Penny Dreadful’s Growing Fan Base

Penny Dreadful has quickly picked up as one of the most successful fantasy series on TV. Set in the dark ages, Penny Dreadful follows the acts of medium Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), and explorer  Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton).

The dark and terrific show has made it through two seasons, and fans are hoping 2016 will see the third. While many have said it was simply too “horrific” for their tastes, others have noted the show did a great job portraying the evil that embodies many of the characters.

The show has so far won four awards and was nominated for another sixteen. The series’ early success is likely contributed to the surge of attention Showtime provided it with. While the fan base is reportedly rather small, the fact that it already received multiple awards and has so far aired for two highly rated seasons means there’s a good chance for a third.

Eva Green is 'The Penny Dreadful'
Eva Green is ‘The Penny Dreadful’

Penny Dreadful has slowly climbed up in ratings. While the pilot attracted a good amount of viewers, it wasn’t until the second season that the show really seemed to take off.

Reviewers have repeatedly given the show fantastic reviews, with only a few turning it away, primarily for the fact that they simply didn’t enjoy the dark plot.

The series is focused on the evil that lies in Victorian London, and many of the positive reviews focus on the realistic appearance of the effects. Many have also mentioned the great makeup, perfect acting, and well-suited directing.

Creator John Logan hasn’t said too much about the show, but with the series quickly gaining viewers with each episode, there’s little doubt that the show will be ending anytime soon.

Helen Mccrory is Madame Kali
Helen Mccrory is Madame Kali

John is a well-established writer and is known for assisting with Skyfall and multiple other hit films. The casting for the show has also been complimented with many saying how much they Eva and Josh especially, along with Timothy.

Eva is known for her parts in 300: Rise of an Empire and Dark Shadows. Her acting has continuously earned her awards and much positive publicity. Josh Hartnett is also an established actor with parts in Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down. Timothy Dalton is best known for his superb acting in Toy Story 3 and License to Kill.

There’s really no doubt as to why the show has become such a hit success in such a short period of time. In addition to the strong cast and experienced creator, Penny Dreadful has also been credited with perfect writing and directing in every episode.

From the 'Seance' episode
From the ‘Seance’ episode

But, if you’re not into dark or evil series, this might be a show you wish to leave out off your schedule. If you are into the struggles of gunslingers, mediums, and explorers in Victorian London, though, you should give Penny Dreadful a shot.

It seems the only viewers who didn’t like the show said it simply wasn’t for them, and even those who said they wouldn’t be returning credited the show with incredibly dark writing, compelling dialog, and most of all: realistic effects.

With the makeup, CGI, and body doubles used in the show, Penny Dreadful is undoubtedly one of the most convincing dark fantasies of its kind.

Critics and viewers have given Penny Dreadful some of the best ratings of this television season, with many giving it compliments on all of the important aspects like casting, writing, and directing.

Billie Piper is 'Brona Croft'
Billie Piper is ‘Brona Croft’

A few have disagreed with the overwhelmingly positive reviews to add some of their thoughts, though. Some have said they felt the acting was a little off-focus, and others added that they felt the dialog needed something to make it less bland. A couple even said the show was predictable, but fans said they can’t even imagine how that’s possible.

While some of the evil acts on the show have been particularly dark and have sparked some debate from viewers, the general consensus is that Penny Dreadful is a provoking, entertaining, and exceptionally dark show. The perfect casting, spot-on directing, and realistic effects add to the show’s concept.

Critics have often pointed out the connection the show has with some other series and books, but even those who can spot some of the similarities between certain plot points say they will continue watching. Millions of viewers are now hooked on the darkness of Penny Dreadful, and Showtime predicts that millions more will join them for next season. Fans and critics alike have both hoped and predicted that it will return for another season, and there’s a good chance they’re right. When you sign up for Charter Broadband Service you can watch all the past and future episodes.

4 Surprising Facts about Lassie.

Lassie is one of the most well-known dog characters of all time; the films, TV series and other adaptations of “Lassie” have become a huge part of international pop culture, and to this day Lassie is referenced in countless forms of media. But how much do you really know about Lassie? Take a look at the following surprising facts about Lassie and test your knowledge of this famous dog!

The Lassie films caused the popularity of Border Collies to skyrocket

From the 'Wishing' Lassie episode
From the ‘Wishing’ Lassie episode

It isn’t uncommon for popular films about dogs to make people want to adopt or buy a dog from that same breed. The popularity of Border Collies, however, skyrocketed much higher than typical after the first series of Lassie films. The number of purebred Border Collies registered in the USA went from just 3,000 before the premiere of the first films to over 18,000 dogs!

Lassie the character is a girl—but she’s played by male dogs

From the 'Lassie's Guest' episode
From the ‘Lassie’s Guest’ episode

The character of Lassie is a girl in all the story’s incarnations, but the character is actually played by a male dog in every film and television show. Initially, female dogs were cast to play Lassie, but problems arose when it was discovered that female Border Collies experience significant shedding during certain parts of the year. This created issues of consistency in the filming, and the decision was made to recast the role with male dogs.

The original Lassie played the role for almost 7 years

from the Lassie 'The Cat who Came To Dinner' episode
from the Lassie ‘The Cat who Came To Dinner’ episode

It is very uncommon for dog actors to reprise their roles, especially since sequels and spin-offs often take years to come to fruition; just a few years for a dog can take a large toll on their health and ability to perform in films, which typically means that their role will be recast. The original Lassie–a dog named Pal–however, went against all odds by playing the principal role from 1943 to 1950, for a total of 6 films.

There are dozens of Lassie books

The Lassie story inspired several different book lines, including a series of Golden Books, several different novel series’, and children’s tell-a-tale books. The most popular Lassie novels were the Whitman Novels, which often featured mystery to be solved; novels in this series included Lassie and the Mystery of the Blackberry Bog; Lassie and the Secret of the Summer; Lassie and the Mystery of Bristlecone Pine; and Lassie: Treasure Hunter.

Alien Nation

Leslie Bevis as 'Cassandra'
Leslie Bevis as ‘Cassandra’

Certain networks seem to make a living out of cancelling fine TV shows before their time.  Fox, in particular and seemingly more so in the 90s, cancelled their share of shows before their time.  I don’t blame them all that much during this time period, they were a struggling network and had to cut costs, but one of the best sci-fi programs ever to grace the small screen was Alien Nation.

Based on the theatrical film of the same name, Alien Nation follows the standard crime drama/body cop premise but with a slight twist.  One of the cops is an alien.  In this case, it’s George Francisco, played by Eric Pierpoint, who not only from another world, but has a family to support.  As a Newcomer, George and his family must not only face discrimination from Los Angelinos but from humanity in general.

The show starred James Caan
The show starred James Caan

His partner Sikes, played by Gary Graham, is the tough and rough LAPD cop who has seen his share of troubles over the course of his career.  He doesn’t like George at first, he has his own prejudices, but soon is his most loyal supporter, often standing up for George when need be.

The show did well in the ratings, tackling issues such as the aforementioned racial issues with Newcomers, plus many other social problems many American could relate to.  There were also great action scenes, solid cop drama, and some humor elements, unlike the film which was very dark and gritty.  I loved the movie with Mandy Patinkin and James Caan, but the show really delved deeper into the mythos of the aliens and their journey from slaves to viable members of American society.

Mandy Patkin was an alien during the series
Mandy Patkin was an alien during the series

It ran for 22 episodes and because Fox had serious financial issues at the time, they were forced to cancel all of their drama programming.  The animated show The Simpsons was one of the few to survive this purge.  Alien Nation survived though, to an extent, by launching five TV films over the course of the next few years after cancellation and it’s nice to have those too.

It was a great show that deserved more but I will take what I can get.  Click here if you are looking for other great television options. You’ll be glad you did.

Spectacular Spider-Man

The Spectacular Spider Man was released in 2008
The Spectacular Spider Man was released in 2008

I get really confused about how executives at animated studios look at a well made, incredibly detailed show like The Spectacular Spider-Man and decide it should be cancelled.  Then they replaced it with the abortion that is Ultimate Spider-Man.  That’s not fair, really, Ultimate is that bad, but it’s not even close to the quality of the show that proceeded it, yet it has twice (and counting) as many episodes.

They planned a third series yet it never began production.  I wish I knew why. Perhaps it was the upcoming, at the time, The Avengers film.  They wanted to push that franchise into everything Marvel was doing so Spectacular didn’t fit.  Ultimate has SHEILD and Nick Fury and I guess they thought this would be more lucrative for them.

The Spectacular Spider Man from 'Spidey V the Rhino'
The Spectacular Spider Man from ‘Spidey V the Rhino’

Whatever, we got what we got and it is great.  Set while Peter Parker was in high school, Spectacular is one of the best interpretations of my favorite fictional character.  There are been a lot of animated series based on Spidey over the years, all the way back to the 60’s.  There have been good and bad and mediocre ones and this one is one of the best.

Peter Parker is a young guy with problems.  He is a nerd, with few friends and a scientific mind that is far above his peers.  Since he is not very athletic and too smart for his own good, Peter is awkward in social situations to say the least.  The friends he does have, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn and Mary Jane Watson, are torn between their love of Peter and his odd behavior.

When he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gains super powers, he becomes Spider-Man after letting a burglar escape; a criminal that later kills his Uncle Ben.  He learns that he must use his powers for good but this interferes with his burgeoning social life.  He still gets picked on by the jerky Flash Thomson, even though Pete can now beat him down easily, in a fist fight or at any sport. The ironic thing about Flash is that he worships Spider-Man.  If he only knew….

Doctor Octopus was a villain in the series
Doctor Octopus was a villain in the series

What is really great about the show is that it distills the common traits of all the versions we have seen of the character and makes them feel fresh again.  The show feels authentic and real.  Even without the cavalcade of awesome villains we see week after week, the show would still be a great drama about a high school student struggling with his personal life.

But of course the villains are amazing.  Spidey has a great rogues gallery, including Venom, Doc Oct, Vulture, Mysterio, Shocker, The Lizard, etc.  All of them make an appearance and it’s pretty fun to see.  Too bad we didn’t get more.