Misfits: Season Two DVD Review: Last of the Greats

What is it about the BBC that makes them incapable of maintaining original casts on their shows for prolonged periods of time? Do they just not pay enough? Do the actors and/or creators just get bored, even though they’re producing such infinitesimally small season orders of episodes that we’re basically just getting the equivalent of a movie or two a year? Whatever the reason, Misfits is one of the latest examples of this regrettable phenomenon, which thankfully doesn’t really set in until the close of this second season. This set represents your final chance to see the breakout hit about juvenile delinquents with super powers in all its glory before it begins its rapid slide into irrelevance in following seasons (which is still unfortunately playing out with none of the original cast remaining).

When last we left our merry band of antiheroes in season one, they were still coming to terms with the superhuman powers they received courtesy of a freak storm. As we open season two, they’re more in control of their talents but at the core they’re still the same slackers begrudgingly serving out their court-mandated community service time. Sure, they spend more time just hanging out at the community center or the local bar after hours than actually performing any service, but hey, they’re doing the time. They’re overseen by the latest in a string of commanding officers, but as we know from past experience in season one the officer is likely to last about as long as a Spinal Tap drummer before meeting an untimely demise.

Since we were already introduced to the powers of the misfits in the first season, the writers throw in a mystery masked man this season who seems to be shadowing the gang at every turn. Who is he, what does he want, and what does it mean for the crew? The answers to that play out over the full season, but suffice it to say that time travel is involved and unexpected romance blossoms. The time travel story and its repercussions are extremely effective, making us care about the characters much more deeply than before, which also makes the beginning of the cast departures at season’s end that much more painful.

If you only ever see one season of Misfits, this is the one to watch, and is likely to be the only one that is really remembered after the show finally wraps. With the exception of the stellar Robert Sheehan (as cocky and hilarious Nathan), none of the cast members are especially convincing actors, but there’s something about their chemistry and attitude that makes them all a joy to watch. The season is also greatly aided by effective writing that lets the actors interact with each other and grow as characters rather than just face off against a baddie of the week.

The DVD set includes all six episodes and the Christmas special, deleted scenes, and behind the scenes footage.

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Steve Geise

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