Penny Dreadful, a Showtime series from a few years ago, featured Dr. Frankenstien, his monster(s), Werewolves, Dracula, Dorean Gray, and much more. What could be better for Halloween?
I started this series, available on Netflix, around 2016. But I was late to it. I think I started about the time the news broke that Season 3 was to be it's last. I gobbled up the first two seasons, then my enthusiasm faded. I don't know if it was just burnout from binging the first two seasons, or if knowing that series was all but over made me not want to jump into the final season. It can't end if I don't keep watching?
Whatever the case, I shelved the series, moved on to something else, and then two years slipped by. With my yearning for the eerie as October sets in, I finally returned to finish the series.
Altogether, I enjoyed Penny Dreadful. I am a bit hesitant when it comes to new spins on old material. I generally like to see something new, so the reimagining of Frankenstein, Dracula, and so on, into one intermingled web of a story is something on the surface I might turn my nose at, but this series does pull it off well and delves into new depths of character development for these familiar stories. It also creates a wonderfully dark atmosphere and a compelling mystery. Penny Dreadful structures all the intersecting story arcs around a character new character, at least to me, named Vanessa Ives, played by the always compelling Eva Green. I think this was a good move, as not to rely on the old monsters, but rather to flirt them in and out of Ms. Ives' story.
As for season three, it wrapped things up well enough and left viewers with a few things to think about later. But I felt it was a bit rushed and pushed a lot of plot points and fewer character scenes, which was a contrast to the first two seasons. I assume that the showrunners had planned another season or two in which to complete everyone's storylines. In fact, they introduced Dr. Jekyll in season three but never got around to a Mr. Hide. I suspect they made quite a few developmental sacrifices in order to seem to have a planned wrap up to end the season. At no surprise, that leaves viewers feeling a bit slighted and wishing for more.
Thus, I recommend this series for classic horror enthusiast but consider season three the necessary cap to a series, and while falling a bit short, is far better than no series finally at all.