Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Misfits was a British science fiction comedy-drama television show, on the network Channel 4, about a group of young offenders sentenced to work in a community service programme, where they obtain supernatural powers after a strange electrical storm. The show premiered on 12 November 2009 and concluded on 11 December 2013 in its fifth series.
Initially, the show focused on five young adults, each gaining a superpower which mirrors their character. Kelly Bailey (Lauren Socha)– constantly judged for her manly and brute appearance– gains the ability of telepathy, Curtis Donovan (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett)–trying to escape a mistake from his past– can rewind time after experiencing an immense sense of regret, Alisha Daniels (Antonia Thomas)– a woman that is extremely comfortable with her sexuality and body– sends people into a sexual frenzy when they touch her skin and Simon Bellamy (Iwan Rheon)– often ignored or not acknowledged– can become invisible. Nathan Young (Robert Sheehan) appears unchanged.
British reviews have been extremely positive. The Times gave it four out of five stars, calling it “a new union – salty British street humour with whizz-bang special effects” which should “keep E4’s core audience happy”.An online review by The Guardian’s Richard Vine said that it was “confident enough to operate in its own universe and set up something new” and that it was aimed at slowly presenting us the “real people” behind a seemingly “tabloid stereotype” of the “ASBO teenager”, while also noting that the series Skins have also used that kind of technique for their show. The Guardian‘s print reviewer Tim Dowling was also enthusiastic, saying: “Misfits is indeed silly – sillier, even, than it sounds – but it’s also brilliant: sharp, funny, dark and, in places, quite chilling. Both the writing and the performances ensure that everything but the preposterous central premise remains entirely believable.” The Daily Telegraph drew special attention to Howard Overman’s script which, it said, “sparkled from the off, introducing his posse of social outcasts as a bunch of total losers, but each one distinctively and memorably so.”