Misfits: Series 3.2
When I prepared to watch Misfits last night, without a lot in the way of hope for it given the trailer, I have to say that I wasn’t filled with joy at spending the next hour in the company of Super-Skins. However, in a turn up for the books, not only was this a rude, irreverent and amusing episode, it also featured some actual character development! We haven’t seen this since the first series, as the writers just pushed the Asbo five around having their various characters serve the plot, and behave in only such a way that the narrative demanded for the last 8 episodes.
This time around though, someone, somewhere, put some thought into one of the original 5 and managed to actually write a convincing (albeit smutty) character change for him.
This is a Curtis episode. This is not usually a very exciting prospect, as Curtis is far and away the most punchable of the 4 long term members. He’s an annoying, stupid, mopy sack of cocks that blew a promising athletic career for the most shallow of reasons. His entire purpose up until now was to call Nathan a prick and struggle with his power. However, it turns out that there’s a reason that he’s been such a grumpy guts: he lived to be a professional athlete and obviously being a convicted dealer has fucked that for him completely.
Alright, that’s a bit simplistic, but you can see where they’re going with it.
This episode opens with Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) coming to terms with his power: he’s got the ability to transform, complete with accurate genitalia, into a woman. Early on in this episode he hooks up with piece of posh filth Emma. He’s on cloud 9, thinking he’s got a new girlfriend etc. However, one day, while training as Mel (Kehinde Fadipe, who looks uncannily like NSJ)-by the way this confirms it: Curtis now has the power of Caster Semanya (hehehehehehe)- he bumps into Emma and they talk about “Curtis” and his dismal and embarrassing performance in the sack, comes complete with her Point of View shots of the event. Apparently, he’s fucking hopeless, and a self-absorbed misery guts as well. To be fair, I could have told them the latter a long time ago. So, a suitably chastened Curtis knuckles down and takes his training as Mel far more seriously. (S)he makes friends with Emma, and eventually, the two become lovers. Cue a series of disasters involving a sleazy coach + Rohypnol, and all hell breaks loose.
Firstly, this was the best writing since the first series. Curtis actually, for legitimate and properly thought out reasons, developed as a character. Admittedly, they were retreading Nathan’s misogyny storyline from the first series, but that was the single best episode that I’ve seen so far. The attempted dead horsing of Mel by the sweaty pervert was squirm inducing, but genuinely funny, and Mel’s explosion at all the blokes for being sexist, boob obsessed pigs was worth the price of admission by itself. The eventual denouement was also highly, highly satisfying and all in all, this was a well thought out episode.
One facet of the writing that Misfits has struggled with recently was how to use the super-confident rude one. Sheehan did a good job but each episode came to be obsessed with his crudeness. Rudy (Joe Gilgun) is clearly the Nathan substitute, but not only is Gilgun a better actor than Sheehan, he’s also used in a far more clever way. Instead of each episode being a series of cock-gags, Rudy pops up occasionally, says something disgusting (“as brutal as fisting a lamb” was a great line) or does something gross to induce the horror of everyone else. He then buggers off to peals of laughter, but the joke is always on him. To be fair to Rudy, he knows this, and is brazenly unrepentant about his behaviour. This time around, for example, the pube stuck in throat gag was genuinely funny, and listening to Gilgun clown it up focusing the laughter at him while revelling in it was a treat.
Complaints time: there was absolutely no point Antonia Thomas, Iwan Rheon or Lauren Socha being in this episode, and it did reduce them to cameo status. This is meant to be a team dynamic, and I would prefer it stayed that way, rather than Socha following the power-dealer around (although I do appreciate the effort to improve her power). I suppose this is an attempt to build the overall series arc, but it came away as extraneous. Socha, actually, was on quite good form here, but my Christ she’s put on weight over the last few years. Thomas and Rheon on the other hand, only existed to inform Curtis/ Mel of things He/She needed to know for the next section of the plot- although Rudy’s face when finding out where the pube came from was probably worth Simon’s presence in the episode. Finally, I’m not looking forward to the next episode, which looks like a horrible extended soap opera. Mind you, this one did too.
Overall, this was the best episode since the first series. I’m going to give it 3 Superhoodies out of 4, because this was genuinely laugh out loud funny on occasion, and reminded me enough of why I watch this series to keep me going over the inevitable soap-opera drivel of Simon and Alicia next week. Nevertheless, it wasn’t perfect, and I still get the feeling that there is literally no point to this being a super power series. However, if they can keep this standard of comedy up, then they might just get away with it. I am really looking forward to the Kelly episode when it comes.
Until next time,