'Shameless' Season 5 Premiere MVP Is Joan Cusack, Hands Down

I have very few complaints when it comes to Shameless (besides my inner crochety old lady who is scandalized by the numerous graphic sex scenes) — in fact, one of the show's only issues in my book is its large cast. And that's not even a problem, when it comes down to it — the show does a masterful job of keeping the countless storylines balanced, and of course, it's such a talented group. What I'm trying to say is, the only caveat to the sprawling ensemble show is that just once in a blue moon, a character that you really, really like ends up getting pushed to the sidelines in favor of someone else's juicy plotline — and last season, that's what happened Joan Cusack's Sheila Jackson. In the Season 5 premiere of Shameless , however, things look a little different.

The promos gave me high hopes that we'd be seeing a lot more of Sheila this season. Jury's still out, but Episode 1 got us off to a very auspicious start. First off, Frank is back to living at Sheila's, which definitely bodes well for her screen time. Then, there's the fact that she's at near constant odds with Frank's eldest daughter, Sammi (their screaming fights do wonders for the comedy quotient on the show) — add it all together, and I think we'll be seeing a lot of her.

And thank goodness, too — she's long been the standout among a cast full of stand outs, and she completely stole the show this week when Sammi borrowed from her prized, carefully curated sex toy collection. Let me just say that Joan Cusack shouting out "MY SEX TOYS!" while intermittently crying and throwing dozens of giant dildos into a bucket (from which they overflow, cornucopia style) is comedic gold, and the Shameless writers had better trade on it.

Speaking of which, ow that Shameless has officially moved over to the comedy session (and the writing has been tweaked accordingly), I'm hoping that this is going to be Joan's year to shine. Let's gun for that 2015 Emmy Award, eh?

Image: Cliff Lipson/Shameless