Suspense

Constantine – Master of the Dark Arts

image I’ve been tuning in for this new show called Constantine and so far it has proved to be quite amusing and interesting. It’s an adaptation of the comic Constantine which I’m in no way familiar with. But I am familiar with supernatural forces, demons, demon hunting and the occult – from a purely television and fiction perspective I assure you.

So, who is this John Constantine and what does he do? He’s a Master of the Dark Arts, or so his business card says and he’s out to find and contain the oncoming onslaught of demons. How does he know about these demons? Well, he can see them. Something is stirring in the Underworld and Constantine is looking to put a lid on it. What’s causing this bit of uprising? He’s not quite sure yet, but with the help of his partner who’s two main jobs are to drive him to the next job and keep him out of jail once they get there. They’ve also got support from a psychic who’s learning to hone her powers and helps the team see what dangers lie ahead.

Sort of lingering on the fringe is an angel who pops in from time to time to help lend a hand and point them in the right direction. Angels aren’t allowed to directly influence humans and their "freewill", but that doesn’t mean you can ask for a wee bit of help and advice from time to time. And let’s not forget that John has plenty of demons of his own. He’s been at this awhile and not every exorcism has gone according to plan. He’s lost a few along the way and a young girl is currently gnawing at his soul. He plays pretty fast and loose with his own life, but he will for damn sure stand his ground to save the life of another.

If this all sounds a tiny bit familiar, there could be a reason for that. There was a little show you may have heard about called Supernatural that had some similar themes. I thought the first season of Supernatural was quite a bit of fun so this show appeals to me. Plus, John Constantine has this devil may care attitude which is quite amusing to watch. "What could possibly go wrong? We’re all going to be consumed by the darkness anyway."

It’s well worth a try if you want to get mixed up in some demon hunting and spell casting. And who isn’t up for a little bit of that now and then eh?

And as an aside, this is now the second show I’ve seen where the main character gets to use their natural speaking voice, or at least not dull it down which is nice to hear. Goodness me, we might be on a trend!

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Penny Dreadful Season Finale

So, which one of these characters is Penny Dreadful? Well, there’s the rub. If you recall, a penny Dreadful was the name given to the 19th horror stories that were serialized in different publications. With that in mind, this series brings to life serial interesting literary characters. First, we have the hunt for what we assume is Dracula since Mina Harker has disappeared. Vanessa and Mina were childhood friends until Vanessa did a bad thing and seduced Mina’s fiance on the taxidermy table. Not a good way to keep friendships I’m afraid. She is aided by Sir Malcolm, who just happens to be Mina’s father and the mad who seduced Vanessa mother. Oh dear, what a tangled web we weave.

Next we have Dorian Gray, who lives a life of excess and decadence knowing his image will bear the brunt of his abuses. He has a fancy for Vanessa and a few other characters.

Helping to hunt down Dracula is Victor Frankenstein who has his own demons to wrestle with. Victor has a habit of dabbing with the undead and cobbling people together. It appears he just wants a friend and strangely enough he makes one. But the bromance doesn’t last as his previous creation comes back seeking vengeance for being abandoned by his creator. Now this new, unamed, creature wants a bride and has set a deadline for Frankenstein. This monster has no problem in ruining everything Victor has worked for.

And finally we have Ethan from the Bill Cody Wild West Show. He provides the muscle for this rag tag band and he happens to have a thing for his tuberculosis ridden love interest Brona. It’s a fairy tale romance of boy meets girl, it just happens this girl coughs up blood on a regular basis. She does have a tendency to put a damper on the evening but Ethan is willing to look past that.

So the search for Mina continues. The gang has run into several creatures that seem to stalk the night, but they haven’t found their king yet. Reinfield may hold the key, but he’s a little punch drunk at the moment to really offer anything solid.

Overall this is a slow moving show that is still introducing characters and building the plotline. It’s been a very short season with only 8 episodes, but that’s not a bad thing. That is just enough to get the main points across and set the wheels in motion. This isn’t a high action drama and there won’t be big explosions or car chases or ridiculous fight scenes. This is the 1800’s, things happen a little more slowly. You have to be patient. You can’t search through documents on a computer and you can’t just zip down to the lab to get something analyzed. That’s actually why I like these sorts of shows, you actually have to think a little bit.

In many ways this feels like Dracula or at least where I think Dracula was headed. That show had a slow build as well. It was trying to build layers and give the characters a solid background. I think they should have extended that show for a second season.

But anyway, an interesting show that should yield an interesting story for next year. I wonder which characters they’ll introduce next time around?

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Penny Dreadful a new series from Showtime

imageI just caught the first couple episodes of the new series from Showtime – Penny Dreadful. It tells the story of "Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, and others unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London."

Ironically, this show comes across as nearly identical to Dracula from NBC that was recently cancelled. We have a secret society in search of paranormal elements and what appears to be the rescue attempt of Sir Malcolm’s daughter, Mina Harker. Yes indeed, we have connections to the infamous Johnathan Harker and while not specifically mentioned, we know they’re talking about Dracula. In conjunction with Dracula, we have the equally notorious Victor Frankenstein, his experiments in galvanism and at least one of his monsters wandering the streets of London.

Since this is Showtime I fully expect this will become more graphics, violent and sexual as we move forward. I forgot to mention we have Dorian Gray, who indulged in all the wild pleasures of life because he wouldn’t have to suffer the consequences. So far, this feels quite similar to Dracula, but that’s not a bad thing since I like Dracula and hoped it would make it to a second season. Looks like I get another chance at a similar story. One thing to note, IMDB already has 8 episodes listed so the season is already done, so we’ll get the complete story regardless of how the ratings turn out.

With the blend of characters they’ve brought together, this should make for an interesting story.

Penny Dreadful on IMDB
What’s a Penny Dreadful

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Hannibal Season 2 Finale

Well, if you haven’t watched the final episode of Hannibal then look away!!

Oh my goodness, what a season! We end where we started with Hannibal in an epic using anything and everything available in the kitchen. Jack was getting far too close to discovering the truth and Hannibal had to protect himself. However, this comes at the expense of both Will and Alana. Hannibal and Alana may have spent intimate nights together, but that’s not going to stop him from throwing her out the window!

And in the midst of all the chaos we see a surprise visitor. Where the devil has Abigail been hiding all this time? But before we can even ask the question, Hannibal follows through on what we all thought he did several episodes earlier and uses her as an instrument of his getaway. As Hannibal heads out the door into the rain, the potential body count is at least 4.

Now it’s time to put some distance between him and the FBI, so on a plane he goes bound for what we assume to be France. But who’s this sitting alongside him? Wherever did Dr. Du Maurier come from and how did Hannibal convince her to take a plane ride with him? Sure, we can she is the victim here and is on the plane against her will, but she doesn’t seem all that traumatized to be there. Perhaps she’s not enjoying the champagne as much as Hannibal, but she doesn’t have the look and dress of the average prisoner. And whatever will the two of them do when they get to their cozy destination?

Lots of very exciting things to think about for Season 3. And thank goodness we get a Season 3. If that was then end it would be horrible let down. I think this series is so much more complex and intriguing than the movies and that Mads is a far superior Hannibal Hopkins ever hoped to be. Sure, the show is a bit graphic at times and the whole scene of Mason causing great harm to himself and feeds bits to the dogs was a little over the top, but Hannibal is portrayed as the super villain of all the serial killers so this sort of behavior and imagery makes sense. This is the sort of Hannibal you should fear not that movie tripe.

I think I will now go back and watch the entire series over again just to get all the sublety in both action and dialog. I have no doubt clues were left all over the place just waiting for me to discover them on the second viewing.

And let’s not forget the plot twists with that wiley Freddie Lounds!

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