‘Penny Dreadful’ Review Roundup: Is The New Horror Show A Hit?

Mon, May 12, 2014 10:43am EDT by 6 Comments
Penny Dreadful Reviews
Courtesy of Showtime

‘Penny Dreadful’ premiered on Showtime on May 11, and with the horror genre at its peak on TV, did the new show draw up enough big scares to stand out? Read on to see what the critics had to say!

With dramas like American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and the mass amounts of shows dedicated to vampires, werewolves and witches, it can be hard for a new horror show to solidify itself as original. Showtime is trying its luck though, joining the scarefest with Penny Dreadful, a play on the sensational British fiction published in the nineteenth century. With a new premise, did Penny Dreadful bring the horror to your TV screen? Read on to find out and tell us what you thought of Showtime’s take on horror!

‘Penny Dreadful’ On Showtime: Is The New Show A Bloody Hit?

The Showtime series is bringing to life some of literature’s classic monsters and weaving them throughout the story that takes places in a dark and dirty Victorian London. The 8-episode thriller follows American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) as he joins forces with Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) to take down paranormal monsters in London.

Even with the added pressure, Penny Dreadful is a surprising hit and never fails to showcase more blood, guts and gore than you could imagine. Here’s what the critics have to say about Penny Dreadful:

The Hollywood Reporter

Penny Dreadful is an entirely new series that has familiar characters walk into the storyline but, thankfully, act in ways that haven’t been seen before… A genre series like Penny Dreadful — really a unique amalgamation — could have gone all kinds of wrong. But Logan, who has written each of the eight episodes, and director J.A. Bayona (who cements the overall look and feel of the series) keep things intriguing and fresh, fearful and entertaining.

USA Today

Still, if Dreadful is a cluttered, unfettered mess, at least it’s a lively and stylish one, graced with a convincing sense of period, a sly sense of humor, and (for the most part) a very strong cast. Just be aware that watching requires a strong stomach: Blood doesn’t just flow in Dreadful, it pools.

Huffington Post

Just as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Scandal provide a window into our fears about annihilation, greed and the consequences of venal ambition, the Victorians used sensational literature, sagas about wayward women and monstrous tales of excess to process their fears about modernization, industrialization and a society that was changing in terrifying and exciting ways. In the early going, Penny Dreadful does a fine job of capturing that social and personal unease… It’s also tinged with compassion, pain and an energetic sense of discovery. Even if you’re not a horror fan, you may well get sucked into its maw.

The A.V. Club

Penny Dreadful is by definition a gothic, steampunk horror show, and as such could be easily written off as camp. But the intensity of scenes like the séance, or scenes like the closing moments of “Night Work,” draw the show out of its genre underpinnings into something much more vital and revelatory. Add to that a cast of extraordinary talent, and the cinematic sensibilities of a film veteran, and Penny Dreadful offers a moody, bloody, dark fantasy that slowly unfurls more and more horror.

Entertainment Weekly

Writer-showrunner John Logan robs many graves and comes this close to ripping off Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Yet I dig Penny Dreadful as a twisted romance about our twisted romance with dark fantasy. It’s a Frankenstory made with borrowed bits and recycled parts that could evolve into its own vibrant creation.

HollywoodLifers, did you enjoy the premiere of Penny Dreadful? Let us know what you thought!

– Avery Thompson

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noel

Posted at 12:11 AM on May 19, 2014  

are you kidding? this show is fantastic! love the frankenstein segment, and dorian gray. great sets and costumes. very touching moments. eva green is a knockout! i love sookie, but there is a lot more meat to this one.

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debbie chacon

Posted at 6:54 PM on May 12, 2014  

Penny dreadful is more than iI expected. I love this stuff and beautiful settings and costumes. Can’t wait for more

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Parthanax

Posted at 3:59 PM on May 12, 2014  

So happy to see Billie Piper on TV again!

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Teege

Posted at 12:55 PM on May 12, 2014  

I sampled the early premiere nearly two weeks ago and have from that time to now been astonished at the dozens and dozens of soft reviews for this show. It does a couple of things well but it fails to hit most of the notes it strives for, by a lot. Legitimately pointing out those flaws time and time again seems to be an unspoken no-no by professional reviewers.

The relationship between a powerful network’s publicity machine and the entertainment media is beginning to look a lot like that of politicians and monied lobbyists.

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dunjav2013

Posted at 12:51 PM on May 12, 2014  

Reblogged this on dunjav.

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Mister Baja

Posted at 10:59 AM on May 12, 2014  

sorry but no.

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