The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
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Well, this is definitely a story with flaws, but I took it to be more of a work in the tradition of dry British comedy, and enjoyed it as such. It isn't quite light-hearted enough or fast-paced enough as comedy, but the situations are so clearly ridiculous, and one does so enjoy seeing the dirtbag husband placed in such awkward predicaments, I can't say I'm sorry to have watched it. Among the flaws are a serious miscasting of the part of Rebecca with Frances Barber. I am an admirer of Ms. Barber's acting, but frankly, she is simply too old for this part. Instead of looking at least 20 years younger than Judi Dench, she looks more like maybe only 10 years younger. And Ms. Barber has a rather worldly look about her (due to age, I suppose) that doesn't make the points this series attempts to make about age as clearly as it wants. All in all, I'd have to say this was an unbelievably poor mistake. The mother in law is rather tedious, but even so, she had her moments of the fantastic. I can understand that there are few people who would find this entertaining, but for what it's worth, I enjoyed it.
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