Misfits has succeeded where so many superhero series have failed. It’s put a human face to super powers. It’s the perfect blend of the suspense and drama of Heroes with the plucky young-adult action/comedy of Smallville. It’s also got the edge and realism of other e4 series like Skins.
A group of young juvenile delinquents gets struck by lightning during a freak storm. They start to develop superhuman abilities like time travel, invisibility, and telepathy. Each episode, they must deal with some sort of super-powered mishap. Whether it’s fighting a villain with the ability to control milk with his mind or trying to stop Hitler from taking over England, the characters are very unlikely heroes with fresh approach to comic book heroes.
The cast is amazing. Like Skins, the cast does revolve a bit. Lauren Rocha is amazing as Kelly, a chav girl who gains the ability to read minds. She’s no nonsense and it’s great to see a character so brazen, unapologetic, and comfortable in her own skin. Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) is amazing as Simon, a somewhat creepy guy, with the power to become invisible when he feels ignored. Robert Sheehan and Joseph Gilgun both play the comic relief as sex-crazed, gross-out, d-bags you hate to love.
Despite the shortcomings of the initial premise of a super storm, the series handles super powers in such a genius way. People’s deepest insecurities, emotional issues, and wishes become exaggerated and manifest in their abilities. Also, the series manages to have suspense and action but not at the expense of reality. The series shows what really might happen in certain scenarios and goes for the heart and humor of the truth.
Superhero fans, sci-fi fanatics, and anglophiles will love this series. All five series are available for free on Hulu.
When E4’s Misfits premiered in 2009, it was an amazing show. The premise was cool: a lightning storm in England gave a bunch of people super powers. The cast was fantastic: Robert Sheehan, Iwan Rheon, Antonia Thomas, Lauren Socha, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. And the humor was on point — Sheehan and Socha were hilarious. Misfits was the perfect mix of hilarious teen high jinks with people dying all over the place. (There was even a running joke about how often the gang had to bury bodies.)
However, now in its fifth season, Misfits has lost a lot of its magic, as well as the entirety of its original cast. Sheehan left after the second season, Rheon and Thomas after season three, and Socha and Stewart-Jarrett by the end of season four. As each original cast member left Misfits, the fans began to lose interest in the show, us included. New characters have been introduced — Rudy (Joseph Gilgun), Finn (Nathan McMullen), and Jess (Karla Crome) — but the show just isn’t the same.
Sure, Rudy’s vile jokes are similar to Nathan’s humor (though still not as funny) and Finn is arguably as weird and awkward as Simon once was (remember when Simon only had Internet friends?) But, unfortunately, the new cast doesn’t hold a candle to the original gang.
After the departure of Stewart-Jarrett, the last remaining original cast member, we don’t see the point of sticking it out. If everyone else has jumped ship, why shouldn’t we?
West's two-part drama Appropriate Adult, a reconstruction of the police investigation into the notorious murderer, has been unveiled as the top contender ahead of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' (BAFTA) TV Awards ceremony next month (May12).
The show scored nods for Best Mini-series, Best Leading Actress for Emily Watson, Best Supporting Actress for Monica Dolan and Best Leading Actor for West, who will compete for the trophy alongside Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch, Exile star John Simm and Joseph Gilgun for This Is England '88.
Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes show also scored nods for his co-stars Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott in the Best Supporting Actor category, while Downton Abbey's Dame Maggie Smith leads the Best Supporting Actress nominations for her role in the popular period drama.
The prizes will be handed out at a star-studded ceremony in London on 27 May (12).
It’s not enough for a show to include all of the best aspects from a vast array of genres; it’s important that they all be balanced appropriately to best complement one another. This is Misfits’ true victory: on the surface, it’s a science-fiction superhero series, using comedy to humanize its characters and situations. But beneath all that, the foundation of the show is its strong layer of character-driven drama. This is what hooked me in the first place.
Misfits opened its first series by setting its five main characters, a collection of ne’er-do-well young adults in a London borough, in community service together. The pilot saw them struck by lightning during a bizarre storm. Over the course of the first series, we’d come to understand that each of them had developed a power - but not before learning about each of them as human beings.
Over the course of the second series, the show began to evolve. With the introduction of the “masked avenger” figure, the science-fiction aspect began to take a stronger role. The idea of the group’s destiny to become heroes earned a larger presence. Where the show was once examining these people on an individual, introspective basis, it was now examining much larger things, like the world around them and how they might find their places in it.
This was a healthy progression for the show. But I’ll admit, I missed the personal stuff. I loved meeting these characters, learning about what makes them tick and the psychological rationale behind the development of their powers. And this analytical and dramatic look at these five aimless, narcissistic young criminals—people who, despite their overwhelmingly flawed personas, we have come to really, really care for—is what made the show so addictive. And the return to that with a new main character, Rudy, is what reinvests my attachment to the series.
Now, don’t get me wrong—I was nervous about the arrival of a new character. First, I was afraid that the third series’ replacement of Nathan with Rudy would prove an unsuccessful attempt to keep us engrossed. After all, replacing the group’s token goofball with a carbon copy would just seem hack. But Rudy is nothing of the sort. From the minute we meet the character in the opening scene of the third series’ premiere, we understand that he’s not genuinely the crass, loudmouthed fool he illustrates himself to be. As demonstrated by his “power” (the ability—rather, the compulsion—to split into two identical bodies), Rudy is a disjointed, deeply troubled individual. And a truly fascinating one.
That said, the third series kicks off in a fairly risky way, focusing on the new rather than the old. The majority of the episode is dedicated to the introduction Rudy, who is played by Joseph Gilgun of the long-running British drama Emmerdale (formerly Emmerdale Farm). Unlike the way in which the rest of the main cast was introduced, we learn about Rudy and his power almost simultaneously—which actually helps a great deal in identifying his character. Rudy opens the episode at the door of the mysterious businessman we met in the Christmas special who can give and take powers to and from the inflicted peoples. Apparently, Rudy is on a quest to rid himself of his troubling ability—the problem is, his ability won't be removed. Rudy can (and does, involuntarily) split into two identical bodies: from within Rudy springs a second Rudy that embodies the painfully insecure and chronically depressed interior that has plagued him since childhood.
Rudy's delivery might not be done with the same tact and artistic flow that was attached to that of the rest of the main cast, but this is understandable. We’re already invested in the rest of the group. The premiere has the responsibility of getting us to accept that we like and want to learn more about Rudy, while still paying ample attention to the returning players. The premiere even infuses Rudy into the group through a shared backstory between he and Alisha—not an entirely necessary move, but an economical one. This helps us to understand further why this new character is relevant, all the while developing Alicia's ever-growing character.
And for the sake of both fun and urgency, we do get a self-contained villain: a fellow community service worker who feels duped by Rudy when his unhappy interior expresses affection for her moments before she catches the other Rudy locking lips with a different girl. Like many of the villains on the show, this one is not entirely unsympathetic, just emotionally damaged and graced with a particularly harmful outlet for her pain. There’s another great thing about the show: what separates the heroes and villains is such a thin, human line. The villains aren’t really worse people (one might recall all the horrible things Alisha did with her power). We just meet them at very inopportune times—and mostly, these wraths are provoked by one of the “heroes.”
And also, presumably, in the name of fun: each of our heroes now has a new superpower, thanks to the aforementioned businessman. They’re interesting powers—Alisha’s especially (I believe she is going to be the breakout star of the third series) reflects a growth in the character and what the show plans to do with her. As her old power represented her manipulative behavior and her investment in her own sexuality, her new power—the ability to see through other people’s eyes—shows that she is growing more empathetic and considerate. There are some interesting connotations attached to Curtis’ gender-swapping ability and Kelly’s new genius-level intelligence. And of course, Simon is still on a mission to become his masked avenger self of the future.
The episode is not entirely without flaw. Curtis seems to have recovered far too quickly from the death of his beloved girlfriend that we witnessed in the Christmas special. Kelly is, so far, attached to no discernible story arc (hopefully they have something meaty in store for her, as she has proven to be one of the most fascinating characters). But all in all, Misfits retains its addictive, multifaceted charm in the face of new cast members, new powers, and new storylines. Things may change and evolve, but the show clearly still understands where its real victory comes from: the dedicated exploration of its characters.
Click here to watch Misfits' Series Three premiere on Hulu now!
This past summer, America imported one of the most fantastic products that Great Britain has ever set forth: the sci-fi comedy/drama Misfits, a television series about a group of miscreant young adults who, during their mandated community service, get struck by lightning and develop superpowers. Thanks to the holy spirit that is Hulu, American audiences have been able to view the first two seasons of Misfits, as well as the subsequent Christmas special, online for free. And come Dec. 19, we'll get the same opportunity to watch the third season, which has already begun airing on television in the UK.
One of the new developments of the third season comes in the form of a new castmember: Joseph Gilgun, who you might recognize for his roles in the Michael Caine-starrer Harry Brown and the comedy-drama This is England. Gilgun will be playing a new member of the crew: Rudy.
In the exclusive clip below, Gilgun discuss joining the cast in the third season, touching on both the great fun he has had so far as well as the intimidating task of replacing former star, Robert Sheehan (who played the loudmouthed Nathan). Gilgun assures us, however, that Rudy will not disappoint when it comes to the comedic charm for which Misfits is so beloved.
Of course, what fans of the show are probably most curious about: will Rudy have a superpower? And if so, what will his power be? We've seen a vast array on the show so far, including (spoilers) some traditional powers—time-travel, invisibility, mind-reading, invincibility, shape-shifting (a few different incarnations of this, actually)—as well as some more original ones, like making people need to sleep with you, and controlling milk. It's always exciting to surmise what a new character's power will be on this show; seeing as Rudy is the first new main character, it amps up the curiosity that much more.
Enjoy the clip below, and mark your calendars for Dec. 19, when Misfits Season 3 comes to American audiences via Hulu. Of course, if you're not all caught up, Hulu still has Seasons 1 and 2 for us to enjoy.
The United Kingdom has given America a lot of fantastic things: language, cornmeal-dusted muffins, and Misfits. Let's focus on the latter.
For those unfamiliar with the series, it surrounds a group of five "at risk" young adults doing community service for committing various crimes. On their first day of cleaning up graffiti and picking up litter, the five become victims of a strange storm which gives them each superhuman abilities. American audiences have been graced with the British sci-fi dramedy series thanks to the good graces of Hulu. The first two seasons, each containing six episodes (plus a Christmas special attached to the second season) have been available for free streaming and October saw the beginning of the third season on television over in England. Come December, viewers in the states will be able to enjoy Misfits Season 3 episodes via Hulu.
Season 3 episodes will begin streaming on Hulu on Monday, Dec. 19 and the site will release one episode every Monday until the season concludes.
Now, here's a small bit of bad news for those of us here in America who might not have heard yet: Season 3 sees the absence of star Robert Sheehan, who plays the fan-favorite and loudmouth Nathan Young. Rumor has it that Sheehan's de facto replacement, Joseph Gilgun, fills the void adequately. However, Nathan's quintessentially charming obnoxiousness will definitely be missed.
The series also stars (this description contains spoilers) Alicia (Antonia Thomas), a promiscuous party girl arrested for drunk driving who develops the power to completely consume anyone who touches her with an uncontrollable physical desire for her; Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), an up-and-coming Olympian runner caught purchasing cocaine who develops the ability to travel back in time (but only when he has a panic attack); Kelly (Lauren Socha), a hot-tempered "punk" arrested for a fistfight with another girl who develops the ability to read people's minds; and Simon (Iwan Rheon), a socially inept recluse who attempted to burn down a neighbor's house who develops the ability to turn invisible at will.
Misfits is at once exciting, sincerely emotional and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Even with the absence of Sheehan, I am looking forward eagerly to Hulu's streaming of Season 3, and highly recommend the series to fans of science fiction, young adult drama, or black comedy.