I have never watched the British version of this show so I cannot comment on the original. I was under the impression it was a new Showtime story.
I have to admit that started watching because I have always been a fan of William H Macy. However, viewing Macy in this kind of role was startling . I had always seen him in more conventional-almost typecast - parts. I knew that Joan Cusak was a quality actress which lent the project some further credibility.
At first the show seemed to be almost forced. The plot seemed bizarre, and unbelievable. It seemed awkward. Its quite common for shows to take time to develop chemistry when the actors haven't defined their characters yet. The same can be said for the writers.
However, I had never seen anything like it. In that regard it was dynamic and worth the time. The young actors soon found their roles and by the 5th episode I found myself thinking about the show every day.
Now I cant stop watching. Im addicted. The actors are fantastic. The plots are far more developed. The supporting players play a big part in the series, and new characters keep rotating in flawlessly. The show has evolved .
And just for the record, Im getting really sick and tired of people trashing the show because in their minds it doesn't measure up to the original. Its not supposed to be the original. If you don't like it, stick with the British show.