Wednesday, January 21, 2004


OK, it's only two episodes in, but I'd already like to nominate Channel 4's Shameless as this season's most over-rated piece of telly. The seven-part drama series is a 'semi-autobiographical' work from the ludicrously over-praised Paul Abbott, who's kind of a Jimmy McGovern without a point to make. A pseudo-realistic slice of life in a single-parent family living in an overcrowded council house in Manchester, that warms the heart of critics named Nancy Banks-Smith, should already be something of a warning sign, but the overly-familiar scally characters, incidental music and Trainspotting-lite gross-out scenes further convinces me there's nothing original, daring or cutting-edge here, let alone anything resembling a point of view.

It's not that Shameless is bad or unwatchable TV, but it's far too obviously derivative to deserve the blanket adulation it's receiving from the hacks. It's a glorified soap with the odd f-word here and a flash of tit and bum there to help disguise it as a 'flagship drama'. Is British TV really getting that bad that we have to pretend to be excited by this? Come back Cold Feet, all is forgiven.

Some good news tonight, though: new albums due soon from Rilo Kiley and Numbers.


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