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January 09, 2012  | by: Ethan Feldstein

The cast of Shameless season 2

It’s common these days for British television shows to find their way to the U.S. This was done with “The Office,” “Skins,” and now “Shameless,” whose second season debut was last night on Showtime.

The British version began in 2004 and is up to its ninth series. After watching the first seasons of both shows, it’s easy to see that the American version is a scene for scene remake.

Both programs focus on Frank Gallagher, a jobless alcoholic whose 6 children are raised by his by eldest daughter, Fiona. They live in poverty, but the kids help each other to make ends meet, where their father and absentee mother don’t. The shows are both original, wildly entertaining, and have no boundaries. They are the elite in comedy/drama television.

As an American, I prefer the American version because it’s easier to understand (the thick Manchester accents makes the British one tough to follow). William H. Macy stands out from the rest in the American show as Frank with his drunken behavior and comedic delivery. However, David Threlfall portrays Frank equally as well in the British show. In general, the acting in the British show is stronger and the characters fit their roles better. In the American one, it’s hard to believe that these actors with Hollywood good looks are dirt poor. However, it’s still hooks me in and is easier to listen to than the British one. If I was from England, I might prefer the British version.

Check out the trailer for the American Shameless below.

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