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It’s Shameless how good British TV is!

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I had mentioned that James McAvoy had me ‘at hello’.

The first time I consciously saw him on screen was in the UK version of Shameless.

This comedy-drama follows a group of siblings, living on a council estate in Manchester, who are basically abandoned by their parents, and develop mechanisms to survive.

Frank Gallagher (David Threlfall), an intelligent but wasteful alcoholic and his large, dysfunctional family, struggle to make ends meet by coming up with schemes.

The series is now in its 9th season, however it has fallen victim to the curse of actors who move on to bigger and better things.

This is the case with James McAvoy, who plays the role of Steve, a middle-class guy from a good family who falls in love with Fiona (Ann-Marie Duff), the oldest sibling of the Gallagher Family.

I especially recommend the first two seasons, after that characters leave the show and by season 4 the focus shifts when new characters are introduced.

There’s something beautiful about the relationship between Steve and Fiona, and when they leave the series suffers.

Nothing is ever as it seems with the Gallagher’s, and the twists and turns in the plot keep you glued to the screen.

I dare you  not to fall in love with the Gallagher Family!

Despite their illegal activities and inappropriate behaviour, you find yourself rooting for the siblings.

This series is a strange twist on the concept of family and drawing strength from those closest to you.

There’s a US version of the show.

I haven’t seen it, but I hear it doesn’t hold a candle to the UK equivalent.

You can watch entire episodes on YT.

About AgzyM

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons". A fangirl through and through, anglophile, and admirer of beauty whereever I can find it. I love books and art, and spend too much time admiring Richard Armitage and other amazing British actors.

25 responses »

  1. It is a very funny show (and totally “shameless” indeed). I tried watching the US version but didn’t get into it. There is a genuine kind of sweetness in how those kids stick together through it all.

    Reply
    • I think it depends which version you watch first. I generally find the UK, meaning the original, to be better. That was also the case with Being Human.
      The Gallagher’s are so lovable and although I’ve seen 8 seasons, I miss the energy from s.1 and 2. It’s still good later, but in a different way.

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      • It’s just the first few seasons that I have seen-maybe the first four. I love the original Being Human and haven’t been able to get into the US version, either. I didn’t even try watching the US version of Skins.

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        • I really do wonder why American TV execs feel the need to make a US version of so many every successful British TV series? It must be a cultural thing? I started to watch the American version of “The Office” once but I gave up after 5 minutes. Just didn’t work for me. It was too weird. And I quite like Steve Carrell.

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          • Actually The US Office is the exception to the rule. I love the UK version and I felt like the first episodes of the US version were cheating. Once I got past that though, the writiers/producers move the story into a different direction. Season 2 and 3 of US Office are my ‘go to’ when I’m having a bad day🙂
            I sugest you go through the first episodes of season 1 with an open mind. It gets so much better later.

  2. Isn’t Anne-Marie Duff James’s wife in RL? I haven’t seen Shameless. Just finished watching Blackpool, which was my very first look at David Tennant (thanks @trinalin for the recommendation!).Never thought I’d say this but he was very sexy in it and I loved his Scottish accent!🙂 Loved the first 2 seasons of Skins (British version). I started watching it because I loved Nicholas Hoult so much in About a Boy. I love British TV too! And I’m rambling. Sorry!

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    • Yes, I believe they met on set oif Shameless. Its funny you should mention Blackpool as I noticed you mention it on Twitter and decided to watch it yesterday. Unfortunately it turned out episode 1 and 2 doesn’t hve any sound😦 Figured it’s best to start at that beginning, so it’ll have to wait.
      David Tennant always rated pretty high on my sexy-o-meter, although I’ve only seen him in a handful of stuff.
      Haven’t seen Skins, although I remember there was some big hoopla over the US version.
      It’s funny because I think the Brits are a lot braver when it comes to TV shows. By the time they create a US version they cut out the swearing, nudity etc. You’d think that the US versions would be more daring, but they always end up being more prude (unless it’s HBO).

      Reply
      • Actually I almost gave up on Blackpool after the first 30 mins or so. It was just too..odd. But then DT made his entrée and it got so much better afterwards. I did put up with all the singing and dancing all the way through the 6 episodes, but sometimes was tempted to fast-forward through those scenes..

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        • If there’s Scottish accents, dancing and singing, then audio in much needed I see🙂 Will have to dig up the first episodes and give it a go again!

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          • The Scottish accent comes from Tennant alone, but it’s not too thick and is quite pleasant to listen to. Though I must admit I did have to do quite a bit of rewinding in some of his scenes as there were no subtitles..I did struggle to understand him at times. I laughed when the other main character called him “Braveheart” (seems like this is a common ‘insult’ from the English to Scottish people), and also “Mary Queen of Scots”.

        • Viva Blackpool!! Turned me onto DT, love that show & been there too, it’s very apt cause its very telling🙂

          Reply
      • Yes in the US the swearing and nudity seems to be a bigger worry than say, violent murder scenes, shooting etc.. For me it’s the other way around. I have a much higher tolerance for nudity/swearing than for violence. If it’s not too gratuitous.

        Reply
        • That’s the point though. US versions are afraid of nudity, swearing, drinking, smoking. Violence? Not so much. I’m a huge fan of the US, I lived in NY for a while, have a lot of American friends. The one thing I just never got was the aspect of guns in their culture. In Europe regular people don’t have access to guns, don’t keep them in their houses. It’s baffling to me that owning a gun would be constitutional right of a citizen.

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          • I suppose for us Europeans it’s quite hard to understand and accept that aspect of the US culture..I’m glad we have stricter gun control regulations here in Hungary.

          • I think a lot of it goes back to the whole pioneer spirit and the days of the old west–it’s a different mindset here in the US in regards to “the right to bear arms.” We have a large number of hunters as well (although that is something Benny and I have no interest in, a number of our friends and acquaintances do).

            I will say right off that we do own several guns. which we’ve used for varmints (rattlesnakes) and target practice. But we are also very responsible gun owners–and therein lies the rub. And I see absolutely no reason anyone outside of the miilitary needs to have a semi-automatic machine gun type weapon. I just don’t.

          • Let it be known not everyone owns a gun in the US, I’ve lived here 24 years and the only guns I’ve seen are hunting rifles hanging on the wall at my father-in-law (which intimidated me too & yes each year before closing up the summer home they would be locked away, ammo would of course be locked away, those riffles were never loaded btw) Also I know plenty of parents who will also make a point of not buying toy guns for their kids. I just had to keep my ground recently with my 9yr old. The bigger concern which I wouldn’t have to think about in Europe is how other parents handle and store/own guns😦 most injuries/ deaths are accidental.

          • These accidental deaths are tragic. The main question is: yes, it’s your constitutional right as an American to own a gun, but will you actually ever use it, even in self-defence? I had this conversation with someone who had a gun permit.
            The answer was no.
            I can’t stand toy guns and I’m against hunting. If you want to go primal with nature, get a bow and arrow and see how that goes for you in the battle of man vs. wildlife.
            There’s just no reason why an average Joe living anywhere in the world would need a gun of any kind.

          • OK, I am going to have to disagree just a bit here. We are “average Joes” who ldo not live in a large urban area as many of you do.

            We iive in a rural area. An area in which there are deadly snakes, coyotes and other predatory animals. When three very large rattlesnakes showed up in our yard this summer was my husband expected to shoot them with a bow and arrow? That would be a little silly, don’t you think?😉

            I agree that many people who have guns are at risk because they do not know how to properly use them and in the event of a break-in, the perpetrator could very well turn the weapon on the person being victimized.

            As an instructor at a firearms safety class I covered for the paper said, “Don’t have a weapon if you don’t know how to properly use it. And if you use it, be aware of the possible consequences. You could take someone’s life. You have to be prepared for that eventuality.” It is definitely a tremendous responsibility.

            No, everyone in the US doesn’t have a gun or need or want a gun. Which is great. Honestly, I am not into violence. But the reality is that some people in our area actually feed their families from the venison they obtain by going deer hunting. Times are tought and you do what you have to do to keep food on the table. The reality is the deer population does need to be culled or it will damage crops necessary to the farmers’ survival. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I grew up on a farm, but I have a different perspective on this than many of you seem to have.

            Now, let me stress. I don’t hunt, I don’t have any desire to hunt. But I won’t condemn all people who do, either. I do have take issue with those who are irresponsibie, who handle their weapons carelessly, who drink and shoot, (alcohol and weapons were NEVER meant to mix)who disobey the laws and regulations regarding hunting. I believe in gun control. I wouldn’t buy my child a toy gun either (although I did give my nephews Nerf blasters once).

            But I also wouldn’t tell my perfectly competent, intelligent husband who desires to protect me and our dogs from venomous snakes not to shoot them. You may not have had a father spend a week in the hospital after a rattlesnake bite. But I did.

            OK, off my soap box now.😉

          • Exactly! Besides, ignoring the ethical debate, Self defense is not necessarily easy to prove in court.

          • profanity in US English is nowhere near as creative or appealing, it just isn’t🙂 Thank god for HBO, though other US channels have gone over with nudity where it becomes gratuitous and shallow ultimately it’s about the script.

  3. Pewnie już wiesz ze mam słabość do wszystkiego co angielskie, pewnie dlatego ze nigdy nie odwiedzałam Anglii w celach zarobkowych.;)

    Reply
  4. OK, I don’t know WHAT happened to my earlier response LOL but let me condense it down.

    As I have said, I do not hunt, nor does my husband. We are very peaceful individuals. But keep in mind we live in a very rural area, not an urban area as many of you do. That means predatory animals. He has my hearty permission to shoot rattlesnakes or coyotes or any other creature that threatens us or our pets. Ever had your dad spend a week in the hospital after being bitten by a rattler? I have.

    As for hunting, people who hunt solely for trophies to hang on their walls, who mix alcohol with weapons, who disobey the rules and regulations–yes, I take issue with them. I despise that sort of behavior, frankly.

    BUT I also knew of a number of families here who rely on venison to keep their family fed. I cannot condemn them for that. Also the deer population does need to be culled to keep crops from being destroyed. Those are simply facts of which more affluent urbanites might not know.

    I believe sometimes that you need to walk a mile in other people’s shoes to understand their reality. It’s not quite so black and white. And no, I am NOT a paid spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.😉 Just presenting an alternative view.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Richard and the Armitage Crew (when do I get my crew tattoo?) | I Want to be a Pin Up

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