Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Frank 'n' sense
BIRTH! Shameless, Channel 4, 10.00pm
This series of Shameless has been a marathon rather than a sprint, though we're not about to say it isn't an excellent thing to see British dramas being commissioned for longer-running series like wot they do in America. Audience reaction to this series has been a little varied, with some thinking it's a series too far, others thinking that it's still a great show, just not the same great show it started out as, and still others thinking that it's been fucking great since day one, and if anyone disagrees I'LL FUCKIN' 'AVE YER. Sorry. Came over a bit Chatsworth there. Our opinion? We want more of Mickey and his "fook-shia" stretch limo. Just look at his little face up there! Bless.
We finish at a suitably climactic time for the first family of Chatsworth as a minor earthquake causes Frank to fall off his barstool and into a coma, and causes Monica's waters to break. Cue mayhem as Monica is determined to hold the baby in until Frank's by her side, and Debbie's determined not to let her know that Frank is unconscious in hospital. And while Frank and Monica have never been the most likeable characters in the history of television, this episode gives them both a chance to be a bit heartwarming; Monica's heart-to-heart with Ian is one of the best scenes of the whole series.
Meanwhile, we get a peek at the terrifying workings of Frank's mind while he's dead to the world, including Ian as a ladychasing wideboy, Debbie in a fat suit, Norma apparently dressed up for drag cabaret and a brilliant almost-return from the much-missed Sheila, though we won't spoil precisely how that presents itself...