Shameless US premiere (spoilers)

Anyone else catch the Shameless premiere? A new series on Showtime starring William Macy as an alcoholic father with a highly dysfunctional family.

I really enjoyed this. I love the older daughter acting as Mom, the crazy neighbors, the relationship between the two brothers. I didn’t quite get the deal with the tutor girl’s father randomly leaving with clown paraphernalia. And although it was an interesting twist, I’m not sure how I feel about the rich boyfriend being a car thief. The washer with roses inside was a nice touch though. I also liked the gay son story line, with the gay porn hidden inside straight porn, and the secret affair with the older man.

Looking on wiki it seems this is a remake of a UK series. Anyone seen that? How does it compare?

The first couple of series of Shameless in the UK, helmed (and often scripted) by Paul Abbot, the programme’s creator, were superb. They were hard-hitting, never cheaply sentimental and grounded firmly in a reality which Abbot knew from his own childhood.

Since then, Abbot has given up any direct involvement in the scripting, all the best actors have left (starting with the magnificent Anne Marie Duff as Fiona), and the series has become a travesty of its former self. The eighth UK series starts here tonight, and I dare say it’ll still pull in reasonable ratings, but it’s depressing to see how far it’s fallen from its remarkable beginnings.

The pilot is bascially a shot for shot remake of the original series. It remains to be seen how much Showtime will differ from the original scripts. Nice to see that they aren’t shying away from content. All time I watched Reba I never dreamed I’d get to see Steve Howey in that position. :smiley:

I’m a big fan of the UK original, so I was excited about this remake. As alphaboi867 said, the first episode is a shot-for-shot remake. Even the character names are the same. (The only difference I saw was that Liam’s parentage was not an issue in the original.) So I’m hopeful that show is good.

Always nice to see good looking young guys nekkid (Justin Chatwin’s Steve specifically).

I was glad to see a teenaged boy not happily accept his brother’s homosexuality at first- far more believable.

It’s going to take some wonderfully good writing to make Frank at all likable. I wanted to abandon him on an ice flow in the premiere for the pressure he puts on Fiona and his other kids. Is his counterpart likable in the British version?

Joan Cusack and Joel Murray are down for several episodes on imdb. I’m wondering how Lip is every going to be allowed in their house again.

Yes, Frank is likable in the UK original. Sometimes. As I remember, though it’s usually in contrast to other, less likable characters. (For example, one episode featured his father, and he was less likable than Frank.)

Yep lots of pretty bodies on display. :smiley: I don’t know why but I was actually caught off guard by the Fiona boobage and neighbor full frontal. Ian’s reaction to that was well acted.

In parts he seemed amiable enough, just pathetic. It was only in a few parts where we caught a glimpse of something meaner.

Macy is great but he was almost waster here. The episode seemed to really focus on the kids a lot more. Although I doubt this will continue, I kind of which it did. I like the father being a secondary figure, essential to the premise, but not a wholly active agent.

The Mother seemed fairly clueless. She didn’t seem to entirely understand what had happened, and even if she did, she might not really care, given that she was offering the kids cocktails.

I was considering re-watching the UK series, but I guess I’ll just check out the US version.

I still watch the UK series but it’s more like a “can’t turn it off soap opera” now. It was indeed fantastic in the beginning.

I saw it and enjoyed it quite a bit. And Fiona is smokin’ hot.

I saw William Macy interviewed about the show, and he sounded kind of mystified by it, like he doesn’t quite grasp why anyone would produce a show about such a family or why anyone would watch it.

The kid who plays the gay brother looked so familiar I had to imdb him and then went :smack: of course!

He’s the kid from Dewey’s Special Ed class on Malcolm in the Middle who always had to wear mittens and a sign (BITES or NO SUDDEN MOVES or something similar- it changed from episode to episode). He spent the night with Dewey in one of the more disaster laden episodes.

Lip was already back in the house boarding up the broken window.

I was a big fan of the UK series until the end of the third series. It was all downhill from there, sadly.

Yes it was definitely an interesting take on drama, as the people depicted are on the absolute bottom rung of society and as far as TV is concerned don’t exist (these people are below Roseanne and Al Bundy for crying out loud). I haven’t seen the US version but I’ll be interested to hear if it roughly follows the same course as the original, or whether the writers feel able to break out.

I see they’ve picked a better looking Ian for the US version, the UK one minged.

True. I should have said “how’s he going to get back in once the dad cools down”- the mother’s obviously a nutter as evidenced by the fact she offered him booze and she’s played by Joan Cusack.

Spoilers from Showtime:

Sheila (Joan Cusack) is an agoraphobic who hasn’t left her house in a long time. She’s going to become the love interest of Frank.

Certainly a lower rung than usually dealt with, but there are several rungs to go before you hit absolute bottom.

In the UK they’re meant to be the lowest rung whilst actually being in society (I don’t think the homeless count, personally).

I don’t know much about the social welfare in the UK - except what I see on Shameless - but the family’s situation doesn’t seem very far fetched.

In the US version, the family’s financial and housing situation does seem far-fetched. Is it like that for anyone else? Or am I just totally ignorant?

I actually think what throws me off is white people living in the projects. Yes, I KNOW people of all colors live in the projects in America. But my only exposure to THAT is The Wire - where everyone was black. “Projects” and “Estates” seem like different cultures to me, yet they are synonymous in the Shameless universe.

Are they in the projects? I always think of the projects as being like a large apartment complex- they’re in a freestanding house with w/d connections. I’ve known people who lived much worse- pretty much any downscale trailer park will have families that would be glad to trade places with them.

No, they are in a poor neighborhood that looks a lot like the town I grew up in. Single family homes that haven’t been kept up very well. The kind of place that would house blue collar industrial workers, but all the local industries closed years ago.

In the UK original, they live in council housing (i.e., public housing). I think the Showtime version also has them in public housing, as that’s what the guy in the arena mentioned about Fiona.

I’m wondering whether they would have been better off if they hadn’t so closely followed the plot of the UK original. Like how old is Ian supposed to be? Is he underage for his relationship with Kash? Is that going to be a problem for American viewers?

I think I read somewhere that the show does start to diverge from the original after a few episodes.

I gathered that the two boys (Ian and Lip) are about 15 and 16. I’m wondering how old Fiona is supposed to be, because in Frank’s drunken rambling to Steve he said something about his wife walking out on a 14 year old girl who’d just had an appendectomy, but Fiona’s way too old for that and the other girl is way too young for that ASSUMING that Frank was telling it right. Or perhaps she’d walked out before, then came back for a while and had Liam and left again.

On the British series Queer as Folk the relationship between two of the lead gay male characters begin when one is 29 and the other is 15. In the U.S. version (which was also done by Showtime) this is changed to 29 and 18. However, QaF had graphic sex scenes, so it’s possible they’re willing to go with a younger character so long as the sex is off-camera.

Does the mother ever become a character in the British series?

Yes, she does.