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Shameless (US)


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#1

Strega

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Posted Dec 19, 2010 @ 9:06 PM

From Showtime's press release:

SHAMELESS is Abbott's (STATE OF PLAY, TOUCHING EVIL, RECKLESS, and CLOCKING OFF) most personal work, inspired by his own complicated life growing up in a working-class family with ten children. For the U.S. version, the sprawling Gallagher family has been transplanted to working-class Chicago during the challenging times of today's recession. Making ends meet is always difficult especially with a mother who is AWOL and an alcoholic patriarch -- played by Macy -- who usually ends up passed out on the living room floor. Oldest daughter Fiona (Rossum) is left to the task of keeping her five younger brothers and sisters on track, a task that usually proves impossible. The series also stars Justin Chatwin, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Jeremy White and Laura Slade Wiggins Mark Mylod directed the pilot episode.


For UK viewers (or people who are curious, or after spoilers), the original series has a separate thread here. You can make comparisons between the shows, of course, but if you're getting into spoilery details about the British version, please use tags or keep it in the UK thread. Thanks.

#2

Nosleepforme

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Posted Dec 25, 2010 @ 2:25 PM

I have never seen the British Shameless, but I'm looking forward to this. The previews looked interesting and if there is one network that I trust to put out a good show despite it being a remake, then it's Showtime.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to take much of William H. Macy's character.
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#3

Angelfirenze

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Posted Dec 26, 2010 @ 2:33 PM

As often as I've watched the promos and sneak preview, both on Showtime's site and on YouTube, I know this is a show I am already in love with. I did comment on things in the UK thread because this one hadn't existed. Something about Fiona had been discussed and I wanted to say that, shortening my original response, considering her day life, it would be mentally unhealthy if she didn't find an outlet of some kind to let out the stress she's under.

So I'm on board with clubbing, so long as it doesn't turn her into her father, which I do doubt. As for the characters as a whole, every time I watch, I keep finding little details about all of them that make things so much more interesting. Almost every sibling has one that they're closer to than any other. Ian and Lip have one another. Debbie adores Liam and shares her room with him, giving him affection and looking after him when she can.

Fiona's, of course, looking after them all.

I wonder if part of Carl's severe destruction problems have to do partially with their mother leaving and partially with seemingly not having found a sibling to share his feelings on anything with since everyone's all so busy doing their own thing and Liam's too young. I think it makes sense.
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#4

roosterboy

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Posted Dec 28, 2010 @ 2:43 PM

Hmm, caught the 20-minute preview and I don't think I'll be watching this one. Despite loving the UK original, I was kind of looking forward to seeing what could be done with a US version. After the preview, not so much.

It just didn't work for me. The dialogue seemed overly worked; it's been years since I've seen the first UK episode, but I don't recall the writing seeming so artificial. I don't think Macy is the right actor for his role at all. And Justin Chatwin definitely is not. Nor do I like Steve Howey as Kev or the woman playing Veronica. Though I liked Emmy Rossum in the Fiona role; I think she does harried, overworked and saddled with too many responsibilites well. And the rest of the kids, at least from what we saw of them in that short preview, seem okay. I'm cool with reworking the storylines of the original but the whole thing just seemed off to me.

My friend who watched this with me says she doesn't think a US Shameless can really work because the American lower class just doesn't have the same sense of identity (or something like that) as the UK lower class, but I need to get her to elaborate on that before I understand what she means.

I'll probably watch the full episode when it airs, but unless it greatly improves in the parts we haven't seen yet, I can't see myself making a habit of it.
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#5

Twist6989

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Posted Jan 5, 2011 @ 11:58 PM

The 20 minute preview looked very good. I am really looking foreward to Ian's character. It looks like they're giving him more character than the original show did. Here is an interview (somewhat spoilerish) with the young actor who plays Ian. http://www.daemonstv...ghan-interview/
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#6

Rickster

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Posted Jan 7, 2011 @ 3:55 PM

The NY Times offered some comments on the show in the context of an article about a couple of UK or UK influenced shows coming soon to US TV (Shameless, the Matt LeBlanc new show, and a Masterpiece Theater). UK Shameless was used as an illustration of how UK shows can be meaner without sugarcoating the characters. US Shameless (and Macy compared to Thewlis) was called too nice.
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#7

old 55

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Posted Jan 7, 2011 @ 4:59 PM

It just didn't work for me. The dialogue seemed overly worked;


Word...

"US Shameless (and Macy compared to Thewlis) was called too nice."

Almost an unfair comparision, since nobody can portray a shithead better than David Thewlis, as he proved early on in his career with "Naked"

And without the aforementioned class struggle that obsesses UK society, all we have here is a dysfunctional family headed by a self-absorbed alcoholic, which in and of itself stopped being funny about the time of the original "Arthur."

But then again it does have Emmy Rossum to gaze upon ...
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#8

roosterboy

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Posted Jan 8, 2011 @ 12:29 AM

David Threlfall, not David Thewlis.
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#9

meepster

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Posted Jan 8, 2011 @ 4:37 PM

Comcast had the whole first episode on demand so I watched it last night. It is a shot-for-shot remake of the Brit first episode. Kind of weird to watch.

Emmy Rossum and the kid playing Lip are pretty good. Macy is miscast. Threlfall's Frank is repulsive - strangers passing him in the street wouldn't want to come near him. The beauty of the show is that you come to realize he's really smart and that his family loves him. Macy comes across as relative clean and lovable. No one would shy away from him. And I can't imagine him reciting any of the almost Shakespearian lines that Threlfall does like the Chatsworth estates monologue that opens the later seasons or the rant after returning when Steve has dropped him off in France.

I also think it's mis-sited. They should be in Boston. Either that or they should have gotten big and brave and gone with an all black cast. They're not pushing any envelopes with this.

And without the aforementioned class struggle that obsesses UK society, all we have here is a dysfunctional family headed by a self-absorbed alcoholic, which in and of itself stopped being funny about the time of the original "Arthur."

Word!
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#10

Wittgenstein

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Posted Jan 8, 2011 @ 9:44 PM

Salon's review comments on what might have been lost in translation...despite being a carbon copy of the original.

http://www.salon.com...make/index.html

Then again, the original became a carbon copy of itself the third season onwards (when it lost many of the original cast members and Abbot as head writer).

Ironically, the class conscious Brits were not above milking this money cow about the underclass for all it was worth (perpetuating a star system and homogenised product in the process).
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#11

Twist6989

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 2:47 AM

As a lover of the first few seasons of Shameless and as a Chicagoan I have to say that I loved the episode. However, I am not above admitting that a lot of things that are UK oriented usually don't happen in Chicago. A poor white family and friends doing drugs together and openly talking about sex doesn't happen.
However, I do remember smoking weed at my friends house on the South Side with the garage door completely open. He's white and his parents knew what was going on but they would have never come back there to join him. Also, they're middle class.
The freely talking about your brother's gay sex life and slipping your daughters boyfriend a condom just isn't something that normally happens in the U.S.
However, as a fictional show I don't see the Gallaghers as the norm but the exception. Good tv usually isn't based on the normal but the pecular. Look at Weeds, that family wold never exist in middle-class America but it's liked because their pecular. Also, I'm digging how they're not holding back with Ian's story line but embracing it. I know they're telling the exact same story that they told in the prginal series but seeing those words and actions coming from a freckled-faced American kid is ten kinds of awesome. Remember, most of America is puritanical and the character of Ian is gonna raise a shit of contravery. Can't wait!

Edited by Twist6989, Jan 9, 2011 @ 2:48 AM.

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#12

zelmia

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 4:10 AM

she doesn't think a US Shameless can really work because the American lower class just doesn't have the same sense of identity (or something like that) as the UK lower class,

That was my first reaction upon hearing of the plans to remake this in the US. I thought the Salon.com review was spot on with their point about how the original version made it very clear that this family were a direct product of their status and their environment. The Showtime version - at least from what I've seen - is particularly odd in this respect because the characters just seem to be aping what their British counterparts do, but without any clear reason why.

US Shameless (and Macy compared to Thewlis) was called too nice.

David Threlfall (I'm sure I misspelled that) not David Thewlis played Frank Gallagher in the original.

So I saw the little sneak peek. I found the shot-for-shot-but-with-different-actors take on it extremely eerie. It started right with the opening sequence at the bonfire. Boy, did that sound downright bizarre with another actor's voice and dialect saying the same opening words.

Admittedly, 20 minutes isn't a whole lot to go on, but in fairness, I thought the girl playing Fiona did a good job. However, I think that speaks more to the character being the most clearly defined by the writer, rather than any great interpretive skill on the part of the actor.

I would say almost the same about Lip and Ian, but I'm not sure these two young actors have quite the maturity or experience (acting wise, not necessarily personally) to pull off such complex characters. There were times when they seemed to say their lines almost as if they didn't really know what the words actually meant.

Not at all keen on the new Veronica and Kev. There is a palpable chemistry with the original couple, who I thought you could believe had been together 9 years. The US version of the couple makes me surprised they even know each other, let alone that they are together.

I would agree with the salon.com review, though, in that these people all seem a bit too pretty, too clean.
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#13

Twist6989

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 4:39 AM

For anyone who wants to discuss the episode further (w/o spoiler bars)... I noticed that it already has a livejournal page:
http://community.liv...m/shameless_us/

Edited by Twist6989, Jan 9, 2011 @ 4:40 AM.

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#14

Angelfirenze

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:08 PM

Given what I saw tonight - and the previews - the twenty minute preview, itself, didn't do the show justice, in my opinion.

Everyone has said so far that Macy came across as too nice. From what I can see, that ends after tonight. The previews for the upcoming season actually freaked me the hell out because of how horrible Frank becomes later on and I'm just wondering how the hell everything's going to play out.

I do appreciate the frank - ah, explicit depiction of Ian's life because it's such a taboo here and to see that almost spat upon, as far as being so honest about what he experiences and how both he and Lip are handling all this is refreshing to me. If it opens more of a dialogue, then please - please, more.

Fiona's actions regarding her brothers and sister, Steve's actions regarding the entire family and their peripheral friends/neighbors -- their reactions to him are something I simply can't wait to see more of.

Edited by Angelfirenze, Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:11 PM.

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#15

VictoriousNY

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:12 PM

I just started to watch the UK version on Sundance, (Im on episode 7) but I enjoyed the US version very much.

I enjoyed the characters of Fiona, Lip, Ian (and the actors) the most but Joan Cusack in her little bit of scenes was very entertaining.

Just starting the UK version I must say that there is more of a British grittiness in the original that I miss in the US, but remembering that this is the US, I was able to keep a open mind and watching the previews for the upcoming season, I think Im going to keep on watching, it'll be fun to compare and contrast the two.

Everyone has said so far that Macy came across as too nice. From what I can see, that ends after tonight. The previews for the upcoming season actually freaked me the hell out because of how horrible Frank becomes later on and I'm just wondering how the hell everything's going to play out

.

Totally agree that headbutt freaked me out as well

I do appreciate the frank - ah, explicit depiction of Ian's life because it's such a taboo here and to see that almost spat upon, as far as being so honest about what he experiences and how both he and Lip are handling all this is refreshing to me. If it opens more of a dialogue, then please - please, more.


So true. Gay teens on american dramas are so angsty about their sexuality, and usually someone close in the family turns on them, and after a while it beomes boring, but after watching the character of Jesse on In Treatment and now Ian, I think that's start to change. It's very refreshing to see a conversation like that on US tv between a gay teen and his brother so Im for it.

That Scene when Ian went to Veronica's room and saw Kev naked you could feel his uncomfortabilty that he really wanted to look but he knew he couldnt... that was some great acting.

Edited by VictoriousNY, Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:31 PM.

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#16

Angelfirenze

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:31 PM

That Scene when Ian went to Veronica's room and saw Kev naked you could feel his uncomfortabilty that he really wanted to look but he knew he couldnt... that was some great acting.


Poor Ian, in that scene. It was almost like - hey, Kev...our neighbor's just...there...and...and I...would Veronica mind if I put him in my spank bank?

Poor bastard.

Edited by Angelfirenze, Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:34 PM.

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#17

Milburn Stone

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:46 PM

I liked the relationship between the two brothers, but little else.

Basically, I just didn't believe in the reality of any of these people or the family as a whole.
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#18

VictoriousNY

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:48 PM

Poor Ian, in that scene. It was almost like - hey, Kev...our neighbor's just...there...and...and I...would Veronica mind if I put him in my spank bank?

Poor bastard.




But then he had to put the cigarette in his mouth and light it, and Kev is just there...naked, it was probably like a dream for Ian, and he couldnt do anything.

Now Im no prude, I watch True Blood but is it just me or did they go all out with the nudity and sex on this show. Not that I mind but I was just suprised with how intense the scenes, for american tv I mean.

Edited by VictoriousNY, Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:50 PM.

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#19

Angelfirenze

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Posted Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:52 PM

Thanks to the previews, I was expecting some of it, but the scene with Kev was definitely a surprise. And it was like, 'lalala'. It's nice to know he feels safe with Veronica. Sleeping nude usually indicates as much.

Their relationship is actually one of my favorite things because they have a mutual understanding of one another. They have to for a relationship like theirs (Veronica is obviously the dom and possibly the top from what we were shown) to work.
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#20

Milburn Stone

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

I'm confused by the use of spoiler bars for an episode that has already aired.
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#21

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

I loved the show. I thought Bill Macy was great. I agree it would be unusual for people in Chicago to do drugs openly, but I'm not sure about young people talking about their sex lives. They have to have something to talk about, or the show would be pretty dull, angsty, or full of euphemisms. I've never seen the UK series, but their shows usually seem to be written smarter than US shows, and less full of cliches.
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#22

Angelfirenze

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:03 AM

I'm confused by the use of spoiler bars for an episode that has already aired.


I, personally, am using them out of consideration for people in other time zones who haven't seen the show yet.
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#23

VictoriousNY

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:04 AM

I agree about Kev and Veronica you dont see too much of a relationship like that here in the states and I think it's quite sweet.

I'm confused by the use of spoiler bars for an episode that has already aired.


Just in case there are West Coast watchers on here and they dont want to be spoiled it's 9pm in L.A.

Edited by VictoriousNY, Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:06 AM.

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#24

sunshine7982

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:16 AM

As far as doing drugs openly goes... I don't know--I guess every family's different and the Gallaghers are pretty insane but I grew up on the Southwest side of Chicago in the 90s and my dad used to get high with his kids and it wasn't some big secret (I'm not saying it's a good thing). He's the reason I've never seen Lord of the Rings sober but anyway... I like the remake so far. I think the kids who play Ian and Lip are great and Emmy Rossum is fucking hot. :)
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#25

hardy har

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:20 AM

The freely talking about your brother's gay sex life and slipping your daughters boyfriend a condom just isn't something that normally happens in the U.S. -- Twist6989

Heh. I would love to introduce you to my mother's side of the family. They're from Chicago too and were pretty poor. Seriously. The scenes you found so unbelievable made me smile because they made me think of my mom's family.

I agree with the the peeps who thought it was "eerie" watching a shot-for-shot version of the original pilot. When the VO started in the beginning it was like I was in the Twilight Zone or something.

My general rule is if I'm interested in a show I give it at least 5 episodes before I make up my mind. I'm curious to see if they deviate at all, but I guess they don't really have to because you can't really get the original show here. Well, you can buy/rent S1, but that's it. Or you can subscribe to the Sundance channel and hope you catch an episode.

Much to my surprise, my biggest concern about the show is Macy. I think he's so awesome, but he just sounded like he was doing a lazy drunk-voice to me. Also, his hair looked waaaaaaaay to nice.

I'm also a little worried about the actors playing Kev and Veronica, but I'm more than willing to warm up to them. My love for the original couple knows no bounds, so it may take a while.

OK, it sounds like I didn't like it, but I did. Other than the things mentioned above I liked all the other actors even though it was . . . eerie. At this point I'm more in the Oddly Curious camp, but I'm in nonetheless.

ETA: I kind of love that they cast such a sweet-faced girl to play Karen. (UK spoiler, but tagged in case it's kept for this version)I wonder if they're going to keep the Frank/Karen sex shenanigans?

Edited by hardy har, Jan 10, 2011 @ 12:35 AM.

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#26

Milburn Stone

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 8:46 AM

Whether I watch another episode of this show is in doubt, but, being a Chicagoan, I did enjoy trying to figure out what neighborhood streets the exteriors were shot on. It's clearly the northwest side--you can tell from the architecture of the houses, and the old el tracks going through the neighborhoods would tell you that also--but we found ourselves curious to pin down the locations more specifically than that. Maybe someone here knows, or has a link.
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#27

braggtastic

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 2:08 PM

I didn't realize the 20 minute episode preview Showtime aired a few weeks ago wasn't the full first episode. So many of HBO/Showtime's half hour shows are actually that short, but now I see the next episode is an hour long.
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#28

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 3:42 PM

being a Chicagoan, I did enjoy trying to figure out what neighborhood streets the exteriors were shot on. It's clearly the northwest side--you can tell from the architecture of the houses, and the old el tracks going through the neighborhoods would tell you that also--but we found ourselves curious to pin down the locations more specifically than that.

Milburn, I'm a Chicagoan as well and was loving the exteriors here. But I really don't see the NW side in those, unless you consider Bucktown/Wicker Park the NW side, which I don't, but that may be semantics. We had a couple of Loop scenes and an overhead of the United Center but I wasn't able to place the specific restaurant or the exterior of the club at all. I gave a good guffaw at the Plass Appliance truck delivering the washer.

Joan Cusack and Joel Murray are solid gold Chicago icons and I'm so happy they were cast in this. I'm definitely on-board for the season.
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#29

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 4:20 PM

I will never EVER be able to watch a re-run of "Reba" in the same way. Wow! Steve Howey!
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#30

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Posted Jan 10, 2011 @ 4:21 PM

I enjoyed the pilot a lot. Started off kind of slow, but picked up momentum nicely. The kids are interesting, Phi(Lip) in particular. His methods of "helping" Ian were unorthodox, but you could tell he genuinely cared. Also loved seeing Joan Cusack and her daughter.

Another Chicagoan reporting, but I didn't recognize any of the streets, just the Adams/Wabash L stop. But I read that the neighborhood is supposed to be Homan Square, a place I have never visited.

That scene with Kevin...wow. Talk about being blindsided. I can't look at Steve Howie as "the guy from Reba" anymore.

Despite the fact that Macy is being lauded as the star of the show, I didn't care for his scenes at all. Felt very phony, like a caricature instead of an actual drunk. I'm glad it's just the pilot, because there needs to be more going on there.

I found Fiona and Steve's relationship to be a bit forced, at least on his end. I can't blame Fiona for being skeptical, not because of their opposite backgrounds, but because the guy is declaring eternal love on their first date. Steve is a likable guy and I hope he eases up a bit.

All in all, a good start. I hope they give it a chance, because the ratings weren't great for the premiere. I had forgotten it was on and watched it on OnDemand. Have they done any real promotion for this?
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