Television: ‘Misfits’ Series 3

Posted 21 December, 2011 by Lianne in Entertainment / 2 Comments

I don’t think I really post about television shows here on this blog, especially given as I don’t watch that much television these days beyond British TV and miniseries (and The Good Wife, but I’m not caught up with that show this season). But maybe that will change in the coming year ^_~

I’ve been a fan of Misfits since last year; I forgot how I came across it but I caught up with the show while I was in Trento. The balance between dark humour, irony and drama has been pretty amazing with this show, which is probably the reason why I like it so much. I was shocked about Robert Sheehan left and that a new and proper character was going to be introduced to fill his spot (unlike the new guy back in series 2 who could teleport—we all know what happened to that guy), but given the nature of some of the more prominent British television shows out there (Skins and Doctor Who), a cast shake-up made sense so I wasn’t going to write off the show or anything. And I’m glad I did tune in to series 3.

Major spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched series 3!

For starters, I thought Rudy was a fine addition to the ASBO team. A lot of people weren’t really feeling the character when he first appeared and even until the end of the series, but I enjoyed his addition to the group dynamic. His introduction both as a character and his superpower was interesting and hilarious (the like “You’re such a whiny little bitch!” had me cracking; I think it was that moment that solidified my interest in the character). There’s no doubt that he’s taken over Nathan’s role in a sense of outrageous explanations (like when he explained to Shaun about his “twin”; even I couldn’t keep up with that) and one-liners and moments of strangeness (like at the beginning of episode 6 at the party) but unlike Nathan, there’s this underlying sincerity and insecurity that’s always there. Nathan had his sincere moments (like episode 2 of series 2 and his scene with the “reformed” Kelly at the end of series 1) but then he’d be back to same old, same old in the next episode without a sense of depth. While Rudy does the same thing in certain respects (apologising to the girl in episode 6 but then forgetting that his double took the rap at the police station), there’s this awkwardness and sincerity that makes him likeable amidst his less-than-stellar moments. I mean, could you imagine Nathan going through what Rudy did in episode 5 with the STI? That scene in the interrogation room and the two Rudys was very poignant.

But one shouldn’t compare Rudy to Nathan because they’re both two completely different characters. I like Rudy’s character more because we see something of a progression in the character; he starts off as the sore thumb out because he’s the newest member of the gang (something he likes to say at the beginning) but becomes integrated over time to the point that he views Seth as the outsider but he’s part of them. His dynamic with the rest of the group is fantastic, even his interaction with his other self. I think his power is especially interesting because you can see the contrast between the two personalities and it gives you a glimpse of who the real Rudy could be. You can also sometimes see it in his outfits; did anyone notice how he’s been wearing more buttoned-to-the-top shirts towards the end of the series? Overall, he’s a fantastic character and I look forward to his shenanigans and one-liners in series 4. I also should add that Joe Gilgun did a fantastic job as Rudy and acting out both the tough guy and the timid moody guy—that must be exhausting!

I’m also happy that the rest of the team got more screentime and storyline to work on. Kelly has been one of my favourite characters from the beginning because we got to see a lot of what’s going on underneath her tough exterior. I love that she had her moments in this series, like kicking the crap out of Hitler and correcting the alternate timeline. She also had some of the best one-liners this season alongside Rudy (“What the fuck is brunch?”). I wish she had used her new superpower more this season (hers and Alisha’s were sorely underused) but even without it, you can see that she can get through any situation without a problem. I love that she got a proper love interest this season, her interactions with Seth (which surprised me, I had no idea that the power broker guy was going to stick around) were lovely to watch and I’m glad that she finally got someone who cared about her too (even if Seth had that lapsed moment in episode 7; but he’s too cute so I forgive him for setting a zombiefest out into the world). I also wished we saw more of her friendship with Alisha but the moments we got this season were great (and I think a lot more than last season?). Lauren Socha was fantastic this season and I look forward to the further development of her character next season. Hopefully her power will be put into more use then?

I’m also glad that Curtis got a bit more this season, especially with the gender-swapping ability, which opened up an avenue of interesting things for the character. I also liked that he got more to do in the Nazi-alternate-reality storyline. It’s definitely a step-up from last season where I really just wasn’t feeling the character; he always came off as a bit too uppity for me and his storylines never really garnered my sympathy beyond the initial reason behind his community service stint. So I’m glad he’s more meshed with the group again, despite his snappishness here and there. I should also add, I really enjoy his interactions with Rudy, I’d like to see more of that next season.

Simon and Alisha. I was surprised that they hooked up last season (first with future!Simon, and then with our Simon) just because I never thought about that possibility emerging when I first watched the series. Their chemistry was great and it was nice to see that they were together throughout this series. Looking back on it, though, I do agree with fandom that Alisha didn’t get much of a storyline outside of their relationship beyond her initial connection to Rudy in the first episode. But picking at her progression at a minute level, I think what you can get out of her story arc is that she has mellowed out this series compared to series 1 (although that development began mid-series 2); she’s not as sexualised (save for the Nazi episode) and I think her relationship with Simon grounded her into someone who does think of other people. But yeah, a more Alisha-centric episode would’ve been nice to see.

Simon’s character this season I think was a continuation from series 1, growing out of the awkward/creepy stage and fledging into a confident person. The knowledge of him becoming Superhoodie I think was part of that fledging as well as his relationship with Alisha. I think the fact that Nathan had left also helped his character’s self-esteem; while their relationship was becoming less…bully-ish and more levelled, Nathan’s departure allowed Simon to assert himself more. He clearly became the voice of reason this season in a sense of honing in on what’s going on and getting the gang to act. Again, it was something that was developing in series 2 but he was more of his own person this season. I should also note that I absolutely enjoyed his friendship with Rudy because of the contrasts; Rudy’s approach can be pretty ridiculous whereas Simon is more thoughtful and practical. Their scenes together in episode 5 were gold.

What really shocked me however was the departure of both these characters at the series finale. I think I had put off the notion that Superhoodie had to go back into the past indefinitely, that it would be in a few years’ time. I even thought that maybe there would be some weird time loop where maybe Simon didn’t have to go to the past because he saved Alisha that time. But Alisha’s death was a major shocker, and in front of all her friends too. Rudy raised a good point about the paradox in their relationship and the time travel element, that the two of them would always be stuck in that loop: seeing each other die, going back, falling in love, back round again. It can get pretty technical to think of the time travel details so essentially I fall back to Kelly’s approach to the situation: it is tragically romantic. I will miss Iwan Rheown and Antonia Thomas’s presence in the show because they were pretty core to the group and they were fun to watch with the others; it’s weird to think of ASBO Five now as just Curtis, Kelly and the Two Rudys (do they count as one or two?).

Overall, it’s been an entertaining season, there were some really hilarious moments and misadventures all around. I will be tuning in to series 4 to see how everything will work out with the absence of two major characters and the arrival of new characters to the scene.

Rating: ★★★★★

Edit: I forgot to mention that I thought the cinematography this season was fantastic. I love the way that the camera would zoom in on characters but their surroundings were blurred and frosty. The far shots of the community complex were also pretty artistic, very beautiful.

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2 Responses to “Television: ‘Misfits’ Series 3”

  1. I love your review! I’ve grown to like Rudy as well. At first, I felt like the show was really pushing for his character to be another Nathan, and in some ways he is in that he’s the comedic character, but after a while I ‘forgot’ about Nathan and just saw him as Rudy.

    I’m still a bit confused with the time travel bit (and maybe this is why I could never fully love The Time Traveler’s Wife like so many others have) so that’s why I feel like Simon & Alisha will be back. But I think it’s just denial on my part lol Have the actors really not signed on for Series 4? I will truly miss Simon/Iwan!

    • Li

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! I agree, he is there for comic relief like Nathan was, but I like that over the course of the series, Rudy became is own character. I also like that the other characters also became comedic in their own right over time so it’s not always Rudy driving the hilarity/irony.

      Ahh, yes, the timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly issue (sorry, I’ve been using Doctor Who logic to explain all things time travel-related these days xD). I think the writers did an almost good job on it, except for a few gaping plot holes from earlier seasons (can’t remember them off the top of my head at the moment). Unfortunately Iwan and Antonia are not signed on for series 4 =(

      Forgot to mention it but I lovelovelove the cinematography this season. There’s a lot of beautiful far shots of the community complex this year =)

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