Television - Other

A Comparison of the British and us Versions of Shameless



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Shameless has been an outstanding success in the UK for a number of years now and the US version of the British show has now been aired on British TV.  There are many similarities in the two shows, but there are also a number of differences.  Here is a comparative summary of the two shows. 

Firstly, the similarities.  The characters are the same in both versions of the show.  The US version of the show has given the characters the same names as the characters in the British version of the show.  The characters also have the same personalities and play the same roles within the family.  For example, the father is called Frank and has a drink problem and is a poor excuse for a father and the eldest daughter is called Fiona and takes on the role of mother to her younger siblings in both versions of Shameless. 

Another similarity as that the storyline is almost the same in the original British version as it is in the US adaptation of the show.  They are both based on a family being raised by their drunken father because their mother has left, although the oldest sister actually does most of the parenting.  In both versions of Shameless, the family are living by whatever means are possible which sometimes brings them close to the wrong side of the law.

There are both dramatic and comedy elements in both series.  The scenes are often graphic with drugs, criminal behaviour and scenes of a sexual nature and the language that is used can be strong.  It could possibly be considered that the US version is of a slightly more graphic nature than the early series of its UK counterpart, but later series of Shameless in the UK have become equally as graphic.

The main difference between the shows is the way that it has been filmed to fit the audience that will be watching it.  The UK show is based around the family’s lives living on a Manchester council estate, whereas the US version shows the family living in a run down detached house on the edge of an American city.  Similarly, UK Shameless shows Frank’s local drinking venue to be a typical, British, city pub, whilst in the US, Frank drinks at a typical, city bar.  The language used differs between the two shows and takes into account local dialects and slang terms that would be used in the two countries.

Overall, the shows are very similar in nature following the same storylines and including the same characters.  The main differences are the adaptations made to suit the audiences that are watching the shows.  

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