Over the years, we’ve gotten some pretty awesome imports from across the pond, haven’t we? Downton Abbey, Torchwood, Doctor Who, and now Misfits. Five young delinquents got caught in a freak lightening storm and suddenly developed superpowers. I know, I know, it sounds like Heroes. The thing that distinguishes Misfits from its American predecessor is that Misfits doesn’t suck.
The BAFTA award-winning series is gearing up for its fourth season on British television, but U.S. audiences can now start from the very beginning thanks to Viacom’s Logo TV network acquisition of the rights to air the series.
Assigned to a community service program for committing various crimes, Curtis, Kelly, Alisha, Simon, and Nathan embody the John Hughes archetypes and, like their Breakfast Club counterparts, started their first day of public service by mouthing off to their probation officer, Tony, and generally terrorizing and antagonizing one another. The group had barely begun to paint a cluster of weathered park benches when a violent storm, complete with baseball-sized chunks of hail (ouch) sent them running for cover. Cover which, unfortunately (and awesomely), they didn’t reach.
Admittedly, being struck by lightening sucks, but hey, SUPER POWERS.
Kelly, the “basket case,” was the first to notice her power. She realized, gradually, that she could hear the thoughts of people and animals as clearly as though they were spoken. It ended up being a total mood-killer during foreplay. Awkward. You ever see those fabulous Jenna Marbles videos? What Men/Women think of during sex? Yeah, it was a lot like that.
Next, the socially inept “brain,” Simon, showed up for the next day’s community service invisible. It’s a fitting power for him, considering everyone treated him as though he were invisible anyway, with smartass “criminal” Nathan implying that he was probably in the program for being a peeping Tom.
Try wannabe arsonist, Nate.
Nathan’s power was still undiscovered at the end of the pilot, so I hope it’s awesome. Nathan is kind of my favorite at the moment. I have a thing for fictional jerks, okay? Also, his mom is played by Michelle Fairley, a.k.a. Catelyn Stark over on Game of Thrones. She’s not the only GoT alum to make an appearance, either! Josef Altin, (Pypar!) met a gory ending as Gary, the non-superpowered misfit who was taking a smoke break in the restroom when the freak storm hit.
While our little troupe of troubled teens all appeared to come out of the storm with nifty superpowers, their probation counselor, Tony, didn’t fare as well. All he got was a case of the crazies—an out-of-control rage paired with a pathological need to kill all of the kids under his charge. He’s kind of like Principal Vernon and The Shining’s Jack Torrance combined, complete with a fondness for axe-murder. RIP Gary, we barely knew ye.
After conveniently confiscating everybody’s cell phone, Tony’s rampage began. Kelly fell next and a remorseful Curtis, the “athlete,” discovered his ability to turn back time. It’s another fitting power. Curtis wound up on the community service crew after being caught with cocaine, effectively destroying his once promising sports career and dashing his Olympic dreams.
Armed with the knowledge of Tony’s impending attack, Curtis rallied the team to GTFO and during a scuffle, “Princess” Alisha’s power was displayed—instant uncontrollable sexual arousal at her mere touch. Actually, that sounds like the worst superpower ever. Well, maybe not EVER. There was an Astonishing X-Men story a few years ago (“Gifted”? Maybe? It was during Joss Whedon’s run.) that hinged on the fabled “mutant cure” and there was a scene where one of the proponents of the drug pointed out that not every mutation is awesome. For every Kitty Pryde, there was another mutant who ended up with a duck beak instead of a mouth. And no, not a duck beak that shot lasers or anything, just a plain old duck beak. So, I guess if my choice was duck beak or bad touch, I’d just start wearing gloves all the time or something.
While Kelly managed to survive in Curtis’s new timeline, Tony, unfortunately, did not and the formerly divided team bonded over the shared experience of hiding a dead body. Well, TWO dead bodies. Gary got to stay dead. Poor Gary. But YAY TEAMWORK! The only thing that could have made things even better would have been Brainy Simon’s reading from an eloquently worded letter politely condemning the authority figure for making judgments about the kids based on their stereotypical outward appearances and reaffirming their new identities as a more enlightened Brat Pack 2.0.
Superpowered or not, the misfits still had to show up for community service the next day and were horrified to learn that their replacement was none other than Dead Tony’s fiancé. Awkward. It totally didn’t help that Nathan claimed Tony and Gary were having an affair and ran away—complete with pantomimed butt sex.
Oh, and she totally thinks that the kids had something to do with Tony’s disappearance.
Misfits’ pilot raised a lot of questions and I’m definitely sticking around for some answers. I’m aware that a little Google-fu would easily answer quite a few of my thinky thoughts when it comes to this television veteran, but I’m going to let it all unfold organically, so humor me, please. Misfits is raunchy, darkly comedic, and sometimes, occasionally sweet.
Do we have any Misfits fans in the house?