Superheroes are taking over TV! From comic book adaptations like The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl, to comic book crime drama Gotham, to Agents of SHIELD, to period hero Agent Carter, and even Netflix originals like Daredevil and Jessica Jones - it seems that everywhere you turn, there's a superhero saving the day, one episode at a time. There are more in the pipeline, too. Netflix is building up their corner of the MCU with Luke Cage, Iron Fist and a potential Punisher series, while Agents of SHIELD gets a Mockingbird spin-off. Meanwhile DC is adding a workplace comedy (Powerless) and presumably continuing to expand the Flarrowverse (although we don't know who will be following on the heels of Legends of Tomorrow just yet).
Now, one more show is due to be joining the super-powered small-screen takeover - a remake of the hit British series Misfits.
The original series ran for five seasons (2009-2013), and featured a changing cast of British actors including Joe Gilgun (This is England, Preacher), and Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones). A relative rarity for superhero series, Misfits isn't based on a comic book - it's an original concept, following a group of young offenders who are on community service when a freak storm gives them (and many other people!) strange superpowers.
Fans were heartbroken when the show ended, but now it's going to get a reboot - USA-style.
Freeform (previously ABC Family) announced their development slate this week, including dramas, comedies, movies, and a late-night talk show... and the Misfits remake that has been in the works for a few years now.
We don't know much about the new series, other than this short description, which reveals that it will be a chemical, rather than a lightning storm, that gives the characters their powers. No premiere date or casting information has been made available as yet.
A drama based on a hit British series, a group of twentysomethings are exposed to a mysterious chemical and subsequently develop peculiar superpowers. The series is from ABC Signature Studios and executive produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
Can Misfits Work For A US Audience?
This will be the latest in a long line of British shows to be Americanized, and not all of those have worked in the past. While The Office and Shameless were a success on both sides of the pond, other shows such as The Inbetweeners, Absolutely Fabulous, Skins, The IT Crowd and Spaced all had US versions flop.
Sometimes it's the quintessentially British humor that gets lost in translation, other times it's the basic premise that just doesn't work in a US setting, and sometimes it's just a bad adapataion - but rebooting British TV can be very hit-or-miss.
A large part of Misfits' charm lies in characters who are fundamentally flawed, and even unlikeable at times. These are not groomed and gorgeous twenty-somethings who messed up in an adorable way. These are pill-popping, car-stealing, probation-officer-murdering, crass and careless criminals - and while they are just relatable enough for us to root for them, they are far from heroic. The show has always had a solid handle on this, and some of the most hilarious moments come from poking fun at the characters rough edges.
The show is also not about saving the day. This isn't a good vs evil comic book-style showdown (although they do usually have a particular person to deal with in each episode or arc) - the powers manifest in a way that lets the show consider some fairly serious subjects and explore the characters rather than their powers. Sometimes multiple episodes will pass without the characters even really using their powers - instead, they deal with the fallout from other people's, or just deal with the issues that they had before the storm.
As long as this core stays the same - that these are not Barry Allen-style do gooders, and that the characters and issues are the driving force - a US version could be everything we want. A black superhero comedy doesn't depend on the setting, but the writing, and we'll have to wait till the pilot to see how that pans out.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter