Feb 17, 2011

[TV] Misfits: Season 2

Misfits: Season 2As much as I get ridiculed for this fact, I have to admit that I was a Heroes fan when the show first came out. As much as it contained a lot of old concepts borrowed from classic comic books and other media, it had the potential to be a really great superhero show on network television.

But as the show progressed, I too went through the trauma of how bad things were getting. The expanded universe concept that had helped make the show so popular started to get really annoying when characters introduced in the web comics and blogs never made it to the show itself. Then the riddles and puzzles started to stop and soon the whole thing just became a more and more confused mess. I went down with this particular ship almost all the way but out of trauma I've yet to finish watching the last season for some reason.

It took British television sensibilities to revisit the whole superhuman abilities in a conventional setting concept and to totally turn things around. We didn't get heroes or villains in the classic sense of the word. Instead we just got a bunch of kinds who had way too much power at their disposal. Thus the results are predictably self-destruction, especially with the kids being juvenile delinquents.

And the show is just brilliant.

Misfits is a British-created series that is part-comedy, part-drama as created by Howard Overman. The show focuses on a group of youth offenders who get super powers while fulfilling the terms of their community service. The second season aired at the end of 2010 and also won the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Best Drama Series.

The show jumped right back into the thick of things with our Misfit friends. The first challenge is for the group finding out that Nathan (Robert Sheehan) does have a super power - immortality. Thus he needs some degree of rescuing from his coffee six feet in the ground. As the group gets back into their usual spats of trouble here and there, a mysterious figured continues to keep watch over all of them and even saving their lives as appropriate. Eventually Alisha (Antonia Thomas) learns who this masked individual is and this knowledge leads to interesting possibilities and plot twists.

This season also featured a lot of other individuals gifted with powers just like the crew were. We got to meet the shape-shifting Lucy (Evelyn Hoskins), teleporting Ollie (Joshua McGuire), cryokinetic bartender Lucy (Catrin Stewart) and of course Nikki, who is an entirely different story. There are even more characters with other powers but in typical Misfits fashion, they rarely last for more than an episode. The show has always been consistent in its willingness to kill of both major and minor characters as needed.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  (L-R) Antonia T...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThis season certainly had a lot of relationship development, which makes sense given these are a bunch of teenagers. Time-traveling Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) continues to be serious with Alisha but things start to change on her side of the fence. Loud-mouthed Nathan is actually given a chance by mind reader Kelly (Lauren Socha). And invisible Simon (Iwan Rheon) grows up in a number of ways as well (including physical aspects, it seems) as he starts to assert himself more in less creepy ways than during the first season. It was all handled rather well, which pleasantly surprised me. It's far too easy to screw up depictions of teenage relationships, what more with super powers thrown into the mix?

I appreciate the fact that despite them being more experienced with their powers, they're not exactly the X-Men. Power usage remains relatively low in the season, thus ensuring that the story remains the priority and the powers are merely enhancements / enablers instead of scene stealers. I feel that was one of the reasons Heroes did so poorly as the series progressed. Let's face it, Sylar was nothing without his powers and Mohinder was totally creepy with power. Ugh.

But getting back to the topic at hand, I really liked this season of Misfits. It was the classic case in superhero stories that once the characters are established, the real fun begins. And this was one heck of a season with lots of character deaths, resurrections, time-travel exploits, sex and alternate realities. And did I mention people happen to die? And sex?

Misfits is still not your average TV drama series and it's definitely not for your the unsupervised teen. It gets 4.5 parkour acrobatic feats by the hooded figure out of a possible 5.

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