Misfits: Series 3.1
I must have been dropped on my head when I was little, because despite this series falling into the crapper badly at the end of last year, I’m strangely compelled to watch the new one. In my defence, it’s only 7 episodes long, they’ve got rid of Nathan (fucking HURRAH! maybe the writer (Overman) can grow up and stop being scatological humour obsessed), but better still they’ve transplanted in Joe Gilgun in as the 5th Misfit. Joe Gilgun! Fan-fucking-tastic: he was superb in This is England, and is charismatic, likeable and can actually act. This could be great…
Sadly, it isn’t. It’s not great at all. It is, in fact, wank. Worse than that, though, the new series of Misfits is one of the most intensely annoying open-goal misses that I’ve seen in a long time. At the end of Series 2, they had a fantastic chance to (through a hugely cheat-y deus ex machina) get themselves out of the corner that they had painted themselves into. This, in theory, would have worked a treat, as all the problems from ill-thought out crap like Alisha’s (Antonia Thomas) dismally useless power were effectively wiped clean. Furthermore, Sheehan was gone, so it represented a chance for the other characters to grow and develop.
So, given such a fabulous opportunity, what would you do if you were Howard Overman? Well, naturally the answer to this is to think up the shittest one-joke powers you can (Kelly, Lauren Socha, is now a rocket scientist, and Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarret can change into a woman). Oh my aching sides, how can I cope with such a barrage of genius comedy. It’s clear now, as Spud said, that Overman doesn’t want to be writing a series about Superheroes. He wants to be writing an ASBO version of Skins.
I understand also that the gang was unbalanced by Sheehan leaving. Fine, I get this. So therefore, I’m all for introducing Rudy (Gilgun) as the new member. What I am not for, is making a talented young actor like Gilgun repeat anal sex dialogue ad-fucking-nauseum, and worse than that, they’ve astonishingly managed to find a power that is even more useless than Alisha’s sex maniac one. I’m not exaggerating here, it’s complete garbage and reeks of an idea that someone had after 10 pints. Possibly of meths.
The thing here, though, is that this isn’t good writing. Rudy the amoeba boy isn’t a properly drawn character- he’s two single dimensional ones. The physical split between crude and happy Rudy and sad and emotional Rudy is not well thought out, and although Gilgun played the parts well (the exchanges between the two Rudys feature the best acting of the episode), he can’t make up for the lack of thought that has gone into the character.
Taken all into account, what we have here is now a gang of superhero types, three of whom have completely useless powers: Kelly’s rocket scientist, Curtis’ transgender, and Rudy’s manic-depressive amoeba routine. This leaves Alisha and Simon, who at least have useful powers, Simon in particular is learning parkour and moving towards becoming Superhoodie, while Alisha’s power is a nice idea and a nice twist on telepathy. Please, for the love of God, don’t spend the rest of the series in some sub-soap opera level relationship crisis between them. Please.
So, given that it’s wank, is there a plus side? Well, yes. The acting was good all round, and once again the episode was saved from being a complete disaster by the villain. This time around, the completely unhinged little blond girl with “disappointing breasts” (best line of the episode) worked a treat, even if her power was cribbed straight from Hiro in Heroes. Just one thing, Misfits writers: can you please stop killing the villain at the end of every episode? You’ve built up a very impressive rogues gallery in the last two series, but for the most part, you’ve also killed them. Stop it.
Overall, this was not a good start to the new era. Mostly it was crushingly disappointing and kind of bollocks. There are a lot of reviews out there saying “I hope such and such happens” or “It’ll be interesting to see how X power is resolved” which is exactly the reaction I had last series. I’ve got a horrid sense of deja-vu about this new run, and I hope that it gets a lot better fast. Magic reset button has now been used, this is effectively back to the start, so they need an episode as barnstorming as the second one in the first series to get it back on track. I give it an absurdly generous 1 and a half Superhoodies out of 4 (based on the acting and the villain), and I’ve got my fingers crossed for some serious improvement.
Serious improvement does not equal, by the way, endless repetition of “taking it up the arse” lines. Still, I like Gilgun, so will probably stick with it far longer than I should.
Until next time,