Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Misfits: Episode One

Rudy: 'My face. Am I... am I still gorgeous?'

2011 is pretty much a make or break year for Misfits. With Robert Sheehan’s departure back in April, the show lost its most handsome, most disgusting, funniest, most Irish sounding character. Nathan was the hub of the rusted, buckled, sometimes punctured Misfits wheel, so it should come as no surprise that the backlash has already started. Robert Sheehan was trending on Twitter even as the show was airing—which is pretty amazing considering he wasn't even in the episode. Should a show continue once its most popular character has departed? I suspect that’s a question we’ll be asking from now until Christmas.

So let’s jump straight in with a run-down of the gang’s new powers. Kelly has swapped last season’s telepathy for rocket science. Is 'rocket scientist' strictly a power in itself? It seems more like the product of a heightened intelligence, or maybe just higher learning, but Kelly's acuity in other areas is still woefully lacking. Ostensibly, she's still the same old Kelly. ('What the fuck is brunch?') Unless there’s the sudden need to build a ballistic missile, I can’t see there being much mileage in her new ability. She can't even sell her designs because of her perceived Chaviness. Poor Kelly. Gypped again.

Alisha's subbed her admittedly pathetic ability to drive all genders into fits of sexual ecstasy, for the more useful power of being able to see through other people’s eyes. (There's probably a name for that. Farsight, maybe?) I liked that they gave her some history with Rudy, too—it made his introduction seem less random. It makes sense that Alisha's promiscuous past as the 'cock monster' would have left behind casualties—but sleeping with Rudy? No disrespect intended (but there, nevertheless), but isn’t Alisha a little out of his league?

Curtis wins the trophy for this year's worst superpower. He can turn into a woman. That’s it! Admittedly, it helped him escape from the cops, but I can’t imagine it being useful for much else. (Although it might provide future laughs and some weird character development.) Not that I'm complaining: shit superpowers are what this show's all about. Was that cop close enough to see Curtis' face? Even if he did have some sense of gender, I'm pretty sure the identical height, dress, hair and skin tone would have been enough to convince him that he'd made a mistake.

I hope Curtis kept his receipt—I suspect Seth will be doing a healthy trade in return business this season, as he has two potential customers, already. I’m guessing they intend to keep Seth around. They've already given him a small plot thread. Which power is he trying to track down, I wonder? Something to win the girl in the photo back, or maybe something to bring her back from the dead? With Seth elevated to series regular, maybe the gang will change powers again later in the season.

Simon appears to have swapped his invisibility for precognition. Tonight he was able to avoid a potentially fatal free-running accident by foreseeing his own fall and aborting the jump. Simon’s power seems pretty much on par with last season’s invisibility. Simon always gets the cool superpowers, not to mention the cool ladies: him and Alisha are turning into quite the couple. The fact that they're from different ends of the cool spectrum makes their relationship all the more epic. (Some may say Romeo and Juliet-esque.) Simon seems to bring out a softness in Alisha that wasn't there in season one. I just hope we're never subjected to Simon saying 'pussy' again. It was almost as cringe-inducing as Rudy’s endless anal sex references.

I’m not sure when Howard Overman started writing the season three scripts, but I can’t help feel it was before he knew Sheehan was leaving. Some of Rudy’s lines—'I’m just washing shit off my cock' being the most obvious example—had Nathan written all over them. As did him parading around in his underpants, his flowery language, and his unshakable confidence in his own shaggability. Was the decision to give Rudy a split-able personality simply a convenient way of avoiding months of hefty script rewrites? With the more confident half of Rudy's personality functioning as a less tousled, less pretty Nathan, it would make their dialogue essentially interchangeable. Of course, this may not be what's happened, but Rudy does feel like a Lancastrian Nathan.

Whether Rudy goes on to develop a more distinct personality in the weeks to come, we’ll have to wait and see. I thought Gilgun played the two Rudys with enough nuance to make them feel like different characters, but suicidal tendencies seem hard wired into Rudy's psyche. Post-breakup with Alisha, they were born out of rejection and depression, but even without his more brittle ego pissing on his parade, Rudy still managed to almost throw his life down the toilet. Hopefully, him saving Alisha will mitigate against landing them all with another stint of community service. Way to go, Rudy! Three cheers for the arse man!

Other Thoughts:

—How did Tanya manage to string up Rudy and Alisha? Even with them both unconscious, I don't see how it was possible.

—Tanya was like a white Hiro Nakamura.... but with a dreadful fringe and none of his joie de vivre.

—For the first time, Howards Overman won't be writing every episode. He's probably too busy with Merlin and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. It'll be interesting to see how another writer interprets his characters.

—No way would Rudy have had the purchase to kick Tanya in the face. In real life he'd probably have fallen and broken his neck.

—Rudy's split seems driven by self doubt.

—Was Rudy's 'I'm not going to Wales' comment a dig at most of the BBC's genre shows being filmed in Wales?

—A brief reference to Nathan's swansong 'Vegas, Baby'.


Rudy1: 'You trying to fuck me?'
Rudy2: 'I’m going to fucking kill you!'

Kelly: 'Maybe I should get some glasses, make me look dead intelligent.'
Curtis: 'Yeah, that’ll do it.'

Rudy: 'Garçon!'
Curtis: 'You talking to me?'
Rudy: 'I believe so. It’s French. You’re not a fan of the French? Fair enough. I don’t like the cunts either. Can I have three pints of lager, please?'

Rudy: 'Trust me. There’ll be shit. It’s in the air. I can smell it.'

Kelly: 'So is this, like, brunch? Cos it feels just like I’m eating a bacon sandwich.'

Rudy: 'I’m the arse man, love. I’m king of the world.'

Rudy: 'C’mon. Do you really really think we’re going to spend the next seven weeks, ambling about, picking up litter?'

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