9 reasons I’m obsessed with ‘Penny Dreadful’

Yep, I'm obsessed.  And, no, “Orange is the New Black” is not the object of my affection.  Instead, John Logan and Sam Mendes' “Penny Dreadful” has me spinning.

Set in Victorian England, “Penny” centers on a number of familiar literary characters who have allied to investigate supernatural mysteries.  Our “heroes” (and that's a lose term here) include Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcom, Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler, Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray and Harry Treadaway as Dr. Victor Frankenstein (including someone's famous monster).  The show could have easily been a pale imitator of Alan Moore's “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” comic book or the 2003 movie that it inspired.  Instead, its rambling storylines are somehow weaving a very different spell.

While the concept was intriguing enough to watch the pilot, the real reason I was drawn to the show was Juan Antonio Bayona's involvement.  Bayona directed the first two episodes and set the visual tone for the series (sort of, but more on that later).  He's best known for “The Orphanage” and the global smash “The Impossible.”  Even if the concept of the show doesn't appeal to you, watch the first two episodes for his work alone.  His direction here has convinced me that within five years he'll soon be on the very shortlist of must-see directors with last names such as Nolan, Fincher, Del Toro, etc. And, no, I'm not kidding.  (Let's pick up this conversation again in 2016 when “A Monster Calls” hits theaters). But, I digress…

Now, “Penny” is supposed to be a horror TV show. To be honest, I'm sure the blood and guts are impressive to horror fans, but that's not what keeps drawing me back.  The show also has a good deal of action in it.  The stunts and spooks are pretty good, but again, for the most part, that's not what has me counting the days until each new episode.  What does?

Well, with just two episodes of the season left beginning Sunday, I figured I'd stop trying to convince people to join the fun on twitter and formalize my thoughts here. I've got nine reasons why you might check it out and here's one before you check out the embedded story gallery below: Eva [expletive] Green people.   As for the eight others…

Oh, slight warning: Spoilers ahead...

Are you a fan? Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.