Shameless Review: Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

January 26, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

tv-stars-3halfFRANK_SHAMELESS300SHAMELESS: Tuesday 26th January, Channel 4, 10pm ALERT ME

Shameless returns for its seventh series and it’s still full of the chav scum and dark humour we’ve all come to know and love.

It’s shambolic patriarch Frank’s 50th birthday but rather than spend it living the high life, he opts instead to wallow in his own loveless misery. That all changes when he falls for narcoleptic librarian, Libby Croker (played by none other than Pauline McLynn – Mrs Doyle from Father Ted).

Liam has the dubious honour of having his 11th birthday on the same day, but he’s rapidly inheriting the responsibilities of the Gallagher household.

Liam’s great grandmother Nin arrives and offers to take some of the slack off but Frank’s having none of it and selfishly sends her packing. But Nin is already struggling as a carer at home and decides to take matters into her own hands – a darkly humorous lesson in what it takes to survive at any costs “None of that touchy-feely bollocks – go straight for the jugular?.

Meanwhile Karen’s about to have her baby and has been taking on board the advice of Mimi who wisely opines, “I’ve had seven kids; there’s more scar tissue down there than fanny. It’s like chucking a chipolata up the Mersey Tunnel? – charming as ever then.

But while Karen worries about the baby’s father (to the ignorance of husband Jamie and the rest of the Macguires), slime ball Joe rears his head again, declaring that he’ll whisk her and baby away together. Just when Karen’s about to tell him where he can shove it, she goes into labour and it’s up to Joe to leap into action.

Shameless has always veered from the sublime to the ridiculous and this episode is no exception. A sex scene with Frank and Libby ends up with her passed out on floor mid act (made doubly strange by the expectation that she’d start yelling “ya will ya will ya will? over her shoulder while she bonks away) – utterly preposterous but hilarious all the same.

There have been long been accusations that the show is running out of steam and truth be told, it’s never going to be as fresh, shocking or funny as it was when it first aired.

But that aside, the writing and the characterisation is first rate – the Gallaghers really do feel like a family, albeit it a dysfunctional one and it’s this that ultimately still makes it worth watching.