As an introduction and a disclaimer, it’s probably worth mentioning that I first heard about Misfits at work. Six to Start, my then employer, were pitching for the work of being the online companion to a series that I’m pretty sure was described at some point as “Heroes but with ASBOs”. (Minor spoilers for season one follow.)
Like in Heroes, the characters end up with powers (or as Kelly would have it, “powahs”), but unlike heroes, they don’t try and save the cheerleader, let alone save the world. They’re more likely to have to figure out how to deal with the fact they, er, killed their probation worker, or have to deal with how to look after someone old enough to be their grandma. Meanwhile, it turns out their abilities aren’t unrelated to who they are…
Howard Overman’s writing is great, and performed fantastically by the cast. (Mind you, if you’re not happy with swearing, sex references, drinking, sex references, drugs, sex scenes, and Nathan in his pants, you might want to watch something else). The location - the Thamesmead estate in south-east London, as also seen in A Clockwork Orange - is used to wonderful effect. There’s some great cinematography, and even the foreshadowing in the titles is genius.
Of course, it’s full of stuff that would never see the light of day in the US, which is exactly why Americans should download it now and watch it, before any TV executives make too many noises about an (inevitably awful) remake. (British folk should hold out for E4 repeats, or shell out for the DVDs.) Once you’re done, you can join in the happy world of animated gifs and quotes on Tumblr.
Seriously: it’s one of the best new series in the UK in the last couple of years. Go watch.