Dark comedies have always been a favorite of mine. Crude, indecent humor about serious situations is exactly my cup of tea. For a while now I have been hearing rave reviews for the British show Misfits. To say that I was pleasantly surprised is a complete understatement. I believe I have found my newest television obsession. This show is a classic dark comedy and is made of gold, complete comic gold. Plus, things always sound better with an accent.
Misfits is about five teenagers with ASBOs who have been sentenced to community service. After a freak electrical storm, a number of people (including the five misfits) develop special superpowers. Simon can turn invisible, Alisha sends people into a lust haze with skin-to-skin contact, Curtis can rewind time when feels regret over the outcome of a situation, Kelly has telepathy and Nathan is seemingly powerless until he is impaled on a picket fence and learns his power is immortality. As you can imagine, crazy drama ensues from the development of these powers, and anyways, sparks are bound to fly when you throw five completely different, lonely people together.
What really sold the show for me was the character of Nathan, the cocky, arrogant and overall tool of the group. He is a complete and utter ass-hat and solely responsible for most of the hilarity the show has. But there’s something about him you can’t help but love. The Irish accent doesn’t hurt either.
At first, the lack of censorship that occurs in British television was jarring. Each of George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” are dropped at an alarming rate, graphic sex scenes run rampant and words like “retarded” and “masturbation” are tossed around like it’s no big deal. Misfits vividly shows many situations that U.S. television can merely hint at.
This is one of the many reasons why I do not think an American adaptation of Misfits will work. First, vulgar language and what we would classify as “inappropriate behavior” is a characteristic that is canon to many of the misfits. It would just be wrong to have a Nathan who isn’t constantly spewing obscenities and trying to get into every woman’s pants. Second, we tried this type of thing before. It was called Heroes. While I did not watch the show, word on the street is that the show lost its magic fairly early on. It would take some serious reworking to make the show suitable for the U.S., to create a story that hasn’t been done before and to still keep the magic that Misfits has. This all seems highly implausible; syndication is the best option here.
The show is a perfect mix of comedy, drama and science fiction with a couple violent deaths thrown in the mix. Misfits has one sole writer, Howard Overman, and I think it’s safe to say the man is brilliant. This show has had me laughing out loud more than Friends and Scrubs combined. I have also been introduced to a new world of insults, British style. I can’t wait to throw out “monkey slut” during a conversation. However, I am not a fan of the British television schedule. I suppose only having six episode seasons makes it easier for actors to pursue both a television and film career, but if I only got six episodes of 90210 or Glee every year, I’d go insane. That is one hell of a hiatus.
Forget anything I’ve said before, this is definitely the best show you are not watching. You’ve got nearly a year before the third season airs. Get to watching, you will not regret it.