( Max score: 100 )
Meet Frank Gallagher, a working-class patriarch who loves his six kids almost as much as he loves booze, cigarettes, his monthly disability check and booze. So he leaves it to eldest daughter Fiona to hold the family together and make sure everyone (except Frank) works to keep the lights on and food on the table.
Meet Frank Gallagher (Macy), a proud, working-class, patriarch to a motley brood of six smart, spirited and independent kids who, in all honesty, would probably be better off without him. In Frank's booze-addled view, parenting just eats into his hard-earned, bar-crawling and carousing time so he leaves it up to eldest daughter Fiona to hold down the fort. After the departure of their mother, life appointed her as the unofficial matriarch of the family and she's fiercely determined to keep her dysfunctional family happy and whole, even if it means sacrificing her own personal needs. Phillip Lip Gallagher the second oldest, is an extraordinarily intelligent high school student who helps to support the family by taking other students' SAT's in exchange for money. Fifteen-year-old Ian, who is full of secrets, also pitches in by working at a local grocery store. Sweet Debbie, one of the middle kids, has a good heart and collects money for charity all year long -- some of which, she winds up keeping for herself. Carl the second youngest is a cherub-faced troublemaker who moonlights as the family's sergeant at arms. Last but not least is the youngest Gallagher, Liam an adorable toddler who's just happy to be along for the ride. The Gallaghers don't apologize for who they are -- they are way too busy finding clever ways to pay for the electric bill, put food on the table and keep social services from splitting them up -- even if it means stealing from the milkman, the butcher or borrowing an elderly woman with dementia to pose as their dear old Aunt Ginger. They are irreverent, endearing, resilient, and they are absolutely, wildly and unapologetically shameless!
I borrowed much of the aforementioned overview from Warner's press release because it summed up these characters so well. Shameless is based on the British TV series of the same name and revolves around the Gallagher's a working class family residing in Chicago's south side. Father Frank is a fall down drunk with a misanthropic shell and level of depravity that seems to know no bounds. His six children are left to fend for themselves which means finding ways to pay the bills while surviving the pitfalls of growing up with no parental guidance save for eldest sister Fiona who does the best she can which includes protecting them from Frank himself! This is a character driven program that is rich in irony, darkly comedic and speaks to the human condition from a brutally frank perspective based upon familial dysfunction of the highest order. The show is expertly written with a functional form factor set on a dysfunctional scale where the purposefully underlying humanity ingratiates these characters that otherwise would be pretty unlikable. Outside of the Gallagher clan there are neighbors/friends, Veronica and Kevin, Fiona's bad boy love interest, Steve, and Lip's best friend (with benefits) Karen, who comes complete with her own dysfunctional family. The 12 episode season is chock full of clever rhetoric, tawdry sex, saucy behavior, and several plot twists that you may or may not see coming. Through it all is the disturbing but reassuring family connection shared by Fiona, Lip, Ian, Deb, Carl, and Liam along with their supporters, counterbalanced by Frank's boundless lows that make for a compelling and thoroughly entertaining adult program. I was hooked from the very first episode and commend the creator's, cast, production team and Showtime on a well crafted and novel TV series. I look forward to season two which kicks off on January 8, 2012. Shameless's twelve episode season one comes in this two disc set that splits the episodes and bonus material equally on two BD-50 dual layered Blu-ray Discs.
The show contains language, drug content, sexuality, graphic nudity, and adult themes.
Shameless: The complete first season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 16 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.
By choice I would say that season one of Shameless isn't bright or overly colorful. The chromatic palette consists mainly of cooler tones and muted secondary hues with the occasional interjection of primary colors that don't offer much in the way of visual stimulation. This makes for a rougher visual style that works quite well with the show's thematic tone. Resolution is excellent but the nature of the photography isn't always lent to the high gloss definition that provides an infinite sense of depth. There are many instances where detail is clearly resolvable with discerning visual perspective and rich clarity. On the other hand there are times where delineation and sharpness is less tangibly defining. Close ups tend to be outstanding and offer plenty of appreciable refinement in the physical features and weave of the fabric in the clothing worn by the cast. Contrast is stable over the course of the presentation and blacks, while not inky, have good dynamic range and are gradationally satisfying. I didn't note any overt signs of video related anomalies and thought that this presentation as a whole was excellent.
Being a dialogue driven show the ability to clearly render that aspect is an important element. This DTS-HD Master Audio presentation had no problem in that regard. Voices are reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture that appropriately holds sway over the front soundstage. The surround mix makes apropos use of the surround platform as it subtly recreates the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The soundstage offers a balanced mixture of ambience and music. There aren't any sub bass frequencies contained in the mix however the subwoofer is used to provide low bass emphasis where appropriate. The end result is a solid audio presentation that capably supports the source material.
Based on the popular British TV series of the same name Shameless is familial dysfunction on steroids. This is a character driven program that is rich in irony, darkly comedic and speaks to the human condition from a brutally frank perspective. The show is expertly written with a functional form factor set on a dysfunctional scale where the purposefully underlying humanity ingratiates the characters. The 12 episode season is chock full of clever rhetoric, tawdry sex, saucy behavior, and several plot twists that you may or may not see coming. Through it all is the disturbing but reassuring family connection shared by Fiona, Lip, Ian, Deb, Carl, and Liam (along with their supporters), counterbalanced by Frank's boundless lows, that make for a compelling and thoroughly entertaining adult program. Season one comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring excellent high definition video quality. Crystal clear lossless sound and decent supplemental offering that lets us hear from the cast/crew about what it's like to be a part of the show. Season Two airs January 8, 2012 on Showtime. I for one will be tuning in