Shameless -- comparing U.K./U.S. pilot episodes

I just watched the pilot episodes of the U.S. and U.K. versions of Shameless. I have seen no other episodes of either series, so I’m requesting that any plot developments be spoiler-boxed.

My initial reaction is that I see a lot of potential for this show. However, something which is very strange for someone like me who is addicted to U.K. TV shows and movies – I prefer the U.S. version by a lot more.

I was trying to puzzle out why I preferred it to the original, and I came up with some factors.

  1. The U.S. version features some of my favourite character actors, such as William H. Macy, Joan Cusack, and Joel Murray.

  2. Overall, the U.S. cast has much better acting chops than the U.K. cast – especially evident in the Lip/Ian scenes in the pilot episode (which was almost shot-for-shot identical to the orginal). The American Lip and Ian are played by much much better actors than the British ones.

  3. The U.S. version has Marguerite Moreau and Shanola Hampton, who are about 500 percent more gorgeous than any woman who has appeared on television in the past 15 years.

  4. I just don’t buy James McAvoy at all. He looks like a skinny little adolescent punk. And he’s ugly as sin.

  5. I have developed an unfortunate prejudice against Manchester accents, probably from my exposure to Karl Pilkington and Lunch Monkeys. Every time I hear someone speak with that voice, I just want to kick them in the head. Other North of England accents don’t strike me that way at all. I’m fine with Liverpool, Geordie, and Yorkshire accents, for example.