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TV review: Misfits' series four opener is a treat
Cast of Misfits, year four. Image Channel 4
It's series four of E4's Misfits. The superhero drama confidently reinvents itself and proves that, even with dramatic casting changes, the brilliance of the show hasn't been lost.
Joe Gilgun is on terrific form as Rudy, with numerous memorable lines in this episode. His delight at his own acting ability is particularly great.
The explanation of Kelly's (Lauren Socha) whereabouts is necessary, but still feels odd and forced. I have a hard time believing she'd really decide to go to Africa to diffuse bombs.
Misfits' third series finale saw two regular cast members leave (Iwan Rheon and Antonia Thomas) when characters Simon and Alisha died unexpectedly. With Kelly also departing, only Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) now remains from the original cast.
Series four's first episode introduces us to new characters Finn (Nathan McMullen) and Jess (Karla Crome).
One major cast change can be a challenge for a TV series, but Misfits has had to contend with key losses. It's the big hurdle the creators had to jump, and thankfully, they managed it as Finn and Jess fit into the dynamic perfectly.
"Finn and Jess fit into the dynamic perfectly."
They also have great powers.
Finn is barely able to use his telekinesis and Jess having the ability of X-Ray vision. Seeing them in action should be exciting as the show progresses.
This opener revolved around a man with a briefcase full of money. Anyone that came into contact with him immediately became obsessed with the case at the expense of their friends and their morals. Very Tarantino-esque.
It's a dark path for Misfits to follow, but it feels appropriate. Fans will also be glad to see the famous twisted humour intact; rest assured this hasn't faded, and neither has the gruesome violence - there was a particularly uncomfortable amputation depicted onscreen.
All about Rudy
The incredibly funny Rudy (This Is England's Joe Gilgun) is becoming the character the show is now focused around.
All of his moments in this premiere were superb. He was a real success last year, although some fans persisted in comparing him unfavourably to the recently departed Nathan (Robert Sheehan). Absolutely unfair, but inevitable.
Should Misfits call it a day?
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- Yes - its best days are long gone
- No - it's still a great show
Having Rudy, Seth (Matthew McNulty) and Curtis act ever so slightly out of character was an inspired way to get viewers used to the newcomers. It also gave us the craziness of the community centre through their eyes.
A tightly structured episode, clearly inspired by gangster movies and heist plots, made for a good watch.
But Misfits added a further layer in the final minutes when we were introduced to another new face, no-nonsense probation worker Greg, played by Shaun Dooley.
Threatening and creepy, he should prove more of a challenge than previous probation workers.
The closing minutes of this opener contained a surprising twist that will definitely require some explaining. If you thought you were out, you may just find yourself back in. As Rudy so eloquently puts it, there are: "new powers, a hint of sexual possibility, tears, laughter, horribly graphic violence..." In other words, Misfit has hardly changed at all.
- Verdict: Entertaining episode which should calm any fears about the show's ability to maintain brilliance.
What other reviewers said
Den of Geek - "It's impressive that this series four opener is quite so much carefree fun."
The Independent - "Not on par with the usual quality of comedy and drama that the show is defined by."
What people on Twitter said
@alexjonslow - "#misfits is like Skins. It starts out great and gets progressively worse."
@ANDYLPELLIS - "#Misfits was class tonight! Gilgun was brilliant as always."
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