Review: Misfits, Series 1

Misfits, a British show from E4, was recently released on Hulu. I sat down to watch one episode and ended up sitting through the night watching them all.

After a freak storm, five delinquent teenagers are gifted with extraordinary  powers and not a lick of morality to use them for good.

Unlike most shows concerning superheroes, Misfits does not take itself seriously. Its protagonists are typically antisocial and extremely crude. A band of antiheroes, in the midst of humdrum community service, is given special super powers during a mysterious lightning storm and then find that others have also been affected by the storm. Their “parole officer” is also struck by lightning, therefore becoming a bloodthirsty killer. After he attacks, the delinquents  accidentally kill him and must bury his body.

The show spirals out of control after that pilot episode, visiting the realm of hot grannies and Puritan mind control. The kids soon find that there are several others who also have powers, affected by the storm. Their own powers are shaky and untuned: Alisha can incite lust with touch, Kurtis can turn back time, Simon can turn invisible, Kelly can read minds, and Nathan… well, Nathan isn’t sure he even has a cool power like the rest of them.

The standout star of this British series is Robert Sheehan who brings an insincere and hilarious tone to the odd happenings. There is a subtle social commentary going on beneath all the expletives and nudity and weird-out humor- there is also something refreshingly real. The characters do not try too hard to garner sympathy from viewers, taking part in acts of vandalism and, of course, drug and alcohol abuse. But beneath constant bickering and pseudo-horrendous crimes, they carry the strangeness of youth. Confronted with new opportunities, they don’t know what to now do. That’s exactly how all youths feel, honestly.

It’s crude and rude and definitely faux pas, but we need crudeness in our lives. It’s the rawest form of honesty. If you don’t talk about the creepy possibilities of turning yourself invisible, you’ve left out a key aspect of invisibility. Given these powers, would we not exploit them? Would we not turn invisible to rob a bank or listen in on others’ thoughts for a better test grade?

If you need something revolting yet heartwarming in your life, Misfits will fill that void. It has an odd way of uplifting you by condescending to your level, by exploring strange, dark, gross-out sections of our humanity. Basically, Britain.

Misfits aired originally on E4, but now can be found both on Hulu and Youtube. Season 2 has also already been released. I can promise that both seasons, comprising together of 13 episodes, are well worth the watch.

There will be a third season, coming soon.

What sort of crude, but funny and emotional shows do you indulge in?

About derekberry

Derek Berry is a novelist, poet, and student located in Charleston, SC.

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Britian, Reviews, Teenagers, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I don’t have to turn on the TV. To get my quota of rude & crude, all I have to do is hang out with my family.

  2. Hey, what are you saying about us British? haha. No, seriously, we do have a bit of a dark sense of humour. I love Misfits, especially Nathan. He’s just so obnoxious and funny. `It’s just pure, mindless vandalism.” I’m glad they shipped the original series over there instead of doing an American version. Series 2 is even stranger than the first.

    Great post.

    • It’s a great series. haha. I’m really glad we got to see it. And I’m quite sad Robert Sheehan won’t be there next year. He makes this show unbearably hilarious. And how could they get rid of his character anyways? He’s immortal.
      I’m excited for series 3, and glad this didn’t become another “Skins” debacle. I think they’ll air series 3 here the same time as in the UK. Hopefully.

      • I know. It won’t be the same without him. I don’t understand how they’ll get rid of him either when he’s immortal. `Save me Barry…..’ (love that line)

        Hopefully they’ll air it the same time here as in the U.S then we’re in sync.

        Being Human (The U.K version) is good if you can get hold of it. Not watched the other version but I don’t know how they’ll make it as good with an entirely different cast. It’s another very British sci-fi show with some humour but done in a different way to Misfits. Plus, hey a vampire, a werewolf and the least scary ghost in the world flat-sharing!

      • I watched a bit of the American version. Not very interesting, really. But I’ll check out the UK version. What I think will happen is while Misfits is shown on E4, it will be simultaneously available on Hulu. Maybe Hulu Plus. I think it’d be worth paying 12 dollars a month for Hulu Plus, though.

  3. Very well written review of the series. I love it when they’re done by people that just get the series. I love that the main characters can all be jerks, and the antagonists/villains are always in some way sympathetic. A lot of shows just get too black and white about morality/good and evil.

    Losing Nathan is a blow to the series, and I hope the write him off instead of killing him. He’s no longer immortal so they could kill him, they can even kill him using whatever new power he chose in an outrageous way. Still I’d rather he just run off with Marnie. I’m mad at Robert for leaving, but I don’t want Nathan to die.

    Hope they air the season 3 episodes here on Hulu. I just know, no matter what, i’m going to see the third season.

    • They’re making a special online episode that tells Nathan’s fate. He will not return at all, which is killing me. Just.. killing me.

      • Ditto. I’m a rabid fan for every aspect of this show, but Simon and Nathan are my favorite characters. I f-loved their relationship. No one is going to be there to call him Barry anymore. *sob* The show was already going to be different with them getting new powers, but now its going to be way different. I’m 98% sure it can survive the shift, but there is still that 2% dancing around in the back of my head.

        Hopefully Nathan leaving opens the door for some much needed Curtis/Simon bonding. I’d like to see them go running together. Curtis could teach him breathing and form techniques.

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