Yes, I watch television and film. I’m a writer, but I don’t read all the time. I think part of being a good storyteller is the ability to appreciate all the different methods in which the telling can be done. In TV and in Film, the structure is still the same just with a visual interpretation of the words. We get the spoken ones, but everything else is left for us to decipher. A pictograph or maybe a Rorschach blot, if you will. This is especially true with Penny Dreadful.
Now that character introductions have been dispensed with, the second season seems to be focused on actual story, which, for us gothic literature lovers, is utter awesomeness. However, with that in mind, I’m finding that episodes this season will require a second watch, as the creators of this show are so deft at slipping Easter eggs in that if you blink, you’ll miss them. So far:
- I love the mashup between the old unbaptized baby fat witch myth and the classic voodoo doll. Did you catch Lyle and Mina among those marionettes? I also wonder if Sembene will play a more active role this season. We know very little about him, but what we do know offers some intriguing points to ponder with respect to contending with witches.
- I love that Creature chose John Clare for his new name. His original name, Caliban, was fitting in the first season, and I think this new choice is telling. As it stands now, Creature is my favorite character. This shift towards the romantic makes him even more so. How could he not be? More emo than Byron, he does have lovely eyes and a lovely mind. His smile just melts my heart. I’m sure his suffering will continue to monumental proportions since our good Doctor Frankenstein, at this stage, is an immature faithless fool.
- And intriguing, though not surprising, was Lyle and Ethan finding in the museum’s basement a coat of arms depicting two hounds, thus paving the way for Lyle to explain to Ethan that hounds are protectors, symbolizing courage, vigilance, and loyalty despite Ethan’s words to the contrary. Ethan said they were wolves, but wolves in heraldry are a symbol of reward after a long siege, and that is fitting as well since I think this season is going to be a long siege on poor put-upon Vanessa. When is she going to realize that the power she has within her is hers to tame? The blood scorpion? Gah!!!! Come on Vanessa.
I think my only disappointment thus far was the appearance of Dorian Gray. Yeah, we get it. He’s pretty. Debauchery is his thing. We read the book, many times, and so frankly, his grand appearance was again a letdown. When does he actually get to contribute his power to the equation here? All last season and so far this season, he’s been nothing but a pretty pole for people to piss and rub their knobs on. If he’s going to be basically useless this season, maybe Angelique has a better surprise up her skirt than what we’ve already seen, which was again, not surprising and just a little contrived for the sake of peen ratings. “Shock me shock me shock me with your deviant…”
The witches are definitely old-school demons though, and Ms. (Blood Countess) Poole/Madame Kali is quite the beautifully-attired nightmare. I’m excited to see where this is going, sans Dorian if he’s only capable of being a sex-bauble. Edited to add: I’m really just being a curmudgeon here. Dorian has a power that none of the other characters currently possess. He’s the poster-child for reconciliation – with your demons, with your sins. If they all had that, they would be a force of great magnitude. Vanessa’s demon is already trying to tell her that with the scorpion symbol. I just think Dorian’s storyline is slogging along in the mire of gratuitousness at the moment.