• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: May 11, 2014
Season #: 1, 2
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 247 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 247

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  1. May 27, 2015
    10
    Excepcional! La ambientación, la fotografía, el ritmo. Realmente impecables. Las interpretaciones son, sin excepción, perfectas y, en algunos casos, impresionantes. Eva Green y Rory Kinnear, quizás por el "peso" de sus papeles son realmente extraordinarios.
  2. Apr 2, 2015
    6
    I truly wanted to love this show, and although it starts off as hugely compelling, it quickly gets sickly and irritating. The absolutely non existent lighting is a huge bone of contention. It's like the producers are so keen to point out "hey this is a DARK and EDGY show about SHADOWY things" that they just go completely over the top.

    That's probably true of many aspects - things which
    I truly wanted to love this show, and although it starts off as hugely compelling, it quickly gets sickly and irritating. The absolutely non existent lighting is a huge bone of contention. It's like the producers are so keen to point out "hey this is a DARK and EDGY show about SHADOWY things" that they just go completely over the top.

    That's probably true of many aspects - things which start off as really appealing, quickly become a constant source of irritation. Why can't Eva Green clear her throat and speak without that gravelly, hoarse voice for once? (She's meant to be seductive. WE GET IT). Why can't the writers actually get around to advancing the plot rather than shoving more and more characters into the mix?

    Dorian Gray's character is so over the top that I spend all his screen time wanting to punch him in the face for being such a simpering ****

    There are a few saving graces. The costumes are exquisite. Billie Piper seems to be the only character with any comic wit, and she plays it well. Her accent is not the worst I have ever heard. Frankenstein's monster is wonderful. Truly wonderful. In fact, the Frankenstein side story is the most well done - even though everyone knows the final traditional outcome, I suspect many hope the story will deviate from the original, and he will FINALLY get his bride (note: the book has been out for nearly 200 years. This is NOT a spoiler!)

    In summary I'd say it's a show with more atmosphere than any real substance, but you'll probably watch the whole thing just to check whether the writers ever bothered getting back to the plot at all. Or, you know, get the plot to make any sense.
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  3. Mar 10, 2015
    5
    A mess with only the writer to blame, "Penny Dreadful" throws everything already seen in Victorian horror stories into the mix in the hope that we'll buy old cliches warmed up as new ideas for your attention. High style fails to paper over the cracks of a weak series undeserving of a second season. The real pity is that Eva Green and Timothy Dalton, amongst others, are excellent. One ofA mess with only the writer to blame, "Penny Dreadful" throws everything already seen in Victorian horror stories into the mix in the hope that we'll buy old cliches warmed up as new ideas for your attention. High style fails to paper over the cracks of a weak series undeserving of a second season. The real pity is that Eva Green and Timothy Dalton, amongst others, are excellent. One of the biggest disappointments on TV. Expand
  4. Jan 10, 2015
    1
    Penny Dreadful is a chick flick down to its bone. It provides mysteries, and horrors than are specifically catered towards women but this is harder for most people to realize since it is classified as a horror and not a romantic comedy. Overall the show is boring, yes their are some monsters but you only see them for a few seconds and the rest of the season is about the charactersPenny Dreadful is a chick flick down to its bone. It provides mysteries, and horrors than are specifically catered towards women but this is harder for most people to realize since it is classified as a horror and not a romantic comedy. Overall the show is boring, yes their are some monsters but you only see them for a few seconds and the rest of the season is about the characters fighiting against imaginary personal problems like how they're bored, or crazy or hallucinating. Their are no good guys in this show, instead everyone is just a grey mess. This is one of those shows where you would be very happy if the main characters died. Expand
  5. Nov 2, 2014
    10
    I was sure that better television series "American horror story" nothing and never will be, but "Penny Dreadful" surpassed all my expectations and beat American horror story "! Eva Green and Josh Hartnett is awesome! Well done!
  6. Oct 9, 2014
    9
    Great acting, fabulously atmospheric, wonderfully weird, and... filmed in my native Dublin. The 2nd series should grow the 1st as Penny Dreadful is as good as anything on display at the moment.
  7. Sep 6, 2014
    10
    Penny Dreadful a Supernatural show based on fictional characters dated from the late 1800's and early 1900's, ranging from the Ripper, Dr. Frankentstein, Van Helsing, Dorian Gray, Vampires (Dracula) and even Possession; Offering an astounding variety of episodes . From what I have seen so far it's absolutely BRILLIANT, there is no other show like it! It's a must watch that's howPenny Dreadful a Supernatural show based on fictional characters dated from the late 1800's and early 1900's, ranging from the Ripper, Dr. Frankentstein, Van Helsing, Dorian Gray, Vampires (Dracula) and even Possession; Offering an astounding variety of episodes . From what I have seen so far it's absolutely BRILLIANT, there is no other show like it! It's a must watch that's how enjoyable it is. The writing, directing, acting, special effects, everything as a whole is absolutely AMAZING! It has received excellent ratings and mostly positive reviews and has already been renewed for a season 2. If you haven't watched it you're definitely missing out! Expand
  8. Aug 27, 2014
    10
    This is an awesome series. It combines all the dark characters I grew up with. Timothy Dalton adds regality to the show. I simply cannot wait for the 2nd season. 3 thumbs up!
  9. Aug 23, 2014
    9
    I really love this show. It was a huge surprise for me because I don't care for these kind of shows. The show is very interesting and the plot moves rather slow, but it's perfect that way. The acting is exceptional by all the actors especially Eva Green. The characters are complex and very compelling. Each character is shrouded in mystery and that really bodes well for this show. The storyI really love this show. It was a huge surprise for me because I don't care for these kind of shows. The show is very interesting and the plot moves rather slow, but it's perfect that way. The acting is exceptional by all the actors especially Eva Green. The characters are complex and very compelling. Each character is shrouded in mystery and that really bodes well for this show. The story lines are very well laid out. The best part about this show are the characters. I loved almost all of the characters throughout the season. The best scenes are with Eva Green because her character is possessed and she knocks it out of the park. The action could have been improved, but the possession sequences are great. Also, I love the opening credits to the show. Great music and scenes. Overall, the show was really good and a pleasant surprise. Expand
  10. Aug 13, 2014
    10
    I watched all the episodes and I have to say that 'Penny Dreadful' had my attention from the first minute untill the last one. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing. Eva Green has done a perfect role. A Masterpiece!
  11. Jul 24, 2014
    10
    I always had a thing for Gothic , Horror, Suspense which was a miss from many TV shows that i have seen lately but then comes Penny Dreadful with an eerie of horror and spectacular character building.Eva Green is Gorgeous and bring that extra something to the plot .The music sets the tone whenever required.
    I would rate this show a 10. I hope they keep the same flow with the second season.
  12. Jul 20, 2014
    9
    First couple of episodes were tremendous. Fast and shockingly scary moments. Nice, crisp acting and script.. I absolutely love this show and I am looking forward to season 2.
  13. Jul 20, 2014
    4
    I would have liked to watch this show but the scenes are too dark, an effort to my eyes.
    My tv is well calibrated but this series is really really dark; disappointed.
  14. Jul 10, 2014
    8
    For some reason i like this tv show, i can't say there is something extra special about it but still it has some kind of magic that mix together few different plots and story's in something that revolves all the time. It's like an ice cream with pieces of chocolate, nut and something else and you try to figure what that is, well that is my opinion about Penny Dreadful. But let's continue,For some reason i like this tv show, i can't say there is something extra special about it but still it has some kind of magic that mix together few different plots and story's in something that revolves all the time. It's like an ice cream with pieces of chocolate, nut and something else and you try to figure what that is, well that is my opinion about Penny Dreadful. But let's continue, written by John Logan and directed by James Hawes, you might know John from his other works like Gladiator, The Time Machine, The Last Samurai, Rango, Skyfall…Serie involves some of well known icons that all have there story's and we all watched them, but now they all come together and show us their life that is sometime dark and sometime gray but never bright.

    Plot:

    Story take place in Victorian Britain, in time of Jack the Ripper's murder spree and fast growing industry. Sir Malcom(Timothy Dalton), hardened African explorer is on personal quest to right the wrongs of his past and in his journey he try's to pick special people that will help him. At the beginning of season one at his side is Vanessa Ives played by Eva Green, she is expert medium blessed with supernatural gifts. But her „gifts“ are also heavy burden that threaten to destroy her sanity and life. As episodes progress, they gather more special people around them and first to join was Ethan Chandler(Josh Hartnett) a gunman, on first sight charming and loved by girls but with time his dark side is getting more and more visible, he is running from something from his past and in last episode we discover he is actually warewolf. In most „group“ you need doctor and yup, they got him Dr. Victor Frankenstein(Harry Treadaway), and yes it's same one who created The Beast and in this plot also he is being hunted by creations or better to say creatures that he made with his own hands. Ok, he is not a bad guy, more like mad scientist that want to push limits of science and medicine.

    Now there are some other characters involved but for now not so close to this setup, in this journey trough story we meet also Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). He is mystery that is fascinated by other mystery's and somehow attracted to Vanessa and yes, if you ask there is love triangle…but i will let you check show, some spoilers need to be skipped here :D. I almost forgot one really hidden character and it is Van Helsing, he is also mixed in story. Penny Dreadful is not a horror or mystery its more like a psychological thriller with elements of horror, mystery, science, action.
    My thought's:

    From watching scenes there is one thing i noticed, all characters are trying to get most of situations they are in, with there acting they put much effort on facial expressions and reading thoughts/emotions from face and body language. I have feeling that each character interaction give me small key of information, usually not noticeable in some TV shows, and with time it shows more and more bigger image and explanation for plot.

    On global scale you could say they are league of extraordinary gentlemen, sound familiar? They meet lot of different beings some of them are demons, vampires, ghosts or just strange freaky people. Penny Dreadful got high scores with critics i also give it a good score and on scale 1-10 it would be 8 because sometime i get feeling plot has no straight way and it's more like dispersed.
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  15. Jul 8, 2014
    4
    i really wanted to like this show, but it seems a real chore to get through. filled with unnecessary scenes that i quickly forget about. some great acting and attractive sets tied together by, well nothing really. another reviewer said the show gets bogged down by it's own greatness, i believe that to be a very apt observation.
  16. Jul 6, 2014
    10
    At first, I was pretty skeptical about this show. I admit, the first episode is that typical type of first episode in which the plot is laid out, all the characters are introduced, and everything is so very formulaic. Things are explained and there are several 'What the **** do you people do?' statements peppered in generously in accordance with the genre. I have yet to watch aAt first, I was pretty skeptical about this show. I admit, the first episode is that typical type of first episode in which the plot is laid out, all the characters are introduced, and everything is so very formulaic. Things are explained and there are several 'What the **** do you people do?' statements peppered in generously in accordance with the genre. I have yet to watch a supernaturaly themed show without some variation of those words in the script. I have to say, I'm very glad I watched the second episode because that's where it really gets going. The characters are well-defined and interesting. The references to literature aren't wasted on those with even the lightest knowledge of Victorian fiction. The costumes match the show perfectly and firmly underscore each character. It's not a visually stunning sort of series and the visuals can be a bit dreary in accordance with the subject matter. The show prefers to gain your interest on a more auditory and emotional level. The poetry throughout is breathtaking in true Victorian fashion. The show delivers haunting monologues on life, death, and the isolation suffered by those who are different through the lenses of characters who couldn't be played more convincingly by any of the actors involved. The storytelling is sometimes eclipsed by the amount of time given to character development, but it's not a big issue. It makes some things quietly apparent and leaves you to draw your own conclusions about others. The show is as deeply emotional as the floweriest of poetry, gory like the best Gothic horror story, and full of steamy scenes and emotional payoff like the best romances. It's not for everyone, but I'd recommend it to fans of the supernatural genre, fans of Victorian literature, and fans of classic monster tales like Frankenstein's monster and Dracula. It's also good if you just like hearing lovely accents. There are plenty of those to go around with a mostly British cast and the lovely Josh Hartnett doing his best Southern drawl. Expand
  17. Jul 1, 2014
    4
    The season starts off very well but deteriorates quite quickly. Production values are consistently very good but style overcomes substance as the plot gets mired in attempting to tick as many Victorian-horror-cliché boxes as possible.
  18. Jul 1, 2014
    9
    Initially, I thought "Penny Dreadful" was a bit ridiculous in its combining of literary characters from the Victorian era. As the initial season developed, this became one of my favorite shows. The writing is a little lurid, but really quite good. The level of acting was, I think, excellent. The slow, but deliberate, development of the plot served the show very well and served to keepInitially, I thought "Penny Dreadful" was a bit ridiculous in its combining of literary characters from the Victorian era. As the initial season developed, this became one of my favorite shows. The writing is a little lurid, but really quite good. The level of acting was, I think, excellent. The slow, but deliberate, development of the plot served the show very well and served to keep me fascinated through the very end. That's my current problem. I just watched the last show of season one and I miss "Penny Dreadful" already. Expand
  19. Jun 30, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is rather hard to review the first season of Penny Dreadful - solely because of the difficulty of giving it the score that it should have, but before I decide on that, how is the show? Penny Dreadful is utterly fantastic in almost every sense - the score, the actors, the characters, the writing, the dialogue, the cinematography, the set design, the...uh...everything! All is pretty much very great! Then why don't you give it a 10 out of 10 then, you might think - well, this is when it may become difficult to find a suitable score for the series. This season, which has 8 episodes, feels like it follows a bunch of subplots rather than having its focus on the main plot of the series; an example of this would be the large focus of the subplots regarding Caliban and Frankenstein's past, Brona Croft and Ethan Chandler, and Dorian Gray (who, when one thinks about it, doesn't really add much to the series thus far), there is also an entire flashback episode which depicts the tragic past of Vanessa Ives, who is possibly the greatest character in the show. In the first episode of the series, it seems like the show will be focusing mostly on its main plot; that being the search for Mina Harker - but as the episodes go by, one will notice that the series will certainly feel like a series of subplots - which is not necessarily a bad thing because the subplots brilliantly develop the characters and are certainly well written and the best episode in the series thus far just happened to be the flashback episode - which resulted in me throwing money at the screen... but anyway, due to the season only having 8 episodes, it feels like those subplots should have appeared later in the series rather than just all being shoved into its debut season - giving the feeling of congestion, if the season just happened to have more episodes then it may have worked. Despite this, there aren't really a lot of things that bothered me this season - but personally, I thought Dorian Gray, despite fitting into the world of Penny Dreadful well, didn't really add much to the story and, like I mentioned prior, would have been better off to appear later into the series. I also thought the design for the vampires were rather lacklustre, looking like something to come out of Blade or some SyFy channel program and also look rather silly, not really fitting with the mood of the series at all. As I approach the end of the review, I attempt to figure out a suitable score for the season. Well, in my opinion - as standalone episodes, each episode deserves a 9 out of 10 due to it being brilliant in almost every aspect, but the fifth episode "Closer than Sisters" earns a 10 out of 10 due to being one of the finest hours of television I have ever seen. However, as an entire season - despite being amazing, it is rather congested; trying to shove many essential subplots along with its main plot into a mere 8 episodes - therefore giving a feeling of the season just being a series of subplots rather than being a serial in its presentation. So, what must I give it - an 8 or a 9 out of 10? I'd give it an 8.5 out of 10 - due to Metacritic not having the option of 8.5 out of 10, I shall give it a 9 out of 10. So overall, Penny Dreadful was an amazing albeit flawed experience and I am highly anticipating Season Two of this great show. Expand
  20. Jun 29, 2014
    5
    The lead lady is truly dreadful I wish she would die on the show but I doubt it. It is often a slow show without much of a payoff. It is a little too random with its story. The ads make the show look exciting, but it isn't very exciting.
  21. Jun 26, 2014
    9
    Great show. Excellent setting with really good atmosphere. I like the use of supernatural stories all thrown together - Frankenstein, vampires, Dorian Gray, Egyptian mythology, etc. The characters are all really interesting and defy stereotypes - even the character of Ethan Chandler who at first appears to be a simple hired-gun, smooth-talking badass but becomes a lot more. The dialogue isGreat show. Excellent setting with really good atmosphere. I like the use of supernatural stories all thrown together - Frankenstein, vampires, Dorian Gray, Egyptian mythology, etc. The characters are all really interesting and defy stereotypes - even the character of Ethan Chandler who at first appears to be a simple hired-gun, smooth-talking badass but becomes a lot more. The dialogue is also excellent, although maybe at times a bit lengthy. The references to poetry and history show a lot of research to make the show really rooted in its time period.

    But above all I like the plot. You never know exactly what is going to happen. This show defies typical storytelling of the horror/supernatural genre.
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  22. Jun 16, 2014
    6
    This series is difficult to watch. It has a great title, but is so pretentious that it becomes bogged down in it's own "greatness". The lead female actor is terrible, overacting to the point that she become laughable. The colors are all dark browns, blacks, and reds, almost rendering it black and white. It has the now inescapable gay romance/straight romance that detracts and distractsThis series is difficult to watch. It has a great title, but is so pretentious that it becomes bogged down in it's own "greatness". The lead female actor is terrible, overacting to the point that she become laughable. The colors are all dark browns, blacks, and reds, almost rendering it black and white. It has the now inescapable gay romance/straight romance that detracts and distracts from the story. I was excited when I heard about this series, esp. with the actors and fantasy characters, I thought it couldn't miss being a hit.; they showed me the error in my thinking. Expand
  23. Jun 15, 2014
    10
    Fantastically dark and sophisticated. It moves at an intellectual speed that says, "If you can't keep up, get lost." Very rarely do I find a show or film that is as macabre as this...and it is so very satisfying.
  24. Jun 13, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first episode was quite interesting until the final line: "My name is Victor Frankenstein." After that, it went downhill. There was a stomach-churning scene when Dorian Gray made love to a consumptive prostitute. How sick is that? The off switch came as a welcome relief. Expand
  25. Jun 10, 2014
    10
    Best gothic horror show of all time. Great performances and just enough special effects to keep it reasonable. Eva Green you make horror sexy and Josh Hartnett your just sexy!
  26. Jun 10, 2014
    10
    After watching 2 episodes 10/10 . Climate , actors and scenery are phenomenally .
    If you need something fresh in tv here is it heavy , dark and give some questions you need to answer before yourself.
  27. Jun 7, 2014
    5
    It's amazing how quickly I lost interest in this show. I really liked the first episode but the second was just so awful that it completely turned me off the show. Don't think I am gonna bother watching the rest of it until it's over with.
  28. Jun 4, 2014
    5
    I really wanted to like this show. The theme and style are fantastic, I love the vibe and atmosphere that the show gives off. However, the direction of the show leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of things simply don't make sense. For example, I went for three episodes without realizing that the lead female character (Vanessa Ives) actually wasn't named Penny Dreadful (it's theI really wanted to like this show. The theme and style are fantastic, I love the vibe and atmosphere that the show gives off. However, the direction of the show leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of things simply don't make sense. For example, I went for three episodes without realizing that the lead female character (Vanessa Ives) actually wasn't named Penny Dreadful (it's the stereotypical name of a horror tabloid).

    There are a lot of scenes that just don't make a lot of sense. There's multiple scenes that jump to Ives praying, where we see spiders coming out of the walls (likely a hallucination). The fact that Ives and Malcolm trust random strangers off the streets to protect them seems a little dubious, as well. I don't mind suspending disbelief for fantasy elements, but suspending disbelief for how some of these characters behave is just a little too much for me.

    It seems like the show is trying to focus on too many different characters at once. The parts with Dr. Frankenstein are brilliant. The actors that play his creations are great as well. However, when it starts dealing with Dorian Grey, the show kind of loses its voice. He doesn't really seem to belong in the type of sci-fi dealings that are going on.

    The show can't really figure out whether it wants to be a drama, a horror show, a sci-fi show (Frankenstein and his science), or a soft porn flick (Dorian). True Blood worked because it never took itself too seriously, but I"m not sure where this series will go.
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  29. May 30, 2014
    5
    So far this show has been all style and no substance. It's like a monsters greatest hits with Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, and Dorian Gray all getting tossed into the pot. There's no compelling story so far, no real reason to root for any of the characters, who are very flat and wooden. For a horror show it's not very scary, it's actually kind of dull. The recently cancelledSo far this show has been all style and no substance. It's like a monsters greatest hits with Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, and Dorian Gray all getting tossed into the pot. There's no compelling story so far, no real reason to root for any of the characters, who are very flat and wooden. For a horror show it's not very scary, it's actually kind of dull. The recently cancelled Dracula on NBC had its issues, but it had some great character development, an interesting plot, and it was way more entertaining than this. I do like Billie Piper, I remember her from Secret Diaries of a Call Girl and she brings life to the show in her scenes. I'll keep watching for now, but they need to develop some decent story arcs. Expand
  30. May 27, 2014
    8
    One of the most unique new shows on television. With it's excellent cast and compelling universe, there's an incredibly high level of quality on display here. That being said the show does have it's slow moments and unfortunately has yet to scare me in any way despite the creepy tone it has established, which is a pretty big flaw for a horror series like this one to have. Still I amOne of the most unique new shows on television. With it's excellent cast and compelling universe, there's an incredibly high level of quality on display here. That being said the show does have it's slow moments and unfortunately has yet to scare me in any way despite the creepy tone it has established, which is a pretty big flaw for a horror series like this one to have. Still I am invested in it. After three episodes it does sometimes look like it's teetering on the edge of being something serious or something goofy thanks to some of it's characters (the inclusion of Frankenstein worried me for a bit) and some plot elements (the devil and demon plot could go either way), but as of right now it looks like a lot of concerns are unwarranted. This is a show that is often dark, disturbing, and even disgusting at times, but it is always deep and compelling. So yeah, as of right now I say this is a show worth watching. If my opinion changes as the series progresses than I'll update my review. As of right now consider this my final review. Expand
  31. May 27, 2014
    8
    Beautiful to watch and intelligently written without being haughty. Let's have less Dorian Gray, keep the camp to a minimum (RE: Episode 2, final scene) and pray for a long run. Anyone comparing this to the garbage that is 'Once Upon a Time' needs to take a second look. Similarities exist only in the two's most basic premise. That is; 'modern' examination of public domain, literaryBeautiful to watch and intelligently written without being haughty. Let's have less Dorian Gray, keep the camp to a minimum (RE: Episode 2, final scene) and pray for a long run. Anyone comparing this to the garbage that is 'Once Upon a Time' needs to take a second look. Similarities exist only in the two's most basic premise. That is; 'modern' examination of public domain, literary characters. Rest assured, Penny Dreadful does not pander to the masses or beg for a prime-time spot next to Desperate Housewives. It has no f***s to give about keeping your children up at night. Expand
  32. May 21, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Watched episode two last night with my two late teenage boys - and for the first time ever they put their iphones down and actually watched the screen - yes it was that good, especially when Eva Green did the séance scene, she deserves a Tony, Bafta, Oscar and every other gong going for that scene (although the F in C did help!) Expand
  33. May 20, 2014
    10
    Top horror show with great acting, effects and plot. I think it's slightly better than American Horror Story, because of the excellent twisting and mixing of various horror stories and archetypes.
  34. May 19, 2014
    10
    The cynic in me is dead. Long live Penny Dreadful! I do not want to sound like I am giving you a lot of hyperbole but it's difficult not to. I have not liked a show this much since I first discovered Dark Shadows when I was thirteen-years-old.

    Penny Dreadful begins with a slow burn pace but by the end of episode 2 everything had kicked into gear. I cannot put into words how well this
    The cynic in me is dead. Long live Penny Dreadful! I do not want to sound like I am giving you a lot of hyperbole but it's difficult not to. I have not liked a show this much since I first discovered Dark Shadows when I was thirteen-years-old.

    Penny Dreadful begins with a slow burn pace but by the end of episode 2 everything had kicked into gear. I cannot put into words how well this show has taken my breath away. I would like to fully apologize for the doubts I had toward it upon seeing the early preview clips. I was utterly wrong. Nothing is what it seems and this show is the best Gothic Horror TV series I have seen in years.

    After dealing with the mediocre and pandering likes of Bitten and NBC's Dracula I had all but given up hope on my favorite genre of fiction but Penny Dreadful salvaged my faith in creativity.

    Penny dreadful is named for the 19th century slang term for a cheap pulp novel or serial such as Varney The Vampire or other Gothic classics that were originally often published in installments. Most of these works of literature dealt with terrifying and morbid premises and so were "dreadful" and obviously only cost a penny.

    The TV series Penny Dreadful pits the likes of Victor Frankenstein, his creation, the immortal Dorian Gray (from the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde) and the characters of Dracula all in the same late nineteenth century setting.

    The show has managed to surprise me already within it's first two episodes and it keeps me guessing.

    The show is well acted with impressive and realistic production values. It also bears detailed and clever writing. Subtle nods to other works of classic literature are scattered through out in delightful Easter Egg quotes and references. Also so far I have not caught a single glimpse of computer generated monster effects. No. Everything I have seen thus far has been done with skillful and realistic practical effects so that everything feels real and tactile. There is no cheap, cartoonish or watery CG to draw me out of the story.

    I cannot put into words how much I love this show and hope that the third episode continues to impress me as the first two have.
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  35. May 18, 2014
    8
    Penny Dreadful's premise/plot is hard to describe, but I will do my best.
    It is sort of like, a darker, "Sanctuary", set in England, in the 19th century.
    The series follows a group of interesting characters with unique traits and dark pasts as they explore the horrific world of the supernatural as it creeps into their regular lives. The show is artistic, dark, well-scripted and acted
    Penny Dreadful's premise/plot is hard to describe, but I will do my best.
    It is sort of like, a darker, "Sanctuary", set in England, in the 19th century.
    The series follows a group of interesting characters with unique traits and dark pasts as they explore the horrific world of the supernatural as it creeps into their regular lives.

    The show is artistic, dark, well-scripted and acted and does a fantastic job taking preconceived literary marvels and making them fresh and interesting again, reintroducing us to the classic characters we love to hate or fear.

    So far, my only issue with Penny Dreadful is that it is slightly confusing and a bit cryptic. Additionally, I'm not sure the events of each episode are relayed in the order that would feel the most cohesive. It jumps around between characters and their situations sort of like the typical soap opera, making the show feel slightly like Frankenstein -- stitched together rather than one smooth flowing story.

    As this is a "Showtime" series, there is lots of completely pointless, unnecessary sex that has nothing to do with the plot and lots of prostitutes. I could do without both.
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  36. May 17, 2014
    9
    I love it, I love it, I love it! Great characters, deep. It's easy to connect. And all the blood, and the flesh, and the blood and the flesh was awesome! They've already killed my favorite character, though :/ :(
    But this could be something realy special!
  37. May 16, 2014
    0
    Extremely boring and not thrilling or terrifying .Show is not scary enough maybe kids get scared ,They could have hire decent writer and an editor with the money they have spent on Art direction.TV fans don't need this sort of show because there's too many successfull horror shows.
  38. May 13, 2014
    8
    I think it is perfect - perfect cast, rich settings, smart and mysterious storytelling. It is what I was hoping American Horror Story would have been. I was hooked immediately and cannot wait to watch the next episode!
  39. May 12, 2014
    10
    I watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all the main characters and it will be fun to watch the various monsters and villains integrate in future episodes. As for the critics, most have it right; yet a few of them want to kill a promising series before it gets up and running. This is a fun TV series,I watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all the main characters and it will be fun to watch the various monsters and villains integrate in future episodes. As for the critics, most have it right; yet a few of them want to kill a promising series before it gets up and running. This is a fun TV series, the real horror show is going on in Washington, so if you want to vent negativity you should have more than ample material there if you, or you employer have the guts to cover it. Expand
  40. May 11, 2014
    7
    Bare in mind this review is just based on the pilot - I suppose I'll do another once the show has progressed a bit. But judging from the first episode I quite liked it. It's sort of a gothic (in the modern sense), victorian horror/fantasy... thing. Kind of hard to describe its genre actually. But it drew me in immediately and played on some fantasy/horror conventions in fresh ways. EvaBare in mind this review is just based on the pilot - I suppose I'll do another once the show has progressed a bit. But judging from the first episode I quite liked it. It's sort of a gothic (in the modern sense), victorian horror/fantasy... thing. Kind of hard to describe its genre actually. But it drew me in immediately and played on some fantasy/horror conventions in fresh ways. Eva Green is especially welcome and a crucial blend of creepy/knowing/sexy. The only thing that might turn some people off is the gore level - they definitely aren't pulling any punches in the blood department so if that's a problem for you you probably won't make it very far. For the rest of us it seems to me like a very worthy, and probably superior, replacement for the kind of bloody summer TV we've gotten in the past from the likes of True Blood. Expand
  41. May 11, 2014
    10
    Penny Dreadful é sem dúvidas para mim a estreia do ano, com um episódio piloto excelente com uma boa história, fotografia, atuação e atratividade excelentes com um toque bem cinematográfico,vem com certeza assumir-se como uma verdadeira série de terror, caracterizada pelos sustos e ótimos efeitos além de claro destacar e rebuscar todos os monstros tão conhecidos por nós de LondresPenny Dreadful é sem dúvidas para mim a estreia do ano, com um episódio piloto excelente com uma boa história, fotografia, atuação e atratividade excelentes com um toque bem cinematográfico,vem com certeza assumir-se como uma verdadeira série de terror, caracterizada pelos sustos e ótimos efeitos além de claro destacar e rebuscar todos os monstros tão conhecidos por nós de Londres Vitoriana, era o que eu estava buscando em uma série de terror, espero que continue sempre assim!!!!Nota 10 Expand
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 16, 2014
    63
    As the season goes on, the narrative grip will (one hopes) tighten and grow as richly decadent as the surrounding production--or Eva Green. [26 May 2014, p.39]
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    May 12, 2014
    75
    There were moments when I wanted to give up on Penny Dreadful. Then there is the ending of the second episode--a horrific jolt that changes everything you thought you knew about one character--and, well, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    May 12, 2014
    80
    The elegance of its production and mostly measured pace, though it may confound those who prefer the supernatural served fast and furious, keeps the drama persuasive.