I have never watched the British version of this show so I cannot comment on the original. I was under the impression it was a new Showtime story. I have to admit that started watching because I have always been a fan of William H Macy. However, viewing Macy in this kind of role was startling . I had always seen him in more conventional-almost typecast - parts. I knew that Joan Cusak was a quality actress which lent the project some further credibility. At first the show seemed to be almost forced. The plot seemed bizarre, and unbelievable. It seemed awkward. Its quite common for shows to take time to develop chemistry when the actors haven't defined their characters yet. The same can be said for the writers. However, I had never seen anything like it. In that regard it was dynamic and worth the time. The young actors soon found their roles and by the 5th episode I found myself thinking about the show every day. Now I cant stop watching. Im addicted. The actors are fantastic. The plots are far more developed. The supporting players play a big part in the series, and new characters keep rotating in flawlessly. The show has evolved . And just for the record, Im getting really sick and tired of people trashing the show because in their minds it doesn't measure up to the original. Its not supposed to be the original. If you don't like it, stick with the British show.
I've grown up with the original Shameless. It's a fast paced Comedy-Drama like no other, in that it lends itself perfectly to both without apology or hesitation.Whereas the British original finds it's characters living, fornicating, screaming and jumping in the revelry of zero-expectation in a rigid class system, the American remake masterfully equivocates the triumphs and the tribulations of a lower class family existing on the edge of acceptability at the heart of society in a flawless, delicate and shameless manner.The pilot introduces the characters, much like their British counterparts, not in an effort to garner their sympathy but simply as a statement of fact. The aspiring teen marine struggling to hide his homosexuality only fears losing the love of his brother, the absent drunk dad who loves his children but through the haze becomes a heckling prophet - a Shakespearean fool who sees through the thin veil of sanity and order, a young woman struggling to keep the family together seeing a way out through a handsome highwayman. These people are not bad even if they do bad things. Society has forgot about them and for that they couldn't care less for it.The whole cast is tremendous but William H. Macy rises to the occasion with the father, a Frank Gallagher straight out of a bar in Memphis at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday, last orders, don't interrupt him because he hasn't finished yet, he's got to tell you what's wrong with the world before he wakes up and it all ends. You would believe this guy was a war vet or something with the confidence and delirium at which he pontificates.No matter what your race or background you can take something away from Shameless. Most television that likes to call itself Comedy, Drama, or both, tends towards a particular demographic, offering an escape fantasy for, say, the 'off-beat' teens in Glee or the sexually deviant young adults in True Blood or the repressed housewives in that show about the repressed housewives.As the designated guardian's new boyfriend takes a seat at the head of the table, he pushes Frank's legs aside as he crashes drunk on the floor. Shameless doesn't escape anything, it lives in the world it is given and every so often reminds you, during those joyously chaotic scenes, that the sweetest lemonade is almost bitter, so it's just as well every episode is only an hour for you to laugh, cry and enjoy.Moments of anarchic jubilation inter lap, run over and sometimes juxtapose flourishes of near-the-bone reality, served eloquently on a fresh platter to which America needs to to have the stomach for.
I was halfway through the American series before I even KNEW there was a British series. I think a was a little disappointed that we didn't create it, but I was also happy that it was one of the few shows that we copied without ruining it. When I checked some of the user reviews, I was surprised to see how many thought the show to be appalling. OK, not everyone will share my love for the show, but to rate it SO badly? But when I looked, the author of nearly every bad review was a fan of the original show. This simply sounds like a case of liking what you know. "I don't care how good their cooking is. It ain't as good as my Mom's!"Once I finished the American series, I gave it about a month to settle in and then started watching the British series. But I'd like to think that I was objective enough to judge it on its on merits, and not simply that it's different than what I'm used to.Since, as many have pointed out, the script is nearly word-for-word identical, the difference lies mainly in how the actors portray the characters.So I'm going to give my character-by-character head-to-head appraisal of UK vs. US. I'm going to use the character names rather than the actors' names for simplicity. Starting from the youngest...Little Debbie: UK wins this one hands down. No contest. She steals every scene she's in. Who can not fall in love with this girl???Carl: This one's close, but the UK one is (at least in the first season) a little more deranged and fun to watch.Ian: Another close one, but this goes to UK, too. US Ian is somber and good looking, but UK Ian always seems a bit panicky, and the wide-angle closeups of his face make him look pretty bizarre. Lip: This is solidly with the US. I like US Lip's darkness. He seems more responsible and intelligent. UK Lip is just kind of impish and unsure. You can depend on US Lip and he offers some of the only real family support to Fiona.Kevin: Dead heat.Veronica: Very different performances by each, but in the end, I like them the same.Fiona: This was a difficult one to call, but I'm giving it to the US. And this is probably because I saw them first. I just like her better. Hard to put my finger on the reason.Frank: Sorry, UK, but I just don't like your Frank. I understand the character is usually drunk, but he seems that way even before he starts drinking. He seems clinically stupid. US Frank (Macy) is equally as obnoxious, entitled, selfish and deluded, but he only seems drunk when he's drunk. At other times, his pontificating is fun to listen to. You feel good about hating the guy, because he's like this by choice. With UK Frank, you have to pity him. I feel like I'm laughing at someone who's mentally challenged.
Note: I have not seen the UK version.I wasn't sure what to make of the first episode of Shameless. I wasn't sold on the characters and the direction seemed directionless. In fact, it wasn't until the third ep that my eyes were opened. It's as if the actors have found their mark and the characters have come to life. While the ensemble cast is solid, and Macy is at his irascible best, it is the performance of three of the actors which makes Shameless something special. Emmy Rossum, as the 'adult' glue that holds the family together, has rightly received the most press. Her role requires a combination of strength, resolve, humour and vulnerability - qualities that would thwart a lesser actress. Rossum is able to convincingly bring it all together with fire and sexuality in addition to her other qualities. Equally effective in his role as the younger brother Lip, Jeremy Allen White brings a world-weary innocence to his character. Blessed with a malleable physiognomy, White is at once rascal and protector of the brood. White makes us want to know Lip better. That's rare.In a smaller role but probably my favourite is Emma Kenney as little sister Debbie. Her deadpan wisecracks supply the laugh-out-loud moments while her heartbreaking scenes of longing for parental love bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened soul. She can act toe-to-toe with Macy and still steal the scene.The rest of the cast is almost as good. Their performances would be wasted, however, without a tight script and fluid - but not frenetic - direction. The third episode brought all these pieces together in a fascinating show. Whether the writing and direction can sustain this level of quality over a season we don't know. What we do have for now is some of the best ensemble acting you will see on TV or on film.
I used to love this show but the last few seasons just keep getting progressively worse.. I am literally forcing myself to sit through episodes now.. This whole Fiona storyline happened in season 4. It's been played out already and now they are just recycling bad storylines. And now since Ian left they are randomly making other family members gay? Lip used to be this genius who could outsmart everyone and scam the system and it's like the writers have forgotten that the last couple seasons. Like you can be a recovering addict and still be smart and cunning.. It's just not good anymore and I have no idea how it got renewed for another season. The acting is still incredible but the writing is horrible.
I've loved Shameless ever since Season 1 and I'm going to miss it when it's finally over but it's probably time for it to end! While still worth watching, it just hasn't been as good without Emmy Rossum! Shameless has been such a great show for so long so it's hard to say goodbye...I'm going to miss it!
I've followed the original version in the UK since it started and it's still going strong (to correct an earlier reviewer it wasn't aired on the BBC, it's a Channel Four series). I therefore approached this with apprehension. To take a loved UK program and set it in the US has a history of failures but I liked the look of the trailer and gave it a go. I have to admit that throughout the first episode I was constantly thinking 'oh she's not as good as so and so' or 'I much prefer David to William'. However there was a lot packed into that episode and the script was pretty good. Come episode two I was hooked and to honest much prefer this version.It has cleverly achieved what the UK version has in taking a subject and a group of characters that most people should loathe and turned them into a lovable group, all beautifully portrayed. Real, rounded, believable characters and so many of them too. Many people will have been turned off this by the trailer and thought it's not for them which is a shame. It really is extremely well written with great pace and some superb performances. I love Emmy Rossum and her portrayal of Fiona is astounding. I agree that William H Macy's Frank is more likable since he isn't always drunk and Joan Cusack is perfect as Sheila (I found the UK Sheila quite annoying).We are only up to episode 7 of the US series here in the UK and its top of my weekly viewing. Great to see they are making a second series in the US and in fact given they have plenty of material to use, since we are up to Series 8 here in the UK, I hope it has the same longevity.
I like many am an avid fan of shameless since it kicked off many years ago. I was never into comedy/drama's but this show changed that perspective within the first season. It took nearly 4 months to bring myself to watch season 9 due to the poor ratings and season 8 being abit plants aswell. The Irishman? What a bore, along with the whole gay thing, you just say to yourself, MOVE ON ALREADY! season 9 is how most are saying. Average at best. I only watched it as I was stuck for things to watch. There's maybe 2 good episodes. Needs alot of spice to get it back the how brilliant it used to be
I don't leave reviews very often but I had to for this show. I have not seen the UK version and don't really care to because this show is just top notch. I had never heard of this show since I work overseas but ended up catching the 5th episode and absolutely loved it. I told all of the guys in the fire station about it and ever since we have had to catch up on all of the previous episodes. Everyone in the department loves this show and that is a hard thing to do. All of the characters are just great and have so many flaws. William H. Macy does an awesome job as the dysfunctional father. I gave it the highest review I think a show can receive because I don't think there is a perfect show, but this comes darn close. I definitely recommend this show.