Sunday, 19 December 2010

Wider Reading | Eleven Reasons Why You Should Watch Misfits And Eight Reasons Why You Shouldn't

Because I, like so many others, took note of it when it was first on and dismissed it. Partly because it was on E4 and, at first glance, resembled Skins, that canny yet ultimately directionless exercise in pandering to the teenage market with sex, drugs, cynicism, violence and artsy direction that added nothing. Worse, it resembled ‘Skins Meets Heroes’, a television concept born in the darkest of zeitgeist-grabbing studio-executive brainstorming sessions.

I haven't seen the second season finale yet, but I'm assuming there's some drastic character development.

Because that’s not quite fair on it.

Because, set against the eerie, grey urban desolation of Southmere Lake, it actually – tonally speaking – has a closer resemblance to Warren Ellis’ award-winning weekly webcomic Freakangels, which features a group of oddball Midwich Cuckoos trying to survive in the flooded remnants of London. Which is itself rather good, even if the makers are a little over-concerned with trying to flog its readers T-shirts.

Because the little Irish kid started out being immensely irritating, but has since perfected an adolescent, cowardly Dylan Moran impression and is actually kind of a hoot.

Because the actors are…normal-looking. No Beverley Hills 90210 super-hunks here.

Because one of the female characters is by far the most badass. Sure, she’s portrayed as more lower-class than anyone else, so it’s sort of leaping from one stereotype to another. But still.

Because it portrays the suspicious conflicts of the modern generation gap rather well.

Because it has great fun being bloody silly with the whole superhero thing. It does the English spirit of pissing about with solemnity proud. These kids aren’t gobby little shites who eventually learn how to use their powers for good and understand that there’s a greater order than them; they’re gobby little shites, period.

Because it’s incredibly dark. Sometimes this is in a showy, ‘ooh, our hero keeps a corpse in a refrigerator’ way; at other times it’s rather better.

Because it’s a comedy, pretty much. Still a few too many moments where popular music plays in a slow-motion montage, but not quite so many that it becomes completely obnoxious.

Because the bit where the ankle-braceleted heroes protect themselves against the purity cult trying to aurally brainwash them into becoming fine, upstanding citizens by plugging themselves into their Ipods and playing loud music is awesome. No, really, it is. Not as on-the-nose as it sounds. Honest.


Because it sort of does resemble Skins, a canny yet ultimately directionless exercise in pandering to the teenage market with sex, drugs, cynicism, violence and artsy direction that adds nothing.

Because it devotes an entire episode to the kid who can turn back time, in which he repeatedly attempts to rectify the mistakes of the past and, shockingly, discovers that his actions have consequences. Yawn. Am I alone in being completely sick of the time-travel-as-a-science-fiction-morality-tale on our screens?

Because, frequently, the music might as well be from Hollyoaks. James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’, even used ironically?

Because it contains one of the most frightening ends to a sex scene I’ve ever seen.

Because the quiet one looks like Matthew Horne and that brings up bad memories of James Corden.

Make it stop! MAAKE IT STOOP!

Because some of the more powerful powers – mind-reading/time-travel – tend to get forgotten about.

Because there’s a gay episode. Why aren’t comedies capable of just…having gay characters? Why is there always one episode where the straight characters go gay for unlikely plot purposes?

Because even though the whole ‘kids on minor offences doing community service together’ set-up is surely reaching the end of its reasonable timespan, you just know they’re going to keep making episodes.


  1. I've just watched the first 2 episodes on 4OD. I'd be pretty pissed off if I was the girl who seems to have the special power of "rape victim".

  2. There's actually a horrible (yet very clever) scene later on in which one of the heroes races to save her from a would-be rapist. The knight in shining armour pushes her assailant physically off her...and then immediately finds himself wanting to have sex with her as well.