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Shameless: Season 1

595 customer reviews

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Product Description

Shameless: The Complete First Season (BBC/DVD)

Meet the Gallaghers. Mum went AWOL years ago, Dad stayed at home with the six children only to hit the bottle ... and sometimes the kids... Blisteringly funny, offbeat drama following the rollercoaster lives and loves of an anarchic family from Manchester. The real head of the family is big sister Fiona, who looks after Carl, Debbie and baby Liam. She is occasionally helped, more often hindered, by streetwise 'Lip' and the actively gay, but very private, Ian. Welcome to the hectic world of sexual adventures, triumphs, love, scams and a fair bit of crime on a rough Manchester housing estate, where wheel-less cars are the norm and the moving ones are stolen.


This "top (effen) notch" BBC series is set in a Manchester, England, public-housing project where the Gallagher clan gets by with a little help from their friends and each other. They certainly can't count on Frank (David Threfall), their on-the-dole dad, whose time around the house is mostly spent drunkenly passed out on the floor. Mom abandoned them years before. That leaves Fiona (Anne-Marie Duff), the eldest daughter, to be surrogate parent and help make the best of their hardscrabble lives in a place that, Frank observes, will never be mistaken for the Garden of Eden. The seven episodes that comprise the first series are a riot of family dysfunction. Cheeky oldest brother Lip (Jody Latham) discovers his younger sibling, Ian (Gerard Kearns), is gay and is having an affair with the local Muslin grocer. He enlists his girlfriend, Karen (Rebecca Atkinson), to initiate Ian (to no avail). Karen's agoraphobic mother, Sheila (Maggie O'Neill) is married to a religious fanatic, who abandons them after he discovers his daughter's sinful ways, opening the door for Frank to move in (and juggle clandestine affairs with both mother and daughter). Meanwhile, Fiona meets Steve (James McAvoy), a nice guy and prosperous car salesman (too bad the cars are stolen).

Lending the Gallaghers a hand is neighbor Veronica (Maxine Peake), fiercely loyal and protective and a ferocious force of nature. One of her sidelights is ironing topless for the benefit of horny Internet viewers. Frank says it best when he asks at one point, "Is anyone around here normal?" Written by Paul Abbott, Shameless has the same gritty setting and generous spirit as Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet. Prodigious use of the F-word and some fleeting full-frontal nudity notwithstanding, Shameless, would feel at home on American basic cable. The optional subtitles are recommended to make better sense of the thick accents and slang. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

Biographies: Meet the Cast Interviews: An Interview with Creator Paul Abbott Biographies: Meet the Cast Interviews: An Interview with Creator Paul Abbott Biographies: Meet the Cast Interviews: An Interview with Creator Paul Abbott Biographies: Meet the Cast Interviews: An Interview with Creator Paul Abbott

Product Details

  • Actors: James McAvoy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 342 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (595 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MGBM1S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,744 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shameless: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Few things make me more nervous than when someone has the bright idea to adapt one of my favorite British TV programs into an American version. For every successful translation ("The Office"), there are dozens of failed attempts ("Coupling"). So when I heard that Showtime was preparing to drop "Shameless" with William H. Macy, Joan Cusack, and Emmy Rossum--I got very very scared. Not because of the cast, but because, to me, "Shameless" is a quintessentially British show. The original version is an absolutely lunatic bit of brilliance that has all the elements to be a crashing disaster and yet balances them so adeptly, so audaciously, and so precisely. Instead of pushing into nightmarishly precious, overwrought, and quirky territory--somehow the show succeeds spectacularly. Don't get me wrong--the show is precious and overwrought and quirky--but every bit of it is in a good way.

So how did Paul Abbott do in formatting his original creation for an American audience? I'd say that it's a qualified success. If you've never seen the original program (and let's face it, most people won't have), this incarnation of "Shameless" is likely to seem strikingly different from most American domestic comedy with its unabashed embracing of lawlessness and anarchy. Adhering to the British original, but expanding subplots or introducing them earlier as there are more first season episodes, the version sticks fairly true to the initial plotting. In the first few episodes, the show seems on incessant overdrive slapping you in the face with its over-the-top antics. As such, in my opinion, it lacks a bit of heart, subtlety, and precise comic balancing of the original. Despite its unruliness, the original made you care about its characters from the jump.
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98 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Mike G. on March 28, 2007
Format: DVD
Brilliant, "comedy-drama". Because of the differences between British humor and American humor an American audiences will find more drama than comedy. Yes, we do "get" irony; however, it tends to make us smile rather than laugh out loud.

This series contains some of the best, most powerful scripts I've ever seen written for broadcast television. Yet, I expect this very R-rated series to be heavily criticized for coarse language, for themes of sex, scenes of drunkenness, and under-age smoking. Nevertheless, this series is one of the most family-positive series you'll ever see.

Imagine the picture perfect family, the very embodiment of "family values". Then one day somebody in the family snaps and is revealed to be involved in criminal activity, or infidelity, or substance abuse or darker more sinister assaults on the body and mind of other family members. In short, this imaginary picture-perfect family is dysfunctional.

Now, envision the opposite, a family with all the trappings of being dysfunctional. The father is unemployed and alcoholic, the children thieve, smoke and swear. One child has to keep his head shaved because he's so prone to nits, and there is no mother in the home because she's taken the family van and run away. Yet, this family is supportive, loving, caring and more honest than the Brady Bunch ever was.

There are no skeletons in the Gallagher family closet. They are very much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get group. Sometimes funny sometimes surreal and unlikely the goings on in this family are often moving and always entraining. While not promoting "family values" this is a very family positive series (but not for the whole family: R-rated I said).
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By FemFoison on April 26, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this DVD without having seen or heard anything about the series, and I was more than pleasantly surprised. It was thoughtful, funny, and generous, even while maintaining a gritty realism. Whenever an episode or storyline started to drift into the ridiculous or melodramatic it was quickly intercepted by a brutal but honest (and hopeful) reality. And even when their characters were at their most unlikable, the actors brought to them a warmth and passion that kept you involved. (In my opinion episode six is one of TVs best examples of the diversity of emotion that can be explored in under an hour.)

Basic plot: Single father Frank Gallagher [David Threlfall], whose wife disappeared about three years ago, lives (sometimes) on a council estate in Manchester (England) with his six children (Fiona, Lip, Ian, Carl, Debbie, and Liam), aged 20-3, respectively. Other central characters include the children's neighbors, a young couple named Kevin and Veronica, and Fiona's well-to-do boyfriend Steve [James McAvoy]. Together they deal with relationships, poverty, abandonment, their father's alcoholism, debt collectors, and the local police. It's not an easy life, but the family is determined to enjoy it whenever and however they can. There *is* some violence (fist fights), nudity, drinking, lots of swearing, and even one extremely inappropriate, even illegal, sexual relationship, but it is addressed and responded to reasonably (though definitely not in the PBS-broadcast sort of way). The younger children/characters really seem to peak in the second half of the season, as they become more integral to the plot. Their additional screen time is well-deserved, as they are all exceptionally talented actors.

As for the DVD itself, it is, of course, Season 1.
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Shameless Season Two?
You can buy seasons 1-5 from Amazon UK for $46 including shipping. Get a region-free DVD player for $50, and it's still a lot cheaper than waiting for and buying the separate seasons if they are ever released stateside.
Dec 18, 2008 by Michael Daily |  See all 8 posts
Mixing up the UK and US versions Be the first to reply
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