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Here's what has to happen to each Gallagher in 'Shameless' season 6

There are still nine whole months before Shameless returns for its sixth season. That’s a whole lot of waiting, so to pass the time, Tamar Barbash and I have compiled a list of our hopes and dreams for every Gallagher’s story arc next year. Will they happen?

Probably not: The beauty of Shameless is that this show is entirely unpredictable, and frequently goes in (hilarious, sickening, wonderful, and/or awful) directions we never could have imagined. But we couldn’t sit idly by without at least putting our deepest Shameless desires out there. Here’s everything we want for Frank (Willam H. Macy), Fiona (Emmy Rossum), Lip (Jeremy Allen White), Ian (Cameron Monaghan), Debbie (Emma Kenney), Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), and even Liam (Brendan and Brandon Sims) next season.

And if you can’t get enough Shameless coverage, Tamar and I also hosted a weekly podcast all about the show. For a more in-depth take on this season, check out This Week on Shameless.

Without further ado, here’s what we want to see:

Frank evolves

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When Shameless began five years ago, Frank was the backbone of the series. But half a decade later, his selfish, comically malevolent shtick has grown tiresome. That’s why his playful, loving relationship with Bianca (Bojana Novakovic), a young doctor diagnosed with terminal cancer who dies at the end of season five, was such a breath of fresh air. Seeing Frank care, for once, was compelling. We’re not fooling ourselves that next season will be all about Saint Frank—and we’d be disappointed if it were—but watching him mourn Bianca and struggle with her loss will be an exciting development for a character who hasn’t changed since episode one. Also welcome: a confrontation with his six kids over why he loved a random stranger more than he loved any of them. —Ariel Kay

Fiona makes a choice that’s long overdue

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In a season of plotlines that just wouldn’t die, the Fiona/Gus (Steve Kazee)/Sean (Dermot Mulroney) love triangle—compounded into a quadrangle by Jimmy’s (Justin Chatwin) brief return—was the most tedious of all. This was in part because it seemed to be over so many times—when Fiona slept with Jimmy, when Gus went away on tour, when she confessed her feelings for Sean, when Gus came back from tour, repeat ad nauseum—only to rear its ugly head the following episode. Going into season six, it’s beyond time for Gus to ask for an annulment so everyone can get off this ridiculous merry-go-round. Even better: Fiona spends the season repairing her relationships with her siblings, not on starting a new one with Sean. —AK

Lip gets by on his own

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Lip’s arc this season showed a lot of potential at the start, but somehow managed to lose its way. Lip’s struggle to find his comfort zone as he explores life away from the South Side could have been a backdrop for some very interesting storytelling, but Lip has gotten caught up in a bizarre love affair with his professor (and her husband) instead.

In season six, I’d like to see Lip standing on his own two feet. Who is he without a woman pulling his strings? Mandy got him into college; Amanda got him to take school seriously; Helene is getting him to grow up. Now I’d like to see Lip go out on his own and figure out what he wants to do with his great intelligence. —Tamar Barbash

Ian takes care of himself

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Oh, Ian. Poor, poor Ian. First and foremost, I hope season six brings Ian good health. He has to come to terms with the idea of taking medicine every day, and it would be great if that realization didn’t take the whole season. I’d like to see Ian figure out that that doesn’t mean losing more control to his illness; it means taking control back.

I want him to figure out how to be a contributing member of society, maybe get his high school diploma, and develop some new interests now that the military—his goal since we met him five years ago—is a moot point.

And, of course, I hope Ian can make things right with Mickey (Noel Fisher), so they can be together, like the universe intended. —TB

Debbie gives away her baby

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Since Debbie purposefully had unprotected sex in “South Side Rules,” her teen pregnancy has been an awful, unstoppable plotline barreling down on us like a runaway freight train. She only just confirmed she’s with child in the season finale, so it’s possible that she could still have time to get an abortion in the beginning of season six. But if this storyline has to play out, Debbie’s emotional struggle and eventual choice to give the baby up for adoption could actually be exactly what next season needs: a common cause for the Gallaghers to rally around, plenty of dramatic material for Fiona and Debbie to share, and even a reason for season five’s true MVP, Svetlana (Isadora Goreshter) to stick around. (She’s gone through the surrogacy process herself, remember?) Just as long as Fiona isn’t saddled with another baby to raise, we’ll call it even. —AK

Carl is redeemed

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There are so many things I’d love to see happen for Carl, but none of them seem even remotely plausible. It would be wonderful if prison was traumatic for Carl and made him reevaluate some of his choices, but it won’t, of course.

What was so disheartening about Carl’s season five arc was not that he wound up in jail, but the excitement and pleasure he took in the whole experience. In season six, it would be nice for Carl to somehow find redemption. After selling Chuckie (Kellen Michael) down the river, I’m not sure how exactly this can be achieved. But I’d like to be able to feel something positive again for the boy who once shaved his sick father’s head to let the sun rays in. —TB

Liam learns to talk

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Pretty soon, this baby is going to be a full-blown teenager, and he still will not have had a single conversation in his time on the show. With Carl moving on to more adult troubles (like imprisonment and gang violence), it’s time for the youngest Gallagher to fill the void his older brother left behind. Liam could provide Shameless with some much-needed comic relief. We suggest giving him and Debbie a subplot to share, wherein she learns more about the not-so-pretty side of child care, and he gets to be all cute and stuff. —AK

What do you think? Do you agree with our assessment, or do you want other things out of season six? And what are your hopes for all the non-Gallaghers we didn’t cover? Let us know!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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