Written by: Daniel McDonald
I know I will probably never “catch up” (hell, I barely know how to “catch on”) to everything that has and is traveling the electronic highway, both information and entertainment-wise.
The fact that I’m going to verbally “fall down and wet my pants” over a show that many of you may already be familiar with, and (I’m expecting) ADDICTED TO is simply because of my passion for it.
Out of boredom I was searching through Netflix and found a wonderfully cheesy, suspenseful and fun Skinemax style 2015 curiosity piece called KING COBRA. A James Franco (co-produced and co-starring) sort of Gay BOOGIE NIGHTS (for MATURE, forward thinking AUDIENCES ONLY) featuring a no holds barred pair of performances from Christian Slater and especially a “balls to the wall” James Franco (that could be interpreted several ways with this one folks). Based on a lurid true story that plays much like BOOGIE NIGHTS meets ALL ABOUT EVE (I know many of you have no idea what that reference means) this exploration of murder and deception in the porn industry is actually a lot of colorful, trashy fun. The performances of the two younger male co-stars, Garret Clayton and Keegan Allen are actually quite good, though writer/director Justin Kelly seems to be aiming for over the top frenzy (with the exception of the welcomed return of Molly Ringwald and Alicia Silverstone as concerned family members). All in all, a Gap ad on acid experience.
The introduction to this piece actually concerns an incredibly original take on the X-Men/Avengers world that includes so many multi-genre references, I ended up getting excited by the “random yet connected elements” challenge, and began to look for them as I completely fell head over heels for this British born (here we go) Sci-fy, action, horror, dis-affected youth, comedy-drama aptly named MISFITS, on YouTube. The brainchild of creator/writer Howard Overman, this absolutely unexpected charmer began airing on British TV in 2009, won the BAFTA AWARD for best dramatic series. A la STRANGER THINGS – this show affected me in the exact same way, that sense of W.T.F.? mixed with some of the finest technical and dramatic talent I’ve seen on any television any time, anywhere.
The story of 5 misfit young adults (we’ll get to this MEGA talented crew in a bit) who are working community service when a massive, unusually violent electrical storm strikes, leaving each of them with a highly unusual super power. The fact that at first these people are odd, unpleasant, foul- mouthed company (for the audience, as well as each other) gives the series (which “got me” so much I binged on all of Season 1 and part of Season 2 in one night) several different mini plot lines that intertwine beautifully, without a contrivance in sight.
The feel of an edgy, risky, independent film permeates all aspects of the show. Unusual camera angles and movements, editing that is never anywhere near typical, dialogue that changes incredibly quickly from emotional drama to foul mouthed frat boy offensive comedy to sci-fy/ horror to romantically sweet with direction and performances to match.
Speaking of performances, in addition to great supporting performances, the five young lead misfits are a brilliantly put together crew of physically, dramatically and comically adept performers who are the definition of chemistry and ensemble give and take.
The streetwise, hard as nails Kelly (Lauren Sochia) who develops the ability to read minds, the kind, upstanding former award winning athlete Curtis (Nathan – Stewart Jackson), who can turn back time, the beautiful party girl, Alisha (Antonia Thomas) who has the power of unavoidable seduction upon touch and especially the loner/loser/socially awkward Simon, who begins having seizures that lead to him becoming invisible (Iwan Rheon, who can go from handsome to horrifying), but most of all the almost beautifully handsome, ball of energy that rivals Robin Williams, Nathan whose power shows up a bit late, but when it does, oh boy does the show exploit it, immortality (the amazing Robert Sheehan, one of the most accomplished, talented, dynamic young actors working today). After some major cast changes in Season 4, the series went on hiatus in 2014 .It returns in October 2017, and as you can probably tell, I can’t wait! If you haven’t experienced this series, do yourself a major favor and do it. I’m just saying