Interviewed in 2004 Anne Marie Duff said of Shameless 'It was really odd, but at the beginning, we didn't see that it was a comedy. We thought it was quite a gritty drama. Hearing it aloud changed our opinion. At the first read-through, we didn't know if it was OK to find it funny. These people are incredibly resourceful... not in a conventional way, but they are imaginative and loving. They're like animals in the way they protect their own. It doesn't matter how crazy and dark something is as long as there's some love behind it.'
Watching the first episode of My Mad Fat Teenage Diary I felt the same. Some reviewers loved it (Sam Wollaston for The Guardian), some hated or just didn't get it (Arifa Akbar in The Independent). These 21st century dramas - include Gavin & Stacey in the mix - are so much more than comedy in that they reflect life, real not reality, with all the ups and downs. In all of them the protagonists, heroes or antiheroes, make the best of it; they grin and bear it; crack a joke even if it is on them. And this was exactly what Rae, played with incredible maturity and insightful expression by newcomer Sharon Rooney, did. Absolutely not to be missed! Having read the book reviews on Amazon I have to admit to being intrigued to find out more about the real Rae Earle - I just pressed click to order the book and there is a great interview here! And a nice one with Sharon Rooney at screenterrier blogspot and some interesting follow up stuff is here.
Also really pleased to see that Anne Marie is returning to Shameless for the last episode, though somewhat relieved that it has all ended after an epic decade of writing! and like everyone else, hoping for a glimpse of James McAvoy - I predict he will appear in the final moments!