REVIEW: Misfits: Season 1 Episode 1 (2009)

Lately, Hulu has been really cranking out advertisements for a show that I knew only by name and a vague idea of the plot – That show is the UK superhero youth drama Misfits. Being all caught up on many other shows, I figured “what the heck” and queued up the first episode. The story follows a group of young delinquents (party-girl Alisha, Kelly the chav, fallen sports hero Curtis, social outcast Simon, and class clown Nathan) placed into a program to give them a second chance at being on the right side of the law. While doing what basically amounts to community service, a freak storm with baseball sized hail and numerous lightning strikes does something to the group ultimately giving them special powers.

The plot might sound a bit like other shows such as Heroes or Alphas, but the similarities end at the fact that they have powers. While those shows are nice and polished up like shiny apples sitting in a big bowl on a kitchen table, Misfits is more like a browning banana in paper sack that you forgot about. The overall “vibe” to the show reminds me of a cross between the same sort of frank and often dingy realism found in Inbetweeners or Skins and something like Being Human. What I mean by this is that we aren’t getting the Disney Channel idea of how teenagers talk and act, we’re getting messed-up, hormonal, foul-mouthed balls of angst that all have super powers.


The ways in which the powers are used in the show are pretty cool sometimes. In my favorite scene, everyone is heckling Kelly for her accusations that their case worker has gone nuts and is trying to kill them. It seems that he didn’t fare as well in the whole powers department, and got homicidal rage instead. Nobody believes her until one mistake leaves Kelly’s brains plastered all over the wall. Curtis freaks out and basically rewinds time to just prior to this incident. The other powers we see in play are Alisha’s pheromone charm ability, Simon’s invisibility, and Kelly’s psychic abilities. The only member we don’t see exhibiting ability is Nathan, but I assume this will change in the next episode.

I’m glad that the producers didn’t try to put in things that relied too much on special effects, such as CGI powers, as I bet the budget would not be kind to flashy things like that. This cost-effective measure not only diverts the risk of having questionable CGI stuff (see Hyperdrive), but makes the show grounded and more realistic – a trait that almost every superhero comic and show has longed for.


I’m glad I checked out this show. I’m very intrigued by where Misfits is going to go, and will be eager to check out some more episodes. I really like the characters (well…..Nathan annoys me so far…) and am looking forward to see how they interact and how they will be forced to work together in some way.


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