Just when you thought you couldn’t turn on your TV set without seeing Amanda Holden – who is literally in everything – the Gods of Television shine upon us a ray of light and confirm that there is TV after Holden; they gave us Shameless.
And a gift from the Gods it is, sharing life at the poopy end of the social security stick, where it’s kill or be killed, dope up or die. And judging by the start of last night’s series seven, there’s no let up in quality or scathing humour. With devastatingly good one-liners of the ilk “Your establishment has the aesthetic appeal of the Beirut branch of Netto” it’s back on top form.
But I was rather disappointed that life’s moved on apace from the end of series six. No mention was made of Mandy’s horrific death, and where’s her daughter? And it seems Debbie’s gone and joined the army, which again happened during the woefully long hiatus between series.
However, there was infinite joy to be had in the introduction of new characters, the best of whom – for me – was Nin Gallagher, lovingly played by the irrepressible Edna Dore. She’s Frank’s gran and carer of husband Jonty, who is, in Nin’s words, “a cabbage.” However, we’d no sooner got to know how tough Nin’s life was as Jonty’s carer before she shot him dead.
So it was off to prison for Nin and she loved it; a warm bed, nice cellmate and three meals a day…
I hope it’s not the last we see of her.
But the big dealio was that Frank’s found “the one” again. Monica was The One, as was Sheila, however, given both have done a runner – and there’s no sign of Norma either, not that she and Frank were lovers but she and Monica were – he’s turned his attentions to the somewhat mental and narcoleptic Libby.
Pauline McLynn was fantastic as Mrs Doyle, and though Libby is no Mrs Doyle, she’s not without amusing features. One of those is the fact that she likes to quote Byron while doing the do…
However, following a riot at a protest about the possibility of the library closing down, she was arrested and will also be in prison for months. Again, I hope it’s not the last we’ll see of her.
In other news, Karen had her baby on the floor of the pub, delivered by Joe with whom she shares a fatal attraction, and it will be fatal I suspect if Jamie ever finds out that not only has Karen been unfaithful, but that new baby Connor Joseph Maguire may well be Joe’s child.
Little Liam is now 11 years old and a vociferous, intelligent young man who, assuming he doesn’t take to the drink and drugs culture, will go far.
Ahh the Manchester goodness of it all… roll on next week!