Monday, May 11, 2015

Season 2 of Penny Dreadful

Season 2 of Showtime's ambitious series has hit the ground running. I've waited two episodes in to write something about it. So here we go.

Following last season's ending, where the priest tells Miss Ives (Eva Green) that being touched by Satan is just like being touched by God, we find the smoldering beauty is being hunted by monsters. Actually they're witches, but like last season's vampires, these aren't your grandparent's witches. These beings are shape-shifting, bald, naked women whose bodies are covered with scars in the shapes of pentagrams. The leader of their coven is the supposedly fake psychic Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory), who hates Miss Ives for some reason to be revealed later.

The creatures speak some form of verbis diablo which Miss Ives instinctively knows and is the clue the group from last season is working on.

After presenting Eva Green's character as a powerful force in the beginning of season one, the series has rendered her a tortured helpless damsel in distress for most of last season and the beginning of this one. This allows Eva to mull around looking dark and tormented, a look she pulls off well, but I'd like to see her be a more dominant character if the series continues.

After Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) destroyed a waterfront bar and killed everyone in it while in werewolf form, we find a new investigator tracking him down. I don't think they've offered a name for him, but he's determined to find this "monster" roaming around London. Hartnett hasn't done much yet this season other than display a wry bit of humor, but I'm sure there's more to come.

Speaking of monsters, Frankenstein's monster still delivers the pathos for the series. Alternating pained longing and eloquent speeches with threats of violence, the creature (Rory Kinnear) seems to be the voice for the series. He has a new job at a wax museum that coincidentally is opening a series of exhibits on gruesome murders which just happen to be the ones committed by Ethan Chandler's werewolf.

Dr. Frankenstein has successfully resurrected Brona Croft (Billie Piper), now named Lily, with an ease that I find a bit disappointing and finds himself fatally attracted to her as she's supposed to be the bride of his monster. Of course Billie looks pretty fabulous for the risen dead -- a bit pale in the face, but a bangin' body marred only by the y-shaped scar of a post mortem. They've set up a nice situation where she's repelled by the monster, and Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) looks to be trying to steal her away for himself.

We got a brief look at Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney) as he picked up a cross-dressing prostitute -- guess we have to have that hot man sex in everything these days *sigh* so I hope there's more to him this season. Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) is being seduced via witchcraft by Lady Poole in part because she's trying to get at Miss Ives, but there may be another reason lurking underneath. We also know the witches are afraid of Ethan for some reason, but that hasn't been revealed as of yet.

As with last season, the show has wonderful set design, direction and performances. It has the occasionally unsettling scene (the vivisection of a baby in this week's) but it's supposed to be a horror show, so if you're not up for it -- beware. It is worth watching imho.

Here's a few screen grabs of Eva Green from her turn in the disappointing 300: Rise of an Empire, one from something else and a gif of Billie Piper from season one for your enjoyment:

eva green nudeeva green nude
eva green nudeeva green nude
billie piper topless

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