Penny Dreadful (S2 E2) – Why go there!?
OK, I struggle with this every time I see it. I write off a movie if it contains any hint of it. I hate to see it any where it is used as a trope. It should NOT be a trope at all.
What is it? The on-screen or implied killing of a baby or child. Why??
I have been watching Penny Dreadful (Showtime series) since it came out, on XBMC/KODI since it started. It is a cross between League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Van Helsing. Very dark and brooding Victorian age show dealing with all the classic monsters – Vampires, Werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster and a little Dorian Gray throne in. The first season was phenomenal. I could not get enough of the series. The second season as really started out good, bringing witches into the story. They have some top notch actors and the story is compelling.
Dorian Gray – immortal human who seems to be only in the show periodically to bring in more sexual stuff, because raunchy sex in the 1890s is hot, apparently.
Sir Malcolm Murray – Father to Mina Murray/Harker (from the Bran Stoker’s Dracula), adventurer and Quatermain-type character. Ironically played by Timothy Dalton (who also played James Bond, like Sean Connery who played Quatermain in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – the movie that killed his career.)
Vanessa Ives – Played by the much exalted (and HOT) Eva Green, I guess her last role in the 300 sequel knocked her down to TV roles. Regardless, she is my favorite character in this show. She was Mina Harker’s best friend and not Sir Malcolm’s “adopted” daughter. She is also a victim of possession and continues to battle with it throughout the show. The Flashback episode of her in an 19th century asylum was haunting. She should have won an award for that.
Dr. Victor Frankenstein – Very well portrayed. I like this approach to the character. Young, curious but obsessive.
John Clare & Brona Croft – Frankenstein’s monster and in the second season, the Bride of Frankenstein’s monster.
Ethan Chandler – Stereotypical American gunslinger with a mysterious past, played by Josh Hartnett. I did not see this coming (and I should have) but he’s the werewolf in the story. It is only hinted to in the first season until the end, when it was the big season ending reveal.
In the second season, they have really portrayed the witches in a very dark manor, darker than anything I have seen in a while. Directly connecting them to Satanic rituals and mythology, they have thus far proven to be very evil antagonists. But unfortunately, they have crossed a line that I am going to struggle with, at least. I am not ready to give up on the show, but it has tainted me.
In the second episode of the second season (Verbis Diablo), as part of one of her rituals, the main witch sent one of her minion witches to fetch a baby child. After killing the parents savagely, the minion returns with the baby, dead in a suitcase. The witch take the heart and does some ritual that is important to the plot, but not important to my point.
If the death of child is random and seems pointless other than to make you hate the bad guy more, I hate that most of all. I realize in war or disasters, children are killed as much as adults. But that does not have to be seen. If you want us to hate a bad guy, there are other more creative ways to do that. You don’t have to kill children.
In the case of the show in question, it was part of a ritual. But why not something else? Like a cute bunny or kitten? My wife made a good point saying that the animal rights people would be up in arms about that. Suddenly, the life an animal is more important than innocent human. However, I have to admit that an episode later they killed a rabbit. And they also performed a 19th century abortion as well, which I found aborhant.
Anyway, although it wasn’t random and out of the blue, it was still not needed. Call it a pet peeve or something but this show is tainted.