Misfits Season 4 or Why can’t I quit you?
See, it promised me. It said that it was because of the Overman. However, intensive therapy had made it realise that the Overman made it crazy, and as such it would never touch the Overman again.
I’d heard these promises from E4’s Misfits before, but somehow I just knew that this time would be different. It was free of the Overman, after all, and furthermore the love story was finished so we could just move on with a clean slate. It asked me to remember the good times, the laughs we had shared, the fun we had had, and as such, I really owed it that one more chance.
Unfortunately, the leopard doesn’t change his spots and it is still hooked on the Overman. Howard Overman, to be precise. Which means that what we have here is a super powered chav story, where our main characters don’t use their powers for the most part.
I’ve reviewed all the series of Misfits. Some I did by the episode, but others I did the whole summary of the series. However, with Season 4, I have an interesting quandary. The problem I have is that this is quite clearly a transition series, it has to basically introduce new characters and a new set up with our less than lovable bunch of walking ASBO chavs. The reason for this is that they’d written out Iwan Rheon and Antonia Thomas at the end of Season 3, providing a conclusion to the interminable love story that had dragged for two series. In the meantime, though, Lauren Socha (probably the best thing about Series 3) was doing time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure (proving that you can take the girl out of Derby, but you can’t take Derby out of the girl) and thus also needed replacing. Joe Gilgun (by far the best actor on it) replaced Robert Sheehan and was holding his end up, while the interminably boring Nathan Stewart Jarrett was hanging around like a fart in a spacesuit. Thus, we needed basically a new cast of scrotes to don the overalls and therefore, we were back in origin territory- albeit origin of character not origin of power (as that’s well established).
With Rudy (Gilgun), Seth, and Curtis (Stewart Jarrett) hanging around to provide continuity, they were at least able to manage the change gradually, and as a result the series was about passing the torch from Nathan, Kelly, Curtis, Simon, Rudy and Alisha over to Rudy, Alex, Jess, Finn and Abby. I’m, actually, not convinced they ever meant to go this far, to be honest, as the natural end of the Story arc was the climax to the last series, and it’s irritating that they have to find more and more elaborate ways to keep our motley crew of miscreants on community service. Although, to be fair, they don’t even bother explaining what Jess and Finn did, and Abby is very unjustly sanctioned.
So, I’m not going to bother overly examining this. Instead, I’ll do a good, bad and ugly for the new series. Extended moaning and spoilers lurk below.
- Abby as played by Natasha O’Keefe. Yes, she’s hot, and yes, she’s filth, but that’s not the reason she’s in this section. Her introduction as a main cast member was well handled, and her blasé to the point of indifference performance is a real treat. On the flip side, though is that she her defining feature is amnesia, but thus far she has been intriguing rather than irritating
- Greg, the new probation worker, as played by Shaun Dooley. The man is a poet of violent threats and a real bright light in the series
- Psycho rabbit. Nuff said.
- The powers are now sensibly worked out, and limited properly. Our heroes are no longer ludicrously overpowered but limited through crap writing.
- Gilgun as Rudy. Easily the best actor in the series, and the psycho episode blew most of it away. Probably the single best moment involved the psychotic Rudy strangling Jess on the dancefloor.
- Some, albeit infrequent, good jokes- the standout being the Anal Mary reveal.
- Finn as played by Nathan McMullen. Horrible character, and responsible for most of the utter shitness of the series. I pathologically loathe him.
- Most of the comedy doesn’t work.
- Transition series. Therefore it felt mostly pointless.
- Alex as played by Matt Stokoe. More on this dickhead in a minute
- Curtis’ death. This is not how you check out a major character who has been in the series from the start. In fact, it was insulting and he deserved better.
- The love triangle garbage. Please, please put this in the bin and never wheel it out again.
- Rehashing old storylines. Don’t do this. Ever.
Ready for this? Right here we go.
Firstly, what the fuck is the point of making a series about people with super powers and then going miles out of your way to ensure that they never bother using the actual powers? Each episode had a limited nod to them, but there was no feeling of scope, no villains that needed sorting out and the powers were, as a rule, outside forces manipulating the narrative and character be damned. Particularly bad for this was episode 1, which had Rudy, Seth and Nathan totally out of character, Episode 4 with Lola’s psychotic break, and Episode 6 with the killer rabbit.
As if that wasn’t irritating enough for the vast amount of the episodes (and the finale, although that was quite good), overcoming the conflict was done without the use of powers. Again, I ask, what’s the fucking point in them having them? It was, actually, a relief to see the characters using their powers to overcome obstacles in the final episode. Hallelujah.
More irritating, however, is the relentless crass and juvenile gross-out humour of the series. Rudy is a long established oik, so it’s expected that he’ll come out with nonsense, but fuck a duck this was ridiculous. We had Jess and Finn pissing on each other in the first episode, Alex with a mangina, then the quest to retrieve his penis from a tranny that stole it (comes complete with full dudity), Sperm falling out of Abby to splash on the floor, Rudy putting a toothbrush up his arse, Rudy wrapping his nob in clingfilm that he took off a dog bowl, securing it with a rubber band and then engaging in sex, The number of sexual partners everyone has had appearing on their heads, Alex’s weird and narcissistic sex, Alex in the nude in front of the mirror talking about how his penis is bigger,and so on and so forth. It was painful watchng the series race to the bottom of the comedic barrel on more than one occasion, and frustrating to see it wallowing there with such glee.
Basically, Misfits is now an abject failure. It has taken an interesting idea, and turned it into an obnoxious and pointless gross out fest. This is not about unfortunates with Super powers any more, instead being a kind of super-grimy and explicit Teen soap opera. It could, and should, be so much more.
I blame Overman for this entirely. He’s quite clearly capable of better than the slop served up here, as the two Rudy-centric episodes proved. The finale, in particular had a group interaction with the characters using their powers properly to complete a heroic rescue. Hallelujah. Furthermore, the dialogue between Rudy and the Nun was touching, well thought out, and stunningly performed by Gilgun. If the rest of the series had been up to this standard (cum dripping out of Abby notwithstanding) then the series might not have been such utter shit.
So, can I continue watching it? Well, there is now a properly established group dynamic who, unlike previous years, are all prepared and willing to use their powers. There is some potential here, but I’m personally not sure where you take it and the absolute honk of this series has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I suppose, moving forward, you develop Abby’s backstory and find out what her power is, but it feels mostly done, and I can’t say that I’m thrilled there is series 5.
Overall? Shit. In fact, have one of these:
Fuck you Misfits. It’s only that there is a year between series that’s likely to make me forget coupled with my quite obvious battered wife syndrome that’s going to get me watching again. What a crying fucking shame.
Until next time,