Movies / Home Theatre

Misfits Season Four, Episode 1 Review

By Zak Edwards
November 2, 2012 - 10:10

There’s something to be said about British television and its almost disinterested approach to TV.  Skins, for example, seems to exist on the fact that the rotating cast can make the show continually relevant to a similar audience; characters move on and so do the audience that ‘grew up’ with them.  Misfits now has one character of the original cast; the setting’s the same, the supporting cast continually rotates (hell, they seem to relish the fact that the parole officer is always about to die), so we now have an almost complete upheaval from the last season.


And why the hell not?  They lost the most visible star, Nathan, and actually pulled off the next season and then, for fun, let’s kill off the others!  And then the whole Kelly affair (and by ‘affair’ I mean ‘racially aggravated assault of a taxi cab driver followed by prison.  Not community service, really?  Opportunity lost, judge of that case!), that was pretty weird, but it knocked another off the show.  But Misfits keeps on trucking.  They even had more viewers in season 3 than 2!

And despite all the moaning and groaning sentiment about the characters lost, the creators actually pumped out a good opener this season keeping arguably the least interesting character from the original cast.  It worked on that level only Misfits can, where some of the best episodes are the most ludicrous, like the ‘final battle’ being Simon throwing a peanut in a guy’s mouth, or a guy who thinks Grand Theft Auto is totally for real.  The seemingly terrible idea not only works super well, it seems to naturally fit into the show’s universe and aesthetic.  With this episode, it’s a guy whose briefcase of money is a catalyst for people being awful.  How awful?  Well, Seth and Rudy manage to castrate the guy, cut off his hand, and lock no less than four people in a freezer.  It does something I always liked about this show: the characters are the type of people I want to watch every week but in no hellish alternate universe would I actually want to know them.  Misfits has done this before, the nervousness of Nathan carrying around that baby from season 1 was brilliant.  I mean, I thought he was going to kill that baby and it reminds us that these aren’t exactly amazing individuals no matter how much we sympathize with them.  It’s no different here, the characters are continually meant to be watched, but sympathy is because we don’t have to deal with them.  I mean, they barely want to deal with each other, but they seem like they have to.  Our voluntary choice to watch is what makes them endearing.


And over here, across that giant pond, we have the opposite issues: everyone is so nice, so cute, so freaking adorable, that all we want to do is re-watch them.  It’s a move TV’s been making towards everyone being best friends and working together to... wow, I‘m gagging already.  This sentimentality that American television holds dear, giving us characters we want to love and watch every week be nice but never actually change, is treated like something to be pissed on by Howard Overman and Co.  Or, as in the case of the new ‘hot girl’ on the show, have them piss themselves.  So when that creepy little new kid Finn goes home and we find out his dog is, well, not a dog, we can be surprised but it all makes sense.  I mean, think about it.  The characters in New Girl never change, never grow despite learning a new lesson every week?  That’s weird.  Kid peeing in a freezer, cracking jokes about being raped, and holding a girl hostage in his apartment?

That’s entertainment.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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