Shameless - Showtime’s Newest Gulity Pleasure
by Annie Vinton
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ShamelessPremieres Sunday, January 9, 2011
My Take: One more reason to subscribe to Showtime
Shameless, Showtime’s latest guilty pleasure, is an adaptation of the BAFTA award-winning British drama television from Paul Abbott, with the same name. Producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing, Southland, Third Watch, Far From Heaven and Showtime’s American Crime) chooses Chicago’s West Side Homan Square neighborhood as the perfect backdrop to this twisted dramedy about a highly dysfunctional or functional family – depending on how you look at it – with patriarch Frank Gallagher, played by William H. Macy.
Macy is billed as the star of the show and although he doesn’t spend much time on the screen, his presence is very much felt by the actions and decisions of his five children, ranging from toddler to teens. Emmy Rossum steals the show as Fiona, the oldest of the Gallagher brood. The matriarch of the family is absent and Fiona is left to juggle the head of the household responsibilities, some dead end jobs, her boyfriend Steve and stepping over her boozed-up father on a regular basis. She’s shrewd and appears to be naïve, but perception is not always reality.
Shameless is not for the light of heart as there are some very adult scenarios and struggles thrust into the lives of teens – homosexuality, poverty, drugs and crime. The writing coupled with superb direction is about as raw and intimate as you can get with brilliant twists and turns that will either leave you laughing, gasping or shaking your head.
So, if by the end of the weekend, you’re ready to escape your own family, pull up a front row seat to the Gallaghers…but I promise, you’ll go running back to yours.
Annie Vinton Annie Vinton is a freelance writer and film critic living in NYC. You can read more about her and her writing at her blog here.
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