I’m a big fan of just about anything Victorian or Edwardian. Mostly, it started with Sherlock Holmes and sort of devolved from there to Black Butler, Rebecca, Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera, Gaslight, Dragonwyck, Belle a la Bete, Mr. Strange and Mr. Norrel, and Jane Eyre.
As you probably noticed, none of those are really considered “scary.”
Because I am a wuss.
And, still afraid of the dark.
So, it was with some hesitation that I picked up Penny Dreadful. In point of fact, I actually did not know what the show was about.
My assumption was that Eva Green played a character called Penny and did… well, dreadful things.
The show is, actually, a supernatural mystery that builds up suspense.
It is not necessarily scary. It is really creepy and, in a couple instances, is really gross and gory.
There’s as much wisdom available in practically every breath of the show that it would be impossible to do anything but
keep quoting it. Which is a shame because I half-expect people to get the reference….
The show had me hooked from the beginning because of…well…The costumes.
I mean, seriously.
Watch the show just for the costumes.
Already, there is so much beauty in the LINES and the cuts of the costumes. I love how Victorian clothing moves. Anyway, most actors are just so elegant they cannot help it.
The cinematography is also something so freakishly otherworldly, it cannot be described as anything but ethereal.
That is some of the appeal of a gothic drama: the use of light (or the absence of), space, and …whatever else someone experienced in cinema lingo would use to describe it… to tell a story rather than show it directly.
The story unfolds slowly like peeling an onion.
That is the beauty of the show.
It is slow, but captivating. Captivating in a beautiful, ethereal, faerie sort of way. It reminds me of the Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell BBC drama. Which I found more than awesome in its dialogue and cinematography.
So, if you need another show….