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Series 11 - Episode 1
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It felt like a breath of fresh air when it burst onto our screens in 2004, but as it girds its loins for a final hurrah, the rambunctious drama feels as stale as Frank Gallagher’s rasping breath after a heavy night.
Any warmth for the characters departed long ago and we’re just left with a queasy mix of filthy laughs and stabs at poignancy. There’s both in the storyline of Jamie Maguire (Aaron McCusker) discovering that Paddy wasn’t his father.
The details of the revelation aren’t suitable for the pages of Radio Times, but as Jamie struggles with identity issues, he becomes a fixed point amid the usual screaming vortex of lusty abandon.
The 11th and final season of the popular drama begins as the Maguires toast the expansion of their empire - Mimi has hijacked control of the local school via the PTA and Shane is setting up a new business venture. But just as things are going well, Jamie makes a shocking discovery and withdraws from the family firm. Meanwhile, Frank climbs the employment ladder as a caretaker, conveniently funding his latest leisure activity - a prostitute double act.
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