WHO IS MICKEY MILKOVICH? || PART 1



Heyyy people, I'm back!

I've been busy and still got so much to do the next following weeks that I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to post anything till next month. Turns out my head's been begging me to write this one for a while and I just couldn't prolong it any longer.

As you might know, I used to be the #1 Shameless stan. I literally stayed up until 4am to watch the episodes live, I blogged/tweeted about it an awful lot, I convinced almost all of my friends to watch it...I was a fan. A huge one, you could say.

I know how some people watch shows and they feel like "it's just a show", but to me, a show is a story, and some shows just like some stories, can make you feel a large amount of things. Hell, shows can help you, they can teach you a lesson or two. They're entertaining, but some of them are so much more. For me, Shameless was one of those shows.

I guess that it hit me so hard because at that time, I thought I had never seen a show with those real messy stories and the cast was (and is) amazing. I remember watching that scene of Fiona patting herself in the back with Frank's hand because he passed out while being drunk and I just...my fucking heart hurt because that's real. That's something that happens a lot in real life and I was glad they were showing this strong young woman fighting after everything life was throwing at her.

So yeah, I became obsessed with Shameless. I loved it, I loved the cast, I loved the music, I loved (almost) every scene...I was like 'dUDE, THIS IS MY FAVOURITE SHOW RIGHT NOW, YOU ALL SHOULD BE WATCHING THIS'. It wasn't just an addictive show, it was touching. And I think that's why so many people fell in love with it.

But you know what happens when you get so involved with something? You tend to analize everything a little more, you start having some kind of expectations, you see the good, but you also see the bad, even if it's something tiny. And when the bad is too bad, too big to ignore...you snap. You simply can't understand why something that was so incredibly good, is turning into literal shit.

That's basically what happened to me while watching this show.
And honestly? It's not the first time I've been disappointed with a tv show that I love (hiiiiiiii, Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, The 100), but it sucks way more because this one kind of had a place in my heart? I know it sounds ridiculous, but yep. Also because even when they ruined everything about their show that made it worth-watching, they ruined my favourite character the most, so...

And that's what I want to discuss today!
I want to write about my favourite Shameless' character, and probably my favourite character in the whole world (and that's a lot to say since I watch and love 8735873657 shows) because I feel like the world deserves to know who Mickey Milkovich is.

At this point I don't mind if you watch Shameless, if you used to, or if you don't watch it at all and don't plan to, I'd like you to read this and meet Mickey. If you don't care about certain mentions of stuff that could be considered spoilers, that is.

I feel like this entry is going to be extremely long and I apologize in advance for that, but I need to get this out of my system and I've got so much to say about him. So much. This is some sort of analysis, more than a simple description of my fave, so buckle up!!!

Edit: I've put so much time and effort on this that the final result is way too long for a single entry, so I decided to split it up into three. It's still pretty long, so...I'm sorry? 

Warning: mentions of rape, physical and phycological abuse, slurs...I don't know, all kind of triggers. If you don't feel comfortable discussing those topics, please stop reading.


Okay, I literally have no clue on where to start, so I'm going to write this whole thing pretending that whoever you are, you have watched the show and you've seen the scenes I'm gonna be talking about. Because if I have to describe every scene with details, this post is never going to end.

I want to cover different aspects and in order to do that, there will be three "blocks":
  1. Mickey's personality and sexuality.
  2. His relationship with Ian.
  3. What the show has done to him.
As I've already mentioned, Mickey is one of my all time favourite characters, if not my favourite, and I wanted to show the world (or my two readers, whatever) why. This is my own analysis of him and I really hope you guys like it.

So...let's start, shall we?


Mickey Milkovich is probably the most beloved Shameless' character. Of course there are some people who don't feel as strongly for him as I do, but there's so much love and adoration for him, so much. It's not even just fans, but also the media, who has mentioned a few times how special this character is. He's one of a kind, that's for sure.

When we first see him, he's with his brothers trying to beat Ian Gallagher's ass for "hurting his sister", or at least that's what he thinks. And let's be honest, when I saw him I thought "doN'T YOU DARE TOUCH IAN" because he was a precious cinnamon roll and he didn't do anything, so you could say we started off on the wrong foot.

Luckily for Mickey, I usually like complex characters that have more than one layer and let you see those layers little by little. By the time I finished watching season 1, I knew I was already fucked because I was going to like him too much.

He only appeared in like five or six episodes, but you could already tell a lot about him.
He might be the "tough guy" that steals and looks like he doesn't give a shit, but that's a wall he built just so people would respect him (or fear him...more like), mostly to protect himself.

But yes, he is a criminal, nobody can deny that. He's done some stupid stuff that I don't condone, but he's not a bad person. Not at all. And the thing is that he could have been just that, a criminal. A white boy living in a bad neighbourhood that only steals people and gives no fucks about it, a secondary character that nobody cares about. Actually, I think he was supposed to be simply that, but I gotta thank Noel Fisher for making him so special and giving us the chance to meet such an interesting character.

Mickey is caring, brave, strong (oh universe, how strong he is), extremely smart, loyal and something really important that I want the world to know, he has value.

And I stick that one out because the way he sees himself makes me so sad.
He considers himself someone with no future, someone not worth it, someone who doesn't deserve any kind of love. Did he even know what the word 'love' means when we first met him? Probably not.

And you know what I find fascinating? How this teenager never knew what's like to be praised and taken care of but still manage to show love arguably more than almost any other character on the show. We've seen some fucked up relationships there, and I don't like certain Ian-Mickey situations, but what these two had was real love.

About his family life...what can I say?
He comes from an abusive home with an extremely homophobe father who has been abusing him and his sister since they were kids. Due to this "amazing father", he had to always take care of himself and Mandy, whom he loves deeply.

That's something I really like about Mickey too, how he's willing to do anything to protect her and make her feel safe. It's really heartbreaking to see how he can't do that at home because his father is the one with the autority and he's awfully afraid of him.

I can truly understand why he is the way he is, - too closed off, doesn't believe in happy endings, always ready to fight - he doesn't know anything else. All his life is about surviving; if he lets his guard down, he's fucked.

He's an abuse and rape survivor, he was forced into marriage and became a father as a teenager against his own will...and he still have strength to fight.

I adore Mickey - all flaws included - because he's human.
Because he's been through hell and he's come back stronger than ever, because he's funny, lovely, thoughtful, humble...and because he's had the most incredible character development I've seen in ages.

I adore that tiny human being because he's got the biggest heart.


Here comes the part that I was dying to write and I'm really excited to share with whoever reads this; his sexuality and other aspects of his love-life.

Let's start by saying that I think Mickey is gay and always knew he was. I know there's some kind of stigma around the Shameless fandom that says that “Mickey denied his sexuality” and “he didn't want to admit he was gay”/”he was in denial”, and honestly? I feel like that's so far away from the truth.

I don't know where that idea comes from, but for me, it's so obvious that he did know he was gay, he simply couldn't afford to be out. He never denied his sexuality to himself or Ian, he was always comfortable with being who he was as long as he was safe, aka as long as his father or someone close to him didn't know. It's not about “denying” his sexuality, it's about caring about his safety. Living in denial and living in fear are very different.

If you've seen the show, you understand why he was afraid of coming out, and it had nothing to do with him accepting himself. If you haven't, allow me to explain the situation to you:

As I already wrote, Mickey's father is not a piece of cake. He's a deeply homophobic man that uses slurs such as “faggot” to let the world know how he feels about members of the LGBT community. He would have killed him if he knew his son was gay (he almost did, twice), so I think it's pretty reasonable to be scared of coming out if your life is at high risk.

That reason alone is enough to stay closeted to me, but since I'm writing this shit like my life depends on it, I'm going to expand it a little more; there are two things that bug me:

  • Why is not having a big come out a reason to be “in denial”?
  • Why do people forget that Ian was closeted himself?

First of all, it isn’t anyone else’s business what Mickey's or anyone's sexuality is. He didn't have to tell people to prove he was gay, he didn't have to scream at the top of his lungs just so everybody could sleep tight at night.

Yes, he was trying to hide his sexuality because, I repeat, he was fucking terrified of his father's reaction. But even if he didn't, if he had a decent human being as a father, he owes no shit to anybody, his sexuality is his, not the world's, so I don't get how that's being in denial.

As for my second question, I've seen that people tend to forget things when it comes to Ian, but don't worry, here I am to remind you all that he didn't come out either. In fact, Mickey did officially come out at some point (kinda forced by Ian, but I'll write about that in the next entry), but Ian never did.

Again, I don't think he had to, his sexuality doesn't concern anyone else, but why wasn't Ian “in denial” then? Because he came out to Fiona in a safe environment? Because he was shagging Cash and then Lip found out by accident and Ian was like 'well...I'm gay'? He was always safe. His family loved him no matter what (like any family should) and outside of that, people either found out or assumed. Nobody cared.

Things for Mickey were different, he didn't have that safe choice and that doesn't mean he denied that part of himself. Both of them were proud of who they were and they knew they were gay, the only difference is their surroundings.
After the incident, (in case you don't want to watch the scene, Mickey's father caught him with Ian and proceed to beat them up. Then he pays a prostitute to rape his son and makes Ian watch it.) there's a scene where Ian tells Mickey that “he loves him and he's gay” and Mickey kicks him in the face – one of his many fucked up decisions – but I don't think he does that because he's trying to deny his sexuality, he just lived a traumatic situation and he doesn't need the reminder of the fact that he can't be himself if he wants to stay alive. He doesn't want to say it out loud because he doesn't feel safe and he wants himself and Ian to be safe and sound.

I don't want to assume but I feel like the problem here is that we all are so used to closeted people being portrayed the same way on screen – always because they don't want to admit they're gay – that some of you project that understanding of it on Mickey, and sometimes it can be about safety more than about self-acceptance.

Let's be honest, would Mickey be extremely flirty from minute one with Ian if he was in denial? Would he make so many gay innuendos with that so characteristic smirk? Would he be so proud of being a bottom? Y'all know the answer: he wouldn't.

The only thing he wasn't sure about, in my opinion, was his feelings for Ian. That's the only thing he ever denied and I cannot wait to keep writing because I've got some explaining to do.

This is not actually about his sexuality anymore and it has more to do with his “romantic” feelings, but I think it fits best here than in any other part of this analysis: I think Mickey Milkovich is on the aro-spectrum and he is demiromantic.

What? Why? What's that? Who? W h a t?

Aromanticism is an spectrum of identity and I'm going to try to explain it the best I can while I also explain why I think that about Mickey. I'm not an expert, please bear with me.

Since aromanticism and romanticism are opposites, I feel like the best way to explain one another is comparing them.

A romantic person is someone who experiences romantic attraction, while an aromantic person does not. That might sound pretty obvious to everybody, but I'm going to narrow it down a bit more since there are a few myths and misunderstandings around this concept.

Let's start by clarifying that someone aromantic is able to love; they simply don't experience a self-gratifying need to participate in a romantic relationship. What does that mean? Well, it means that they can definitely be in a relationship, they're capable of wanting to be around a person/caring for that person and loving that person, but romantic attraction is not something they experience. They can feel love as deeply as any other human being though.

Not all aromantic-spectrum people are asexuals.
Asexuals don't experience sexual attraction, it has nothing to do with the romantic one. Someone can be both aromantic and asexual, but they also can be aromantic and experience sexual attraction, there's no correlation between those two.

That also leads me to another myth: aromantics don't like physical affection, that's a lie, kind of. Like everyone else, it varies. Some people are very physically affectionate, some aren't. Those who feel comfortable with it sometimes link affectionate touch to an emotional bond, or maybe are happy to show affection with anyone they're friendly with.

Last but not least (sorry for this long explanation), please remember that you're not mentally ill, commitment phobic or anything like that just because you don't feel what the world calls “romantic love”. All of that judgment is based on society's twisted ideas about romance, love and relationships.

Anyway, back to business, why do I think of Mickey as demiromantic?

Demiromantic: a type of grey-romantic who only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. Demiromantics do not experience primary romantic attraction, but they are capable of secondary romantic attraction.

After that definition, I think there's not too much to say, I think he fits perfectly with that identification. He's the typical example of a demiromantic person, and I know the show never made it canon or even mentioned it, but I will forever think this way.

Maybe some people don't see as clear as I do and they think that while that literally describes Mickey, he's like that because of his life experiences – abusive home, no love whatsoever – and not because he's on the aro-spectrum.

Well, it is true that all that's been going on with his life since he was a kid have impacted him and his personality – he's got trust issues because of how people have always treated him, he's closed off because people never stay, etc – but that doesn't mean that he can't be genuinely demiromantic.

He loves and cares for people, a lot, actually, but being romantic is not instinctive to him. It's like he struggles to understand what romantic love is even when he's with Ian and he definitely loves him.

That reminds me that he's actually an affectionate person. He might seem distant and cold, but when it comes to the people he cares about – basically Mandy and Ian – he would do anything for them and he shows them that side of him.

Almost at the same time that he starts sharing that more “vulnerable” side with Ian, he also starts developing an emotional bond with him that makes him feel like he might want to show romantic affection or participate in that part of the relationship.

That is very very interesting to me because we had the pleasure to see how Mickey explores how he feels with that kind of stuff and how he was able to discover it all on his own terms. It was an amazing journey of self-discovery and I couldn't have loved it more as a viewer.

I also love the fact that he shares that journey with Ian, slowly giving him what he wants but he didn't have to sacrifice who he was in this discovery process, and there's nothing more wonderful than that.

I'd like to put one of my favourite scenes as a example of his development; remember that first time they had sex and Ian went for a kiss and Mickey said “kiss me and I'll cut your fucking tongue out”?

Kissing is, without a doubt, THE romantic gesture everywhere. And in that specific scene, we can truly appreciate their differences as a romantic person and a demiromantic one: while Ian goes for it spontaneously, Mickey is like ????? the fuck is going on here.

It is true that part of that reaction was because he's got this distant “persona” that I mentioned before and he doesn't do intimate things, but also because he doesn't understand that romantic desire. It's not spontaneous or common for him.

Now that we're on the topic of kissing, I find it quite interesting how he's actually the one who initiates the kisses in their relationship, that way he's in control of his experimentation because he's setting the pace and exploring what he likes and feels comfortable with, and what he doesn't.

Their first kiss is innocent and nothing like the crazy make-out sessions we usually see on the show, which makes it a million times more intimate and special (at least to me). It's so special because that's completely new to Mickey, maybe (probably?) his first real kiss, and he does it in such a sweet shy way.

Something as normal as kissing is a big deal for him and it's a way of letting his guard down and admitting not only to Ian, but to himself that 'hey, maybe I want to try this romantic shit with you even though I don't truly understand it'.

Through the course of the seasons, we can see how Mickey starts enjoying kissing and other “romantic” gestures more as he gets closer to Ian and that bond strengthens. He has/had sex with strangers but he doesn't enjoy any kind of intimacy from them because he is not close to them. That's the difference with Ian and one of the many reasons why I think he's demiromantic.

I'd also like to mention that kissing is not the only affection Mickey gives Ian; he hugs him, he comforts him, he caresses his cheeks...he takes care of him because he loves him very much a lot and feels comfortable and even desires it. That'd be the secondary romantic attraction.

Again, I know the show hasn't said anything and obviously, they'll never do. And I also know that some of Mickey's behaviour – being close, kissing - is part of the things that are socioculturally tagged as romantic, but I genuinely think he represents a demiromantic person.

I gotta say sorry again because I know this is extremely long but there's no way I could have written it shorter. He's a really complex character and I wanted to analyse him the best I could.

If you've read it all, congratulations and thank you.
Let me know what you think/if you agree with me, pretty please.

Next part will be about his relationship with Ian, hopefully up next Monday!
Not as long as this one, I promise. Almost, though.

Have a nice week!!!

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