Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Shameless Fans Have Some Painful Opinions About Season 11

No long-lived show manages to make it to 11 seasons without hitting some major speedbumps. Showtime's version of "Shameless" wrapped the show up with its 11th season, and, as we've previously covered, some viewers who followed the Gallagher clan from the very beginning have been less than thrilled with the way the series chose to take its final bow.

Whether it was the fact that "Shameless" failed to bring Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) back for a final bow, how they chose to end the stories of Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White) and Debbie Gallagher (Emma Kenney), the fact that Kevin (Steve Howey) and Veronica Ball (Shanola Hampton) ended up moving away from Chicago for a swankier life in another part of town, or how they chose to portray the final moments of ne're do well patriarch Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy), it seems as if everyone has a bone to pick with the show's producers as the series came to a conclusion.

Fans posting to the "Shameless" subreddit are still annoyed by how the show came to a halt, years after it took its final bow. Here's why they have some brutally honest thoughts about how the show stuck its final landing. 

Frank's finale and Debbie's characterization are big sticking points

u/illcigz revisited a familiar refrain about Season 11 of "Shameless" in their post on the topic; the death of Frank was poorly handled, and a disservice to William H. Macy's performance. "Frank's send-off was so f***ing cheesy," they declared, then added "it made me mad that this INCREDIBLE actor (one of the most impressive I've ever watched perform) was shown floating away on a barstool like it was a f***ing Disney movie."

u/illcgiz also lamented Debbie's Season 11 characterization, declaring her character even more terrible than the notorious Frank, and expressed their dislike for Lip's romance with Tami (Kate Miner). They also lamented that the show's portrayal of the family's poverty had definitely changed over the years, noting "[a]t the beginning the family was dirt poor to the point the only phone lip had was one he stole from the cafeteria when a kid left it," and remarking that all of the characters sport iPhones by the end of the show's run. The only bit of praise they had for the season was for Carl Gallagher's (Ethan Cutkosky) storyline, which saw him become a police officer who overcomes the corruption around him to improve his station in life.

u/illcigz also had some wrath for the show's more recent past. They called out the Season 8 storyline in which Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) became a part of the local activist community as "Gay Jesus" after neglecting to take medication for his bipolar disorder. Ian's protests lead to him serving jail time after blowing up a car. This was a storyline unpopular enough with critics to ding the program's reputation; it caused Collider to rank Season 8 as the series' worst season overall.

How bad is Season 11 of Shameless, really?

Those responding to u/illcigz's post agreed with some of their points but also had some quibbles regarding their feelings. "I agree with everything expect [sic] Frank dying of covid," said u/Hopeful_Ad931. While some fans really liked some of the characters u/illcigz called out, u/hannahquail admitted that they didn't like Frank's final scene even though they liked him a lot in Season 11. "as for the whole bar chair thing yeah that was super cheesy although, i liked the speech and thought it was a nice full circle moment. apart from the fact he doesn't mention fiona," they opined. Turning up to stand up for Debbie Gallagher, u/Turbulent-Original28 noted, "I agree with everything, but debbie did nthng wrong in 11.. if ur talking about break up with Sandy, then its totally Sandys fault, she brought up the parent issues debs had to make her mad."

Reddit fans definitely aren't alone in disliking or having mixed emotions about the show's final season; the critical response to Season 11 was polarizing as well. On Rotten Tomatoes, Season 11 sits at a 70% critical approval score and a 43% audience approval score, making it the second-lowest rated season of the series on the website. The A.V. Club's Myles McNutt's highest-rated Season 11 episode earned a B-, and he gave the show's series finale, "Father Frank, Full of Grace" a D, with the majority of episodes landing a C or lower. Entertainment Weekly included Season 11's finale on its list of TV's most controversial endings, joining the ranks of "Roseanne," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Dexter" on their list of TV's most divisive final bows. 

But, whether you love or hate the show, "Shameless" is definitely a hard program to forget.