penny dreadful: so damn wonderful

Penny Dreadful promotional shot

penny dreadful promotional shot

I spent the whole weekend binge-watching seasons one and two of Penny Dreadful. It’s been a long time since I was so into a show, it speaks to my little black heart. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend that you do.

I hadn’t had a chance to see it before this weekend because I don’t have Showtime, but they offered a free weekend of shows on Hulu, so I dove in. I wasn’t so sure I’d like it as I got into the first episode – it seemed they relied a lot on the big blood sprays for impact, and I hate that. I don’t want the whole budget spent on gratuitous effects, you know? Shock value is not my thing, I much rather have a great script and intriguing plot. Luckily, those things came through enough for me to stick with it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I love that it plays with all those primal, mythical dangers and fears that keep us tense and looking over our shoulders – vampires, werewolves, mad scientists and monsters, god, the devil, witches, and ill wishes. It respectfully references classics like Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, and stories based on fact like that of Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Báthory, while remaining true to the character of the original stories. It doesn’t over do, because these things have impact enough in their primal state without beefing up from over-enthusiastic writers and directors who don’t have faith in their audience’s appreciation of well-told tales. In fact, the stripped down impact of these stories are what make them that much more believable, and keep our senses on alert.

Penny Dreadful has very good actors, interesting and fully developed characters, wonderful sets, and great atmosphere. The language is not dumbed down, and they do their research. These aren’t the cheap, melodramatic stories of the original penny dreadfuls, these are classic and classy. It’s just so much FUN! I’m looking forward to season three.

And I think I’ll add an appreciative little post script here for one of the most beautiful, most sensual and real lovemaking scenes between two beautiful boys that I have ever seen.

less of a drag, more of a race

a tribute to jinkx monsoon as little edie

a tribute to jinkx monsoon as little edie

So far I’m still on with season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I enjoyed the first two seasons, but three, four, and five left me tepid so I wasn’t counting on six to hold my interest. But I’m on board with this one, the queens are diverse enough to keep things interesting and I find redeeming qualities in most of them.

Last night was the Snatch Game episode, everyone’s favourite, although usually there’s really only one or two on the panel who have any chops at all, so I never got that. We made out better this time around, though there could’ve been a few little tweaks. Time for my unsolicited and too-late opinions.

Bianca as Judge Judy and Adore as Anna Nicole were wonderful. I was more impressed with Adore’s performance because Judge Judy was an obvious fit for Bianca. Courtney should’ve been Ukrainian Human Barbie, don’t you think? She could’ve switched out of her naturally bubbly spirit and taken things into plasticville, talked about her air and light diet, and pulled it off beautifully. Milk is the personality twin of Phyllis Diller – she could’ve even brought that pinocchi-nose of hers into play! And Laganja should’ve channelled personality twin Mariah Carey. I love Darienne, she has chops but I don’t think we’re seeing the best of her. If she would’ve gone a little more pop culture forward with someone like Rebel Wilson, she would’ve stood out more. She could’ve at least focused on a parody of current day Paula Deen, apologizing awkwardly over and over again for everything she said, and sticking her fingers up some cream filled Twinkie holes for a new ladyfinger dessert. Oh, Gia. I don’t know about her. She needed someone to whom she could apply her natural snark, but I can’t think of a celeb fit. Which I guess kind of sums things up. I liked Joslyn as Theresa Guidice, but she proved she could’ve been a better Fran Drescher than Courtney. And Ben was surprisingly the perfect Maggie Smith. I think Trinity could’ve pulled off Nicki Minaj if she had focused on her twitter personality.

So here’s where I think we’re headed with the top three: Ben and Bianca, of course. For contenders for the third spot, at this point it’s a four-way between Darienne, Adore, Milk, and Joslyn. Courtney will win Miss Congeniality, she’s such a package of sweet cheerfulness and girl power support.

I miss April.

doing the unstuck

I recently saw an interview with Robert Smith on youtube. You know, Robert Smith – of The Cure? That 80s gothlite band? That was my lifeblood as a young’un, that was. Now, either I had forgotten what his speaking voice was like, or I had never heard it before, because it struck me rather bluntly that Noel Fielding’s character of Richmond on The IT Crowd is totally a parody of my beloved Robert. Am I slow on the uptake – did everyone else already know this?

Listen:

Robert….

Richmond….

These are the types of things I ponder when I’m doing the unstuck – trying to get the words out. This is how my mind hops around, landing on things that may or may not intersect with my needs. For instance, Robert Smith’s lyrics have very little to do with blue y-front briefs. Or so it would seem….

Also, I’m a little in love with Moss. Just so you know.