Shameless: Phillip Gallagher invited to holiday dinner


Shameless Season 9 will not return until 2019.

Until then, we all need conversational pieces around the holiday feast. If there were any Shameless character to invite over for Thanksgiving, who would it be?

Thanksgiving dinners can be pleasant times of civil pleasantries. Everyone finds time for Thanksgiving with someone, and they are more social than Christmas dinners with new introductions of friends-to-family that may be present more through obligation than an invitation, conversations can become heated.

Maybe that’s just my family, or maybe it’s the alcohol. But of any Shameless character to invite over, it would have to be Phillip ‘Lip’ Gallagher.

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Lip came into our lives 9 years ago as a genius high school student. He had potential and was street smart, carrying a bad boy attitude that was inherent to all with Southside survival an ever-present reality.

He now stands as a sober Southsider just trying to find his way in life, once the young years of winging it on instinctual intelligence gave him enough of an advantage to have opportunities presented to him.

Years of being a genius-cum-screw-up have led to a job as a mechanic. Everyone wanted to see Phillip Gallagher, Ph. D become a thing. While Lip is finding pride in the attention to detail in re-building motorcycles, the ceiling in that industry is lower than even Phillip Gallagher, Bachelor’s of Science ever possessed.

If Lip could have survived four years, he would own the world. Instead, he failed, and now owns the responsibilities of the common Southside resident.

Pay bills, help family, avoid arrest. Eat, Work, Sleep. And try to find some happiness with someone, even though no one has really ever been able to swim in his intellectual pool.

But Lip has a few good stories with laughter at the end. And he is a good listener with manners. A perfect holiday guest.

Fiona could fling it with someone’s husband. Frank could, well, be Frank. Carl is a bit too high strung at the moment, and Ian is wayyyy to incarcerated to attend this year.

If Lip brought Liam, everyone would smile. If Debbie came, even with Frannie, there would be a hint of tension. There always is with Debbie these days.

Watching Phillip’s struggles to overcome his Gallagher birthright of running from cops, balancing functional and abusive addiction issues, and paving a road of good intentions which leads straight to overdue bills.

Lip’s got the mysterious yet sexy vibe going, but knows how to give a short and satisfying answer. No overdoing it, so he would not take over the festivities. Lip is the solid type of guy you don’t mind a quick drink and harmless fun night, and could even give confidence if the night veers towards a more criminal nature, even if just mischievous but the ‘law’ states otherwise.

Nonchalant, yet charming and approachable, Phillip Gallagher is the character that most every fan has been behind for every move along the nine years of Shameless.

He is not afraid of carrying a beating — and will carry on with pride. Might bloody his Lip, but he will still shake it off with a bloody cigarette and smirk, strolling back down the avenue.

Along the way, he might even try to save some kids that are not his own biologically. The kids did wander in or were dragged and dropped off into Lip’s universe.

So ol’ Phillip Gallagher shows that chivalry is not dead, one bill at a time. One really hopes that his envelope is returned at some point, so he can enjoy the fruit of his labor and know the mom is doing well enough to return some money.

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But that’s just a hope. Lip is taking it a day at a time, attending meetings, working the steps. He is still alone, but through sponsorship and AA guidance, Lip is finding he does not have to suffer in his loneliness. At least not for an afternoon dinner.

Need a refresher? Emmy Rossum’s grand exit is still hanging in the balance. Courteney Cox and Katey Sagal are still finding their niche in the show, and Frank is still Frank. Happy Holidays to all, Shameless returns on Showtime January 20, 2019.