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Sunday, June 26, 2016

On the Disempowering Demise of Penny Dreadful

Showtime, written by John Logan, starring Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Billie Piper, Rory Kinnear
For nearly three seasons, Showtime’s lush, mesmerizing, and beautifully acted Penny Dreadful focused on a choice between submission and self-determination. The show’s female protagonists, Vanessa (Eva Green) and Lily (Billie Piper), were singular portraits of women struggling to take control of their destinies, standing up to their abusers and demanding to be treated as equals. But while the audience rooted for their heroines, finding empowerment in their struggle, the show’s finale demolished its female protagonists, leaving them on their knees at their abusers’ feet and invalidating all that came before.