As with most things these days, I discovered Misfits late (earlier this year in fact). I wasn't too keen on the thought at first, having stuck it in the box marked 'Skins'. Superheroes are not particularly a subject I relish either.
Well, both of these preconceptions were entirely WRONG. The story centres around five kids in their early twenties who meet doing community service. They are NOT superheroes, but each gets given a superpower when they get hit by lightning in a storm. For the life of me I'll never understand how Alisha's power is of any benefit whatsoever, but I won't spoil it. The brilliant hook of the first series is you don't get to find out what Nathan (the main character's) superpower is until the last episode.
The show is nothing like Skins, and is for adults, although I can imagine if I'd discovered it at 15 I would have been gleeful with all the sex and swearing in it.
The casting is excellent, with main character Nathan a particular joy. He is half super-annoying, half super-funny, crude, rude, cute and stupid. He's an arrogant little upstart, but you just love him. Kelly, the incomprehensible chav is also inspired casting with the best one liners. She's one of the most peculiar looking people I've ever seen, but that makes her perfect, because they're almost like caricatures/ cartoon characters. There's also Simon the super-geek, Curtis the Olympic runner-turned-drug cheat, and Alisha the sex maniac. You really fall for the characters.
The writing is really excellent, and the fact that half the town also has superpowers is a brilliant device as it gives them new scope for ideas and storylines each week. The writer who thought of that little twist must be very pleased with him/herself. It is also beautifully shot(I'm still not even sure where it's set!); I love the fact it all centres around the community centre and the rooftop they hang out on is the kind of place that only exists in TV or on films. I'm wondering if it will still be in the community centre next series as their ASBOs have all expired, but maybe they'll get done for something new!
The first series ends in an episode with Nathan on a roof, giving the best speech in any TV series since Stuart's coming out speech* in Queer as Folk. I won't ruin it, but I think it might have been the coolest moment on TV I saw this year, and certainly only Breaking Bad gets much cooler than that, and in a much more understated way.
The second series is just as good as the first, with the Grand Theft Auto episode being particularly inspired- the writers just understand their target audience so well. And I mean really understand it; not giving us what they think we want like T4 or something. The Christmas episode seemed a bit cobbled together, but worth it for Simon's line 'I'm going to kill Jesus.'
I was going to write this blog anyway this week, but it's timely because the Irish actor Robert Sheehan who plays Nathan announced he's not going to do the third series because he's had a successful movie. There's been uproar with people going they're not going to watch it anymore, but it's not ALL about Nathan. They are casting a new character, and if they get it right, and I don't see why they shouldn't, I think the show can survive. I'll be gutted to see the back of Nathan because he's brilliantly played and written. But the show must go on and I will still be watching. I think Curtis's character could be fleshed out a lot more, and all the nonsense with Simon and Alisha is presumably going somewhere, so there's still lots more to know about. I hope Kelly takes centre stage, because she's underused as well, and she's great. I will miss Nathan calling Simon Barry, and his afro, and his superpower, which was of course, the best one of all.
But I will still be watching Misfits. If you haven't seen it, you've got a brilliant few episodes to watch. Enjoy.
*FYI Stuart's speech went like this: 'Queers. Because I'm queer. I'm gay. I'm homosexual. I'm a poof, I'm a poofter, I'm a ponce. I'm a bumboy, batty-boy, backside artist, bugger. I'm bent. I am that arsebandit. I lift those shirts. I'm a faggot-ass, fudge-packing, shit-stabbing uphill gardener. I dine at the downstairs restaurant, I dance at the other end of the ballroom. I'm Moses and the parting of the red cheeks. I fuck and I am fucked. I suck and I am sucked. I rim them and wank them, and every single man's had the fucking time of his life. And I am not a pervert. If there's one twisted bastard in this family, it's this little blackmailer here. So congratulations, Thomas. I've just officially outed you.' Swoon.