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?