Critical Review 1

Shameless is a television show about a low-income family who lives in Chicago. The family consists of Frank the alcoholic father who uses his six children as scapegoats for his escapades. Of the six children, there is Fiona the oldest who took responsibility for her siblings, Carl, Debbie, Liam, Ian, and Lip. The show portrays the struggle of dealing with an alcoholic father and a mentally ill mother. Each episode deals with a different issue between each character for example the episodes can be about how it’s difficult to be openly gay in a touch neighborhood to the episode when Fiona left cocaine out and Liam (the youngest sibling) got into it. This show features all aspects of drug abuse, domestic abuse, and the struggle of growing up without parental figures.

In episode three of season five called “The Two Lisa’s” Debbie the teenage girl struggles with attempting to lose her virginity. She winds up throwing a wild party and inviting over an older boy who she had been trying to impress and get to like her. Matty was much older than Debbie and told her that since she had been so young that he could not have sex with her and that they could strictly be friends. At this party, she gets Matty drunk and proceeds to engage in intercourse without his consent when he was passed out drunk. This was the situation where Debbie lost her virginity, and Matty said to her, “Friends don’t rape friends”, causing Debbie to go become extremely upset and apologize for raping him.

The aesthetic qualities of this show are high; since it was filmed in 2015. The way the episode was filmed you could tell by the music and the placement of people that it was supposed to be a pretty wild party. Also, the way they portrayed Matty being extremely drunk and the way Debbie brought him to her bedroom was extremely realistic of a situation that has been seen where the genders are reversed. Usually television shows highlight men raping women and getting them drunk but this episode it was the opposite. They showed Matty falling over and laying down which is a clear sign of intoxication, and they also showed how Debbie was completely functional and aware of the way Matty was. The amount of people in the house and the way the house is portrayed, old, broken down, and parentless, makes it seem like it’s an okay place to get away with almost anything. They did a great job aesthetically in portraying the situation at hand in the episode.

The story is told through dialogue between the characters, but in this episode as mentioned above body language was a huge key in portraying the characters the writers didn’t have Matty blatantly say how drunk he was but instead they had him falling over and laying down and passing out. They used the body language as well as the way you can see the wheels turning in Debbie’s head about whether or not she should attempt to have sex with him while he’s passed out. You can see the look on the characters faces that portray their emotions rather than them saying it. After Debbie rapes Matty she confides in her siblings Lip and Fiona who sit and listen and try to comfort her. Fiona holds Debbie’s hand as comfort without saying anything because she knows that Debbie is upset about the way the situation went, and the way she just lost her virginity. I praise the way they use subtle body language and dialogue to help show the way the characters are feeling.

In this episode alone there were many social responsibilities shown. One was rape and the other was the way alcohol is used in social situations. Usually in society rape is known to be when a man forces himself upon a woman, it’s very rare to have a situation shown where a woman rapes a man. I think that it was risky to show that a woman raped a man because it makes the man look weak and most men hate that. It’s almost taboo in a sense for a man to be weak and to be taken advantage of. There should be more shows that include the abuse that a man goes though when he says no in the past or that women need to understand that it’s not okay to have sex with someone if they’re unconscious just like they wouldn’t want that to be done to them. It’s very rare to see a woman get a man drunk and take advantage of him and I think that this episode can help men feel comfortable coming out that they were abused and assaulted. They also help to provide the fact that just because you can become physically aroused during rape does not mean you consented to it. When Matty said “friends don’t rape friends” that really got to me because there are so many stories I’ve heard in college about a friend being assaulted by another one of their friends while they were drunk. Friends should never take advantage of one another and this episode showed that very clearly. This goes with the sexual content, although it wasn’t violent it still showed that intercourse occurred between the two of them. As well as in the background of this occurring Carl, the younger brother was also having a line of girls come to him to receive oral sex. This also touches on the fact that these are young teenagers who are engaging in all this sexual activity and they are not emotionally ready for it. This episode wasn’t so much violent but it touched a lot on the sexual content and how it effects men and women differently.

This episode didn’t really make it seem like women were positive, it showed women in more of a negative light in terms of the way Debbie wanted to have sex with Matty and wasn’t taking no for an answer. It makes it seem like that when a woman assaults a man it’s okay and the man will get over it but it doesn’t work like that. It put a new light on the idea of rape and how women can date rape men as well. In terms of minorities this episode didn’t really touch on that aspect.

I find that this episode was extremely beneficial to the idea of who can be assaulted. It is very unlikely for men to admit to being raped by a woman and the fact that this episode showed that Matty did feel some type of way after this encounter showed that men are affected and that it’s not okay. Women aren’t the only ones who are assaulted and I think that this episode helped to shine the light on the taboo idea that men are masculine and can fight off women. It’s not always that simple. Most people would say that a man could have pushed the woman off or fought her because men are stronger, but when drugs are involved such as alcohol your body doesn’t act the same way as it would sober. Alcohol is a depressant and causes a person to pass out and cannot consent to sex let alone be able to push a woman off him if he doesn’t even know what’s happening.


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