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TV Junkie: 2 New Series from Showtime Worth Watching in January

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Stephen Mangan, Matt LeBlanc, and Tamsin Greig star in Showtime's "Episodes" which premieres on January 16th at 9:30pm
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Showtime will be premiering several new series this Winter including "Shameless" and "Episodes." "Shameless," starring William H. Macy, will premiere on Sunday, January 9th at 10pm. Showtime's series is an adaptation of a British series of the same name, set in Chicago rather than the Manchester of the original. Macy plays the unemployed alcoholic single dad with six kids or seven kids, Frank Gallagher. We say six or seven because there are so many that we can't keep count in the first couple episodes we've seen. To call Frank Gallagher a "dad" is quite a stretch as he does his best to be a completely irresponsible, drunken, non-parent, that spends his entire disability check at the nearby watering hole, where, incidentally, he also drinks the dregs of other drinks and anything else he can get his hands on. His children are watched over by their protective oldest sister, Fiona, played by Emmy Rossum. The pilot revolves around the disappearance of Frank after a precipitous night of debauchery. The family rallies in their search to find him but it's a shame that our lead is gone for a significant chunk of the action.

William H. Macy is great as Frank and he commands every scene that he's in with any character other than Sheila, the ex-wife of one of his drinking buddies, played by Joan Cusack, who decides to take Frank under her wing and embark on an incredibly kinky relationship. So Sheila and Frank are great but will we get enough of them, what with the enormous brood of kids, their friends and significant others? Will the rest of the ensemble be able to hold up to the performances of these two veterans? This remains to be seen. Since it's Showtime, they are certain to show all the episodes so if you choose to stick with the program the potential to be rewarded is there. At the very least, definitely watch the pilot on January 9th, we were very entertained.