Monday, January 10, 2011

Shameful if you don't catch Shameless

If you want to try something fun culturally, if you really have enjoyed infrequent blog at all and trust me, you will watch the new series on Showtime called Shameless back to back with an episode of Parenthood. Shameless is the new series (maybe just a pilot right now, but I'm betting it gets picked up, because it's the best new TV since Nurse Jackie) starring William H. Macy, who is, by the one way, the one thing on the show I could without. I love Parenthood. It makes me cry. It's slick. It's Hollywood. It's Berkeley. It's covered elsewhere on this blog. Shameless makes me laugh and the pilot kept me on the edge of my seat.

It's a show about a very LARGE family without a mom and and an alcoholic, absent father (Macy). It's utter chaos, a sort of Eight is Enough for the Great Recession. It's a remake from the British series. Interestingly, it premiered the same night Episodes premiered on Showtime, which is about the bastardization of a British series that's Americanized (like they did to the Office, but you can't say the American version is bad. It's not). I suppose the British version of Shameless is better--that's often the case, at first. Has anyone seen it?

The characters are just introduced in the pilot, and the story revolves around two siblings, the oldest sister, age unclear, but probably 20 or so, who is trying to keep it altogether, for this crumbling family. (All the kids are involved in crime in one way or another. You even wonder about the toddler.)

And it's also about the gay character, Ian, and his next older brother Lip (short for Philip). Ian is the best written young gay character I've seen on TV in. . . forever. This isn't Curt from Glee. This is a tough cookie, ROTC, who works in a Muslim grocery store and is having an affair with the hot, much older, much married owner. There's some great scenes where Lip discovers he's gay and first tries to convert him, then tries to understand, then finally accepts. Nice arc, and all in sixty minutes, unlike real life, where that shit can take sixty years in some families, truth be told.

I haven't posted in a while. If you'll accept these shorter posts, I'll try for more often. You can do me a favor and watch Shameless so we can talk about it. And pass this on to your friends, or better yet, post it on your Facebook.


Avi Jacobson said...

Thanks for this, Mark. I really ADORE Parenthood, and I've just added Shameless to our TiVO queue. I'll let you know!

Jeff Osteen said...

Loved first episode of Shameless (and enjoyed Episodes as well). So much for trying not to take on too much new "must watch" TV for the New Year.