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Shameless: Season 1 (2011)

William H. Macy , Emmy Rossum  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (401 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Joan Cusack
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Showtime
  • DVD Release Date: December 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 595 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (401 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041KKZKA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,619 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shameless: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In one of the making-of featurettes accompanying this two-disc set of all 12 episodes from the first season of the Showtime series Shameless, a member of the creative team reports that in adapting the show from the British version that preceded it, the producers and writers were determined to depict "real Americans." They succeeded admirably--assuming, of course, that one's idea of "real" includes a family headed by an unemployed single father who spends his waking hours blind drunk or hung over and the other ones passed out, scams the government out of money to buy more booze, and blames his six kids for his problems while contributing absolutely nothing of substance to their welfare, while the kids in question support themselves by lying, stealing, cheating, and other dubious activity. That doesn't mean Shameless isn't well written and well acted, beautifully produced, consistently entertaining, and often very amusing--it is. On the other hand, The Waltons it ain't. But "real"? Not so much.

The estimable William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, the drunken paterfamilias and all-around loser. While he may have a shred of a conscience in there somewhere (as one character says of him, "Deep down, I think Frank is capable of doing the right thing"), far more often than not it's his children (one of whom turns out not to be Frank's after all) who keep this family afloat. That's especially true of the oldest and most responsible, daughter Fiona (the excellent Emmy Rossum), who acts as de facto mom while balancing a complicated love life (the two main men in her world are a car thief and the cop who wants to nail him), and Lip (Jeremy Allen White), a smart and enterprising teen who makes money taking tests and writing papers for other students but also looks out for his younger siblings, who include Ian (Cameron Monaghan), Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), Debbie (Emma Kenney), and Liam (an infant played by twins), all of whom have issues of their own. These (and various others in the sizable cast) are the folks who, we're told, put the "fun" in dysfunctional, and along with a steady dose of raunch (nudity, sexuality, and profanity all flow as freely as the liquor at Frank's favorite bar) and serious issues such as school bullying, cancer, suicide, prison, and Ian's burgeoning homosexuality, Shameless does have a darkly comedic sensibility. Perhaps most striking is that the kids, against all odds, are generally far more mature and sensible than the grownups, who also include Frank's agoraphobic girlfriend Sheila (Joan Cusack), her very snarky husband, Ian's older lover (who happens to have a wife and children), and various others of questionable character. Indeed, it's the younger Gallaghers, not Frank, who are the most dedicated to keeping the family together, and the grit, determination, and guile they use to do that are Shameless's heart and soul. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Meet Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy): proud, working-class patriarch to a motley brood of six smart, spirited and independent kids who, without him, would be... better off. In Frank's booze-addled view, parenting just eats into his hard-earned bar-crawling and carousing time around Chicago -- so he leaves it to eldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) to hold down the fort. Bearing the de facto parent badge/burden, she's donned the proverbial apron and makes sure her younger siblings do their chores, keep a clean(ish) home and feed the kitty -- the Gallagher family fund jar -- because the gas bill is due, and everyone (no matter how small) works to keep the house lights on, as well as food on the table. Brothers Lip , Ian and Carl use their intellect to break every rule in the book to survive and make the bank, while younger sister Debbie would sooner steal her share. The Gallaghers are irreverent, endearing, resilient -- and they're absolutely, wildly and unapologetically Shameless.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 96 people found the following review helpful
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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92 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best comedy-dramas you may never see. March 28, 2007
By Mike G.
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). There is good reason why this show is called "Shameless".
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I winced, I got teary eyed. 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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Any extras? Any episodes different than on Showtime?
I am wondering when Shameless Season 2 will become available on Amazon. This is the only way that I was able to watch it, I refuse to order Showtime for just one good show that I actually enjoy. Same with FX, and HBO. I am hoping someone out here will know. Thanks.
Feb 24, 2012 by april beecher |  See all 2 posts
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