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Misfits 3.01 Review

A tv review article by: Kelvin Green, Paul Brian McCoy

Rudy gets a rude awakening in his first few days of community service, learning that with the keys to the infamous locker room comes a great deal of running, screaming and, in some instances, killing.

But that really is the least of his worries. More pressing is just how to keep his secret superpower, well, secret.

Meanwhile the rest of the gang are trying to adapt to life with their new superpowers. But just how did the trade-off with Seth, the superpower dealer, go down?

Misfits airs Sunday nights at 10 on E4.

Kelvin: I think I may have been a bit spoiled by all the twists and turns and ballsy antics of The Fades, because the new episode of Misfits seemed a bit... conventional.

Paul: I'd even go so far as to say... boring.

Kelvin: Oh good! I thought there was something wrong with me!

Paul: No. Dr. Girlfriend gave up and went to bed about thirty minutes in. She didn't care enough to even watch the last fifteen minutes.

Kelvin: Oh dear.

Paul: And when it was over, I wondered why I had.

Kelvin: It did do one thing very well, which we'll get to, but otherwise the episode seemed more of the same, even down to getting the kids back into the community service programme.

Paul: Which I found to be extremely forced.

Kelvin: Yes indeed. Arbitrary.

Paul: And the new powers? Again. Boring. Although I did laugh at Kelly as a rocket scientist.

Kelvin: Yes, the most interesting new power is Kelly's since it's so useless; I have to say that I am interested to see where they go with that.

But yes, it was a bit dull.

Paul: Has Alphas aired over there yet?

Kelvin: Yes, it started a couple of weeks ago, but it's buried on a minor channel so I keep forgetting to watch it. It was on tonight, I think.

Paul: One of those characters, Hicks, is pretty much Super Hoodie, only it's kind of cool how they represent it. No flashing forward to see if he'll fall, instead we see him figuring angles and trajectories right before he leaps into action. It's nicely done.

Which is to say, Misfits dropped the ball for me there, too.

Kelvin: Yes, I didn't think Super Hoodie's power was well realised. Does he just not do things that are going to go wrong? Or does he find different ways to do them?

It's a bit unclear and half-hearted.

Paul: I don't know. It seemed like he's just learning Parkour and occasionally stopping himself from missing a jump. Hopefully that will be better defined as the season goes on. But man, what a disappointment.

Kelvin: Yep.

The previous series ended with such potential. New powers, time travelers, the kids being let loose from the community service.

Paul: Yes! I was really looking forward to seeing how they expand the world, but instead they reel everything back in and lose a lot of that creative energy.

Kelvin: Exactly. They put everything back in the box.

So disappointing.

We even got a "new girl with powers is a psycho" plot this episode, and how many times have they done that now? Although in fairness, it was really the B plot, and those have always been a bit wobbly.

Paul: True. But this episode felt like it was put together with a Misfits Plot Generator.

Kelvin: Yes, it really did.

Paul: There was absolutely nothing interesting about any development in the entire episode. And I'm including the New Guy, about whom I had very high hopes.

Kelvin: Now that's interesting, because Rudy was the one thing I mentioned above, the thing I thought did work. I forgot all about Nathan about ten minutes in.

Paul: I couldn't stop thinking about Nathan, and how effortless his asshattery was. Rudy felt extremely forced to me. And extremely safe at the same time. With a shit power and an even shitter "mystery".

Kelvin: I didn't mind the power, but yes the mystery was a bit limp. Made worse by the writers making no attempt to stretch it out. They could have teased it a bit longer maybe, which may have given them time to make the revelation mean something.

Paul: I agree. Something could have been done. But as it is, I felt no sympathy for his character at all. Which is probably down to not really seeing what he's like when he's not split into Weepy and Wanker.

Kelvin: They did drop the ball there, I think. It was difficult to tell the difference between his confident persona (Rudy smash!) and the combined persona.

Paul: It certainly was.

Kelvin: I think that may be a flaw in the writing though, as I thought the actor -- Joseph Gilgun -- did a good job of playing both sides of the character. Or both characters, as it were.

Paul: I don't know. Weepy was pretty antagonistic towards Wanker, which made it hard to differentiate them when they were together sometimes. I would have preferred more distinct points of difference.

Kelvin: There were some vague moments, the scene just after they recognize Alisha, for example, where it's not clear which is which.

Paul: But even if the writing were sharper, I still hated the whole "You took my virginity and blanked me, so I'm going to kill myself" angle.

Kelvin: I see what you mean. It's a bit weak and pathetic, but isn't that sort of the point of Weepy?

Paul: But that was before Weepy. That was normal Rudy.

Kelvin: True, but I'm assuming that Weepy has always been there, or perhaps I'm just reading too much into it.

Paul: I don't know. It really wasn't clear and just didn't work for me.

Kelvin: Fair enough.

Paul: I guess he was always more Weepy than Wanker, but now Wanker's set free? If that's the case, we should have gotten more explanation. Of course, it is just the first episode.

Kelvin: Yes, there may be more development, although next episode seems to be "Curtis Uses His Powers," so perhaps not.

Paul: His "Now I'm a Girl" power. Oh my.

Kelvin: And of course, we've already had a "Curtis Uses His Powers" episode, so even though it's a new power, it still seems like retreading old ground.

Paul: It's like Overman drew these powers out of a hat.

Kelvin: I hope that's not going to be the format for the whole series, because I don't think I could watch them doing it all again with a new set of powers. Although, as I mentioned, I am keen to see what they do with Kelly's new ability.

Paul: Hopefully it will go somewhere. Though I really don't want to see the "Alisha Sees Through Other People's Eyes" episode.  That whole "She's writing our suicide notes!" bit was awful.

Especially when they cut it so that the crazy girl walks in on them within moments of her saying that.

Kelvin: Yeah, it was choppy. And I'm not that keen on the Curtis one, although it might be a clever way to change one of the cast, Doctor Who style. I'm not even looking forward to Simon's power display episode.

Paul: We've already seen Simon's powers on display all last season.

Kelvin: True. Although the time travel has to come into it at some point.

Paul: When Hitler gets killed?

Kelvin: Ha!

Curtis is River Song!

SPOILER!

Paul: Well, that's what the power broker said the guy who bought Curtis' power was planning. Surely that was just a one-off joke?

Kelvin: True, and the power broker was another wobbly bit. We see him here being all sad about a girl in a photo, then nothing.

Paul: Oh yeah. And he seems to be the focus of the next episode.

Kelvin: It's clear it's supposed to be a narrative thread for the series, but they did almost nothing with it here. It seems haphazard.

Paul: They had to establish Rudy, though. And get the gang back in the orange.

Although, they didn't really have to.

Kelvin: Yes, put all the pieces back in the box. Sigh.

It occurs to me that even though I liked Rudy more than you did, he is clearly supposed to be a like-for-like replacement for Nathan, which is in itself not very imaginative of the writers.

Paul: That's what I meant by him being a safe replacement. Like they had to have somebody to say rude things or the kids would all stop watching.

Kelvin: Quite.

Paul: Just disappointing.

Kelvin: It really was. Such a shame, as I was looking forward to it so much.

Paul: I never really thought Nathan carried the show. I really hoped we'd get an opportunity to let the other characters breathe and develop. But maybe he did.

Or maybe he was just so charismatic that he made the rough edges work better.

Kelvin: I don't think he did. What grabbed me in series two was Super Hoodie, and that had nothing to do with Nathan. The whole show just seems a bit unambitious now.

Paul: It doesn't help that Rudy looks like he's forty.

Kelvin: Yes, I was confused by Rudy's bedroom, with his single bed, posters on the wall and small TV. How old is he supposed to be?

Paul: And who was he living with?

Kelvin: Yes indeed. One thing I noticed in this episode was how small and insular the world is. There was no one else in the pub aside from the main characters for example. Where is everyone else?

Paul: Until time stops, anyway. Then it was filled with people I hadn't seen before.

Kelvin: In hindsight, it's always been like that, but this episode made me notice it. It's strange, and a little disconcerting, and it may be deliberate.

Paul: Do you mean deliberate thematically or plot-wise?

Kelvin: Not in terms of plot, but there must be a reason why we've never seen the kids' parents, beyond a desire to keep cast size down. Or maybe it is just that.

Paul: It's only ever been Nathan's parents, hasn't it?

Kelvin: Yes. It creates this weird sense of an empty world, which ties in with the anonymous concrete landscape of the main "set," but I can't tell if it's deliberate.

We've been in Curtis' home, and Kelly's, and we've seen Simon's, but the only family we've seen is Nathan's.

Paul: Kelly seems to live alone. We haven't seen Alisha's home at all.

Kelvin: Yes, and coupled with this strange pub with no customers, it's all a bit weird.

Paul: I suppose it is deliberate, in that it forces our characters to interact even they aren't forced to. And then we learned that they all had just barely kept from interacting before the community service.

It almost leans toward the Destiny approach of Heroes without coming right out and saying it.

Kelvin: That's a good point.

Paul: I do keep wondering why Simon is so sure they're "supposed" to do anything at all. Besides being a big nerd, that is.

Kelvin: Yes, it seems to go beyond his background in geekery. That would have been a good character to drop into the mix, I think. Someone who's unambiguously heroic.

Something new to provide some contrast.

Paul: Anything would have been more interesting.

Kelvin: Yes, it was a bit limp all round. Still it's early days, and it might get better.

Paul: Hell, bring back Ape Man / Man Ape. At least he was sympathetic.

Kelvin: Ha! Yes!

In all honesty, I don't have much confidence in the series improving, for some reason, but I will stick with it for a bit, if only to see what they do with Kelly. Also, Overman's not writing the whole series this time, so some new blood may shake things up a bit.

Paul: That might be the problem. I noticed as Season Two wore on, there were more and more wonky bits making it into the final cut. Although I did love the Christmas Special.

Kelvin: I agree.

Paul: I wonder what they'll do now without their Time Travel Crutch.

Kelvin: Yes indeed. It may force them to be a bit more inventive with their stories.

Paul: Or to collapse completely.

Kelvin: Although, they still sort of have the Crutch in Simon's power. If they're inventive enough in presenting the premonitions, they can get away with doing exactly the same things as they did with Curtis.

Paul: Oh yeah. That's true. I wonder what his limit is - like can he only see a few minutes ahead or what?

Kelvin: I wouldn't be surprised to see an episode framed as a premonition, with Simon deciding not to do whatever it is that leads to the events.

And the Crutch is back!

Paul: I guess we'll see in the inevitable "Simon Explores His Power" episode.

Kelvin: Yep.

We really don't seem to have much confidence in this show any more, do we?

Paul: Sadly, no.

Maybe next week will change all that.

Kelvin: I hope so. I'm so disappointed in the reset button being pushed that I don't trust that there will be improvement.

Paul: Well that's a bleak way to wrap up. What's your score?

Kelvin: Ha!

I don't think I can give this episode more than . I liked Rudy and thought his introduction worked well, but the format of the show seems to be broken somehow.

Paul: Yeah, it's for me too. I was actually kind of depressed when it was all over. I felt kind of like Weepy looked sitting in the dark watching TV.

Kelvin: Perhaps next week will be Wanky!

Er...

Paul: Um...


Kelvin Green erupted fully formed from the grey shapeless mass of Ubbo Sathla in the dark days before humans walked the earth. He grew up on Judge Dredd, Transformers, Indiana Jones #12, the Avengers and Spider-Man, and thinks comics don't get much better than FLCL, Nextwave and Rocket Raccoon. Kelvin lives among garbage and seagulls and doesn't hate Marvel nearly as much as you all think he does.

 


 

Paul Brian McCoy is the writer of Mondo Marvel and a regular contributor to Shot for Shot. His first novel, The Unraveling: Damaged Inc. Book One is on sale now for Kindle US, Kindle UK, and Nook, or can be sampled and/or purchased at Smashwords. He is unnaturally preoccupied with zombie films, Asian cult cinema, and sci-fi television. He can also be found babbling on Twitter at @PBMcCoy and blogging occasionally at Infernal Desire Machines.

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