saditycents











{September 13, 2011}   Misfits

I’ve left Netflix behind. This isn’t a new phenomena, I’m just finally writing about it. I have had a Netflix account for about a year and half. I don’t have cable so I have literally watched just about everything I would want to watch on the website. Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t upload new material fast enough to keep up with my demand for good writing and fine acting.  Thus, I’ve moved on to Hulu.com.

While on Hulu for about a month ago, I discovered a show called “Misfits.” I LOVE this show. I have watched the first two seasons three times, just waiting for the third season to be released in 2012. I cannot wait. I am dying over here! The writing is sharp and witty. The creator and writer Howard Overman has a talent for some key techniques. Any one of them would make me appreciate his work. Having them all makes me adore it…

1) He stands on the shoulders of giants. I love old movies and movies that highlight historical moments or threads in entertainment history. Overman, a sci-fi writer, makes a point to highlight some of the classic science fiction films and television shows that have inspired his work. Anyone who is avid in entertainment can easily spot lines, plots, and scenes that emulate or down right copy some of the greatest moments in film. Sometimes a writer will discuss these similarities and homages in interviews. Overman, acknowledges them upfront by having the main character Simon state the similarity outright. It has become apart of Simon’s character to serve as the footnote to most film references int he script.

Overman is no stranger to doing it in his other work, although often less overtly. Even in interviews, Overman cites old sci-fi movies and shows, I think it’s just apart of his dialogue and I love that about him! It serves as validation for an entertainment nut like myself, when I spot a clone of a line, scene or plot and then it is acknowledged. Its as if a bell has just rung declaring, “You are the WINNER!”… I’m easily delighted with cheap thrills, I know.

Here are some of my favorite references:

Nathan: “Well they did it in the Godfather”

Simon: “They put a horses head in the bed.”

Nathan: “Well have you got a horses head?”

“It’s like in Superman II, when Superman gives up his powers so he could be with Lois Lane… General Zod took over the world!”– Simon

2) Consistency! You have no idea how hard it is to achieve consistency on an ongoing basis. Like I said, I am an entertainment nut, so I remember inconsistencies, even small ones that don’t seem to matter to others. For example, I never could get over how in “Saved by the Bell,” Kelly went through the entire series as the eldest of a household full of boys and then for one episode, and one episode only, she had a sister who vied for Zach’s attention. It literally tainted the entire show for me because it was never explained, no one knows where that sister came from nor where she went to after that episode.

Not to mention the inconsistencies of the Huxtable family timeline.I could go on for days about how in one episode Claire was a freshman and Cliff was a senior in high school. How Cliff went into the Navy and then to medical school all before Claire went to law school and then worked the years necessary to become a partner. How Rudy was six years old when Claire had her fortieth birthday. How that didn’t make since with Sandra’s age, because Claire and Cliff didn’t marry until after Claire graduated from college. How according to a story Claire told, Sandra and Denise were in diapers when she was in law school …  again not enough time for Claire to realistically make partner, especially since she didn’t start law school until Cliff was in his residency………………………………………. I could go on  and on about it. While “the Cosby Show” is still one of my all time favorite shows, every time I watch several episodes in a row the inconsistencies haunt me (EEk EEK EEk — Hitchcock scary movie sound, if you didn’t get it).

Like I said, they an inconsistent story line bothers me to the point of obsession. However, with Misfits, right down to small details like a scar received by a character  in one episode is still visible, without any verbal script acknowledgment, in another. I love it. I don’t have to create a background story line to resolve any gaps or oversights.

3) The show is mature without being pointlessly erotic. I’m sure I will go into how I believe nudity and cursing are acceptable in films (art imitating life). However; I find it annoying and distasteful when actors (more often actresses) are nude for no reason that I can see beyond the fact that the director wanted an excuse to get her naked. i.e. Halle Berry is Swordfish, that was the most pointless topless scene I have ever scene, it was so out of place with the character and the storyline that it was distracting. Sure, it got the media’s attention. Everyone was talking about the topless scene (don’t even get me started on Monster Ball), but as one who really loves the art of film. It didn’t make sense. I think that is why I often prefer foreign movies and European television shows. American made shows are so saturated with advertisement and concern for media coverage that the art is overshadowed. There are very few American films, that I think are a complete home run. When I do find one I like, it typically is an unheard of independent film. My new love right now is Ryan Gossling and Michelle Williams, in Blue Valentine… but that is a different post.

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