows what you’ll find?
It’s Shameless, John Wells Productions’ cult-hit comedy about the Gallagher family. Taking you right to the guts of family matters, we shot the title sequence entirely in the bathroom.
There we find father Frank passed out on the grubby tile floor, to be dragged elsewhere by an unphased daughter. Two littles wrap up in toilet paper. One drinks a leftover beer. Another plucks a water-soaked teddy out of the loo. Siblings smoke cigs, teens make love, and there are even more basic bodily functions on view.
Shocking? Yes, but a grungy bathroom was the perfect metaphor for this messily unique family with zero boundaries. Showing the characters in a distinctly humorous, yet slightly voyeuristic way allowed viewers to connect with the Gallaghers on a very human level. We get their dysfunctional challenging circumstances, yes–but also their closeness.