Misfits Series 3 Episode 7
Three words: Zombie Fucking Cheerleaders! A cast iron guarantee of awesomeness that only a complete moron could cock up and make lame. Given that the quality of Misfits goes up and down like a chav tart’s knickers when she’s looking for a council house, I have to say that I was treating this with some caution. The only question is, was I right to be worried?
In a nutshell: no. This was an absolutely stomping episode, mixing lewd comedy, solid gore, great set pieces and proper character work into a big ball of awesomeness. My god this series has been patchy, to put it mildly, but when on song (as in this instance and the Nazi episode) Misfits can lay a genuine claim to be the best programme on TV. This is flat-out awesome television, and it makes me wish that they’d treat the whole superhero angle of the series with a bit more respect, ditch the relationship crap and turn this series into what it should be: the kind of dirty superhero story that turd Millar wishes he could write. This episode opened with Seth (Matthew McNulty) and Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) entering a graveyard with a shovel. Now, anyone that’s seen any horror movie knows that when you enter a graveyard with the express intention of re-animating your dead girlfriend then things are just not going to go well for you. Personally, if it was me, I’d stand there at the gate (holding my shovel) and have a serious think about whether what I was about to attempt could be considered a good idea. Then I’d probably do it anyway, just for shits and giggles mostly because I’m convinced that modern Britain and its feral chav scum are one snacked-on brain away from being zombies anyhow. They want to bring Seth’s dead girlfriend Shannon (Charlene McKenna) back to life, as Seth has reacted very badly to something Kelly did in the previous episode (a really weak piece of writing, this).
Anyhoo, Curtis brings her back, and it all looks fairly awesome for a bit. There’s something a bit off about her, understandably, but Seth ascribes it to her having been dead for a while. Curtis on the other hand is putting his new found power to good use by bringing some old dear’s cat called Mr. Miggles back to life. As background to the episode, it appears that a group of cheerleaders are using the community centre to rehearse, and we’re introduced to Rudy’s surprising phobia.
Seth is struggling to deal with Shannon, who eats his pet iguana, then his neighbour, thus turning them into zombies. Curtis, meanwhile, disastrously discovers Mr. Miggles in a zombie frenzy and calls for reinforcements to deal with the blood-crazed cat and the old woman. Eventually Mr. Miggles gets loose and bites a cheerleader forcing our gang to tool up and take them all out. Including the new probation worker. Whoops.
This was, as is to be expected from something dealing with zombie cheerleaders, hilarious. Joe Gilgun was flat out hysterical in several places- notably taking an ice cream when the rest of them are tooled up properly, or explaining how he’s got a cheerleader phobia because he came home one day to find his father engaged in vigorous anal sex with his mother while she’s wearing a cheerleader costume. Even Simon (Iwan Rheon) gets a laugh out loud scene with his embarrassed admission that he would like Alisha (Antonia Thomas) to dress up as a cheerleader for his birthday. Incidentally, there’s a rather nice pay off to this at the end. Lauren Socha was a bit short-changed here, particularly given that it was the climax of her story arc but Kelly has had her day in the sun, and her aptitude for violence was very, very welcome. Again.
The support was once again good, with McNulty and McKenna good for the most part. This is to be expected though, as McNulty has been a sympathetic and likeable screen presence. In all honesty, the acting in Misfits is usually fine, and although Gilgun has been the star of the series, in the same way as Sheehan was previously, he hasn’t dominated everything. Thankfully.
While this was fun, and it really was lots of fun, there’s a fundamental flaw to it: the finale. Seth has been wrestling with his love and guilt regarding Shannon, and so when the inevitably comes and a blood-crazed unhinged reanimated old girlfriend confronts his new girlfriend there should be some kind of emotional punch to it. I can’t put my finger on why, but this doesn’t happen here. Socha, McNulty and McKenna are all too blasé and the writing doesn’t deliver the punch that this tragic scene needs. Instead, it’s kind of tossed off with a “I fucking love you” and the whole thing is unsatisfactory. Which brings me on to the next problem- Seth re-animating Shannon in the first place. He’s doing this because he’s been motivated purely by something Kelly said to him, that she was unwilling to just pack everything in and fuck off to Morocco on a jaunt. This isn’t proper motivation, real couples may argue but they’d talk it out and arrange it for the future. One half doesn’t just throw a strop and reanimate his dead ex. Unsatisfactory all round and another example of the characters acting in a boneheaded way to service the plot.
Overall, this is a hugely entertaining episode. I’ve come to the conclusion that Misfits is at its best this series when dealing with a singular plot. When the issue isn’t clouded, and the narrative rocks along at a rare old pace then the comedy is high, the entertainment huge and it’s a good time all round. This is marginally not as good as the aforementioned Nazi episode, but it’s equally, if not more, entertaining. Flaws aside, I’m giving it 3 Superhoodies out of 4, because they did, as noted “Save the fucking world”.
I’ve enjoyed this series, and am unfortunately in Spain so missing the finale, which is finally having Simon accepting his Superhoodieness, but I’ll write it up when I get back.
Until next time,