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S01.E01: Santa Muerte

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Los Angeles, 1938. LAPD detective Tiago Vega and his partner, Lewis Michener, investigate a murder. While at City Hall, Tiago’s activist brother Raul Vega battles with the fiery Councilman Charlton Townsend over the construction of California’s first freeway. Meanwhile, Peter Craft, the head of the German-American Bun, meets Elsa, the mysterious mother of one of his patients. Sensing danger, Tiago’s mother Maria pleads with Santa Muerte to protect her family as the rising tensions in the city threaten to explode. Series premiere

Airdate: Sunday, April 26, 2020

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I saw this with my mom tonight. I’m digging it. What a fun role for Natalie Dormer- a multi faced demon wreaking havoc. Also what an interesting time to be living in LA- it was such a diverse place back then, with a fair amount of integration (of course there was discrimination and racism).
 

I wonder if we will have black characters along with characters from the Chinese or Japanese American communities too.  
 

The combination of film noire, crime drama and supernatural elements, with the Mexican American folk lore/culture should make for very rich story telling. 

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I too find this time period in LA interesting.  I would liked to have lived there in the 20s to 40s.  The opportunities, cultures, architecture with Art Deco and nouveau  styles etc.  I loved when the detective was dancing with his mother. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Lifesabeach said:

I too find this time period in LA interesting.  I would liked to have lived there in the 20s to 40s.  The opportunities, cultures, architecture with Art Deco and nouveau  styles etc.  I loved when the detective was dancing with his mother. 

 

 

I think Nathan Lane’s character is supposed to be Jewish. (I haven’t been told that just guessing)

Before the protest I predicted the little brother was going to die accidentally and that was going to force a rift between the two brothers that would last the entire season. Santiago having to shoot his elder brother! Omg that was so sad!!! He told him to stop but the demon whispered to him and he was in a rage. It seems the demon only brings out the negative feelings already in you and magnifies them- like the young cop who was nervous. 
 

I wonder if Natalie Dormer’s character will have any other demons she interacts with as her “true self” (kick ass costume by the way). 

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A disheartening representation of religion. Evil gets to walk among us and cause trouble, while Good comes along afterwards to clean up the mess. Help you? Screw you!

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3 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

I think Nathan Lane’s character is supposed to be Jewish. (I haven’t been told that just guessing)

Before the protest I predicted the little brother was going to die accidentally and that was going to force a rift between the two brothers that would last the entire season. Santiago having to shoot his elder brother! Omg that was so sad!!! He told him to stop but the demon whispered to him and he was in a rage. It seems the demon only brings out the negative feelings already in you and magnifies them- like the young cop who was nervous. 
 

I wonder if Natalie Dormer’s character will have any other demons she interacts with as her “true self” (kick ass costume by the way). 

The series also stars Daniel Zovatto as Tiago Vega, the LAPD’s first Mexican American detective, and Nathan Lane as his Jewish partner Lewis Michener, who is wrestling with his own unease with the rise of anti-Semitism. The premiere starts with the two trying to solve the gruesome murders of several white Angelenos, which appear intended to incite tension between the white and Latino residents of the city.

https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/penny-dreadful-city-of-angels-star-natalie-dormer-magda-game-of-thrones-1234588742

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4 hours ago, sheetmoss said:

The series also stars Daniel Zovatto as Tiago Vega, the LAPD’s first Mexican American detective, and Nathan Lane as his Jewish partner Lewis Michener, who is wrestling with his own unease with the rise of anti-Semitism. The premiere starts with the two trying to solve the gruesome murders of several white Angelenos, which appear intended to incite tension between the white and Latino residents of the city.

https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/penny-dreadful-city-of-angels-star-natalie-dormer-magda-game-of-thrones-1234588742

Thanks!

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12 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

I wonder if Natalie Dormer’s character will have any other demons she interacts with as her “true self” (kick ass costume by the way). 

I really like her demon dress and the costuming on Santa Muerte.

12 hours ago, Starchild said:

A disheartening representation of religion. Evil gets to walk among us and cause trouble, while Good comes along afterwards to clean up the mess. Help you? Screw you!

This is weird to me too.  If Santa Muerte is really only supposed to collect souls to the afterlife, how is she the "good" that is supposed to fight Natalie Dormer's evil.  She was set up more as a neutral, so far, so it doesn't seem like a fair fight.

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I watched this as a freebie on Youtube, and was underwhelmed. Maybe my love of the original left me biased.

I did peg the older brother as dead almost as soon as we met him, based on reading Primetimer's "Who's Who" among the cast thing earlier, where Adam Rodriguez was not mentioned.

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When you are possessed by a demon, your revolver has infinite ammo...FFS!

The Great Depression ended in 1939...Los Angeles seemed to show no evidence.

How does a shapeshifting demon have time to work for sleazebag Councilman, radicalize Dr. Craft and assume other as yet unseen personas without a suspicious number of Clark Kent / Peter Parker type disappearances?

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The visuals of Santa Muerte were extremely striking. It feels like a depiction that should be familiar, but doesn't match real world iconography of the deity or of the Virgin of Guadalupe, whom I thought they might be borrowing elements from.

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4 hours ago, TexasGal said:

This is weird to me too.  If Santa Muerte is really only supposed to collect souls to the afterlife, how is she the "good" that is supposed to fight Natalie Dormer's evil.  She was set up more as a neutral, so far, so it doesn't seem like a fair fight.

Maybe that's where Diego comes in. Having been touched by Santa Muerte, perhaps he can act as her avatar in the world. His mother seems to think so.

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6 hours ago, paigow said:

How does a shapeshifting demon have time to work for sleazebag Councilman, radicalize Dr. Craft and assume other as yet unseen personas without a suspicious number of Clark Kent / Peter Parker type disappearances?

Well she’s a demon- likely she can manifest in two bodies at once. We the audience know it’s Natalie Dormer in all the roles, but I’m assuming the humans she’s interacting with see very different bodies for each of her “characters”. 

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It was weird, it was like I was watching stereotypes of ideas and not real people. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, so it was like a was floating above it all just watching what unfolds. Have I lost my sympathy for humanity?

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Hmm, ok this is an intriguing show. But is it Penny Dreadful? The Angel of Death and her sister, the Angel of, um, Destruction? Strife? Calamity? are fully supernatural, not like the victorian creepy / biological monster theme of the previous show.

Also, i'm a little weak on this part of history, but i was under the impression that the term "chicano" doesn't come into vogue until much later. Likewise the cult of Santa Muerta. Not to mention, the cult as i understand it, is strongly rooted in Catholicism, whereas this usage seems more like Santeria.

Not to mention the sister entity is also anachronistic in her dress, it seems to be made of latex.

 

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On 4/27/2020 at 1:40 PM, Bruinsfan said:

The visuals of Santa Muerte were extremely striking. It feels like a depiction that should be familiar, but doesn't match real world iconography of the deity or of the Virgin of Guadalupe, whom I thought they might be borrowing elements from.

That's who I thought she was at first too. 

I forgot this was on. Thanks to tivo. I programmed it a while ago. 

On 4/27/2020 at 10:13 AM, TexasGal said:

This is weird to me too.  If Santa Muerte is really only supposed to collect souls to the afterlife, how is she the "good" that is supposed to fight Natalie Dormer's evil. 

I was thinking it was more order/chaos. People are going to die; let them live their lives. Whereas Natalie Dormer wants to spur them on to do whatever. Although later on, the new young cop said she takes the dead to heaven, so maybe Natalie Dormer meant she was going to make people bad so Santa Muerte couldn't have them. 

On 4/27/2020 at 12:48 PM, dargosmydaddy said:

Maybe my love of the original left me biased.

I know. I'm looking at it as 'evil' touches many universes. This is a different one. 

Nathan Lane is crusty af though. I liked how they went to search the house so he poured himself a drink. 

Edited by DoctorAtomic
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On 4/27/2020 at 6:11 PM, Scarlett45 said:

We the audience know it’s Natalie Dormer in all the roles, but I’m assuming the humans she’s interacting with see very different bodies for each of her “characters”. 

I think that's why she's in the different outfits and has different voices. I don't think if the doctor saw the councilwoman that he'd recognize her as the german frau. 

Wait though - if there's an actor from the first one are we supposed to make a connection? 

Edited by DoctorAtomic

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I loved it. I loved the noir aspect, the history of LA in the 30’s, the mysticism of Santa Muerte and what I presume was a take on La Llorona, the conflict between Latin/Spanish/Mexican peoples who had been in California for a couple hundred years the Anglos, the weaving in of the fascist movement. I’m in for now. I must say that part of my interest stems from my relationship I had with an immigrant from Mexico who arrived in LA around this time who “adopted” me and by extension added me to her family. She was warm and generous (and BTW treated me better than my own mother.) I’ve driven on the Pasadena freeway many times and I knew there was conflict when it was built and it interests me to see what was going on even if it is fictionalized.

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14 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

 

Nathan Lane is crusty af though. I liked how they went to search the house so he poured himself a drink. 

Fancy Beverley Hills house must have prime scotch. Why waste it? Not like the owner is going to complain...

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22 minutes ago, paigow said:

Fancy Beverley Hills house must have prime scotch. Why waste it? Not like the owner is going to complain...

Unless the cause of death is poisoning.

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Well its not much like original Penny Dreadful, but I thought this was really good and I am super interested in seeing where it goes from here. The late 30s/early 40s is a really interesting time period, especially in LA, and everything with the clash between the city establishment and the Latino community and the specter of WWII in the front and the depression in the back, its just a boiling pot about to burst. The art direction is great as well, with the art deco vibes and the 30s styles, and the evil black dress on Natalie Dormer and the golden glowing Santa Muerte both look very striking. 

So I guess that Natalie Dormer demon can take the feelings that people already have, and can blow them up way way larger than they otherwise would to make them destructive. Playing on the racism of the city council guy, the nervousness of the cop who fired the first shot, Diego's brothers bitterness and anger towards the police. I wonder if his brother is really dead for real? Considering Santa Muerte is a death goodness, he might stick around whether he is alive or not. 

Diego dancing with his mom was a nice moment of lightness, especially considering how dark things got later on. Speaking of, Diegos mom is a badass! She summoned a powerful goodness of death and told her to get off her ass and stop her evil sister, because shit is about to go down! 

Its fun seeing Nathan Lane in a more serious role like this, even if he does add a lot of snark in. I am worried about him though. Not only is he the younger cops more experienced older partner and apparent only friend on the force, but it looks like he is getting close to uncovering the Evil Plan! You know what happens to the guy who first finds out about the Evil Plan? Nothing good! 

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I tuned into the first episode and found it enjoyable and interesting.  The only thing I really have a problem with is using the title Penny Dreadful in its title.  Penny Dreadful was the title used for cheap and lurid publications in the UK in the 19th century.  It in no way applies to Hispanic supernatural occurrences in Los Angeles in 1938.  I realize John Logan no doubt used the title to lure viewers in who watched the original Penny Dreadful series (which I loved and am still pissed off at the way it ended).  Frankly, all they had to do was advertise that this was his new series and I would have tuned in.  Trying to tie it to the first series is ridiculous.

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6 hours ago, Damaris56 said:

I tuned into the first episode and found it enjoyable and interesting.  The only thing I really have a problem with is using the title Penny Dreadful in its title.  Penny Dreadful was the title used for cheap and lurid publications in the UK in the 19th century.  It in no way applies to Hispanic supernatural occurrences in Los Angeles in 1938.  I realize John Logan no doubt used the title to lure viewers in who watched the original Penny Dreadful series (which I loved and am still pissed off at the way it ended).  Frankly, all they had to do was advertise that this was his new series and I would have tuned in.  Trying to tie it to the first series is ridiculous.

They could have called it Magical Realism.

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I was surprised at how quickly Adam Rodrigez got killed off being a fairly famous Hispanic actor.  CSI Miami and The last few seasons of Criminal Minds.   So he is hardly an unknown.    
 

Still it makes with the brother vs brother : race war thing going on this season.

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On 5/3/2020 at 4:03 PM, Chaos Theory said:

I was surprised at how quickly Adam Rodrigez got killed off being a fairly famous Hispanic actor.  CSI Miami and The last few seasons of Criminal Minds.   So he is hardly an unknown.    

 

But then in this show, he could reappear as an afterlife figure.

 

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On 4/28/2020 at 2:56 AM, dr pepper said:

Hmm, ok this is an intriguing show. But is it Penny Dreadful? The Angel of Death and her sister, the Angel of, um, Destruction? Strife? Calamity? are fully supernatural, not like the victorian creepy / biological monster theme of the previous show.

It comes across to me as Strange Angel + Vida + the Penny Dreadful name. (Plus Mr. Data.)

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My first introduction to Santa Muerte was a bit back and she was known as the patron saint of the cartels. I don't mind borrowing her here, but she has not recieved rampant "press" until early 2000's. 

My dad was a pachuco so I enjoyed seeing them here. I loved the pachuca with her pomp and zoot suit! 

I've known the history of Dodger stadium and Chavez ravine so seeing similar here was interesting. I've seen photos of the eviction at Chavez ravine and it was very bloody and horrifying. 

After seeing nathan Lane here, I wanted to watch Birdcage.  Lol

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I knew coming in this was not going to be anything like Eva Green's Penny Dreadful, but I thought it might still be good. And so far, I still think so.

Natalie Dormer is killing her role as multi-faceted daemon. And she is exquisite in each persona. 

On 4/27/2020 at 3:27 PM, paigow said:

When you are possessed by a demon, your revolver has infinite ammo...FFS!

Heh! I noticed that. But then, I always count the rounds (7). And there are pistols with seven rounds (even eight!) in the cylinder. I just don't think it too believable that one of them happened to be on some rioter's belt!

On 4/27/2020 at 8:11 PM, Scarlett45 said:

Well she’s a demon- likely she can manifest in two bodies at once.

She has done so for us to see, when she visited the doctor with her son - she manifested the bodies of both mother and son with apparent ease. 

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12 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

I just don't think it too believable that one of them happened to be on some rioter's belt!

It's no worse than Costner's 10-shooter in Open Range.

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Ha! The one realistic thing I liked about Underworld was that Kate Beckinsale's character was constantly reloading ammo onscreen in her many, many firefights. It's a good thing her character was superhuman, since she was apparently doing all those graceful acrobatic leaps carrying 50 lbs. of extra magazines!

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