Penny Wonderful

I recently finished watching the first season of Penny Dreadful, which I've managed to drag out over the last few months. I liked it right away, mainly due to the cast and the moodiness of it, but then another characteristic of the show popped up that i found interesting. From the onset it seems very League of Extraordinary Gentleman, and it's tempting to do (which I totally did) the game where you spot the vampire, and the werewolf, and the frankenstein, etc. Ho hum, boring, we've seen this before. Look! Even a Dorian Gray thrown into the mix.

But what this show does differently, which I came to appreciate, is that it doesn't make a huge big deal of "GUESS WHAT ONE OF OUR CHARACTERS IS A WEREWOLF". The werewolf reveal isn't the point. The point is the character behind the werewolf, and how he's behaving and managing his shit and all the other aspects of his personality. So that once the werewolf is finally revealed, there's a LOT more to pull from his character (and be curious about - how does he have priest powers, for example?) and you don't have to just rely on BOOM WEREWOLF for all the character drama.

I haven't really witnessed this approach before - it's usually been the instant reveal, meant to surprise, and then backtracking to develop the rest of the character behind the werewolf. I really appreciated that the paranormal alter ego was almost an afterthought.

The main character Vanessa has power NOT as a vampire or werewolf, but in so much as things don't fuck with her because she's already possessed by something really awful. Something which she continually wrestles with and beats down by force of will. As horrific as her encounters with her possessor are, I do appreciate having a character who isn't known for her overblown outward powers as much as her inward strength.

It's an interesting thing to think about in terms of story development, and since I'm currently immersed in coming up with new ideas to pitch around, I appreciate finding shows like this that screw with boring ol' tropes.

Well . . . I'm never gonna be sick of werewolves, that's just a fact.

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