Archive of ‘Penny Dreadful’ category

Penny Dreadful’s Verbis Diablo is Full of Small Talks


After over a one year hiatus, I’m picking up Penny Dreadful again. Season two episode two’s Verbis Diablo is a pleasant surprise with the return of quirky gay Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle and the meeting of Caliban/ John Clare/ the Creature and the singular Miss Vanessa Ives. Strangely, when you pair two melodramatic characters, they tend to mellow each other out.

Vanessa Ives is deeply tormented about the witches so Sir Malcolm takes her to a proto-soup kitchen to cheer her up, before he wanders off and is bewitched by the Head Witch Evelyn Poole. She cheats of course by casting a spell on him, instead of using her womanly wiles.… Read more »

Penny Dreadful’s “Fresh Hell” Blood Bath Bonanza


Several episodes of Penny Dreadful are available for free! Link posted at the bottom. But if you’d like to watch the entire Season one. Here’s the link.

What do those people do? Those who have been chosen?

They bitch and moan, apparently.

I was severely disappointed by Season one of Penny Dreadful. The show is called Penny Dreadful, which Wikipedia defines as “a pejorative term used to refer to cheap popular serial literature produced during the nineteenth century” so I don’t know why I was expecting much in the plot and character department.

But the sets and costumes are so beautiful and sumptuous.… Read more »

Grand Guignol is A Grand Phooey


Despite its suggestion, “The Grand Guignol” is not a grand finale or a great climax, it’s like they gave up midway and decided to lay the groundwork for an even bigger house of phooey known as season two. Fie, I say! Fie!

In episode eight, Vanessa rejects Dorian’s further advances, and he tears up at the rejection. Caliban’s first love ends poorly, and he is forced to leave the theater after he tries to forcibly kiss Maud. He returns to Victor’s lodgings, mewling piteously. In a baffling turn of events, he doesn’t kill the one person who kind of deserves it, Simon (Gavin Fowler), the bully who is mean to him in the theater.… Read more »

Sex, Spiders, and Stupid


Hurrah, brave travelers, seven episodes in and we’re almost done with the journey. The contents of this episode is encapsulated in one sentence: for a while, Vanessa Ives is possessed. In the hands of a comedian, Vanessa Ives’ demon could be played for laughs. Yes, he torments Vanessa horribly, but to others, his power is revealing embarrassing sex stories.

We learn that Sir Malcolm is keeping Vanessa alive in hopes of finding Mina. Victor Frankenstein has an opiates addiction and is well-versed in psychiatry. Since Frankenstein is a pragmatist, he believes that her affliction is psychosexual rather than supernatural. In a rebuttal to his point, the library is swarmed by spiders.… Read more »

Romantic References Doth Not Make A Good Episode


After writing the several vitriolic reviews about Penny Dreadful, why continue? Because I believe in redemption.

The title of this episode comes from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s’ “Adonais: An Elegy on the Death on John Keats.” And yes, he’s the husband of Mary Shelly, author of Frankenstein. That’s a writerly wink if there ever was one. Does it save the episode? Not even close.

In “What Death Can Join Together,” Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene track the vampires to a quarantined ship from Egypt and learn that Mina is closer than they thought. Vanessa is smitten with Dorian Gray, and goes on a date, while the others slay monsters.… Read more »

Closer Than Sisters Verdict: Skip It!


Even if you’re a fan of Penny Dreadful, I really recommend that you skip this episode because it adds nothing positive to the storyline. The only exception is if you like Victorian mental institutions, sex scenes in which one of the participants is invisible, and/or seizures and vomiting. So there you have it, why don’t you skip to episode six.

This is the worst non-comic book back story I have ever seen, no insult to comic books. The back story of super heroes/ villains were often concocted fifty years ago by very very young men. Penny Dreadful does not have that excuse.… Read more »

Finally, Sensationalism Pays Off in “Demimonde”


Penny Dreadful episode four “Demimonde” has been my favorite episodes thus far for one tiny five minute scene. Dorian Gray, Vanessa Ives, and Ethan Chandler and Brona Croft all attend the theater. The scene shifts between the audience’s reactions, the stage, and Frankenstein’s Creature/ Caliban running himself ragged with sound effects, changing backdrops, and special effects. This piece of “theater magic” does more to humanize Caliban them all those monologues. Out of the main cast, he has the most “normal” job and it was great to see him in his element and enjoying his work. It is one of the three demimondes or shadow worlds we see; the others being the fighting pits and the supernatural.… Read more »

I Hated Penny Dreadful’s “Resurrection”


My frustrations with Penny Dreadful are mounting, especially since this is the third episode, nothing is resolved, and they decide to have a flashback episode. I don’t care about Frankenstein’s stupid past, or Caliban’s unending abuse. Despite its initial promise, the only thing that has not disappointed is Eva Green’s costuming.

“Resurrection,” demonstrates Penny Dreadful‘s valuation of melodrama and theatricality over good old storytelling, its preference for monologues over dialogue. Poetry over personality. Frankenstein’s pursuit of everlasting life stems from his mother’s violent death, which enfolds in a comically overwrought manner. After discovering his dead dog, young Frankenstein falls ill and is nursed by his mother, who vomits blood all over him before dying horribly.… Read more »

Penny Dreadful’s Seance: A Whole Lotta Nothing


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Penny Dreadful’s second episode “Seance” opens with a prostitute about to eat an apple on a cold dark night, and it’s wrapped in a Jack the Ripper article. She meets an unfortunate end, and the next scene has Josh Hartnett’s character, Ethan Chandler, waking up by the seaside. He has an injured hand and wanders into a pub for a drink of whiskey. Is Ethan Chandler, the unwitting murderer or is it someone else?


The Port Pub
Ethan Chandler and consumptive prostitute Brona Croft bond over whiskey. He fancies her.

Dorian Gray’s House
Brona is a photographic/pornographic model for pretty boy Dorian Gray, who is enthralled and turned on by her coughing out her lungs.… Read more »

Entre Nous, Penny Dreadful’s “Night Work” is Outre


After a lot of recommendations, I finally decided to try watching Penny Dreadful, even though I usually avoid anything that touches on horror. Expect low ratings, I was too scared to drink while watching the first episode, because I was afraid I was going to choke from fright.

As the London police investigate a brutal set of murders, a father seeks his daughter. Sounds intriguing enough for a show? Evidently not. Make it a costume drama, add a sensual spiritualist (Eva Green), an American sharpshooter (Josh Harnett), and an arrogant resurrection man/ anatomist. No self-respecting show set in 20th century London would be complete without an opium den, the British Museum, and other hints of British imperialism (e.g.… Read more »