While some may argue that sitting in front of your laptop or television screen all day is no way to spend your life, I happen to think it is one of the very many great past times of being a young adult in today’s society. Pop culture references dropped into everyday conversation? I’m better than one of those Gilmore girls (See?). In any case I tend to watch entire seasons of shows for weeks and soon enough face the fact that I’ve come to the end of another television show, another story and so I search anon for another. You can see where this is going right? After catching up on the latest series of Doctor Who, looking for something to fill the gap between sleeping and work I found Misfits- a British comedy-drama that focuses on a group of juvenile delinquents who receive superpowers and while off to shaky start in the first few episodes, the series picks up its stride in the latter half of the first season and into the second.
Smartly written, with the character of Nathan often getting some of the best if not most comedic lines, what is best about the show is the fact that it is lighthearted and not trying to be something it isn’t- which is to say a deep thought provoking piece of art. It’s not posing as this insightful look into the lives of troubled teens that now have superpowers- it is a show about what teenagers do now that they have superpowers, which is to say not a lot.
Unlike other series in the same manner, the characters in Misfits, a bunch of mostly self-absorbed young offenders who are doing community service for crimes such as stealing some pick n’ mix- do not go out of their way to save the world, or even their own town. For the most part- they just use them for their own personal gain. There’s Alisha, an already pretty sexually active young woman who can, after this freak storm make anyone have sex with her just by touching them; Simon a particular socially awkward shy guy who can turn invisible; Curtis a star athlete who can turn back time (but only under periods of high stress); Kelly a Chav who is now a telepath; and Nathan whose power is only revealed at the end of the first series. Now, being that these aren’t exactly the most offensive and invigorating powers, what else are these group of kids going to do but use them in the only way teenagers on community service would do: irresponsibly.
That is not to say that their powers get them into trouble just that they use them in a way most teenagers would, not saving the world, but in the case of Simon, getting off by watching as attractive people become undressed. As with Alisha, she just makes guys have sex with her; a lot. There is of course drama in the show and there is some action, but for the most part what this series asks is, what would a bunch of average teenagers do if they suddenly got superpowers? And it does a pretty entertaining and good job of really showing what would happen. They come across other people who had been affected by the storm and deal with it as any teenagers would: with a lot of complaining, angst-y sighs, clumsy execution of a plan, but ultimately getting the job done and settling for a pint down at the bar. With some masturbation jokes thrown in there.
The series is nothing fancy, but it does make you laugh and even at a few points cry. Only being about six or seven episodes per season, it doesn’t deal a lot with exposition and build up, but rather jumps into character relationships while still making it feel natural as a way for them to react. It has enough twists in it that will keep you surprised and all of this with British accents.
All in all, if teenagers were able to get superpower from freak storms, this would be the most realistic. And also the one I’d like to live in the most. No hassle of stopping bank robbers, or saving the world, just some good old fashioned fun. So long as I didn’t get a crappy power like making people’s hair fall out or turning into a sad excuse for a werewolf, like some of the characters in Misfits.
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