Premieres Thursday, 5 July at 11pm ET/PT
Also on Channel 4’s site
As usual, America is behind the curve. Three years behind the curve to be exact. In 2004, Paul Abbot (“Touching Evil” / “State of Play”) created a series called “Shameless,” which was Channel 4’s longest-running drama. Its cast includes James McAvoy, David Threlfall (“Hot Fuzz”) and Anne-Marie Duff (“The Magdelene Sisters”). The premise centers on a family living in a public housing project in Manchester, England. With a mother’s who has vanished and a father who is often three sheets to the wind, the Gallagher kids – all six of them – have to fend for themselves. To put it plainly, it is one very messed up family dynamic. Kids are smoking, drinking, having sex, stealing cars and cursing up a storm. It is not only hysterical, but also surprisingly dramatic. They have to create a home for themselves, with the eldest sister (Duff as Fiona) at the helm playing Mama Bear. Her boyfriend (McAvoy as Steve) closes episode four with the voice-over: “…people’s good imaginations get bored when nothing much happens.” A lot does happen in this show though. It moves fast and furious with absurdist comedy, like a British “Arrested Development” and can also move you to tears. The entire cast is spot-on. While each episode can’t quite feature the entire company, every player has a strong through-line, each as addictive as the next. I actually found myself pacing out the episodes to prolong its ending. The first season is also available here in the states on BBC Video, so if you are as impatient as me, there’s no need to wait. I immediately updated my MySpace TV favorites after finishing it off. Seriously, this is the show to watch. UK or US, it’s one of the best shows on television.