My crap, post-lightning strike Misfits power would probably have involved mutating trainers…
I miss Misfits. I especially miss the final line-up, particularly Rudy and Finn. I would miss Jess as well, except for the fact that now every time I look at actress Karla Crome all I can think of is that horrible whiny accent she adopted for Under The Dome (even just typing that is making me cringe like being forced to eat tin foil).
I’m not going to argue that the first series wasn’t the best – it quite clearly was. Series one was a breath of fresh air, bringing some Shameless urban grit and humour (not to mention sex) to a too-often po-faced and over-earnest genre. It was funny, it was gross, and every episodes was impeccably plotted. There was even an arc plot, though that didn’t become obvious until later episodes when you suddenly realised that seemingly random, throwaway moments and lines in earlier episodes were actually anything other than random and throwaway.
The characters were great too. Well, apart from Curtis whom the writers never quite seemed to know what to do with. He was not quite a “token black guy” (more token sports jock) but he was never as much fun as the foul-mouthed slacker (Nathan), the chav (Kelly), the weirdo (Simon) and the reluctant sex siren (Alisha).
By the final series, not a single one of those original characters was left. But you know what? I didn’t mind. If series five wasn’t as good as the first two series (though it was an improvement on the fourth) that wasn’t down to the new cast; it was just that writing wasn’t quite as sharp. Because, for me, Misfits managed what few TV shows have ever done; I actually preferred the replacement cast. It’s up there with M*A*S*H. Yes, I much prefered Potter, Winchester and BJ to Henry Blake, Frank Burns and Trapper John.
I know Nathan (Robert Sheehan) was many fans’ favourite – and I won’t deny it was Nathan who probably made the show the hit it was – but I always preferred Rudy (Joe Gilgun). There was something more vulnerable and endearing about Rudy. Nathan was funny, but too cocksure of himself; Rudy talked the talk but when it came to the walk, he was emotionally hobbled. It also helps that my interview with Joe for SFX was may favourite interview with anyone ever, bar none. What a legend that man is! He phoned me from a tent in the middle of nowhere while he was packing up to go home, and fell down a hole at one point. He was even psychoanalysing me as we talked.
Rudy made a great double act with the hapless Finn (when he was making a great double act with himself), and his relationship with Jess felt less forced than Nathan and Kelly’s. Abbey was just wonderfully weird (I loved the fact that she fell in love with a tortoise) and Alex’s bizarre power (he could take other Misfits’ powers away by having sex with them) was the show at its most delightfully bat’s-arse.
Sadly, season four – during which a lot of the changes of character took place – suffered from having to implement all those changes (especially Kelly’s sudden departure after Lauren Socha was found guilty of racially aggravated assault on a taxi driver – although the official Channel 4 line was that she had agreed to leave the show before that incident, hmmmm). This damaged the show’s popularity – not so much in terms of ratings as in internet buzz – and by series five, Misfits was no longer a must-watch show for many of its former fans.
So, I feel a little bit sorry for that final series cast being under-appreciated, and wish they’d had one more series together. Especially as the last episode, after a fairly strong run (loved the killer bunny story), was a real damp squib.
See you tomorrow.
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