Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Shameless (US)

Winter bites. Colds and flu during short, cold days and stormy weekends can be somewhat tamed by wrapping up warm, drinking fresh coffee and making endless pots of vegetable soup. Thanks to Fatso, we are also working our way through various tv series marathon-style and our weekends are starting to resemble those of content, hibernating bears.

We have become hooked on the US version of Shameless this year. I understand that the original UK version is excellent, too. We are now halfway through series 3 and hanging out for the next DVD to arrive.

So what is Shameless about? It's hard to describe; 'dysfunctional family' doesn't really cut it as this family of six, held together by older sister and reluctant matriarch Fiona, is doing its best to survive the constant fallout of having an alcoholic father and largely absent bipolar mother. The Gallaghers live in a working class suburb of Chicago's South Side and range in age from Fiona to their toddler brother. Each day is an adventure - or more likely a series of mishaps to navigate.

The characters and their relationships are really well developed, each with their quirks and vulnerabilities but somehow all fitting together in the show. There's nothing cheesy about this big family living together but there are plenty of dodgy goings-on and eyebrow-raising moments to keep you interested. Joan Cussack's portrayal of agoraphobic Sheila is a particularly standout performance that provides much entertainment.

There are few jaw-dropping moments in tv these days but plenty to be had towards the end of series 2. Shameless is excellent entertainment.

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