In Victorian London, the term “penny dreadful” was used as derogatory slang for all the horror stories that were published as weekly serials and cost…yep, 1 penny. People love the Victorian era, we even have an entire Steampunk culture dedicated to it. But romanticism aside, coal pollution, consumption and corsets weren’t the only things suffocating the masses during those times. Excessive personality oppression was the norm; emotionally, behaviorally and especially sexually, and the people needed some kind of outlet for all the things they weren’t allowed to mention in proper society – lest they wanted a lobotomy for being “hysterical.”
Disease and poverty grew as rapidly as the new inventions or scientific and medical ‘breakthroughs’ which gave the creative types more than ample fodder for their caged imaginations. And the literary world benefited greatly from it! Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde…all of our favorite horror classics (which tend to have strong, sensual undertones) were penned during the Victorian era and Penny Dreadful covers almost all of them.
Not the serials – the TV Show I just totally binge watched on Netflix and now have a massive hangover from! Have you seen it? Well, I don’t usually rush out to encourage others to watch TV shows, especially one with only 3 seasons, but DO IT! Do it now!!! It wasn’t “cancelled” as many shows are. It doesn’t leave you hanging, it’s a story and therefore has an end, but each episode is an hour long, so it covers quite a bit.
For those who’ve never seen it or heard of it, Penny Dreadful is what would happen if The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had wild, fetishist sex with Sherlock Holmes and The Exorcist, then gave birth to the slightly less evil twin of Game of Thrones. If you love everything paranormal, classic horror literature or Victorian, you can’t miss out on this little gem, even if it’s short and often disturbing (or because it’s disturbing! LOL) fans of this twisted genre will undoubtedly love it.
If you do decide to watch it, just keep in mind that it’s called Penny Dreadful for a reason – actually, for every possible reason you could think of. This show is extremely graphic and covers a lot of taboo topics and practices. It’s not a romance…or is it? Just like those classic horror stories, that will be up to the individual to decide in the end.
And can I rave about the cast? Joshua “Delicious” Hartnett (Nuff said), Eva Green (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Timothy Dalton, Billie Piper (Rose from Doctor Who!), Patti LuPone, Wes Studi (Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans) and a whole list of other actors and actresses that I’m less familiar with, but were no less brilliant!
Now, to whet your appetite…
This was the official trailer for the premier of Penny Dreadful. It is 100% graphic and not for sensitive eyes! Watch at your own risk:
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♥ Does anyone have any similar shows they would recommend, I’m currently devoid of binge-worthy options!