After Skins and Being Human, Shameless is latest successful UK show to be remade in the US. The titles were created by Sarofsky, and replace the lyrical monologue of lead character Frank Gallagher with a more conventionally-structured (for US TV) montage lead by the key cast, though the characters' actions are fully in keeping with the British original.
The US version stars William H Macy in the lead role of Frank Gallaher, with Emmy Rossum as Debbie. It kicked off on the Showtime channel on Sunday and has so far received mainly praise for being true to the original's grimy realism.
The title sequence was directed by Erin Sarofsky, which and shows a series of visits to the bathroom by the main characters, beginning with a passed-out-drunk (we assume) Frank being dragged out by his feet (above).
“It was rewarding to work with everyone at John Wells Productions and Showtime, as well as the amazing cast from Shameless,” comments Erin Sarofsky. “Our concept focused squarely on the actions and personalities within the family. While on set, we wanted to capture everything from our complex choreography to the quirky and serendipitous tendencies innate to the characters. The actors took our direction to a new and exciting level, infusing each moment with both exceptional subtlety and electricity.”
Shooting on the Red One camera, Sarofsky chose to compose the scene at a lower perspective, which mostly obscures the actors’ faces and turns the viewer into a voyeur. The result is designed to be captivating and pleasingly uncomfortable. The theme music The Luck You Got by indie rock band The High Strung was chosen as it's lyrics match the "scrappy survival in the face of adversity" shown in the programme.