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Shameless: The S1 Mandy Vs. S2 Mandy Debate Continues

TV recastings are a tale as old as time, going back to when Dick Sargent took over the role of Darrin on "Bewitched" from Dick York. It can be a tough change for audiences to accept a new actor playing a pre-existing character portrayed by someone else, and there are bound to be debates about who played the part better. That's definitely the case with the eternal Mandy Milkovich debate from Showtime's "Shameless."

Jane Levy portrayed Mandy in Season 1 before the part was recast the following season, with Emma Greenwell taking the reins at that point, playing Mandy periodically from Seasons 2 through 6. Levy left the show so that she could pursue a role on "Suburgatory," with Greenwell eventually leaving for similar reasons to focus on other projects. 

Numerous discussions have emerged concerning who was better, and in a pleasant surprise from typical online discourse, fans are pretty supportive of both actresses. Redditor u/Sara9990 kicked things off by writing, "Am I the only one who wished s1 Mandy didn't change? ps. I like both of them." "Shameless" fans have their favorites, but the consensus appears to be that both actresses did a good job of portraying different aspects of Mandy.

Jane Levy played a more bubbly Mandy while Emma Greenwell brought more grit

Mandy's introduced in the first season, having an attraction to Ian (Cameron Monaghan), which isn't reciprocated because he's gay. But she agrees to serve as his beard while he pursues a romantic relationship with her brother. In Season 2, she starts dating Lip (Jeremy Allen White), and the two have a rather tumultuous time. She comes in and out of the series at various points, usually not at a great place in her life, eventually disappearing entirely from the Gallaghers' lives.

There's no definitive answer on Reddit for who people think played Mandy better, partly because Mandy changes significantly between Seasons 1 and 2. Redditor u/-Green_Curtains- points out, "I liked both Mandy's but I think her storyline took such a turn from season 1 I can't imagine anyone but season 2 doing it." Such sentiments were echoed by u/jollycanoli, "I think S1 Mandy was a really strong actress who gave the character a lot of likeability and vulnerability. But S2+ was a tougher Mandy, and the actress was arguably a more credible choice for those storylines."

Ultimately, it's a matter of preference, but both actresses did a good job with the material they were given. And, of course, there were those completely unaware a change even took place, like u/937Vibez writing, "ngl, I didnt even notice the actress had changed while I was watching the series." Overall, it's a pretty successful switch when a portion of the audience doesn't even notice anything happened.