Shows Similar to Shameless

Shows similar to Shameless:

The parallels begin with the theme of the show being a dysfunctional family. Although the Bates family is not as large as the Gallagher clan there are enough other developed characters in the cast to produce multiple storylines to follow. Like shameless the character and relationship development is awesome as well. Both shows develop characters and their relationships to where the viewer connects with some and despises others. Shameless is far from simple and Bates is equally as complicated in my opinion. There is a lot going on in both shows.
If you like the chaos and drama of Shameless you will love Bates too. Although Bates is a Drama/Thriller and Shameless is the famous Dramady (drama/comedy) it’s a nice change of pace from Shameless with plenty of similarities. Despite not being a comedy like Shameless the theme of dysfunction in the family is there.


The relationship between Norma, Norman and Dylan is far from functional. Shameless will have you laughing your ass off and Bates is equally as effective at keeping you on the edge of your seat with suspense and mystery from the beginning to end of every episode. Both shows are addictive and will have you bingeing longer and longer as the stories develop. Bates, like shameless, has multiple layers and deep story lines. (Check out the untold story of shameless here)
If you like location based shows such as Shameless being set in real life Chicago you will appreciate the realistic setting of Bates which takes place in the Pacific Northwest specifically on the Oregon Coast. I really enjoy the setting of both shows as well as the great camera shots that come along with their locations.
Finally, a theme that might really tie the two together for you is the ubiquity of vice in both. Obviously with Frank being an alcoholic, most of the Gallaghers constantly sippin’ on somethin’, the Alibi, the sex, the partying, the drugs and the crime Vice is paramount in Shameless.

Bates is also jam packed with Vices as well: Drugs, Sex, Crime, shady business and MURDER. If you are willing to trade the Laughs (Comedy) of Shameless for the Screams (Violence) of Bates you will embrace all of the other similarities and be hooked on Bates Motel.
If you have seen both shows I hope you enjoyed my comparison review! I love both shows and really enjoyed writing this. Check out 4 TV shows you must binge watch here.

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