Monday, November 28, 2011

Teens with Super Powers: A Review of Television Show "Misfits"

You may think Misfits is just another show about a group of troubled teens that have to deal with the hardships of teenage love, the law, and just about any other issue that kids these days experience. That is, until you find out that of the five main characters, one can turn invisible, one can read peoples’ minds, one can teleport through time, one can make any individual desire sex more than anything in the world, and one can…well, you’ll have to finish season 1 to find that power out.

Described as a science-fiction-comedy-drama, the 2010 BAFTA (British Academy Television Award, aka the British version of an Emmy) award winner for Best Drama Series involves five community service offenders who gain the aforementioned powers after being struck by an electrical storm. Soon after, a flurry of unlikely events unite the group of misfits – best friends are made, lovers finally unite, and people are murdered.


And when I say lovers unite and people are murdered, I mean a whole lot of sex and a whole lot of killings happen. I’m not sure if all British shows are like Misfits, but the material is definitely not suitable for children. The nature of the material also extends to the show’s humor; Misfits is a very entertaining, albeit crude show, which I’m afraid adults may not find very humorous.

From the perspective of a college student, however, I found the show entertaining enough for me to catch up to the show’s currently running third season in only a few weeks time. While some of the characters fit stereotypical archetypes, such as the inappropriate troublemaker Nathan or pretty promiscuous girl Alisha who wishes she wasn’t, I came to truly care about the lives of the five misfits throughout the series. I particularly enjoyed actor Robert Sheehan, who is hilarious as the highly inappropriate Nathan, as well as Iwan Rheon, whose character Simon undergoes the most radical transformation throughout the series.

While there’s a lot to like, there are definitely some areas that will turn people off. The show gets very sci-fi in the second season as time-travel gains a more prominent role, which leaves a very large plot hole near the end of the season that fans still have no explanation for. Furthermore, the show can get weird at times. And when I say weird, I mean a teenager inadvertently having sex with an 80 year old, a girl falling in love with a gorilla, and a kid with the power to control milk going on a killing rampage by controlling the dairy inside people. While these are slightly less weird as they sound in the context of the show, many people may be turned off by the sheer ludicrousness of some of the situations the misfits find themselves in.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but recommend Misfits. It’s a funny and creative show with endearing characters. While the sci-fi may get a bit out of hand at times, teens and college students will be able to relate to the main characters and will appreciate the scenarios they end up in…well, hopefully they won’t relate to the gorilla lover.

- Jordan Segall

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