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Misfits - The Ex-Communicator

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December 3rd, 2010


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03:16 pm - Misfits
I have started watching Misfits on the 4od website. Not a huge commitment of time: The first season had six epsiodes, and the second season has had four so far. The episodes are 45 minutes. I was told not to plunge in, but to start at the beginning, which I think was good advice. I've seen the first three eps.

Misfits is a clever dark comedy, about a bunch of young offenders on community service who are struck by lightning and implausibly develop super-powers. The outcome is a series of exaggerated teenage embarrassments - being ugly, being attractive, being lonely, being needy, being ignored. There aren't any SF 'jokes' like in Red Dwarf or something; the verbal humour arises because our protagonists aren't stupid, but neither are they very reflective. In typical teenage manner they say what they see: 'Oh man, his head fell off!', 'You made yourself look like a dick!' etc.

Having young and impoverished protagonists is great for the plot - working class teenagers don't have power, and they are treated like shit, and they do have to fend for themselves - so there is plenty of scope for beings with superpowers to struggle nevertheless with peril and misery.

On the negative side, the acting is no better than so-so. It's not awful, but the actors are inexperienced. I don't mean to gripe though: good luck to them. And the other negative aspect is that the characters are still developing some of the basic ideas about life that you or I might take for granted, and that can be touching or annoying. Mostly touching I think.

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