TV Backtalk: “Shameless” Explodes Onto U.S. Television

Right away, I know I’m gonna get flack from my HUGE (hold the laughter n’ eye roll) British readership fan base for the publication of this statement, but I am LOVING Showcase‘s newest and greatest endeavor: “Shameless“. Quick plot summary: family of 6 kids livin’ in the white equivalent of the projects survive their day-to-day by working, stealing and tricking their way through bills and troubles alongside their chronically and epically drunken absent father. Based on the 7 season run-away hit in the UK of the same name and premise, this series is yet another in a long line of US attempts to mimic and hopefully one-up their imperial brothers on the other side of the Atlantic. Like “Queer as Folk” and “The Office“, “Shameless” is the Americanized version of a UK classic with our accent and location… and, like the others, it’s being met with some resistance.

Okay, admittedly, I’m not drawing the aforementioned “fact” from polled blogging sites or news articles, rather from cute friends of mine who are British and tried both out for themselves but to me that’s a lot more meaningful than a cover story by Wolf Blitzer 😉 SO, being of fair mind I decided to give the em’ equal opportunity, and (lord, I’m gonna hear it from my Nottingham friends for this) I’m sorry, but the Yanks got this one right. Both stories are identical in their plot lines (save for location) but there is a wholly disparate tone in these mirrored works. The UK decided to spin theirs with a humorous and playful tone while the US- though mixing in hints of laughter-deserving moments- definitely took the darker spin on this one. And, I loves me some dark humor!

Let’s start with the talent: the leading “antagonist” is actually the father, played wonderfully by the infamous William H. Macy. While I’m worried he’s going to take on a “lovable drunk” role, I personally don’t much allow for abusive characters in life or TV to be seen as anything but that: harming and cruel. Still, he plays his character with such ferocity as a fallen flawed father (triple F 😉 that you are drawn to him as he takes the screen, stumbling and all. The real star of this puppy though is Emmy Rossum from Mystic River and other smaller roles. Though you likely be coming into this with any “fav Emmy quotations” you will recognize this beauty and fall in love with her as she takes up the role of surrogate mother to the kids being the older sibling among em’. She’s sexy, dirty and swears like a sailor on top of being the momma bear to the kids… make sure to take special note of her emotional explosions during the trailer below as they’re reason enough to watch this show.

Building on a great premise (thank you UK), “Shameless” follows- among other things- an online porn star, a gay teen coming into his own (and his own is a bit of a slut ;), a sad daughter who loves her dad no matter how much he fucks up and a family that remains strangely normal despite incredible odds stacked against em’. Showcase has begun to really come into its own with some stellar programming these days: “Dexter”, “Californication”, “Weeds”, and “Shameless” I think is gonna be another one for the awesome pile.

Enjoy the trailer and get to watching this show! As of this post you’re only 2 episodes behind!

  • Calan

    WHAT!? I don’t think anything can beat the original. It’s the accents that make it SO epic. I have every season of the original and it’s such an awesome show.

  • HarryR

    Ian, the gay teen, is atypical of gay teen characters. Not at all apologetic nor ashamed, he is who he is and if that is a problem then it is your problem not his. He’s a gay teen to be proud of.

  • john jonston

    Good series — not sure about the Canada-bashing, though. Pretty tasteless on the part of the writers. [happened in the episode when Frank is kidnapped & dumped off in Toronto by Steve.] Otherwise, good, sexy, witty dialogue an interesting repartee. Cheers, all.

  • HarryR

    Let’s see, we’ve found out that Ian is a top, though his latest hookup is on the down low, which he seems to have a real starry eyed (cross eyed?) crush for.

  • HarryR

    Shameless is Showtime’s most successful debut series, consequently has been renewed for a 2nd season of 12 episodes. Oh yea, Ian definitely is a top.

  • Tammy

    When I try to view the video trailer, it comes up saying ‘Private”. Huh?