When Shameless aired its first episode on premium cable’s Showtime in the US in 2011, it was a lot like Channel 4’s 2004 UK version of Shameless. That is, it was a crude story about a large, lower class family and their struggles – but that’s where the similarities ended. From the end of the first episode onward, Showtime’s Shameless has distinguished itself as one of the best series on television, while the original UK version dragged on and on while losing sight of what made it a compelling show in the first place.
Comparing the two now, what you’ll see is a US version that knew instantly what it wanted to be – a black as coal comedic drama that didn’t shy away from the crippling realities of life – and a UK version that was more interested in gross-out comedy than in heart. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with the direction that the UK Shameless took, it just looks amateurish compared now to the growth and emotion constantly on display in the US version.
In fact, with US Shameless now entering its eighth season and getting better every year, to go back and watch the UK’s now nearly 15-year-old version it becomes clear that the US Shameless remake did everything right in order to turn something good into something spectacular.
Agree with this list? Are there any other reboots/remakes you think bettered the original? Share your thoughts down in the comments.