Five young offenders are doing mandatory community service at a community centre in London when a mysterious storm hits, dropping hailstones the size of cannon balls. Along with their probation worker, the five youths are struck by lightning which, instead of killing them, grants them strange new abilities.
The "chav" Kelly finds she can hear other people's thoughts. The quiet Simon is able to turn himself invisible at will. Disgraced former athlete Curtis has the ability to rewind time and undo his past mistakes. Flirtatious Alicia now drives men temporarily insane with lust if they touch her. The incredibly irritating Nathan is convinced he must have a power too if only he can work out what it is before his big mouth gets them all killed.
Tony the probation worker is driven mad by the storm and attacks the group, who work together to stop him. Bonding over this experience they use their new abilities to help each other survive various other problems caused by the strange storm and by everyday life.
Misfits is different from other shows about superheroes, like NBC's Heroes, because the characters' powers often aren't all that useful. Alicia's isn't really a power so much as a curse, since it means she and her boyfriend are unable to touch each other. Kelly hates hearing what other people think about her and Curtis finds that changing things in the past doesn't always alter the future for the better. While watching it you can probably think of dozens of ways the group could at least try to use their powers to actually accomplish something (maybe Kelly could make a killing as a TV psychic or Simon could get into rich people's homes and find out their secrets) but they always seem to be too self absorbed or busy with immediate threats to think of anything like that.
Misfits is often very silly, but somehow once the plot of an episode gets going you get sucked in and don't notice the silliness. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments but there's suspense and sadness too.
There's also quite a bit of gore and violence, but it's so over the top that it's mainly funny rather than shocking. If you find vulgar language or bodily functions offensive then this is probably not the show for you. If, on the other hand, you don't mind the odd joke about masturbation or death then you enjoy watching this gang of losers do battle with their probation workers, other people with superpowers and an ultraconservative religious cult.
I recommend it for fans of sci fi and superhero stories and anybody in need of a good laugh.