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Welcome To The Chatsworth Estate
Shameless - Series 1 (DVD)
Member Name: MollyWH
Shameless - Series 1 (DVD)
Advantages: Great storylines, great characters, well written
Disadvantages: Not suitable for anyone under 15
I came across Shameless for the first time about a month ago. Of course, I had heard about it before then but I had never actually watched an episode. After catching the end of an episode on channel four during a night shift, I decided I actually quite liked it and had a look on eBay to see how much I could find Series One for. After finding Series One on DVD for £4.69 including postage, I decided to buy it.
Shameless Series One was released on DVD back in January 2005 and includes episodes 1-7 from the first series of this fantastic programme.
The series of Shameless is set on the Chatsworth Estate in Manchester and follows the lives of the Gallagher family. You get to learn about each member of the Gallagher family and follow them during their everyday life.
Each episode of Shameless starts with Frank Gallagher (the 'head' of the family' introducing his family and the Chatsworth Estate.
'Now, nobody's saying the Chatsworth Estate is the Garden of Eden, at least, I don't think they are but it's been a good home to us, to me, Frank Gallagher, and me kids, who I'm proud of, cos every single one of them reminds me a little of me. They can all think for themselves, which they've me to thank for.
There's Fiona, whose a big help, a massive help. Lip, who's a bit of a gobshite, which is why nobody calls him Philip anymore. Ian, a lot like his mam, which is handy for the others cos she's disappeared into thin air. Carl, we don't let him grow his hair for two reasons, 1, it stands on end and makes him look like Toyah, and 2, nits love it. Debbie - sent by God, total angel. You've to check your change but she'll go miles out of her way to do you a favour. Plus Liam! Gonna be a Star! Once we've got the fits under control. Then there's Steve, Fiona's boyfriend. The truth is out there... not!
Fantastic neighbours - Kev and Veronica. Lend you anything, well not anything. But all of them, to a man, know first and foremost, one of the most vital necessities in this life, they know how to throw a party!! He he he. Scatter!'
As Frank makes the introductions, we are shown the various characters on the screen and shown a little bit of the Chatsworth Estate. As I already mentioned, this introduction marks the beginning of every episode and really gives the viewer an idea of the Gallagher family and the way they live their lives.
Frank Gallagher (David Threlfall)
Frank is the Dad of the family, if he can really be called that. He is 42 and an alcoholic. He thinks that the world owes him a favour because his wife walked out on him and left him to 'bring up' 6 kids alone. When, in reality, he spends his entire day getting drunk and leaving the eldest of his children, Fiona to do the parenting.
Frank is extremely scruffy, unshaven and has long hair. He always wears the same clothes and is generally just a total mess. He has some of the best one liners throughout the series and although he sounds like quite a disgusting character, he is also quite lovable at the same time.
Fiona (Anne-Marie Duff)
Fiona is 20 which makes her the eldest of the 6 children. She is fiery and knows how to look after herself. She is also fiercely protective of her family, especially her younger brothers and sisters as she has pretty much been left to bring them up herself with Frank always being drunk. She's intelligent and very caring and dreams of getting a better life for herself and her family. I really like the character of Fiona as although she seems quite tough, she is also still very young and has a lot to deal with for someone of her age.
Lip (Jody Latham)
Lip is 16 although fairly mature for his age. His dream is to get out of the Chatsworth Estate and this means that he takes school quite seriously. It also helps that he is intelligent so he does quite well at school. Lip is obsessed with girls and its his mission to lose his virginity. Lip is quite close to his younger brother Ian and is also very protective of the rest of his family. Lip and Frank often clash because of Frank being drunk and Lip is coming to an age where he can stand up to his father more.
Ian (Gerard Kearns)
Ian is 15 and homosexual, although he doesn't want anyone to know this because he knows he would be ridiculed on the Chatsworth Estate. Ian is very similar to his Mum and is quite loyal towards her as he believes that she didn't really leave them. Ian is quite a sensitive character and is less mouthy than the rest of the Gallagher family.
Carl (Elliott Tittensor)
I don't think this character gets enough play in this series but you do get to know that he is a bit of a trouble maker and pretty mouthy! Him and Debbie are quite close in age and are always trying to get one up on each other.
Debbie (Rebecca Ryan)
Debbie is 9 years old but is already old beyond her years. Frank adores Debbie and the feeling is mutual, she is always trying to help out Frank and forever defending him against her brothers and sister. Debbie is quite devious, especially considering she is only 9 years old and the rest of the family often rely on her to help out with their little scams, purely because nobody ever suspects Debbie of doing any wrong because she looks so innocent.
Liam (Joseph Furnace)
Liam is the youngest of the Gallagher clan at only three years old. Liam isn't really a massive character in series one, purely because he is so young. He tends to have lots of little tantrum and has picked up various hand gestures from his older brothers which he loves to use!
Steve (James McAvoy)
We are introduced to Steve in the first episode of Shameless when he helps out Fiona. Eventually Steve and Fiona become a couple, although Steve is very different to the Gallagher family. Steve comes from a middle class background and actually trained to become a doctor just like his Mum and Dad. Steve rebelled against his middle class life and now steals cars for a living. Steve is totally devoted to Fiona and slots into the trials and tribulations of the Gallagher family brilliantly.
Kev (Dean Lennox Kelly)
Kev lives next door but one to the Gallagher family (although the house in the middle is empty, so they class themselves as neighbours). Kev has been in a relationship with his partner Veronica for 9 years. Kev is a decent bloke, although he has never learned to read or write so struggles with some things. He works in the local pub and is great friends with the Gallagher family, normally getting roped into their dodgy little scams that they have going on!
Veronica (Maxine Peake)
Veronica is Kev's partner and is best friends with Fiona. Veronica is a lot of fun and again, is very protective of the Gallagher family as well as her partner Kev. Kev and Veronica have some debts and they come up with a unique was of paying them off - they install a webcam and Veronica does the housework naked and people pay to watch! Veronica is always on and to help out with the situations that the Gallagher family get themselves involved in.
Sheila (Maggie O'Neill)
Shelia is agoraphobic and hasn't left her house in 5 years. Her husband leave hers at the beginning of the series and eventually Frank moves in with her and they become a couple. Shelia is a total nutter which is probably due to the fact that she takes a cocktail of tablets to control her condition. Shelia also enjoys S&M and there are some hilarious scenes involving her and Frank.
Karen (Rebecca Atkinson)
Karen is Sheila's 15 year old daughter and is known across the Chatsworth Estate as being quite sexually experienced, especially considering she is only 15. She knows that she is pretty and will use her body to get anything she wants. At the beginning of the series, she has a brief relationship with Lip, until it all goes horribly wrong.
The first episode is where you meet the Gallagher family and learn about all their little quirks. This is the episode in which we first meet Steve who sweeps Fiona off her feet, although Fiona is suspicious of him as she cant see why someone of his class would want to be involved in the mess that is the Gallagher family. Also in this episode, Lip finds out what Ian's secret is, he's gay!
In this episode, Frank as per usual, is down the pub and finds himself getting attacked. The Gallagher family realise the Frank hasn't arrived home, which is odd considering it is a Friday, Giro Day and Frank never misses that! His family become worried and then an announcement is made that a body has been found in the local canal. Could it be Frank? A search is organised for Frank and the culprit of the escapade is someone very close to the Gallagher family. Also in this episode we are introduced to Sheila who seems to take a liking to Frank.
This episode is mainly focused on Kev and Veronica. Kev finds himself getting some unwanted attention from a woman in the pub and decides to tell her that he is getting married to Veronica to make her go away. However, Frank overhears this and before long, everyone seems to know that Kev and Veronica are getting married. Everyone except Veronica that is!
Veronica's mom comes into town with £5, 000 to help pay for the wedding. Kev now has to admit to his little secret which means that he and Veronica are unable to get married. To keep the money for the wedding, they end up planning a fake one.
In the episode, Debbie kidnaps a child because she thought he looked sad. What follows of a massive police search for the kidnapper and the missing child. Can the Gallagher family get the child returned to his family without everyone realising exactly what Debbie has done? This episode shows exactly how well the Gallagher family work together.
While Frank is teaching Shelia's daughter how to drive, it becomes apparent that she has other things in mind! But when you consider that Frank is dating Shelia and Karen is dating Frank's son Lip, surely the end result isn't going to be a happy one?! Ian also finds himself in trouble as Ian and the local shop owner are caught having sex on CCTV - by his wife and the mother of his children. Is Ian's secret out?
This episode sees the Gallagher family receiving hundreds of bills. It would appear that all their debts have caught up with them. But how?
We also see the brief return of Frank's ex wife, Monica, the mother of the Gallagher children. We discover that she is now a lesbian and has been with her partner ever since she left Frank. Frank tries to get money out of Monica, claiming that he needs more money to help with their children.
The last episode in season one sees bailiffs coming after Frank. With nothing else to do and the whole family being terrorised by bailiffs, Monica's partner tells Frank a good idea to get them off his back, to fake his own death. So a fake funeral is put under way and of course followed by a party back at the pub. But does this get the bailiffs of their backs, and will Frank be able to fake his own death in his drunken state?
On the second DVD disc, you will find an interview with the writer of Shameless, Paul Abbot. Watching the interview gives you a brilliant insight into the series and you get to see a bit of behind the scenes action. You also get to meet some of the other actors involved in the filming.
I have to admit, I am totally addicted to this show and can't believe that it has been around for 3 years and I have not discovered it until now. Although some of the plots can be a little far fetched, they actually work as the cast portray each characters in some a way that you cant help falling in love with the Gallagher family. Some of the conversations that take place throughout this series, literally has me laughing out loud. I think this is an excellently written series and well worth watching.
The DVD is on two discs and was written by Paul Abbott, produced by Emma Burge and directed by Johnny Campbell, Mark Mylod and Derbhla Walsh. It is rated as a 15.
As I already mentioned, I bought this DVD on eBay where prices vary but I have found them to be fairly cheap on eBay and Amazon.
Total Viewing Time 5 hrs 42 mins.
Summary: Welcome To The Chatsworth Estate