Penny Dreadful Season 3 Review

Penny Dreadful

There are some pretty big spoilers coming up from season 2, so if you didn’t watch season 2 I would suggest not reading this blog.

As much as I’ve grown to love this show, knowing that this was the final season was a little hard to believe. It felt like there were so many more stories to tell and more things to explore, but I guess all good things must come to an end and the producers felt like this was a good time to end the show. Keep reading to see if I was pleased with the final season of this show.

Picking up right where last season had left off, Ethan left Vanessa basically breaking not only her heart but her soul. This can be seen in the final episode of last season as she pulls her cross down from her wall and tosses it into the fire. Lilly and Dorian are leading their weird immortal life and Sir Malcom has gone back to Africa to give a proper burial to Sembene. Dr. Frankenstein is barely living his life as a morphine addict as he tries to come to terms with the fact that Lilly will never love him, while John Claire has recovered some of his memory and is looking for the family he lost. Not wanting to see Vanessa the way she is, broken and alone, Mr. Lyle recommends her to see a therapist. Her therapist turns out to be no other than Patti LuPone, who isn’t Vanessa’s mentor from season 2, but an ancestor who looks exactly like Vanessa’s friend. With the help of the good doctor, Vanessa will try to mend herself only to find out that she’s being hunted by Dracula again as the battle over her soul has never really ended. Ethan on the hand will be taken off to America to pay for his crimes when his father intervenes and Sir Malcom is also convinced to journey to America in order to find Ethan and lead him on the right path. Lilly and Dorian will gather up a group of women, the used and abused prostitutes of London, and turn them into killing machines as they take back from the men that broke them. Dr. Frankenstein on the other hand will work with his old college buddy Dr. Jekyll as he tries to find the perfect serum to make Lilly love him again. Having recovered his memory, John Claire will be on the search for his family and for the love that he so desperately seeks.

Another Strong Vanessa-centic Episode These have become a staple of sorts for this series as it delves into Vanessa’s psyche and tells you more about her. This time she’s hypnotized by her therapist in order to relive a time when she was in the mental hospital. This was when Dracula and the Devil himself both approached her each one wanting her for different reasons. It also shows the kindness of a certain someone before he became who he was.

I really enjoyed this last season, but it did feel a little rushed as everyone’s story line was wrapped up into a nice and not so nice package. While I wasn’t expecting happy endings for everyone, there were some things I expected but didn’t see happen. While this was a little disappointing it wasn’t hard to understand why things had to be done the way they were. I really do believe though that out of all of the seasons this was the weakest and could have done with at least another 3-4 episodes in order for it to not feel as rushed as it was. Other than that I thought it was a decent ending to a show that had me on the edge of my seat most of the time while watching.

Once again the cast works together amazingly and this was one of the best part of the series. Patti LuPone becoming a main character this time around instead of just a guest appearance just felt right and by the end of the show it felt like she belonged with the rest of the company. I have to say that throughout the series the acting was consistent and it really made the show. Without the extraordinary cast, this should wouldn’t have been as good as it was.

Overall I give this season a 4 out of 5.

While this was a good season and a decent way to send off the show, it just felt a little rushed. Knowing that everyone’s story had to be tidied up into a nice little package made them concentrate on some characters less and let other characters story just drag on for way too long. This was the only down point of the series and while I didn’t like how the main plot of the show end, I understand why it had to end that way and I can respect that. Overall this was the most tamest of the three seasons for this show and that was surprising, but it also shows that the whole series didn’t need to go overboard with the nudity and sex scenes would have still been good. If you watched the first two seasons, this one can’t be missed as you just have to see how it ends. If you haven’t watched any of the other seasons, why the hell are you reading this blog in the first place! Anyway, overall I was really pleased with this show overall and would definitely give it my recommendation.

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Penny Dreadful Season 2 Review

Penny Dreadful

There are some pretty big spoilers coming up from season 1, so if you didn’t watch season 1 I would suggest not reading this blog.

After the events of the first season, it was hard to not start the next season of this show. Eager to see how things would tie together since the first season wrapped up it’s story but then ended on somewhat of a cliff hanger, it made me wonder what this season’s mystery would be and how this group of people would handle whatever was thrown their way.

Picking up where season 1 left off, Ethan wants to flee London after turning into a werewolf and basically ripping apart the little inn, if you could call it that, that he was living in. After the death of Brona he basically has nothing to lose anymore and wants to get out of dodge. He’ll pay one last visit to Vanessa who went through hell last season as her faith was challenged. During this visit they’ll be attacked by this group of witches who work for the devil. They want Vanessa and will stop at nothing to have her. This will propel the events of this season as it’s another fight for Vanessa’s soul as the witches will stop at nothing to bring the devil what he desires most. During this time, Dr. Frankenstein will bring back Brona from the dead and turn her into Lilly. Her sole purpose is as a mate for his first creation, now going by the name of John Clare. Things won’t work out all that well for John and Lilly as the doctor finds himself falling for her, which is weird because he pushes her off as his cousin from the country. Ew. Moving on, Sir Malcom comes into play as a tool this season as the witches see that he’s the only way that they can actually get to Vanessa. They had tried in the past to get to her, but know that she’s vulnerable when it comes to Sir Malcom because of the bond they share. You’ll see more of Dorian this season and see what makes him immortal. While the main story never focuses on Dorian, he still plays an important role and you’ll find out why by the end of the season.

Vanessa Only Episodes I’m really enjoying these episodes that are thrown into each season that concentrate on only Vanessa. She’s a complicated character and is deserving of an episode that delves into her past showing the viewers what made her the way she is and why she is the way she is. These are some of my favorite episodes of each season and this season had a spectacular episode that guest stared Patti LuPone. These episodes have another purpose though that are referenced later on in the season and this episode was a very powerful one that had strong performances from both Eva Green and Patti LuPone.

I really enjoyed this season as it brought Vanessa and Ethan closer together. Even though they’re being hunted, they try to live this semi-normal life and realize that they can’t. Vanessa longs for the normal as she’s been not so normal for her whole life. She knows this can’t be and Ethan hides the secret of being a werewolf from her for most of the season. They’re both dark characters and you really root for them to somehow overcome everything that’s happening to them and be together. I found their relationship and their stories to be the most interesting this season where the other stories were interesting, but not as interesting as these two. Although I have to say that I enjoyed the way that Vanessa and John Clare found each other and interacted with each other through the season. John never seems to get what he wants, but he finds compassion and friendship in Vanessa who doesn’t care that he isn’t normal…or alive. Saying all of that, I have to say that the whole Dr. Frankenstein thing is becoming a little boring now. His naïve ways were once intriguing but have become stale this season and although Dorian is also intriguing, the oh-so charming way of him also become stale. Everyone knows that at this point Dorian moves from person to person, but this time you think that he’s finally found someone when he meets Angelique, a transgender prostitute. The story is a sweet one until it ends.

This cast basically made the show in season 1 and that continues onto season 2. These actors/actress’s really know how to interact with each other and make their relationships with each other seem believable. If the cast was different this show wouldn’t work and it seems like they had the perfect cast as each character is played to perfection. This only enhances the already dynamic show.

Overall I give this season a 5 out of 5.

Once again another stellar season from this show that ends the current story, but also introduces and sets up the next and final season. I’m kind of upset that there’s only 3 seasons to this show, but even now only having only watched 2 I can see why it had to end. Anyway, if you enjoyed season 1 then I would highly recommend watching this season. Why wouldn’t you? You’re probably already hooked anyway. If you’re not sure about continuing with another season, I would say to go for it. The story this season is intriguing and you’ll find it hard to stop watching episode after episode. I do have to say though that once again this is a show that was on Showtime so be prepared for some episodes that are overly gratuitous with the sex scenes. I have to say that I find this as the show’s only downfall because it really doesn’t need it, but that’s what happens with cable shows. Anyway, I really look forward to the third and final season of this show.

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Friends from College Season 1 Review

Friends from College

To tell you the truth, I had seen some of the previews for this show and really thought about passing it up. I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the actors in it or the premise, probably because I couldn’t relate, but apparently my mind was changed. I have no idea why, no that’s a lie. I do know why and it’s because I really wanted to see Cobie Smulders in a new role since playing Robin on How I Met Your Mother. Anyway, there weren’t a lot of episodes so this called for a binge watch.

The first 8 episodes of this show introduce you to six people who have been friends from college which was 20 years ago when they were in Harvard. You’ll be introduced to Lisa and Ethan Turner, played by Cobie Smulders and Keegan Michael-Key, who have been married since shortly after college. They’re on their way back to New York where the rest of their “friend group” currently lives. While there, neither of them have jobs so they’ll be living on their friend Marianne’s, played by Jae W. Suh, couch. Not much is told about Marianne other than she lives this bohemian life style because the main story focus’s on Ethan ad Lisa. Ethan has been having an affair with Sam, played by Annie Parisse, for the past 20 years. Sam is married and has kids with another guy and is quickly approaching the big 40. Ethan in the meantime will be trying to write his next novel only to find out that the best thing for him to write at the moment is something for teenagers where he could then sell the rights and have a movie made. He’ll get some help in this department from his friend Max, played by Fred Savage, who is basically his publisher. Meanwhile Lisa will be on the search for a job and a purpose as she tries to unsuccessfully conceive a child. During this time she’ll meet up with her ex Nick, played by Nat Faxon, who is also part of this whole friend group. Nick does nothing but pick up younger women because he’s a trust fund baby and basically doesn’t have to do a damn thing.

I found none of these characters to be relatable or even redeemable. They’re all pretty horrible people, maybe that’s what drew them to each other in the first place, and throughout the 8 episodes of this show it shows how horrible they are. Personally I don’t understand how these people are friends in the first place as they all seem to have nothing in common really other than the fact that they went to college together and are horrible people. They’ll lie to each other, treat each other like utter crap, and do things that aren’t acceptable, yet they somehow remain friends. This I can’t understand. Maybe because I don’t know people like this or never had this type of experience. I’m not sure a lot of people can say that they’ve been friends with someone for 20 years and have acted the way these characters act in the show. It just doesn’t seem real and this made the show less enjoyable.

This ensemble of a cast works OK together. They’re kind of mismatched and don’t seem like they would be the type of people that would be friends in the first place. This kind of shows as there are a lot of awkward moments and the show just seems off because of it. In their own right I’m sure a lot of these actors/actress’s are great, but together it just seems like they don’t work because there isn’t a lot of chemistry between them.

Overall I give this season a 2 out of 5.

Don’t get me wrong this show is genuinely funny at times, but those bursts don’t of funny don’t last throughout the season. There are parts during the season that are boring or just plain unrealistic making this show even harder to relate to. I really feel like this show had a huge missed opportunity because it could have been something good. Instead it was just a show of people who really can’t let go. College was 20 years ago. Sometimes it’s best to just move on and you aren’t always friends with people for that long because they change or whatever. Anyway, if you don’t mind watching people do horrible things to other people who are supposed to be their friends, feel free to watch. If you’re looking for something that you’re going to relate to then look somewhere else.

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Penny Dreadful Season 1 Review

Penny Dreadful

I decided to watch this show because it’s the summer and nothing good is ever on in the summer, plus I totally missed this show when it was actually on. At least this gave me the chance to binge watch it on Netflix. Keep reading to see what I thought about the first season of this show.

Penny Dreadful basically tells the origin stories of Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray in a new and different light. Season one follows Vanessa, played by Eva Green, and Sir Malcom, played by Timothy Dalton, as they search for Mina, Sir Malcolm’s daughter. Having the psychic ability, Vanessa can sense that Mina is trapped between the living and dead world and has teamed up with Sir Malcom, a seasoned explorer, to find her. They’re going to need help though and that comes from cowboy Ethan Chandler, played by Josh Hartnett. Ethan has some deep dark secrets of his own just like the rest of this crew of misfits. There’s also Dr. Victor Frankenstein, played by Harry Treadaway, to level out the group and perform anything scientific that needs to be done. Each character has their own motivations this season and their own reasons for being part of this little company. Will they find Mina? What will happen when they do? All of that plus more is revealed throughout the season.

I have to admit that after the first two episodes I was going to give up on this show because they made me think “what the fuck did I just watch.” I told myself to watch one more episode of this show before giving up and lucky I did because I was hooked. The story throughout the season develops deeper with each episode and has different twists and turns that make you want to keep watching. I really enjoyed the different telling of stories that have been told before in the past. Everyone knows Frankenstein’s story, but not like the one that Penny Dreadful tells. It’s hard not to get sucked into wanting to know more about each and every character because they’re well developed flawed characters that make you want to dig deeper. This season basically concentrates on Vanessa and Sir Malcom most of the time with their complicated relationship, but you also get an inside look at Dr. Frankenstein and his first monster. There’s also the mystery of Dorian Gray that gets little attention this season along with a whole bunch of mystery surrounding Ethan. The season wraps itself up nicely and sets up the stage for the second season by answering the questions that season one asks before presenting new ones.

How Amazing is Eva Green? Simple answer. Pretty damn amazing. I first seen her in the movie Cracks and then later on in 300: Rise of an Empire. Each character that she plays, including the one in Penny Dreadful is unique and different and she owns each and everyone of those roles. Her strong point is playing those bat shit crazy characters and she plays them to perfection.

Even though Eva Green stands out as the star of this show, it is an ensemble show and it wouldn’t work if these actors didn’t have chemistry. These actors were picked out perfectly and play each role perfectly that it just makes the show work. Each actor works off of each other and it shows on screen making the show work.

Overall I give this season a 5 out of 5.

This show is simply amazing. It’s intelligent and intriguing all at the same time that you don’t want to stop watching. Saying that, I will say that there are a lot of WTF moments that will make you question why you’re watching the show to begin with as well as a lot of gratuitous sex and nude scenes that are a bit much at times. Remember this was on Showtime. That’s not an excuse, but it’s the truth. Cable channels thrive off of that type of thing. If you can handle that then I would say that this is a show that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re sensitive to that type of thing and want to stay away from the weird I would say to give this show a pass and watch something a little more tame.

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GLOW: Season 1 Review

GLOW

Not only do I game, watch a lot of movies, read a good book from time to time, but I also watch a hell of a lot of TV. While it’s really difficult for me to write a review on every single show that I watch, I really don’t have the time to be honest, I figured I could write a review on shows that I’ve binge watched since they’re fresh in my head. Let’s start with something that I binged watched in a day. Yes one whole day dedicated to one show and that show was GLOW.

Taking place in the 80’s, GLOW revolves around the creation of a new wrestling show. It’s not about the men this time and instead it’s about the ladies, to be specific it’s about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Anyway, in season one’s first ten episodes you’ll follow the main character Ruth, played by Alison Brie, who is an out of work actress because she basically can’t find what she’s looking for in Hollywood. This is a time when all the good parts are given to men and women are still the secretaries. Anyway, she’ll show up to an audition with a bunch of other misfits and social outcasts in order to form GLOW. What she doesn’t expect is that her former best friend, former because she did something that she shouldn’t have, Debbie, played by Betty Gilpin, will also be a part of this. Not only will Ruth struggle to prove herself, but she’ll also struggle to repair her relationship with Debbie. Throughout all of this, struggling B movie film director Sam Sylvia, played by Marc Maron, will try to reclaim his former glory as he tries to produce this new show.

The start to this show and the season starts off completely slow and really doesn’t pick up until the end. I think that if I didn’t binge watch it, then I would have probably given up on it around the 3rd or 4th episode. I at times found myself scrolling through my phone every now and again during an episode and realized that I didn’t miss anything at all when I looked up again. I like the plot of the show, I just think that it had way too much build up to the final pivotal ending which basically says now you have to watch next season. If the show didn’t end like that and picked up the pace a little bit more I would have watched the second season without feeling obligated to do so because now I have to see what happens.

While it’s obvious who the main characters are, this is still an ensemble show like Orange is the New Black. It doesn’t work without the other ladies and I would have like to see more of their stories instead of the show going back and forth between Ruth and Debbie. While some stuff was shown on the other women, it wasn’t enough to make them count. I wanted to see their back stories and I wanted to see why they had decided to come to the audition for GLOW. I didn’t get that and it was kind of a mistake because the show doesn’t work without them. I hope for season two, they get more into why the other ladies are there and show some backstory on them instead of hoping on the Ruth and Debbie going from friends to enemies to frenemies and then to friends again train.

I thought the overall acting for this show and this season was overall just eh. There was no one who really stood out and made me say “Ooo this is my new favorite character.” There was no one to relate to and really no one to root for. While this show has some familiar faces and voices, everyone is basically new and it kind of shows. While this isn’t a bad thing, not all shows have to have these huge stars in them, I just hope that they can improve in the upcoming seasons. Just because the show is kind of campy, doesn’t mean the acting has to be too.

Overall I give this season of GLOW a 3 out of 5.

This show definitely isn’t for everyone and will only attract a certain type of audience. If you’re a wrestling fan, you’ll probably want to take a look at this show especially if you watched the original GLOW, which was an actual thing that I totally used to watch when I was really really young. If you’re looking for an Orange is the New Black type of feel to this show since it’s been toted that it’s from the same creators then you’ll be sadly disappointed. I would say that if you’re willing to watch a show that has no real direction until just about the end and you don’t mind having to wait for another season to actually see the story advance then take a chance on this show. If you’re one of those people who get easily bored and don’t plan on binge watching, I would say to give this one a pass since at times it can be extremely slow and boring.

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