Shameless (US): Season 3
Available from January 14 until July 13, 2013 on Rogers On Demand and RogersAnyplaceTV.com.
Season Three will hopefully see this American remake deviate further from the original UK series, which has proven near impossible to translate Stateside with veracity.
Lost in translation across the Atlantic is the humour, fundamentally, but what emerges in the softer, gentrified Chicago version is a sentimentality and kind-heartedness that you don’t often find in the original Manchester series. (Monica’s behaviour is even excused in the US version by sympathetically painting her as bipolar.)
The American retelling is well on its way to finding its own voice, hopefully veering off further with Season Three into fresh territory that will soon distinguish it from the original, in the spirit of such successful US adaptations as Queer as Folk and The Office.
This more upmarket and beautified American retelling benefits hugely from having powerhouse Emmy Rossum in the pivotal role of household head Fiona, a character that ceased to exist in the original series after two seasons (along with boyfriend Steve/Jimmy).
As the UK series goes into its 11th and final season this year, Fiona and Jimmy’s relationship continues to take centre stage in Chicago, breaking totally with Manchester. Jimmy moves into the Gallagher household and takes control of all the cooking, cleaning and nannying, losing much of his bad-boy Steve-ness in the process. (Fiona is not impressed.)
Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman on The West Wing) turns up as a well-dressed, sophisticated and powerful gay character this coming season, while Lip is sentenced to community service and Frank goes missing for 137 days. No big deal, says Fiona. “When I was nine he was gone for a year. He always comes back.”
In Season One, Frank woke up one morning to find himself in Canada. In Season Three, Frank wakes up in Mexico (having missed Christmas entirely and most of Easter). What’s the betting he’ll wake up in Manchester in the series finale? In the meantime, here’s hoping for a greater parting of the ways between Manchester and Chicago in Season Three.
Catch up with Seasons One and Two at Rogers On Demand (Channel 100) until mid-March, 2013.
Broadcast premiere: Monday January 14 at 9pm
Channel: The Movie Network
On Demand until: until July 13