50 best television shows set across the United States

14 of 52

Illinois: Shameless

The premise: Shameless follows the Gallagher family as they try to keep their heads above water without much support or guidance from their parents. Fiona, the oldest of the six Gallagher children, becomes the default leader of the bunch after her drug-addict mother disappears and her alcoholic father becomes more and more of a liability.

She works to keep her younger siblings in check, food on the table, and her young intact. They are very poor and struggle with finances more than anything else on the show.

The setting: The Gallaghers hail proudly from  South Side Chicago, and much of their identity comes from where they grew up. The show strives to paint a genuine picture of how folks in the working class, or lower, live. It doesn’t make them out to be an “other,” but offers a look at real people who live in your neighborhood.

The most Chicago thing about it: I know this is a state-by-state list, but Shameless is about as Chicago as it gets. In fact, most of the exterior shots show classic Chicago architecture. Some of the characters even live close to the El tracks and have to listen to the trains all day and night. Illinois natives will love the show, and Chicago fans will likely obsess over it.