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Get It Watched! highlights some of the unsung heroes of the small screen; the lesser known programs that people often overlook. I’ll be looking at shows not just from the US but also from the UK, Canada, Australia and other English speaking countries and each edition will feature a different recommendation and rundown of what you are missing. Please, please recommend your own picks for shows you feel are the orphan children of broadcasting, because I am only one guy (albeit one with stunning good looks and incredible intellectual insight).
Back to my dreary little island this week; Misfits is the UK’s answer to Heroes. Well not so much of an answer, as it is a middle-finger to the superhero convention. The show introduces a selection of teenage delinquents, turning up for their first day of a community service sentence. In England, we have something known as an ‘Anti-Social Behaviour Order’ (ASBO) that is branded upon teenagers and young adults (predominantly) for minor offences, such as repeatedly disturbing the peace, shoplifting and punching kittens. Misfits focuses on a group of individuals that represent this new ASBO generation and who, when they are suddenly gifted with extraordinary powers, choose not to ‘save the cheerleader, save the world’ but instead act out their sordid fantasies and accidentally kill some people.
The characters themselves, range from the dark and possibly perverted, to the hilariously over confident. The way the powers arrive inside these ‘inbetweeners’ is not an original one; a freak electric storm. But it is their unaltruistic response to the gifts that is the real star of the show. What would a 19 year old really do if he found he could turn invisible and how would an attention seeking young woman truly behave if she could devolve any man into a sexual frenzy with a mere touch? That’s the show’s premise and it is as refreshing as it is guiltily brilliant.
Written by Howard Overman, the show won best drama at the 2010 BAFTA awards (British TV Oscars) and has been commissioned for a second season which fans await with baited breath. On top of that, Channel 4 has ordered a 60 minute Christmas special that will most probably resolve the cliffhanger audiences were left with at the end of season 1.
I was recommended the super(anti)hero drama weeks after the first season had finished. This was in part due to it appearing on the digital channel E4, which usually focuses on programming for the teen demographic. However, Misfits is decidedly adult and I became brutally aware of that within the first 10 minutes. Like waking up from a dream in which you can smash your boss’ car without being caught, the show taps into our baser fantasies and drips with dark humour and mocking references to comic books and horror movies. If you have ever felt frustrated with the superhero formula and the unrealistic boy-scout behaviour of the cookie-cutter protagonists, then you need to allow Misfits into your heart. Warning – May contain ‘chavs’
Show – Misfits
Broadcaster – E4
Country – UK
First Aired – 11/12/09
Seasons – 1
Cancelled? – No
Have you any recommendations for shows you think people are missing out on? Let me know in the comments section and I will feature them in the weeks to come.