If we lived in England in the nineteenth century, the childhood of Paul Abbott, quietly, could be the beginning of a Dickens novel. But not; Times have changed. So this story in the twenty century, the story of his own life, is called Shameless.
Born in Burnley, Lancashire in 1960, Paul Abbott grew up in a crowded working-class household, the ninth of ten children. After his mother abandoned the family when he was nine, to be followed by his father two years later, the children were left to fend for themselves, with the eldest daughter assuming the maternal role. If this sounds familiar, it is because Abbott was to turn his childhood experience into drama thirty years later with Shameless (Channel 4, 2004), a seven-part series in which David Threlfall plays the negligent, alcoholic father and Anne-Marie Duff the oldest daughter who takes charge of the parent-less Gallagher family.
Abbott’s success is remarkable by any standards, but all the more so when you consider his backstory. Shameless was largely autobiographical. His family were the Gallaghers, only more dysfunctional – eight children living in a tiny house in Burnley.
“Six sons in one room, and no bathroom, it fucking stank.”
His father complained when he saw Shameless that they had never lived on a council estate, and that he hadn’t had long hair. Abbott says he dreamed of living on an estate and having a bathroom. His father was smaller, smarter (he wore a suit and tie) and more violent than Frank. Most of his brothers and sisters were illiterate. As in Shameless, his older sister, eight months pregnant at 16, became the mother to the children when their real mother abandoned them.
“When I was in my early teens I used to have three jobs at the same time. I was a barber, who is one of the best things I did, I worked in an antique shop and a restaurant. Something we earned went for me. Most, to a common fund. “
Shameless US is a production that shows how in USA can be achieved to make works that do not always have the same style of rhythm, sound and visual plastic repeat their mega productions are of the subject they are. This is where Shameless breaks with his British burst into a fully Americanized society. Lighting, camera movements, successful casting are some of the achievements that some of the aspects that has managed to convey the creator Paul Abbot. His intention was to make a comedy that also have emotional truth. From a world he knew closely.
“I certainly don’t think you need damage to be a good writer. But I think you’ve got more experience of extremities so you’re just a few years ahead.”
In his latest production we see as a family trying to survive thanks to the sacrifice that makes older sister for their brothers grow and be educated. On the other side his father, a drug addict who dedicates his life to self-satisfaction rather than on the needs of their loved ones is needed. And at last the missing, but relentless onset of bipolar mother, alternating states of extreme happiness to become depressed suicidal individual. All it acclimated in suburban Illinois feeling moisture, dirt and wild relationships between the characters. An ease bordering on permissiveness among its younger members but do not stray at all from reality.
The culminating point that meets series is the use of its soundtrack, garage rock groups each scene of the series are divided into the height of his theme.
Remake, the dreaded term shakes any defender of creativity and originality. A series created based on one that had a previous success in the past decade in the UK. But when the same creator who performs high production is likely to become even better than the last.