Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Misfits: Like Heroes, minus the suck

Who's spent the last 24 hours watching all of Misfits on Youtube? Oh yeah, this girl. (Also: ALL OF MISFITS. IS ON YTUBE. Go watch before someone at the channel figures it out.)

Misfits is a British sci-fi TV series about a group of 20-something delinquents performing community service for minor offenses. They're a real collection of winners:
The heroes you deserve.
Curtis, an ex-sprinter obsessed with his former glory, was arrested for cocaine possession; Alisha, a party girl, got nailed for drunk driving; Nathan, the very definition of a cheeky Irishman, absurdly got nabbed for stealing some pick 'n' mix (British candies); Kelly, my favorite, punched out another girl for insulting her; and Simon, my other favorite, is a complete mental case who tried to burn somebody's house down.

Not the best candidates for becoming superheroes, you'd agree.

And yet that's exactly what happens when a freak electrical storm descends on London, causing the Misfits and other denizens to exhibit superpowers.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Wasn't it a solar eclipse last time? But Misfits--so far--succeeds where Heroes failed, creating characters that (while highly imperfect) remain coherent and sympathetic...well, most of the time. The quintet react pretty much how you'd expect a super-powered twenty-something delinquents to react if suddenly given the ability to, say, mind-control other people into being sexually interested in them. The storyline reminds me a lot of Marvel's The Runaways, in that the super-powered team of youngsters has little interest in being at all heroic--excepting the geeky Simon--and usually act in their own self-interests first.

Kelly is, as I mentioned, my favorite. I love how her default problem-solving technique is HIT IT WITH SOMETHING HARD UNTIL IT STOPS MOVING. Which, come to think of it, all the Misfits have a problematic defense mechanism. Nathan's is to mock everyone in a hundred-yard radius, Alisha makes the problem worse, Curtis assumes that someone else will fix it, and Simon switches on his inner serial killer.

In fact, most of the series' plot involves them hiding the bodies of people that they've accidentally killed.

The series is filled with darkly hilarious moments like that, and also some profundity about what it means to be a young person trying to find your way in the world. But mostly it's a delightful sendup of the superhero ethos. With great power...comes great fuckups.


  1. Misfits is like heroes but with ugly cast and cheap acting by extra. America is best when creating superheroes shows.

    1. That's exactly what makes Misfits great. No fake bullshit. No "supermodel" anorexic ladies, just normal people. American TV shows are full of expensive BS.

    2. I really loved Misfits, mainly because it's all what you mentioned. But I don't think that the acting is bad. I find it quite refreshing and super british compared to the stale American style of acting.

      Yes and they can say "fuck" and talk about sex since it is a British show - oh and *gosh* there are nudity as well. ;)

      I'm usually not that interested in Scifi shows, but I got so hooked on the show that I had to see it from the beginning.

      Love from Jane ;-)

  2. Misfits is like heroes but with ugly cast and cheap acting by extra. America is best when creating superheroes shows.