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Posts Tagged ‘Misfits’

Typecasting makes me sad. For example why must Liam Neeson always play an aging action hero bent on revenge or up against the clock to save a member of his family? He used to be Schindler, Rob Roy, Michael Collins and the widowed stepdad in Love Actually for God’s sake!

That’s what Hollywood will do to you I suppose. Which is why I’m happy to find that in the UK a fair number of actors seem to be given the opportunity to flex their acting muscles and explore human conditions of all sorts.

Case in point…

 

Could the besotted young man above possibly be the played by the same actor who portrays a nobleman’s bastard infamous for sadistic deeds such as hunting down a fair maiden for sport?

 

 

It’s not a doppelganger situation. Welsh actor Iwan Rheon’s repertoire ranges from timid, almost invisible characters such as Simon from Misfits…

Rheon plays Simon, a shy troubled young man who gains a superpower in a freak storm image credit Clerkenwell Films

Rheon plays Simon, a shy troubled young man who gains a superpower in a freak storm
image credit Clerkenwell Films

 

To a soldier with an excess of bravado but with his heart in the right place.

In Our Girl, Iwan plays Dylan "Smurf" Smith image credit BBC Drama

In Our Girl, Iwan plays Dylan “Smurf” Smith
image credit BBC Drama

 

Here’s hoping Iwan doesn’t start getting typecast as well.  We’ve already seen he can depict more than psychos. It’d be a shame if he were pinned down to recreating versions of the abhorrent Ramsey Bolton from here on out, no matter how frighteningly good he is at playing him.

Just an aside, who agrees there’s an unsettling similarity between Rheon and the young Marc Warren?

 

 

 

 

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As an American on St. Paddy’s Day, I should be drinking disgusting green beer at a faux Irish pub, pretending to like eating corned beef (which is an Irish-American immigrant dish borrowed from the Jewish, by the way) and gathering with throngs of inebriated, often obnoxious, parade goers.  But as you should know by now, I’m celebrating the patron saint’s day in my own couch potato way.

By watching YouTube clips of some of my favorite Irish telly characters, I’m savoring the day without the congestion, the crowds and, to be quite blunt, the vomit. Please enjoy the charm, the hospitality, the accents and the colorful language of the Emerald Isle…

Bernard Black from Black Books

 

Roy from The IT Crowd

 

Mrs. Doyle from Father Ted

 

Nathan from Misfits

 

Mitchell (the vampire) from Being Human

 

Who would you add to the list?

 

 

 

 

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Spoilers, Sweetie. This isn’t just a cutesy intro line. This post is, in fact, full of spoilers. You have been warned!

Also please don’t complain that I’ve neglected to mention the Time Lord here because plot twists and cliffhangers are woven into the fabric of Doctor Who.  It would require composing a very thick tome in order to discuss all of them and frankly it makes my brain hurt to try to narrow it down to just a few.  I’ll only say River Song and move on to the post proper…

So recently on The Hour, Freddie Lyon finally gets his personal life sorted then proceeds to rush headlong into a insanely dangerous situation, inserting himself between a story source and some ruthless thugs.  At the end of series 2, things look very bleak indeed…

Is Freddie Lyon dead

Could Freddie actually be dead? I prefer to think he’s clinging to life so that he may once again set eyes on his beloved Moneypenny.  This classic example of a cliffhanger leaves our protagonist in a precarious situation in hopes that we will be compelled to return to discover the resolution.  But here’s the thing – The Hour has yet to be recommissioned for a third series so, as they say in the Tootsie pop commercials, “The world may never know,” and in our minds Freddie Lyon may be forever on the precipice between life and death.

This got me thinking about other telly shockers I’ve enjoyed:

Sherlock – The Reichenbach Fall

Reichenbach Fall

Though the end of this episode reveals Sherlock alive and well at his own graveside, we’re left in the dark about how he actually survived.  We all saw him jump off a multi-story building, smash his skull, and be interred, or did we?

sherlock jump

While countless others make YouTube videos, blog their postulations, and debate on fan forums, I prefer to actually wait and see how Mr. Holmes cheated death.  No matter how long it takes to reunite the insanely in-demand duo of Cumberbatch and Freeman, I have faith that the Moff will eventually reveal all.

 

Life on Mars – Series Finale

First off for those who still don’t know the premise of this show: ” My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.”

Sam Tyler

This one also features a leap of faith (pardon the pun). After trying so hard to wake up from his coma and get the hell out of 1973, DI Sam Tyler realizes he’d really rather be back in the “dream state” where he felt far more alive than he ever did in real life. He too takes a tumble off a rather tall building, rejoins the colleagues he had abandoned in very dire circumstances and saves the day. It appears that it’s all happily ever after for Sam, but I’m told to truly understand the big picture you must watch the finale of the Life on Mars sequel, Ashes to Ashes for all to be revealed.  A cliffhanger within a plot twist…so clever.

 

Misfits: Series 1 finale

As a result of being caught up in a freak electrical storm, a group of young probationers find that each of them has gained a supernatural power of some sort – invisibility, the ability to turn back time, hearing other people’s thoughts, super sexiness (that one’s rubbish, by the way).  Everyone has a power, except Nathan, unless of course being a cocky, mouthy bastard can be considered an extraordinary skill.  Throughout the whole first series, Nathan waits for his power to take effect or be revealed and it isn’t until, wait for it…HE FALLS OFF A TALL BUILDING and is impaled on some fencing.  He’s buried and then this twisty, Jack Harknessy thing happens (You knew I wouldn’t drop the Whovian references altogether.  I just wanted to take some of the pressure off):

 

Comedy programs can leave us hanging as well and usually center around a long-established “will they, won’t they” romantic scenario.

Twenty Twelve: Series finale

Sally and Ian

Ian Fletcher, the head of the Olympic Deliverance Committee would be nowhere without his ultra-efficient and sweetly loyal PA, Sally Owen.  She sees the extreme stress that Ian’s job and unraveling marriage is inflicting on him and undertakes to look after his health and welfare in her wonderfully quiet way.  As Ian’s life gets even more chaotic, Ian and Sally fall out and she leaves her job only to return when he is abandoned by his new PA at a very inconvenient time. In the end, as the deliverance committee hands over its work and disbands, Ian prepares to leave for a trip to Italy, planned by Sally naturally.  Ian calls Sally into his office to talk about something important and well, that’s it.  We’re left in the dark.  Does he invite Sally to accompany him?  Is he about to thank her for her dedication and send her on her way?  This is the cruelest type of cliffhanger of all; one that is purposely ambiguous and never to be resolved.  Disappointing but somehow appropriate for this couple and this show.

 

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the most authentic cliffhanger I know of:

Green Wing: Series 1 Finale

Greenwing cliffhanger

Dr. Guy Secretan, distraught over learning the identity of his birth mother just a little too late, hijacks an ambulance containing his injured and newly discovered half-brother, Martin Dear.  Guy’s friend, Dr. Macartney, jumps on board in order to calm him down. Guy drives to the coast of Wales and just about plunges them over a cliff where they dangle while discussing which member of the Three Musketeers each one is most like.  Leave it up to Green Wing to take a cliffhanger to such a literally absurd conclusion.

Now if we only knew who Clara Oswin Oswald actually is;)

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When you think “superhero”, admit it, you think American.  Superman, Spider-man, Batman  – they’re all American icons.  Admittedly, each of these characters are currently being played by British actors, namely Henry Cavill, Andrew Garfield and Christian Bale, but that’s another issue all together.  When we look at how superheroes are portrayed on television in Britain, we get a more grounded perspective on the stereo-typically tortured, yet ultimately virtuous, superhero.  That being there is a humorous side to coping with superpowers whilst living among normal people.  Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?

1.  Thermoman from My Hero – Irishman George Sunday may appear to be a sweet but dim health food store owner, but that’s just his alter ego.  In “reality”, he is Thermoman from the planet Ultron who sniffs out danger and zooms around the globe saving humanity from natural disasters.  The complication in his life is that upon rescuing English nurse, Janet Dawkins, from a tumble into the Grand Canyon, he fell in love and must now navigate a romantic relationship with an Earth girl in addition to all his superhero duties.  It’s a sort of Superman meets Mork and Mindy situation.

2.   No Heroics imagines a world where superheroes are fairly commonplace and the randomness of their powers determines their success in the pecking order of hero-dom.  Though Excelsor is a superstar and rules the roost at the superhero pub, The Fortress, he is also a horrible misogynistic bully.  Electroclash, The Hotness, She-Force and Timebomb are the cape names of four more modestly gifted heroes just trying to get the recognition, press coverage and endorsement deals that signify success.

 

3.  Finally the most unlikely of heroes, the Misfits gang is comprised of five young adult offenders brought together to complete their community service probation requirement.  Disgraced athlete Curtis, shy loner Simon, promiscuous princess Alisha, belligerent “chav” Kelly, and annoying joker Nathan get caught out in a freak electrical storm.   Before they can even take stock of the damage, they are savagely attacked by their probation worker and kill him in self-defense.  In the process, they discover each has acquired a superpower specific to their own personality – the loner can become invisible, the hardened scrapper can hear what people are thinking about her, etc.  I’ve only watched a handful of episodes, but so far there hasn’t been the traditional “using your powers for good” spiel you expect in superhero stories.  Although truth be told, it’s probably more realistic that group of suddenly superhuman, disenfranchised young people would reserve use of their powers to help themselves.  Did I say realistic?  Well, more interesting at least…

In your opinion, who’s the best superhero in the UK?

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