Monday, January 10, 2011

Episodes and Shameless

Last night was a big night for Showtime. Not only was it the premiere of the fourth season of "Californication," but the channel also premiered two brand new shows: "Episodes" and "Shameless." I'm not quite sure how "Episodes" will fare. The show follows the writers of a famed British television series who move to LA on the premis a big shot producer wants to make an American version of their show. But, surprise surprise, it turns out Hollywood isn't all it's cracked upt to be. The couple finds out that their huge rental mansion (provided by the studio) was previously owned by The Bachelor contestants and that the big shot producer has never even seen their show. The epsiode begins at the end (of somewhere) with the couple breaking up because the husband has been caught "wanking" a presumably more attractive woman. Yawn. Oh, and Matthew LeBlanc also stars.

30 minutes after the start of this seemingly predictable show aired "Shameless." Here you can find cliches and horribly corny lines, but something new and edgy...for American television. The show is, ironically, a remake of a British tv show of the same name, which is still on air and in its seventh season. In this American version, William H Macy plays the alcoholic, good-for-nothing father of five children. His oldest daughter, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has to step up and play mother, father, breadwinner, and babysitter. Macy makes most of his appearances in the pilot passed out on the floor, while the episode favors Fiona. She finds herself an unlikely beau who isn't scared off by her nutso family, while two of her brothers confide in one another about their sexual exploits. Though the children must work at incomprehensibly young ages and have little respect or love for their father (almost as much as it seems he does for them), the show toes the line between totally bleak and depressing, and upbeat and funny. If Fiona's relationship with Steve doesn't make me barf first then I'll definitely keep watching.

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