October 21: An Episode From a Horror Television Series


Recommended: Penny Dreadful - Season 1, Episode 5 "Closer Than Sisters"
Another Option: American Horror Story - Season 1, Episode 1 "Pilot"

Penny Dreadful is a show that shouldn't work. It brings together some of your favorite stock characters from horror literature - the Wolfman, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster(s), witches, Dorian Gray, a clairvoyant, Dracula, etc. and throws them together in a weird League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-style mish mash. But, if there's one thing that Penny Dreadful has going for it, it's atmosphere. If you love purple prose, lush settings, and incredible costuming, you'll love Penny Dreadful. The show rests comfortably in its own melodrama, partially because of its roots in salacious, wild literature. My favorite episode involves the clairvoyant, named Vanessa Ives, and her tumultuous shift from childhood to adulthood, which includes demon possession. This episode is a flashback, and won't spoil the entire show for you. And if you like this, I can almost guarantee you'll like the show and encourage you to go back to the beginning of the series.

American Horror Story. Yes, it's a load of crap at this point. But season one, in my opinion, came *almost* close to brilliant. Even though it (often) went off the rails, AHS came out just as the U.S. was dusting itself off from the housing crisis, and offered an incredible metaphor for the anxiety that many Americans were feeling at the time regarding home ownership, loss of the American Dream, and the dissolution of the family unit during times of economic strain. The show was smart enough to realize that these are the things that truly keep Americans awake at night. The pilot episode captures all of the compelling weirdness you'll find throughout the first season.

"Let's Watch..." is a movie watching challenge for the month of October by Overthinking Horror Films. Each day a new theme is posted, with a couple of film suggestions to get you started. So check in daily!