William H. Macy insists, 'Don't you go counting out Frank Gallagher'
Episode 801
Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

A lot of time — and one very dear Gallagher — has passed since season 7, but season 8 of Shameless must go on.

When Showtime’s tragicomic hit returns this fall, the Gallagher family has moved past the gut-punching loss of their matriarch, but one family member in particular is wholly changed by the experience. Get ready to once again encounter something you’ve seen so, so often before: Frank Gallagher, renewed — and remorseful.

William H. Macy’s character has turned over enough new leaves to start a cabbage patch, and yet, given the death of his old flame Monica in the season 7 finale, there’s something particularly poignant about his post-epiphany efforts to make amends to Fiona (Emmy Rossum) and finally ask forgiveness from the rest of his family for his behavior over the last 30 years.

In EW’s exclusive first peek at the new season, Frank spiffs up for what’s basically his latest remorse tour. “A new Frank means a new beginning, a fresh start. Today starts now,” says Macy, who earned his fourth Emmy nomination for the role this year. “Like when you get a new bar of soap. It’s big and perfectly formed and even though you know it’s going down the drain, it impresses you. Or the end of the toilet paper roll. But maybe that’s not the same thing at all.”

In this particular scene, Frank has swallowed his pride and humbled himself to the family that, one year prior, threw him into a lake and left him for chum. “Frank is imploring his family to see him not as an a—hole who’s not worth it, but as what he is at this moment… which in this picture looks to be some sort of dead guy,” Macy jokes.

But hey! Who’s to say that this Frank Gallagher apology tour isn’t the one that’s going to change things up? Sure, viewers may know better about Frank’s habits (thanks to seven previous seasons of the character’s sparse ups and many, many, many, many downs) but Macy insists that you should still give him a chance. “Don’t you go counting out Frank Gallagher,” says the actor. “At this [moment], Frank just got his second promotion at work, he bought a spiffy new suit with his new credit card, and he’s got a brand new car. All completely legal, and all sober as a nun.”

The new season of Shameless premieres on Showtime this fall; in the meantime, you can shamelessly vote for the show to grace the cover of the EW Fall TV Preview.

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