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4.3 out of 5 stars30
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2012
Series 4 starts off on a low, kicking out two much loved characters in the first few minutes, Kev and Veronica who really kept the place together in Steve and Fiona's absence, then getting rid of two more great characters, Marty and Sue who wonder off at the end of the first episode and are never seen again, meanwhile the Maguire Family turn up and blow the roof off the place with too much violence and too many extreme storylines, they just don't fit with the warmth and the show becomes instantly cold.
Then, as we get a couple of episodes in, Sheila, another much loved character buggers off and we are left with the fat, ugly, irritating, uninteresting waste of space that is Frank's first wife to fill the void - which she doesn't.
Then, Carol Fisher, Veronica and Marty's mum is not far behind, and we are left with a husk of a great show without the humour and warmth it once had. I cannot see how the producers thought they would get away with losing six main characters in as many episodes.
We are left with, what will become the template for the next five series, a Maguire fest with a couple of new characters each year who in turn bugger off unexplained at the end of the subsequent season taking with them more main characters until we are left with about two original characters as with the current televised series.
What went wrong? Paul Abbot should have handled some characters leaving the show and introduced others slowly, he could have done this I should imagine to appear almost seamlessly, instead of this, 6 out (Kev, Veronica, Carol, Marty, Sue, Sheila), and 6 in (all characterless Maguires).
A poor show but if you want to carry on watching, you will have to get used to it, because there is no going back.
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on 10 December 2007
I really couldn't bring myself to like this, though I am a big fan of the first three series.

I watched all the way through every episode, but it was an effort, not a pleasure. Some may argue that change prevents stagnation, but here the formula has diverged too far for my taste.

Another two of the best characters, Kev and Veronica, have left the show, and a number of other favourite supporting characters have disappeared or have only fleeting parts. In exchange, we have a much expanded role for the hideous Maguire family, which really does not sit well with the dynamic of previous series. That's not to knock the actors, who I think did a good job in making the Maguires nasty pieces of work when they made occasional supporting appearances. Here though, we are expected to accept them as bungling pantomime characters who get more screen time than the Gallagher family.

Then there's the new police officers, who appear to take inspiration from the keystone cops and just irritated me for some reason. Or Frank, who says and does nothing of any moment the entire series, and Debbie who is now much more mature, but does not seem to be her usual devious self. Lip, Ian and Carl are "around", and even have epsiodes centred around them, but they take something of a back seat much of the time.

On the plus side, we see quite a bit of Karen (Rebecca Atkinson), and Norma is revealed to be a more complex character than previously expected, nicely acted too.

Overall, this is a weak and repetitive series compared to the previous ones. Ever more extreme, shocking and unlikely plot devices are used to compensate for a lack of interesting stories and characters. Perhaps the worst thing about it though, is that there is virtually no humour in it anymore. Dig out your DVD of Series One and compare the warmth and sharp humour on display there.
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on 4 March 2007
Like a few others, I felt the third series represented a bit of a dip in the Shameless trajectory with not enough laughs and not enough of the Gallagher kids featured in the stories. I'm delighted to say that the fourth is a triumphant return to form.

The action is neatly divided among the main characters with a bit less of Frank, who I thought dominated the third series a little too much (though his fans needn't worry - he's still around in abundance). Some will lament the loss of Kevin and Veronica who, like Fiona and Steve, are now gone, locked in a Romanian jail. Others will dislike the Maguire family, who make the Gallaghers look like The Waltons...or at least The Simpsons. I think they add humour (despite the ever-present threat of violence). The key difference is that, in a programme where, at times, it's possible to sympathise with almost every character, you'd really be hard-pushed to like anything about Mimi and Paddy Maguire!

As always, the storylines have moments of incredible sadness among the comedy but this never descends into sentimentality or pathos. One of the delights in the writing is always in the reversal of conventional wisdom (such as the Maguires' horror that their son Jamie wants to get married without having got anyone pregnant). Carl and Debbie are now older and their storylines richer, giving them moments of joy and sorrow as intense as those of the other characters.

If you haven't seen it yet, I don't want to give too much away, but Shiela and Marty find happiness in ways you'd not expect and as for what happens to, I mustn't reveal any more.

Shameless says more about Britain as it really is than just about anything on television. It's easy to focus on the sex, drugs and crime but its message that family, community and love are the most important things in life has won it an audience with viewers of every age.
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I'll start off by focusing on the bad points of Shameless series 4. Firstly, the Gallagher's ever-reliable neighbours, Kev and Veronica (Dean Lennox Kelly and Maxine Peake) leave the series in the first episode, swiftly followed by the wonderfully barmy Sheila (Maggie O'Neill) soon after. This void is filled by the gruesome Maguire family, who move in lock, stock and more than two smoking barrels next door to the Gallaghers. The Maguires worked best when they were semi-regular characters, but their promotion to main character status means that they aren't as effective any more. Meanwhile, the show's most popular character, Frank (David Threlfall), barely appears after the initial story arc! I would also argue that the writing isn't as sharp as it once was, and most episodes seem to be played for laughs, with less of the great drama we've come to expect from the show. Lastly, the conclusion of the series is a real Marmite moment: love it or hate it. I hated it!

Now for the positives. The characterisation of the Gallagher kids continues to be well-handled, and Debbie has firmly stepped into the role of mother figure left by Fiona (Anne Marie Duff). There's an excellent change in the dynamic when Frank's errant wife Monica (Annabelle Apsion) returns, announcing that she is no longer a lesbian! This creates some superb tension in the Gallagher household, as Monica and Debbie vie for 'mother' status. Lastly, the supporting characters, including Marty, Carol and Yvonne, get some interesting developments, and the ongoing Maguires storyline is nicely resolved. Overall, the show manages to adapt to the loss of more of its big characters, but its clearly lacking some of the sparkling writing of the first two series. If there's another series, hopefully we'll see some of the old stars pop in for guest appearances (hint hint, Mr. and Mrs. McAvoy!)
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on 21 January 2009
What went wrong? We have watched series 1 ,2 & 3. But from episode 5 it went completely down the tubes. I thought episode 5 was just a bad episode - too many preposterous plot lines going nowhere. We persevered with episode 6 with not many laughs and more bizarre story-lines. But as we got into episode 7 we switched it off - it was simply too bad. Having watched the preceding 3 series all on DVD we are not prudish and know what to expect. But the excessive crudity was totally unnecessary and mostly well out of context. The actors have been been badly let down by weak scripts,and a lack of any plot/editorial discipline.

We will not be buying further Series 5. Shameless RIP.
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on 2 February 2009
Shameless is definately an acquired taste. I am definately bias with this production, I find it offensive, funny, sad and definately brilliantly written. For those of you who have never seen an episode prepare to be shocked as the Shameless team explore humanity at its best and worse. I definately think that the funniest episode is when Ian gets involved with the lad next door and his discovery of his new partners previous sexual exploits, which are definately hysterical but at the same time extremely disturbing. If you have never seen Shameless you should definately give it a go - it would be a shame not to.
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on 27 February 2011
Buy this now, shameless is easily the best programme on telelvison, the maguire family are epic in this, its sad not see veronica and kev anymore but they are replaced with excellent new characters. Good plot, story delevopment, acting (as usual) everything you want in a television programme.
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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2007
season 4 of shameless was aired in 2007 and continues its form in fine style.There are changes to personel in season 4 with people leaving and people emerging and the maguire family getting greater screen time,they are a family that make the gallaghers look saintly for those in the dark.
The changes hurt at first if im honest but then make sense and the show flows perfectly.
I think series 4 is more down to earth and logical than previous series' and that has to be commended.One new tactic is to show peoples imaginations more,much like the way JD of scrubs does it,i liked that touch.
As usual the focal point is the gallagher clan led by the father of the family frank who is as good as ever here even if he is a waste of space in many ways but his family loves him and that will probably never change.
Throughout the 8 episodes alot happens and the blend of dark comedy,surreal segemnts all papered up with tragedy and doom makes for pefect telly,maybe the best series of them all perhaps,maybe.
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on 23 June 2008
I do not get why people seem to hate Shameless 4 as its one of my fab series. Yes I loved Kev and Veronica but things had to move on and the Maguires are so much fun!
I also like that they brought Monica back and the Yvonne gets more time on screen.....
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on 29 October 2007
Obviously this series was not as good as series one and two but it was good all the same. I thought with all the main characters such as steve, Fiona, Kev, VEronica and Sheila going it wouldn't be worth watching but i was wrong. It was still great in its own right. The introduction of the Mcguires was brilliant, i think Ciaren GRiffiths who played Gary Best in the Bill was a great addition to the cast.

Still have the comedy and drama of the other series and definitly worth buying for any shameless fan like myself.
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