Shameless UK - Season 9

Starring: David Threlfall, Elliott Tittensor, Aaron McCusker, Rebecca Atkinson, Tina Malone, Ciaran Griffiths, Nicky Evans, Sally Carman, Valerie Lilley, Kira Martin, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Karen Bryson, Jack Deam, Robbie Conway, Qasim Akhtar, Alice Barry, Michael Taylor
Writer: Paul Abbott, Danny Brocklehurst
Rating: ****

Air Date: Tuesdays, Channel 4, 10pm

Shameless is back and things are kicking off with a bang, people are being evicted and everyone on Chatsworth Estate is having to pull together to save their community. I know people say that Shameless has changed and isn't the same as early years, but for me Shameless keeps getting better and better.

Over the years we have seen characters come and go, and with each change comes a refreshed show and new start. Now this series hasn't gained anyone (as of yet) but I know for a fact that we are soon going to be losing to valuable and much loved characters very soon. Micky Maguire and Carl Gallagher (Griffiths & Tittensor) will soon be off our screens leaving a huge void in the show, so I do hope that some equally fun characters are ready to fill the hole. Also with Carl going the only Gallaghers we have left are Frank (Threlfall) and Stella, and seeing as the series was, and should remain, based around the Gallagher clan, I'm hoping for some old characters to return.

Apart from these two characters exits everything else has remained the same, especially good old Frank who is still as drunk, unstable, and disliked as ever, but without those attributes we, as an audience, wouldn't love Frank the way we do. Carl is returning from Police training, and though it is hard for some of the estate to accept, he is going to become a police officer. Whether this is why he leaves or it is something else I don't know, but I hope he, and best friend Chesney (Akhtar), get plenty of action before he goes. The Maguires are still as loud, aggressive and brash as ever with the angriest still being matriarch Mimi (Malone), who is settled down with her toy boy husband (Taylor).

Mickey is still the closeted homosexual homophobe we've grown to tolerate, and alongside him are his brothers, Jamie and Shane (McCuscker & Evans) who pick on and torment Micky as much, in fact more than ever. Jamie is still married to sexy, Bi-Polar barmaid Karen who in the premiere episode is desperately trying to help the residents of Chatsworth, showing just how caring she really is. Unfortunately, the other brother, Shane, has separated from prostitute Kelly, who is now pregnant with Tourette's sufferer and last seasons returnee, Marty's (Deam) baby. (I know...It's confusing).

The Powell family, Jackson, Letitia and Avril (Ighodaro, Martin & Bryson), are going through their own issues, with Jackson and Letitia's marriage on the rocks and Jackson being investigated for benefit fraud. Patty and Aidan Croker (Lilley & Conway), the disabled OAP and violent teenager who are moved from home to home and disliked by most are pretty much the same as before, but I'm sure things will change for them, it is Shameless after all. Of course, last but not least Lillian (Barry) the lovable Brothel owner and Mel B lookalike, who really has no idea what day it is, let alone anything else, is just as dozy as ever, and that is why we, the audience, love her.

Over the years the series has certainly evolved and become something entirely different from what it started out as, but I genuinely believe that it is just as brilliant as ever, and with a superb cast along for the ride not much can go wrong. For the creator (Paul Abbott) to still be coming up with new storylines, twists and characters, and also still keep the heart of the show is a real achievement and for that reason he deserves all the praise in the world. It has lost viewers and it has gained viewers, but one thing is for sure, Shameless isn't going anywhere, and certainly not without a fight. Season 9 looks set to be an absolute triumph and despite the loss of some superb characters I can't wait to see where the characters are going to go next.

Shameless UK: Season 9 - Promo