'Penny Dreadful' Season 2 (So Far): The Pros And Cons


Showtime’s horror drama “Penny Dreadful” has recently returned to unleash a new season of scares, so Eclectic Pop has broken down the biggest pros and cons of the series during its run so far.

Pro: Eva Green as Vanessa Ives

Green has had a fabulous and selective career on the silver screen. Adept at carrying a show or movie on even the thinnest of scripts, Green's versatility and raw power are better suited to the juicy week in and week out of television developments. She was the best thing about the short-lived Starz series “Camelot” as the sympathetic schemer Morgana. 

Throughout the one-and-only season of the series, Eva Green spun a compelling anti-heroine where there could have just been a one-note villainess. In “Penny Dreadful,” she has better support on which to base her dynamic theatrics.

Con: The Pacing

Let us get to it if there is an exciting story to tell. Season 1 only lasted for 8 episodes. That is two less than your average cabler produces. The ability to speak a compact and rivetingly told story should be easily feasible. As wonderful as the cast is at looking pensive and holding a mysterious glare, they should be given more to do.

Pro: Ethan Chandler and the Reemergence of Josh Hartnett

After his role in “Pearl Harbor” launched him into an overnight teen heartthrob sensation, Josh Hartnett spent subsequent years as the rumored frontrunner for one superhero role after another. It all ended up being talk, and after taking time off from his acting pursuits, Hartnett could never quite regain his previous career momentum. 

Had Josh Hartnett returned in a role like that of Ethan Chandler and given a performance with the breadth he does on “Penny Dreadful,” things might have been turned out differently. Believably brooding, quietly compassionate, and with an alluring hint of danger, Hartnett gave the best performance of his career in Season 1 and proved he is capable of a comeback.

Con: The Content

Certain developments and plot twists are easy to assume, given the genre realm it is dealing with is horror. Supernatural creatures, ghostly hauntings, and possession (not a personal favorite) are par for the course. The more time the audience has to think about it, the less shocking the reveal is. Season 1 tread water on stories with resolutions as easily resolvable as a drowning person standing up in waist-deep water.

Pro: The Atmosphere

The exquisite costuming, hair and makeup, music, and cinematography give the series a gothic oomph, Victorian reserve, and cinematic prestige.

Con: Brona, Tuberculosis and the Curious Case of Doctor F

Early in the first season,n Ethan embarks on a romance with Brona, a prostitute afflicted with an advanced case of TB. What begins as a pay-for-play arrangement soon becomes a legitimate love affair. Her health declined rapidly, and despite her coughing up blood, she and Ethan constantly hooked up. Ethan acts as if she is not being ravaged by a highly contagious disease or that he is at any risk of developing it. Perhaps indicates a story reveal to come but it is incredibly strange that Brona herself finds nothing odd about this.

Brona seems to have no consciousness that she is putting Ethan in any danger, except for a statement in passing,g and those who know of the relationship do not really warn him of the risk he is in. Dr. Frankenstein does not pay it much mind either, and it is only towards the close of the season that he offers his medical services. For a man who has made saving people his life’s work, Dr. F did not appear too quick on the uptake when it came to a life-saving opportunity, or so we thought.

Season 2 of “Penny Dreadful” is currently airing on Sundays at 10PM ET/PT on Showtime.