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It's a shame (my sister)

DODGY DRUGZ! Shameless, Channel 4, 10.00pm

Shameless series five has had a bit of a bumpy journey. The transition from focussing on one family to two families to a whole community is a good one, but it has taken a bit of time to find its way. Some of the episodes this series have been great (last week's 'siege'), some less-great (we don't want any more gay incest, this isn't Hollyoaks). Tonight's, though, is a bit of a corker.

The focus of our attention is Mandy, who's been hanging around doing not very much since Lip went to university (and how come he never visits home? The students we know are always popping back for a weekend), so it's nice that she finally gets some proper screen time tonight.

Our Mandy is looking for a new man, but it hasn't been going swimmingly. finally, she meets a nice guy, it all goes well, and as frequently happens in these situations, he necks a dodgy Maguire-sourced E and snuffs it. (If this carries on, Mandy will be joining her Hollyoaks namesake, Tosh from Torchwood and Susan-Smith-Kennedy-Smith-Kennedy-Smith-Kinski-Kennedy from Neighbours on our list of much loved iconic drama/soap characters who are way too good for all the crappy the things that happen to them). Mandy, Karen and Jamie are left with a body to dispose of, and Mimi is left panicking that not only might she have poisoned dead bloke, Chesney Karib is also looking pretty rough and she thinks he might also have necked a dody pill....

This sets up a cracking tale (about a trillion times better than Hollyoaks' current 'drugz is bad m'kay' storyline), with some great scenes between Karen and Mandy, Yvonne and Mimi and Chesney and the Maguires. We see new, exciting friendships formed, and even Frank gets to have a moment of aceness.

Oh, and watch out for the end credits bit, which is also pretty good fun. More of this kind of thing please, writers. Thanks.

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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