Monday, November 28, 2011

The Genius of Misfits

So my man Arvell kept pressuring me to watch this show Misfits, and to be honest he was getting a little obnoxious about it, but my viewing plate is pretty full, considering that I'm an international celebrity and stuff, but to get him off of my back I finally got around to watching this British TV show, and while Misfits isn't the best show I've ever seen, I can say that without fear of recrimination that creator Howard Overman's show is still pure, unadulterated genius. That you have just read, my friends, is called a run-on sentence.

But what is it that makes Misfits a study in genius exactly? Imagine you want to make a show that features folks with superpowers, and you don't have a lot of money. What do you do? You get creative is what you do. Note that my observations are based solely on the six episodes of season one, so I don't know what may or may not have changed in the following two seasons, but season one takes place largely in one location, that being a community center. Community centers usually have lots of stuff, so you can work wonders with that one location when armed with a little creativity. Then you have the powers that our anti-heroes possess such as turning invisible, or hearing peoples thoughts, or making people horny. I don't think you need ILM on board to have people pretend not to see the invisible guy who's right in front of them.

But the concept is the easy part. The hard part is good story telling, clever writing, and engaging characters... all things way cheaper than expensive effects, but far more difficult to come by, no matter how much money you have. Misfits has all of that in spades.

This takes me to my main point of this nonsense, where people on the evil internet bash the American film and TV industry, an industry which often rehashes British and other foreign shows instead of making their own shows, I.E. The Office or Prime Suspect, and countless other shows and movies. Americans lack creativity they say, since far too much of our entertainment consists of copies and remakes. Not true I tell you. There are over 300 million people in this country so I'm pretty sure somebody out there possesses some creativity, however one industry is State Supported while the other is Profit Driven. Or in other words, one is free to create while the other is beholden to advertising. So... are you going to risk your high paying network or studio job on a fresh, new, creative concept that might crash and burn and potentially drive away advertising dollars, or are you going to go with something that's been done already, that people a few miles away seem to like a lot that nobody here has seen yet? Unfortunately, we know the answer to that, unless you subscribe to HBO, Showtime or Starz which creates fantastic original shows, but derive their profits from subscriptions and not advertising.

I have no solutions to this problem since this dilemma can only end when America ceases being a profit driven marketplace, which will only happen when America ceases being. Nobody outside of Al-Qaeda wants that. Just letting you know why things are the way that they are. Ooops, gotta go, Torchwood is on.