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Season 1 Discussion

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I actually find it refreshing that the vamps on this show are relatively easy to kill. It's become a cliche that they are superpowered semi-unkillable modern monsters when actually, in the original Dracula, both Drac himself and the female vamps he created were not superhuman and had significant moments of human-sized mortality and weakness.

I agree.  The thing about original-flavor Dracula was that while he might be relatively easy to kill, the real trick was to kill him in such a way that he would stay dead.  In fact, I assume that one reason so many of the long-haired lady vamps were in this nest was that they never did what was necessary to permanently kill most of them in their earlier encounters, so they woke back up and rejoined the nest. Nobody other than Van Helsing (R.I.P.) seems to know anything about the mythology of vampires and how to kill them permanently.

 

I find these vampires fairly terrifying, mostly due to their sheer numbers, uniformity of appearance, and feral behavior.  However, that does lead me to wonder exacly how they make their way in the world.  I mean, they have to have traveled from somewhere, and during their trips they must have found dark places to wait out the day.  But they're so distinctive in appearance, and apparently incapable of speech that it makes me wonder how they could do that.

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This show is so interesting because while I have hated Caliban and his brutality around the Doctor's world, I've loved the Caliban we saw in the theatre, and cringed for him here, when he attempted to make himself beautiful for the ingenue.

ITA paramitch. I could not care less about the Victor/Caliban/bride storyline for much of this season, and now it's something that I'm actually looking forward to in Season 2.

 

I have a soft-spot for Dorian Gray and think that hair aside, Reeve Carney did a great job. I'm intrigued to see how they incorporate Dorian more into the "gang". Can we have Dorian sing next season maybe? Reeve has an amazing voice.

 

Also needed for next season? Sembene's full back story!! I was so worried that he was going to die in this finale ep.

 

Josh Hartnett was a f*cking revelation in this beautiful show! Has this talent really been in him all along? 

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Wow. I just watched this show in 2 days. I couldn't stop. Eagerly awaiting season 2.

 

My 2 cents:

I can't decide whether the priest at the end was evil too or just very wise. Still Vanessa's hesitation was telling.

I loved Vanessa's tension when she walked into that church. I actually thought the demon or whatever would come out any second. I was just as tense.

Eva Green. Holding back is not in her acting vocabulary, isn't it? Very impressive.

When Dorian thought he wouldn't be afraid of her bad side coming out, he has no idea what he is talking about. Just go home bored puppy.

I thought Ethan attaching himself to Vanessa and Brona might have shown a bit of puppy love. I'm also convinced the body piles at the beginning were him. I think it sort of gave a parallel to what one of the Pinkertons said to him. Btw., more Victorian tropes: the Pinkertons are douchebags.

 

Victor Frankenstein might have thought it would be more merciful to make another child to be his firstborn's bride. The guy should NOT have more children! He doesn't handle the responsibilities well. *understatement

I can't even begin to list the piles of douchiness of Sir Malcolm.

I still feel bad for the monster and giving him a bride will not end well. But then, what do you expect with this father.

 

Overall, terrible father figures and the mad woman in the attic, they did hit most of what is important in Gothic novels, didn't they?

 

ETA: Something else occurred to me while making dinner: I wonder if Ethan getting attached to Vanessa was also a case of empathy, knowing what it's like to live with a demon within.

Edited by supposebly
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I wasn't as blown away by the first season as some people here.  It felt it to be very much style over substance for the first several episodes because the writers were very slow to clarify what is motivating these characters.  Only in the Frankenstein subplot did I feel a clear direction in the story and character development.  Other things kind of annoyed me.  The Vanessa seance possession scene was for me completely over-the-top and dangerously close to being comical.  And the gay triste between Ethan and Dorian Gray just seemed to me to be totally gratuitous and for shock value.  It just came out of nowhere.  The final episode at last started to tie things together to where I feel like I understand the point of these characters and what drives them (well, except for Ethan, who I still can't figure out and don't understand his place on this show).  I  just wish they could have gotten to this point a little sooner.  But things are set up now for season 2, which has the potential to be a big improvement.

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Probably helps that I didn't know anything about the show when I started watching. The name just grabbed me. I thought it would be something like a Victorian Twilight Zone. I was a bit disappointed that it's not one penny dreadful story per episode. But I stayed for the high production values. The acting exceeded my expectations, too.

 

Though no lie, the seance possession scene made me look at the clock and go "how long is this going to take?"

 

But I did go back and watch it again later on. It's better after I've gotten the context for it. Before that it just seemed like random crazy ramblings that went on forever.

 

I'm so amused by Dorian Gray possibly shagging the entire cast at record speed. I don't even care whether him and Ethan make any sense.

 

The surprise standout for me is definitely Victor Frankenstein. I've seen so many versions of this story, this is the first one where I felt for the doctor more than the creature. I didn't expect that at all.

 

I agree about the plot and pacing being the weakest parts of the show right now. Hope that's improved upon in season 2. Especially because now my expectations are significantly higher.

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I was explaining to a friend the other day my mad love for "Penny Dreadful," and I couldn't help but bring up Roger Ebert's classic quote:

 

When it comes to this show, "It's not just what it's about. It's how it's about it."

 

For me, more than anything else I can think of, that's what defines this show's success to me. I was reasonably happy with where the plot went. But I was over the moon in terms of Penny Dreadful's marvelous characters, its atmosphere, the way it put me under a spell each week, and a spell that felt both new and old at the same time.

 

Can't wait for season 2.

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A place to discuss the overall story arc and stand out moments from the season 1. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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I just binge watched season 1 and I'm on board for season 2.

 

At times I felt Penny Dreadful was less about  substance and more about looks, but what looks are these. This show's photography is a thing of beauty. The main story is crazy as fuck and I love it, all the tropes and some cliches and the only thing missing are the gypsies, because a show like this needs gypsies.

 

The acting is fantastic, though I can live a long time without another Vanessa possession. The guy playing Caliban is extraordinary, what a talented actor. 

 

Much to my surprise, I like all the characters, except for Victor. Forever hating him for killing Brona. Speaking about Brona I cannot believe I fell for the whole Brona/Ethan romance, but, boy, I did fall hard.

 

Josh Hartnett did nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada for me12 years ago, but now? UUNNNNF.

Edited by Raachel2008
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At times I felt Penny Dreadful was less about  substance and more about looks, but what looks are these. This show's photography is a thing of beauty. The main story is crazy as fuck and I love it, all the tropes and some cliches and the only thing missing are the gypsies, because a show like this needs gypsies.

 

I feel like in all episodes except the absolutely fantastic episode 5 the show's been more about looks. But yeah, it's stunning. I could watch the show just for its look.

 

Much to my surprise, I like all the characters, except for Victor. Forever hating him for killing Brona. Speaking about Brona I cannot believe I fell for the whole Brona/Ethan romance, but, boy, I did fall hard.

 

I don't know why, but I find the guy playing Victor incredibly hot and I don't mind the character (I've found the killing Brona thing to be out of character and a plot decision rather than a character decision). I can't stand Caliban, however, and I'm approaching the whole Caliban/Brona thing in s2 with trepidation.

 

Overall, Vanessa is the show for me. Everyone else can go and I'd still be watching. Although I'm quite invested in her relationships with Ethan and Murray.

Edited by FurryFury
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I watched the Penny Dreadful marathon today and was reminded why I love this show so much.  It's well written and keeps me guessing.  Waiting anxiously for season 2!

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I watched the marathon, too.  I wish I had just recorded it and waited to watch later.  It made me too impatient for season two to start.  When I originally watched season one, I marathoned episodes one through four in one night, and thought it was ok, but not great.  By episode seven (my favorite) I loved the show, but for some reason I recorded but never watched episode eight.  Now watching them straight through, so many things were obvious. 

 

It was interesting that Ethan was disturbed by the beating of Fenton.   He's really not a violent man at heart.  It was clear from the first episode how disturbed he was by the murders, but it never occurred to me (at that time) that Ethan was somehow responsible.  I love his connection with Vanessa.  There was a mutual respect, trust, and affection that went beyond any romantic interest.  I like the thought of them becoming involved, but I hope that friendship is not ruined in the process.

 

I had some unanswered questions.  I don't understand why Caliban seemed to think he was immortal, and Victor never corrected him.  He murdered Proteus rather easily, so why does he think he's any different?  I ended up very touched by the character, and hope he sticks around for awhile - if only because the actor is so good.

 

I'm not 100% sure of why the vampires did not go after Vanessa in the ship or at the theatre.  At first, I assumed they sensed the evil within her, and either respected or feared it, thus leaving her untouched.  By the end, it was obvious that they recognized her as the master's soon to be mate, and even their mother.  I get that.  I don't get why no one - Malcolm, Victor, Ethan, Sembene, or even Vanessa herself - questioned why she was perfectly safe in that den of vipers.  Also, one would think that Mina would have resented that the master wanted Vanessa when he already had Mina.  Kind of a repeat of her fiancé.  But they didn't touch on that.

 

I also wondered about Malcolm's responses to Victor regarding Vanessa's sexual past.  When asked if she experienced sexual trauma, he played dumb.  Then when asked if she was intact, he answered he didn't think so.  Malcolm must have known that Vanessa had sex with Mina's fiancé.  He would also have known (at least through Peter) that Vanessa had quickly turned ill, been institutionalized, and almost died.  How could he have been ignorant of all this?  And if he was simply protecting her reputation, that would have been pointless if she died.  I just didn't get it.

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So...this show; someone decided to take the same concept of The League off Extraordinary Gentlemen and do it ... better?

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The acting is fantastic, though I can live a long time without another Vanessa possession. The guy playing Caliban is extraordinary, what a talented actor. 

.

 

 

That would be the phenomenal Rory Kinnear - you should check him out in as Bolingbroke in  Richard II (The Hollow Crown) with the most wonderful Ben Whishaw.

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I'm checking this out, and I'm about halfway through season one. I like the idea of the show, but so far it's kind of all over the map. I'm also a bit squeamish so I'm having to skip a few scenes, mostly stuff involving animals (sigh) but also a general inability to watch sustained blood vomiting. (That's on me, not the show.) Also, Frankenstein is my least favorite myth of this genre, so that plot is largely lost on me.

The actors are all nailing it, especially Eva Green, who I didn't know before this show, I think. The seance was hard to watch, but she committed in a way I think few actresses could pull off. I wanted to stop watching and I couldn't.

I'm happy to see Billie Piper and I like the weird accent she's invented.

I find Dorian to be ridiculously hot. No shame.

But I'm failing to follow all the arcs or to understand the character motivations, aside from the obvious.

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I finished binge watching season 1 last night on the freebie Watchathon. (we don't get Showtime:() I am officially blown away. Absolutely gorgeous and the acting is phenomenal. It is going to be very tough to wait for season 2 to come out on Neflix. I differ from some of the posters in that I find Brona's accent to be very distracting, I instantly think "what is that actress trying to do?" and I really don't like being reminded that it is an actress, I hate that snap back to reality. Also, I have been a fan of Josh Hartnett for a long time, I thought he did a great job in 30 Days of Night for example.

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Sooo....  Doing a season one/episode one rewatch - question -

Was the mother and little girl killed by vampires or the Ethan wolfman?

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Sooo....  Doing a season one/episode one rewatch - question -

Was the mother and little girl killed by vampires or the Ethan wolfman?

 

 

It was Ethan / wolfman. You can catch a few flashbacks of the crime scene in Ethan's drunken montage right before his tryst with Dorian in episode four.

Edited by islagirl
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 Also, I have been a fan of Josh Hartnett for a long time, I thought he did a great job in 30 Days of Night for example.

 

I really liked him in that movie.  Granted I haven't read the graphic novel, but I never understood all the flack that he was miscast. 

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I finally got a chance to watch season 1 (I love you Netflix).  Originally I watched a couple of episodes and got bored.  This is like a few others shows I have seen (most recently Salem) that takes a good four or five episodes to get really good and interesting but when it finally does....oh boy.  

I liked that none of the main characters were especially good or especially evil;  They all made terrible tragic mistake that got them to where they were.   The acting was superb all around and the scenery was beautiful.    

All in all I think I'll give season 2 a go.  

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I am late to this show.  Two years late.  But I love it.  It is a bit talky and slow but Eva Green is compelling, charming, and scary.  I am very fond of Frankenstein too.  The Doctor is just so hapless in a fight.  And socially awkward.  I adore him despite the creepiness.  And such pretty eyes.

 

Dorian Gray' s clothes are amusing.  So many accessories like a Korean boy band lead.  

 

They could use a bit more plot and perhaps a few more character cameos.  I wouldn't mind seeing Teddy Roosevelt or some great true authors of the era. 

On 7/31/2015 at 4:28 PM, islagirl said:

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

It was Ethan / wolfman. You can catch a few flashbacks of the crime scene in Ethan's drunken montage right before his tryst with Dorian in episode four.

I think Ethan because of his absenth flashback

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