Maggie O’Neill – Sheila Jackson
( http://www.kiwireport.com/cast-shameless-uk-like-now/ )
In (approximately) 2006 a friend came to me, “Have you seen Shameless? It’s brilliant. I love it. There’s someone in it who is agoraphobic, like you!” They leant me the DVD’s – I watched a couple of episodes…
“This is not agoraphobia.”
“Is this meant to be how agoraphobia is? Am I even doing this wrong?”
“What is this?”
“I don’t want to ever see this again.”
I never watched it again. It made me feel sick. I was so angry and so depressed. I should have very clearly been able to relate to this.
My friends are watching this. Is this what they think my life is now?
Even now, googling “Shelia Jackson UK agoraphobia” comes up with nothing but references to the character’s sexual ‘deviances’.
Joan Cusack – Sheila Jackson
( http://www.snakkle.com/galleries/before-they-were-famous-stars-happy-birthday-actress-joan-cusack-snakkle-looks-back-on-her-career-in-photos-then-and-now/joan-cusack-shameless-tv-2011-photo-gc/ )
I have Netflix – Netflix provides me with the knowledge that Shameless was turned into an American show…
“I don’t know if I can watch this.”
“This is it! This is what it was! This was me!”
Never in my life have I been so pleased to find a show that represents me. There is humour, there is sex but the moments of this character’s struggle are so brutally honest that I sometimes cannot look. It is amazing.
I am also aware as I consider this, that each person will have their own experiences with such illnesses. I am aware that the UK Shameless had a large following and was adored.
American shows sometimes get the reputation in England of being overly dramatic, leading to me being unsure as to whether to tune in, to begin with. I had expected it to be extremely over the top and while it may be the case in later episodes (I’m not there yet), this character portrayed by Joan Cusack is a breath of fresh air.
It can be so difficult to find someone within TV/film who you see yourself in when you’re an unboxed member of society.
I am thankful that I found this, my 15-year-old self rejoices. Loudly.