Misfits (Season 3): 8 Episodes: with a whole new bunch of powers and a line-up change, the gang are re-booted and re-established. It takes around 1/2 the season, but once the new guy – ‘split personality’ Rudy – is properly established his comic timing, screen presence and character far outdo Nathan, which isn’t an easy feat. The rest of the cast keep up with their characters well and the dealer gets a bigger role than before. A critical problem with Season 3 is that the writing is all over the place, I’ve never seen a series with such variation in quality between episodes; some are among the best and most clever to date, yet others are barely watchable or deadly boring, and the rest are average at best. To finger out a couple, the Nazi time travel and gender bending episodes are just boring, boring and boring – however the super STD episode is comedy gold and the zombie cheerleaders is nothing short of pure cult. Slow burning, with individual episodes ranging between 1/10 and 8/10, Misfits Season 3 asks a lot more of its audience than previous outings, and although it’s still daring, dark and outrageous it only gets its shit together in the final couple of episodes. It’s definitely lacking the clever writing that made the first two seasons special – Season 4 will be a tough sell for me.
Misfits (Season 2): 7 episodes: our favourite gang of reprobates are back to carry out more community service and save the day using their bizarre set of superpowers. Compared to season one, the biggest difference is that this is far darker, grittier, and a helluva lot sexier! Most importantly, it’s still quite fresh, the episodes are interesting and there’s some legs left in the story – a credit to the writers. It’s more emotionally drawing, because we know the characters better, and a 6th staple (Craig Parkinson) is added as the new probation worker. The overall tone remains youthful and contemporary (drugs, raves, slang etc). Each episode plays well on its own, with a few longer story arcs and it ends on such a cliffhanger that they couldn’t – and didn’t – pass up the chance at a third season. The soundtrack’s still massive indie/dance rock tunes, and production reaches new heights and it looks fantastic. The only weird thing is that as the body count reaches double figures the kids remain unphased! Not much else to say on this other than they kept the winning formula of season one but added even more crazy the stuff that keeps you tuning in. More great British TV programming.
Misfits (Season 1): 6 Episodes. Imagine a British X-Men/Heroes but with hooligans as the superheroes – this has the beneficial side effect of everything being sexed up and overly emotional. The first episode’s quite timid and a steady buildup but the 2nd episode kicks in full-speed until the end of the season. The superpowers are mostly normal; invisibility, turn back time, mind reading, hulking out, making people you touch go bald, and having anyone you touch want to rape you… actually, some of the powers are rubbish… The main Irish indie kid brings most of the entertainment, and has the best lines / comic delivery. The last few episodes lean toward a serious / drama bias, but it’s still very good and boasts a surprisingly dark funny side. Character development’s great, as the episodes roll on we find out more about the situations and how they’re connected. The pacing is spot on, it never really stops or slows down, as the story unravels, and plenty of new characters and side-stories are introduced. It’s pretty much a shot in the arm for UK teenage TV – fresh, original, edgy, dark, good characters, trendy, and entertaining.