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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Shameless-Series One (2004)

Shameless-Series One (2004)

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Released 20-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Meet The Cast With Debbie And Carl
Interviews-Crew-Paul Abbott (Creator)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 334:40 (Case: 336)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jonny Campbell
Peter Lydon
Mark Mylod
David Evans
Channel 4
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Anne-Marie Duff
David Threlfall
James McAvoy
Jody Latham
Gerard Kearns
Dean Lennox Kelly
Maxine Peake
Jack Deam
Marjorie Yates
Maggie O'Neill
Rebecca Ryan
Elliott Tittensor
Joseph Furnace
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $39.95 Music Murray Gold

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, After the credits on each episode.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† Shameless is a gritty black comedy/drama set in the Chatsworth Estate, a rough Manchester housing project that is home to the Gallaghers. Mum cleared out years ago leaving Dad Frank (David Threlfall) to support their six children. Unfortunately Frank has taken to the bottle and when heís not drunk, acts more like a disobedient child than a responsible adult. This effectively leaves feisty oldest daughter Fiona (Anne-Marie Duff) as the head of the household. Next down the line is 16 year old Lip (Jody Latham) who is a mouthy but bright adolescent. Ian (Gerald Kearns) is more private and just coming to grips with his homosexuality. Pre-teen Debbie (Rebecca Ryan) can be both charming and sometimes a little disturbing. Rounding out the Gallagher clan are the rowdy Carl (Elliot Tittensor) and toddler Liam (Joseph Furnace).

††† Also a regular visitor to the Gallagher home is Fionaís boyfriend Steve (James McAvoy) who has given up studying medicine to instead sell cars for a living, although he soon confesses to Fiona the dubious origins of the vehicles he sells. Completing the regular cast of characters is Veronica (Maxine Peake), who earns money on the side making porn and her boyfriend Kev (Dean Lennox Kelly) as the Gallagherís fun loving next door neighbours.

††† Despite the fact that the show deals with topics and issues including alcoholism, poverty, unemployment, paedophilia, homophobia and much more, the showís overall feel is surprisingly warm. This is thanks to the excellent writing and the true to life characters with real depth who genuinely care for each other. The show feels real and itís not just because of the handheld video and documentary style live sound. The acting performances are universally first rate and each character is perfectly realised. Despite their foibles and faults these are characters we come to really care for.

††† The episodes for series 1 are as follows:

††† Episode 1

††† This episode essentially introduces all the show's main characters. The main story line in this episode introduces Fionaís boyfriend Steve. Despite meeting Fionaís family, Steve still wants to spend more time with Fiona and her family leaving Fiona to question his motives.

††† Episode 2

††† This was one of my favourite episodes. After a heavy night drinking Frank wakes up the next morning on a park bench Ö.. in France. Once back at home Frank goes to visit agoraphobic (fearful of open spaces) neighbour Sheila (Maggie OíNeill) looking for a loan but instead gets seduced by money and more. Frank immediately moves in with Sheila.

††† Episode 3

††† Neighbour Kev who works in the local pub tells one of the female customers heís engaged to avoid her flirtations. Word soon gets out and before he knows it arrangements for his marriage are underway and out of control. Meanwhile Ian is being pursued by a female classmate who doesnít realise heís gay.

††† Episode 4

††† Debbie steals a little boy from a birthday party. Partygoers assume the worst and think that he has been kidnapped by a paedophile. When the rest of the Gallagher family realise what has happened they must find a way to resolve the situation without Debbie getting into trouble with the authorities.

††† Episode 5

††† Frank has been getting along well with Sheilaís daughter (and Lipís girlfriend) Karen (Rebecca Atkinson). Maybe a bit too well! Meanwhile Ianís affair with work colleague Kash is in danger thanks to newly installed security cameras.

††† Episode 6

††† Mum makes an appearance due to an attempt by Frank to extort child support money from her. How will the kids react to the reappearance of the mother some had assumed was dead?

††† Episode 7

††† In an attempt to escape debt collectors Frank decides to fake his own death. Meanwhile Steve must deal with the Fionaís policeman friendís jealousy.

††† Apparently Shameless screened here in Australia on SBS. Iím afraid it completely passed under my radar but Iím certainly glad I got the chance to catch it on DVD. This is a quality black comedy/drama series with high quality scripts and top notch acting. I canít wait to see Series 2.

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Transfer Quality


††† Shameless has been shot on video and was never really meant to be watched at cinematic proportions. When viewed on my 90Ē screen I must say it bordered on the unwatchable as the limitations of the source material were not only apparent but really detracted from my enjoyment of what is a really decent television series. When viewed on a normal sized television however itís more than watchable and the low budget handheld video will simply add to the feel of the show.

††† Shameless is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

††† The image is never particularly sharp or detailed but is consistent with what you would expect from its video source. Shadow detail is fine however some low level noise was noticeable in solid colours.

††† Colours were generally well saturated and about as accurate as youíd expect from the video source material. Some colour bleeding was definitely present but was never particularly distracting given the overall presentation of the show.

††† The show is shot on interlaced video and has been converted to progressive scanning for encoding on the DVD. Interlacing artefacts are present throughout and are quite noticeable on progressive scanning displays including my progressive scanning CRT television and LCD projector. The interlacing artefacts are probably not going to be as noticeable on a standard interlaced television but the fairly significant aliasing probably will be.

††† The English subtitles are white and easy to read. They match quite well with the onscreen dialogue.

††† The two DVDs are dual layered. As none of the episodes actually span two of the layers there is no layer change to report.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


††† Like the video, the stereo soundtrack is very much in keeping with the gritty style of the show giving it an almost low budget documentary feel.

††† The soundtrack is English Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 Kb/s.

††† Dialogue was generally easy to hear and as long as the accents donít give you any problems (there are good subtitles if they do) youíll have no problems understanding what is being said.

††† I didnít notice any audio sync issues with the DVD.

††† In keeping with the style of show the original music by Murray Gold is fairly upbeat and quirky but is used only sparingly.

††† As this is a stereo soundtrack there is no surround or subwoofer activity. I did try decoding the soundtrack with Dolby Pro Logic II but it remained very front oriented and I think what surround activity this did produce was purely coincidental.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


††† A small but quirky collection of extras can be found on Disc 2 of the set.


††† The menus are animated with music from the series. They are all 16x9 enhanced.

Meet the cast with Debbie and Carl (10:53)

††† This interesting little featurette was shot by Rebecca Ryan and Elliot Tittensor who play Debbie and Carl on the show. It features behind the scenes footage as well as brief interviews with the main cast members. Since they are being interviewed by their young co-stars you get the impression that the actors say things they probably would not normally say in an interview, but they also hold back on some things because of the age of their young interviewers. Well worth watching and pretty unique. It is presented at a 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

An Interview with Paul Abbott (9:54)

††† This is an interview with show creator Paul Abbot inter-cut with clips from the show. He discusses the genesis of the series, some of the autobiographical elements of the show and how it has been received by the public. Itís fairly interesting but it is best watched after you have viewed the actual episodes first as he gives away some of the key plot developments in the show. It is presented at a 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† Shameless Series 1 does not appear to have been released in Region 1. It has been released in Region 2 (UK) and our version appears to be identical to the Region 2 DVD.


††† Shameless Series 1 is a quality black comedy/drama series which I enjoyed very much. The scripts are excellent and the acting is universally top notch.

††† The series has been shot on video and the limitations of the source material are quite evident on the DVD.

††† Like the video, the stereo soundtrack is very much in keeping with the gritty style of the show.

††† A small but quirky collection extras can be found on Disc 2 of the set.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Gauntlett (read my bio if you're bored.)
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS575-S Progressive Scan, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE900E HD LCD Projector on 90" Screen & Sony KVDR29M31 68cm CRT. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

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