Friday, 8 July 2011
Episode three of Shameless U.S. Aunt Ginger, makes its most bold leap away from the British original yet.
Frank comes under scrutiny when a government official suspects him of cashing in social security cheques that don’t belong to him but to his 93 year old (dead) Aunt. An amusing sequence of events follow as Frank, and inevitably the whole family, attempt to find an old lady to impersonate her.
Possibly due to the fact that the show’s original creator, Paul Abbott, is on-board as executive producer, this entire plot was in keeping with the type of scenario that is typical of the U.K. Shameless, whilst being completely fresh and new.
As mentioned in my initial review of episode one, the appeal for a British audience of watching an American remake of a much loved and successful show can’t really steam much further beyond satisfying a simple curiosity. However, whether this was a deliberate aim towards attracting British viewers or not (I doubt it was), ingesting this series with sharp new angles will undoubtedly offer a broader appeal for audiences. Watching a like-for-like show, just with different faces, only serves to make the production vulnerable to negative comparisons to the U.K. version. It is easier for viewers to become frustrated with what the show isn’t rather than noticing what the show is. This brave shift away from the regimented reproduction of the original gives Shamelss U.S. a more solid texture and identity.
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Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Episode two of Shameless US continues to follow the same storyline as its British counterpart. Frank Gallagher (William H Macy) goes missing… “yeah but he goes missing all the time” come the retorts, but today is disability allowance day, therefore his disappearance is actually taken seriously, he never misses it.
After a lot of worry Frank eventually turns up in Canada (it was France in the UK version). The change in location is handled well. Surprisingly the script is still almost a carbon copy of the UK Shameless, proving just how solid the writing of the original show actually is and its ability to transcend across cultures whilst retaining a solid impact. One scene in particular demonstrates this between Frank and his youngest daughter Debbie (Emma Kenny). Despite Frank’s alcoholism and inaptitude as a parent, he is the apple of Debbie's eye, and when she asks him if he took any pictures of Canada (Frank was in a police cell) he tells her he now knows “every inch”. The scene is just as touching as the UK original.
As a whole the ensemble cast of Shameless US is really coming into its own. They are all finding their feet as individual characters whilst effectively proving to be a solid family who truly care for one another.
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