The Root Recommends: Showtime's Shameless

 Relative unknown Shanola Hampton steals the show on Shameless.

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Showtime's irreverent new show Shameless, about the dysfunctional, white working-class Gallagher family, wouldn't be half as funny -- or, well, shameless -- without the addition of Shanola Hampton, who plays the Gallaghers' wild neighbor, Veronica Fisher, and turns what could have been a typical "black best friend" role into something more substantial.

The show is worth a watch, if only to see the comedic stylings of the relatively unknown Hampton. And keep a look out for guest appearances from the ageless Vanessa Bell Calloway, who plays Veronica's mother. Shameless airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

Previous recommendation: The America I Am Exhibit.

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