Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Misfits, Season 1 (2009)
When I first saw Misfits, I got to the end of the first episode and my reaction was "I genuinely don't know if I liked that or not". There were definitely parts that I liked, but other bits were so deliberately obnoxious and crass that I wasn't sure about the package as a whole ... and I was going to say that Misfits is the kind of show that make an off-colour joke about the word "package" there, but that's not actually true, because Misfits does not bother with euphemisms like "package".
As you may have guessed from the fact that I subsequently bought the DVDs, I ultimately became a fan of the show (the first two series anyway - I've never seen the third and later seasons), at least partly because of how deliberately crass and obnoxious it is. I have to admire its commitment on that front.
The show focuses on a group of young offenders who have been assigned community service for their various acts of 'anti-social behaviour'. During their first day, they get caught in a strange storm and - though they don't immediately know it - receive super powers. Which probably sounds great for them, but these kids definitely aren't the Avengers, either in temperament or in power sets. They mostly don't have conscious control over their powers, and they're quickly faced with the problem that their probation officer was also caught in the storm, and it turned him into a homicidal rage monster.
They survive the experience of course (there wouldn't be much of a show if they didn't), but the probation officer does not, and the ever-increasing problems arising from their efforts to conceal his death are one of the major threads of the rest of the series. The other thread, of course, is their interactions with other people who've been affected by the storm.
Misfits is loud and lewd, full of bad language, bad people, and situations that you know you shouldn't laugh at but that it will make you do so anyway. And if it sometimes remembers to be touching or insightful in between all the potty mouthed shenanigans, well - that's what keeps it interesting.