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Now, take a deep breath in because I have been told before that I can get a little controversial on this topic. We are all aware that America has a tendency to notice when us Brits have a hit in the ratings, and they take our little gem of a television show that was perfect the way it was, strip it of our wonderful humour, remove anything that toes "sensitive" issues and Americanise the characters into perfect stereotypes and boom! You are left with a dull, generic plot that is like everything else in the US market (I'm looking at you Skins US, The IT Crowd and Fawltey Towers). There, of course, have been triumphs such as The Office which has become a success in it's own right. So whenever I hear they're making an adaptation, it piques my interest and I'll have a nose at it. That wasn't strictly true with Shameless US.
Controversy Number 1: I cannot stand Shameless UK.
I admire it's success, don't get me wrong. I tried my hardest with it, I really did, but it never grabbed me. In it's initial series the premise was great. The cast is filled with wonderful actors, I just loathe all the characters equally. This is the desired effect, to a certain degree. However, probably not to the point where I just cannot bare to watch it. So why would I bother watching the US version? I hear you ask. I was at home, hungover as as anything, and the boxset was on Virgin Anytime.
Controversy Number 2: I love Shameless US
All your basics of the plot are the same; you have your dead beat dad Frank Gallagher (Macy) who is so blind drunk, that the responsibility of raising the younger children falls on the shoulders of Fiona (Rossum). They're scrounging to get enough money to last the month, with all the siblings participating in their own way. So why did I fall in love with this series, when it starts out the same? The US series has 12 episodes, where as the UK is in a smaller series. This means they can develop a plot line with a little more depth, and you can get attactched to characters a little quicker. The kids, do have their downfalls in their attributes, yet they're all essentially good. Lip (White) is still looking for fights, but he is the most intelligant kid around and makes money by taking his peers tests for them. This new dimension the character makes him more rounded.
It is Americanised, it is similar. I have watched both series' now and cannot wait till January when the third series airs in America. So eager, I probably won't be able to wait and watch it when it gets round to airing on More 4. If you're a fan of the UK version, I recommend going into viewing it with an open mind. Do not be ready to shut it down immediately because it's American. You will be familiar with most of the plot arcs in the first few episodes, but it's different enough to not me bored.
I highly recommend giving it a go, at least. It grabbed me from the opening sequence! I'll be interested to know your opinions if you do go on to watch it after reading this!
And now, take another breath in. It wasn't too controversial, right? :)