“Channel 4 is like a flurry of sewage that comes into your house unbidden, whereas E4 is like you constructed a sluice to let it in.”
(I never realised that quote was by one-half of my nemeses Lee and Herring)
Misfits S4 has started, and I’ve just managed to watch the first episode and thought the forums was a place to throw out some thoughts for anyone else watching.
Firstly – even in the anarchy of the estate, systems of inertia remain partially functional. Four probation workers may have died, but youths on community service are still being sent there. At this point, there’s not been a new probation worker for enough time for Rudy to have set up a convincing (by his low standards) charade.
This episode reinforces, if not much else, the problems of a world without oversight. It mirrors the adolescent world where there is no responsibility with the black market, the criminal underworld, where there’s no code (sorry Omar) to keep a band together, and similarly the feral youths of the new ASBO 5.
One thing I did notice and I wonder whether it will be played with is the increasing northerness of the cast. Rudy is a Lancastrian (which often invests what he says with a measure of humour just by his voice), and has now been joined by Finn, a Liverpudlian, so indeed, the North-West is becoming more represented. There’s a lot of North-South tensions in Britain (well, not compared to the US, but still), but this part of London is a more industrial or working area so there are links as well.
The plot of this episode concerns the power of ‘infectious greed’, which passes from a bank robber to the community service sentenced teens, which to me spoke about the passing of greed through a community/society in general. Greed starts with the legitimate accumulation of wealth in the bank, then is stolen by organised bank robbers and then becomes the subject of a whole bunch of separate parties turning on each other. I’m certain that the entrance of some concentrated money to a community can cause analogous divisions, if not to the extent of mutilation depicted here.
Finally, the plot’s resolved and a new probation worker arrives – whose plan is to control the miscreants with an Iron Fist. With apathy having proven the best survival tactic thus far, it will be interesting to see what the show has to say about harsh punishments in a time when a few overly harsh punishments have been handed down to young people (e.g. post student protests, the teen jailed for swearing at a policeman when the Chief Whip was not arrested at all, various reactions to the riots).
I also watched the first episode of Misfits season 4. It’s on hulu for anyone that’s interested.
“This episode reinforces, if not much else, the problems of a world without oversight. It mirrors the adolescent world where there is no responsibility with the black market, the criminal underworld, where there’s no code (sorry Omar) to keep a band together, and similarly the feral youths of the new ASBO 5.”
I was struck by how self-contained this episode seemed. Not that too many of the episodes really take advantage of wandering around the city and using different sets, but this one was very much confined to the community center. It was very much about an outside authority that did send the two new characters there for community service but then left them under the control of the authority (probation worker) they assumed was in place. It kind of makes me think of an empire ruling a colony through a leader who was already a member of that colony. Also, we’ve seen what the characters are like when they don’t have a probation worker or anything to do. They don’t really adopt leadership positions or structure. It was interesting how the presence of the money and the possibility and potential of what was in the suitcase demanded the creation of certain institutional systems vague and unstable as they were (Rudy pretending to be the probation worker and giving the two new characters tasks, Rudy and Seth acting like a sort of secret police group). It was telling that the power wasn’t directly tied to the individual this time and that the “infection” faded when the money drifted away.
“Finally, the plot’s resolved and a new probation worker arrives – whose plan is to control the miscreants with an Iron Fist.”
I think what I found the most jarring about the new probation worker was the sexual comment he made about trains. I can’t remember it exactly. But obviously there have been complicated sexual/romantic relationships with adult authority figures on the show before. Sally the probation worker. The coach who tries to rape Emma and Curtis/Mel. Shaun’s relationship with Alisha during the Nazi timeline. (There may be other examples but these are the ones that immediately come to mind.)
The dialogue about an overt, violent sexual interaction (literal or not) was just an odd departure or escalation of what we’ve already seen on the show.