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Some Shameless Fans Believe The Series Should Have Focused On Lip

"Shameless" functions as an ensemble family drama-comedy about the Gallaghers, a family raised in poverty just trying to make lives for themselves. While each member of the clan gets sufficient attention and character development throughout the series, it's safe to say most people would consider the eldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) to be the lead. Due to her father Frank's (William H. Macy) negligence, she's the one who really had to raise her siblings and often finds herself juggling jobs, romances, and her family members hating her for doing her best. 

Fiona is certainly a compelling character, and it makes sense she would get a fair amount of attention. But now that the show has ended, many fans are considering what "Shameless" would've been like had Lip (Jeremy Allen White) been the lead instead. Redditor u/WhenItsHalfPastFive offered the idea, "I really feel like this show could have been centered around Lip. Absurdly smart kid, who grew up in the worst of conditions, is always inches from success as his life spirals apart. But they destroyed the character over the years."

Lip definitely exemplifies the Gallagher ethos. Despite having a real shot at success and breaking the cycle of poverty, he ends up self-sabotaging his efforts at every turn. And many others agreed that a version of "Shameless" that focused more on Lip could've been just as intriguing, if not more so.

Fans believe Jeremy Allen White was talented enough to lead the series

Lip has numerous standout moments on "Shameless," but u/WhenItsHalfPastFive pointed to one, in particular, that showed what Lip was capable of. The scene sees Lip speaking with Fiona about taking a case to trial where she could spend five years in jail as opposed to pleading guilty and possibly only getting 90 days. He tears into his sister because he knows she's responsible for what happened, and if she's gone for five years, it means he has to put his life on hold to look after the family. It's a perfect encapsulation of what makes Lip a great character; he actually has potential, but he keeps getting dragged down back into the mud.

Plenty of other Redditors agreed with the assertion Lip should've been the lead, especially seeing how Jeremy Allen White is such a good actor. There's a lot of praise for his acting acumen, with u/WR810 writing, "He's the only actor that can pull off brooding angst and not make my eyes roll back in my skull." That's on full display in White's post-"Shameless" role in "The Bear," where he's earned similar praise. The focus on Lip caused some to get introspective, with u/Apart_Advertising501 pointing out how a Lip-centric show could've worked in the beginning: "From Season 1 to Season 6 Lip is a genius. Season 7-11 Lip is a Dumbass. If u rewatch the last episode of season 6 and compare it to the first episode of season 7 it seems like they changed his character from onward."

As the show stands, Lip is still one of the more intriguing characters for what he represents. Perhaps if he were the lead, his character wouldn't have fallen off later in the show's run.