TV Review: Misfits (2009-2013)

Original Run: November 12th, 2009 – December 11th, 2013
Created by: Howard Overman
Directed by: various
Written by: Howard Overman, Jon Brown, Mike O’Leary
Music by: Vince Pope
Cast: Iwan Rheon, Robert Sheehan, Lauren Socha, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Antonia Thomas, Joseph Gilgun, Karla Crome, Nathan McMullen, Natasha O’Keeffe, Matt Stokoe, Ruth Negga, Matthew McNulty

Clerkenwell Films, E4, 37 Episodes, 45 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

I liked Misfits a lot when it was a current show but I haven’t seen it since the last episode aired nearly eight years ago now.

Overall, it’s a mixed bag but it’s mostly good. It’s a show where you have to really suspend disbelief quite a bit. In the later seasons, it does start to jump the shark in that regard a few times and honestly, I think that’s why it loses some of the luster it had in its first two years.

I think that having completely different casts at the beginning and end of the show turned some people away. While new cast members kind of barge in, initially unwanted, the human element of this show is so well written, that everyone does eventually grow on you. Ultimately, even if characters come off as total pricks, you still end up connecting to them. It’s those personal, very human stories that made me keep coming back to this show.

It’s pretty well acted and a few of the people that really got their start here, went on to do great things. Iwan Rheon moved on to Game of Thrones and had a brief stint in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on The Inhumans show that did fail but not because of him. Joseph Gilgun and Ruth Negga both starred in the Preacher television series and apart from that Negga was also on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as several notable films, one of which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

The show is about unlikely heroes. Basically, they’re juvenile fuck ups on probation but a mysterious storm gives them superpowers. As the show rolls on, they go from being delinquents with powers to actual heroes, as they try to protect their neighborhood from others misusing their powers. You find out that most people on the show have some sort of power and those who don’t, probably just haven’t discovered them yet.

With the powers, the show gets really creative with how they use them. Some concepts fall flat or are outright ridiculous but most are explored in interesting ways outside of the proverbial box. I thought it was really neat how they basically made a serial killer that is able to manipulate dairy. So if you drink milk or eat cheese, this dude can kill you pretty horrendously. And honestly, that’s just one example that comes to mind over the course of 37 episodes.

I can see where this show might not appeal to a lot of people but I like it quite a bit and wish that there was more to the story or that it had at least been expanded upon. As I’ve said, you do end up liking a lot of characters and I’d like to know what happened to many of them.

Rating: 7.25/10

TV Review: Preacher (2016- )

Original Run: May 22nd, 2016 – current
Created by: Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Directed by: various
Written by: various
Based on: Preacher by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon
Music by: Dave Porter
Cast: Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Lucy Griffiths, W. Earl Brown, Derek Wilson, Ian Colletti, Tom Brooke, Anatol Yusef, Graham McTavish, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery, Jackie Earle Haley

Woodbridge Productions, Short Drive Entertainment, Point Grey, Original Film, Kickstart Productions, KFL Nightsky Productions, AMC Studios, Sony Pictures Television, 23 Episodes (so far), 42-65 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

Preacher was a comic book series a lot of my friends have talked about for years. I never read it, actually, but I have always wanted to. After seeing the show, now two seasons into its run, I definitely want to pick up the comic series much sooner than later, even if I am two decades too late.

The show stars the always perfect Dominic Cooper. It also stars Oscar nominated actress Ruth Negga and the super entertaining Joseph Gilgun, as an Irish vampire. The show actually reunites Negga and Gilgun, who both starred in the awesome British show Misfits. Well, maybe not a real reuniting, as they were on that show a season apart.

One of the most surprising things about Preacher, when I first heard about it, was that it was being developed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. AMC did feel like the perfect home for this show though, due to how well it has handled another little comic book property, The Walking Dead.

Preacher follows a preacher who has a special power. He is able to use his voice to force people to do his bidding. He is joined by his crazy ex-girlfriend (Negga) and his new vampire sidekick (Gilgun). Initially, the show takes place in a small Texas town and pits Jesse Custer, the preacher, against an evil and psychotic villain, played by Jackie Earle Haley. Jesse discovers that God is missing, his hometown is destroyed and season two sees our trio head to New Orleans in search of God.

While The Walking Dead pushed the envelope of what you can show on television to new levels, Preacher pushes it even further. This is a really dark show. Dark to the point where even regular viewers of The Walking Dead might feel uncomfortable with Preacher. In fact, I’m not sure how this can exist and not be something that has to be on HBO, Showtime or Starz.

Overall, the show is pretty damn good. Sometimes it feels a bit drawn out, which is its only real weakness. The thing is, Preacher is so unique and bizarre that you’re never really sure where each episode will end up. As of now, it looks as if each season will have its own unique theme and environment. From what I’ve seen thus far, it doesn’t seem like it will be a show that will get stale or trapped in redundancy.

Preacher boasts some of the best actors on television and each season brings in other veteran actors with talent to match. Negga truly is an Oscar caliber performer but Cooper and Gilgun are right there with her from scene to scene.

Preacher is a show with serious gravitas but it isn’t for everyone. I can’t imagine that it could have a large audience, which is why it is such a unique experience and its existence in its current format, a bit puzzling. But over the years, television seems to be getting better and smarter as motion pictures continue to be dumbed down to the point that most are unwatchable.

This is a show that feels fresh and new and brings something to the table that no one has seen before. It doesn’t hurt that it is also a top quality effort by everyone involved, at every level.

Rating: 8/10