This will be a feature in which I countdown my top 10 TV shows of all time and talk about the reasons why they’re in the list and what I love about them. At 10 is Misfits.
Every once in a while, I’m going to write a post in which I talk about one of my favourite shows, in particular how it has influenced me and moulded my love for TV. Today I’m going to be talking about a show that I’m currently rewatching, a show that was a breath of fresh air for the genre and pushed boundaries for British TV. That show is ‘Misfits’.
Created and mostly written by Howard Overman, Misfits was the story of 5 ASBOS doing community service who, after getting hit by a freak lightning storm, gained superpowers. It was funny, filthy, twisted, dark and surprising. It always kept you gripped and left an indelible mark on me.
It may have lost its best assets in Series 4 and 5, with the departure of the original cast, but even during its lesser years, it still proved to be as kinetic and frankly bonkers as anything on TV. To this date, it remains to be the high bar for gritty, Sci-Fi Comedy Drama.
Who remembers the sheer lunacy of the Milk Guy, Kelly and the Gorilla or, ‘ahem’, Hitler? It was a show unlike any that you’re ever likely to see, and it wasn’t just because of the laugh out loud script or the excellent performances.
This was a show that wasn’t afraid to tell a human story, breaking down stereotypes of the younger generation and making you care for a group of people who you probably wouldn’t normally. Its style was impeccable, the vibrant cinematography and rich direction turned every shot into a work of art.
The stories were real too. Like that other famous show about a young woman with superpowers, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, it told it’s really affecting tales against the backdrop of supernatural hijinks. Who can forget the episode in which Nathan confronts his absentee Dad and discovers he can see the dead in the same episode?
All these things and more make this show more than just ‘The Inbetweeners’ with powers, but rather a complex, layered show about what it means to be young, and how that generation is viewed.
The performances are always excellent, Robert Sheehan was the star of the early seasons as foul-mouthed Nathan, whilst the time-twisty love story of Simon and Alisha took up the middle seasons. Each of them proved to be immensely capable of pulling off drama and comedy with aplomb. When Nathan left and new guy Rudy arrived, Joe Gilgun proved to be just as great an inappropriately worthy successor to Nathan.
The greatest thing for me was the superb way in which music was used for comedic or dramatic effect, utilising songs from across the eras in various manors, heightening a scene and making it all the more memorable. The excellent use of ‘I don’t know what happened to the kids today’ or the juxtaposition of a classical piece of music against murder by cheese, all spark my joyful imagination in its excellent use of songs.
In the end, Misfits defined so much about the excellent, barrier-breaking style of modern TV, building its world on original ideas, smart scripts, engaging characters and beautiful cinematography, and it never sacrificed its integrity.
It was brave, it was fierce and it was a one of a kind show.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out immediately.