Ok, so I’ve seen pretty well into the Misfits season 3 at this point, and there are a couple of things that I’m not so taken with about the direction the whole thing is going. Season one and season two, having had the opportunity to view them all together, instead of on a week by week basis- (which, honestly, I prefer to just watch everything all at once) made the whole set up seem grand and gave it a momentum that, in watching the third season in sections, I’m not sure the show necessarily had.
What I liked most about the beginning of this show is how it subverted the Origin Myth of superheroes, which is the lamest part of a hero’s saga. We’re not sure why, and we don’t even exactly know the science of how, but the powers are there and instead of jumping to superhero-ing about the town, the Asbo 5 did what they’ve done their whole lives, get into trouble and then get into some more. And while the second season got a little more into the hero thing, it stayed pretty small- tiny problems, massive consequences, regular teen shit in an irregular way. The show is best when it uses the powers to amplify the regular pains of becoming an adult, of fighting social stigmas, of being a magical spark for igniting plain, normal change.
Which brings us to season 3. Nathan’s gone. Which bothers me a lot. There was the “Vegas, baby” mini episode, which sort of took care of that, but it feels like with losing Nathan, the whole show has stalled- granted the second episode of season 3 is one of my favorites, it’s exactly what I like about the show, but the pilot (spoliers) sticks everyone- excluding Nathan, because he’s gone- right back into community service, right back into the dynamics they left at the end of season 2, and this new kid, Rudy? As a Nathan stand in, he doesn’t cut it. As an entirely different character, he’s got some pros and cons, but it’s hard to wrap him into the running business already- Simon and Kelly are too interesting and powerful to let Rudy take up the same kind of spotlight Nathan did. Curtis is growing in fits and starts, but Alicia doesn’t have anything to do other than be the person Simon’s gearing up to save. And then the fucking Nazi episode. Lauren Socha is so good, don’t confuse that, but what. the. fuck.
I think Simon needed Nathan to agitate, infuriate, confuse and humiliate him into a better person, I think Alicia needs some shit to do. I think I like where Kelly is going, assuming they keep moving her towards more powerful positions and players, both in her class and outside of it, and if they keep this Curtis power from getting old, I think they can say a lot of interesting things about gender and identity, only some of which were touched on in the second episode. I think Rudy needs to differentiate himself more from foul-mouthed tangents and anal sex gags, and I would like to see less of a reliance on Making Simon who he needs to be to save Alicia and more risk taking, moving the group out of service, into the real world. I want to see growth, and so far, season three has been content to leaves things as they started.
Get it together, Overton. (I know, your season is already over. I mean for season 4. I know you’ve been renewed.)
On the plus side, VEEP is wrapped, and The Thick of It starts shooting in…what? March? That is a show that does stagnation so perfectly that when change happens, my initial reaction is to hate it.