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Review of Misfits – Series 4, Episode 8

Neela Debnath

misifts 300x225 Review of Misfits – Series 4, Episode 8

(Hal Shinnie/Channel 4)

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 8, series 4 of ‘Misfits’

Religion and the Misfits never mix, remember what happened to the guy who could walk on water and claimed he was Jesus? This week the gang took on a holy sorority with mildly interesting consequences.

Rudy and the nun were never going to work but that did not stop them from trying. Joe Gilgun gave another sterling turn this week, as the audience saw Rudy becoming pious in an attempt to get his nun back.

Gilgun has been brilliant throughout this series, carrying the show on his own for the most part. In relation to the newbies, Karla Crome fills the role of the deadpan Asbo teen well enough and her straight-faced delivery is good but Jess is no Alisha.

Meanwhile Finn’s cringeworthy, bumbling personality has been far from endearing and has proven to be downright annoying, if anything he deserves to be smacked around the face each week. This is not a reflection on Nathan McMullen who shows that he does have promise, particularly from his moving performance in the episode involving Finn’s dad.

Then there is Matt Stokoe as Alex ‘from the bar’ who has been so-so – there is room to develop his character further. The only real shining light of promise has been Natasha O’Keeffe as Abbey, who is as equally as deadpan as Jess but in a more nonchalant manner. Understandably, the new members of the cast all had big shoes to fill and they do all give it their best shot, unfortunately it can’t match their predecessors.

In a Misfits first even the probation officer made it through the series without meeting a sticky end. As suggested by his rendition of The Power of Love last week, Greg too has suffered from heartbreak and would metaphorically – one hopes – crawl naked through broken glass and canine defecation to tell the person he loves how he feels or something along those lines. Greg’s vulnerability is what makes him interesting as a character and more watchable. Sean Dooley has done well throughout and it feels as if the audience is just starting to get to know him and in a weird way even like him.

As finales go this week was uninspiring to say the least, with more hackneyed, self-referential dialogue. The vain attempts to elicit laughter through gratuitous, meaningless sex and violence fell flat. Yes, there is still the clever mix of irony and drama but it’s just not the same anymore. It feels like a diet version of the programme – a sort of Misfits lite with none of the rich flavour of the original, instead viewers are treated to something full of cheap substitutes and additives that fail to hit the spot in quite the same way as before.

The fourth series could never live up to the brilliance of the first two series. Series three was good and had some undeniably fantastic moments but with the loss of most of the original cast in series four it was nigh impossible to carry on. The problem was that the show had a winning formula but with each departure the series was weakened.

Whether the series can continue and improve is dubious which is a shame because the programme started out so strongly but has dwindled. The episodes feel more throwaway than ever before and it is difficult to pick out any particular standout moments apart from Curtis and the guinea pig, the giant white rabbit, and Rudy three.

A lesson that the British television industry can learn from the American industry is to create longer contracts for actors that last at least three years, so that a winning cast can be retained and continue to produce compelling television. There is the impression that if Misfits could have held on to the original cast for longer, then it could have gone on to create one of the best British television shows on the box right now.

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  • Matt Noble

    I think the reviewer’s comments are spot on. I thoroughly enjoyed series 1 and 2. I didn’t think anyone could replace Robert Sheehan but Joseph Gilgun has done a fantastic job, with the result that Series 3 was almost as good as 1 and 2. Unfortunately the programme has got away from the central premis of the team’s powers and relied on bringing in people for just an episode. I’ve just brought myself to watch the last few episodes of series 4, and I realise I no longer care what happens to the Misfits. It’s difficult to say whether the poor storylines or weak acting have done more damage to the identity the show built up so well in 1 and 2.

  • UrbanSpaceMonkey

    I disagree, I love the evolving cast and each of the newcomers has been brilliant.

  • Artemis6804

    I am just watching the show because I feel like I have too. It’s still better than other shows but it is not as great as the other seasons.

    Firstly, they barely use their powers. They even joke about that in this episode but is that really funny when considering the show is about having powers? Also, each power was linked to the personality of the character and it builds their story. Abby doesn’t seem to have powers, Alex is now given powers because they need to keep him in the story. Finn is crap at his powers and not developing after 8 eps. Rudy can only do so much character building with his split personality. What gives Overman?

    Second, the group dynamic is lacking, it’s so bad. They are not growing together. For example, Jess’ slutshaming towards Abby was appaling. I really liked her but this was wrong. Alex is not even part of the group. Finn runs after Jess and the ‘good guy’ becomes obnoxious when he feels he ‘deserves’ Jess because he’s good. Rudy has some bromance with Finn but it’s just not captivating because Finn is a dumb character.

    Third, why are the ladies reduced to only being love interests? Alisha’s character fell flat in s3 because it was all about Simon. After Abby’s cool intro, she is resorted to some promiscuous girl under the guise of ’searching for herself’. Really? It’s so convenient she lost her memory, saves Overman from actually giving her a story. Jess was interesting until they made Alex a dick and now it’s about her love woes instead of her complicated sad background. When Evil Rudy told her that she pretends to be something else because she’s afraid people won’t like the real her, I really felt they were giving her a decent background. But no.

    Fourth: Why is Finn given an extensive background? The least compelling character gets more background than ANY of the previous Misfits. Not even Rudy, the one who the show relies on, gets such a treatment!

    Fifth: The stories are not flowing. They are too dark, They lack the humour the other series had. Even when burying another probation worker, there was still some wit to break the tension.

  • Pedro

    I think the new show is great. I think it’s short sighted to compare it to the past series. series 4 really holds its own when you give it some space between the first 3 seasons. It’s hard for hardcore fans to deal with change. But if you can let go of your attachment to the old cast and stop comparing them, you may realize that it’s still a really intriguing and fun show to watch. It would be a shame if it was not on the air. At this point things are still going strong for the misfits. I agree some of the main characters could use some deeper development though. And I am sad to realize that was the last episode of the season. I definitely am looking forward to more

  • Snakeskin

    I think the concept of the Four Horsemen was very strong and there’s certainly all the necessary material to make series 5 shine – it’s just going to be a case of getting all those components to sing!

    Gilgun was fantastic again this week and has done a great job of depicting multiple dimensions to Rudy this season. And it was fab to see them using their powers in unison again this week – a reminder that a great deal of Misfits’ dramatic power came from… well, their powers.

    http://snakeskinscribe.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/misfits-series-4-episode-8-review.html

  • robertinspain

    Sadly I think Series 5 will only get worse. I’ve never taken to Finn or
    Jess or Alex as their roles are just repetative. They just don’t replace
    Alisha and Simon. The loss of Curtis left only Rudi who just about
    holds the show together. Greg has nothing to offer. The Show lost its
    way at the end of Series 3 and should have been retired.

  • robertinspain

    Sadly I think Series 5 will only get worse. I’ve never taken to Finn or
    Jess or Alex as their roles are just repetative. They just don’t replace
    Alisha and Simon. The loss of Curtis left only Rudi who just about
    holds the show together. Greg has nothing to offer. The Show lost its
    way at the end of Series 3 and should have been retired.


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