Patti LaBelle Joins AHS: Freak Show [TELEVISION]

Patti LaBelle

VIA TVLine Patti LaBelle aka The Real Lady Marmalade and gay icon has signed on for 4 episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show. She will play Gaborey Sidibe’s mother and will be one of the townsfolk who begin to unravel the mystery surrounding Twisty the clown killer. She joins returning cast Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett and Denis O’Hare along with new comers Michael Chiklis and Wes Bentley.

So what do you think? I for one am clutching my pearls with joy. And I must say, I am very excited to see all the delightful period costumes and crazy effects. I mean who doesn’t love conjoined twins and 50s fashion? Stay tuned for more updates as October grows nearer.

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Penny Dreadful Series I [REVIEW]

70081c84jw1ei5cbuephaj20ll0vkdmoWe all have our curses don’t we? – Vanessa

When word first got out that Showtime would be bringing us a psycho-sexual horror show over flowing with characters plucked from the pages of classic horror lit; most horror fans either frantically searched for a fresh pair of panties after messing themselves, or got super butt hurt about it. The show was either going to be the first season of American Horror Story, or the fifth season of True Blood.

What we got was quite possibly one of the most consistent and well done horror shows in history. Within 8 episodes Penny Dreadful took us on a journey that managed to be as thrilling as it was unique. They some how managed to take what on paper sounds like a sexier version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and bring us atmosphere and character but the butt load. Be warned that I am going to get into some spoiler territory so ya, you’ve been warned or whatever.

The basic plot of the show is this: Sir Malcom Murray (Timothy Dalton) is searching for his daughter Mina who has been taken by dark and evil forces. He is joined by Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), the gorgeous, likely insane and definitely touched by dark forces herself. Vanessa feels compelled to use her connection with the darkness to help Sir Malcom find Mina. But this isn’t just a standard save the girl plot. As the show unfolds it reveals the incredibly troubled and complicated past that Vanessa and Mina’s families have shared through the years.

Joining them are Sembene (Danny Sapani), Sir Malcom’s hulking African man servant/body guard; who despite the fewest lines of any of the core cast remains a powerful presence. Sexy American sharp shooter Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) joins them as a hired gun trying to run from a bloody past.

In their quest to find out more about the monsters that have taken Mina, they come to Victor Frankenstein. A sad eyed poet who dissects bodies and pontificates about science as if it is equal parts prose and alchemy. Victor’s own dark past complicates his work for Sir Malcom to say the least. But I suppose that’s what happens when you have slightly homoerotic over tones with reanimated corpses.

Penny Dreadful manages to take all the elements so loved within the various works it draws from and manages to make them feel fresh and exciting. The show manages to include references to just about every important element of Dracula without it feeling ham fisted or as if they have a check list of easter eggs to get through.

The acting is fantastic throughout. It is a true testament to Eva Green’s talent that she is able to go from Victorian lady blushing while Dorian Gray flirts to an unhinged mess channeling the dead loved ones of her friends and revealing the other character’s darkest fears and secrets. Josh Hartnett gives a career best performance as Ethan, whether he is getting his drunken homo love on, or praying for his consumption riddled girlfriend. Timothy Dalton is in turns heart breaking and enraging as a man determined to do anything to save the last shred of his soul as represented by Mina.

The show manages to be one of the queerest on TV. While American Horror Story gave us Lana Banana, Hannibal gives us more gay subtext than cannibal puns and True Blood gives us beefcake galore and a few throw away gay day dreams, Penny Dreadful is like one giant queer melting pot. Dorian Gray is a proper bisexual, Mina’s brother is definitely friends with Dorothy, Mina and Vanessa have some strong Hammer Horror lesbian under tones, Victor might be a little too obsessed with building the perfect man and don’t even get me started on that kiss!

In addition to a riveting take on it’s source material, fantastic acting and a masterful plot, Penny Dreadful is gorgeously shot. Everything in frame is perfectly art directed, lit and filmed. By treating the costumes and sets as if this were a Merchant Ivory period piece and the practical effects and gore like something out of your favorite horror film, they manage a show that manages to be as delightfully pulpy as the titular horror stories and as exquisite as the worlds found in the novels by Shelley, Stoker and Wilde.

At just 8 hour long episodes which have finished airing, Penny Dreadful is the kind of show made for binge watching. And since it’s been renewed for a 10 episode second season, you can rest assured that the various plot points left unresolved by the first series end will be explored. If you are a fan of Hannibal, American Horror Story, you will fall in love with Penny Dreadful.

 

Fallen Angel Preview for AHS: Freakshow Fan-Made! [TELEVISION]

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Apparently the teaser for the upcoming season of American Horror Story subtitled Freak Show is actually a fan made fake!  THR has confirmed with FX that no teasers have been released for the new installment and that the video is just a well crafted work of fandom.

Penny Dreadful’s Queer Bent [TELEVISION]

Episode 105

WARNING THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR PENNY DREADFUL EPISODES 1-5

Showtime’s Victorian Horror series Penny Dreadful is joined the ranks as not only one of the best horror shows, but shows period. It’s takes on classic characters from Dracula, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and various horror tropes has been fantastic thus far. Along with magnificent performances by pretty much every actor (except perhaps Billy Piper).

But I had hoped for all that. What I didn’t expect was that the show would address queer content with such a delicious nonchalance. Victor’s obsession with building a man. His meek poetic nature and close relationship to his mother provide the audience with a character with a hint of gay subtext. And we have Dorian Gray as a proper bisexual.

But what really shocked me was when macho Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) ditches Vanessa (Eva Green) to go drinking with Dorian. And I nearly died of a stroke when after some absinthe, Ethan hauled off and kissed Dorian and they proceeded to strip. And the queerness kept coming after that with Vanessa’s flash back episode in which she had some heavy lesbian subtext with bosom buddy Mina, ruined her wedding and tried to molest Mina’s sissy brother (who proceeded to die in the wilds of Africa). The irony of a show so rooted in Victorian England would be so fluid and modern with it’s approach to sexuality is one of it’s strongest points.

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Penny Dreadful airs Sundays at 10PM EST on Showtime

Hannibal Season 1 & 2 [NETFLIX]

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Anyone who has read this blog likely knows I am absolutely OBSESSED with Bryan Fuller’s darkly gorgeous and brilliant series Hannibal. I mean I am always yacking about it. I badger co-workers into watching it and may have shouted at a stranger in a super market to give it a try. And now I am here to shout at you, people of the interwebs. For those of you in the terrible land of America, Amazon Prime has the exclusive rights to stream Hannibal. BUT if you are among the lucky Canadians (and possibly other countries? I’m not tight with any Swedes but if you’re reading this let me know in the comments if it’s streaming in your country).

Canadian Netflix is currently streaming both seasons. Both seasons? You ask! But wasn’t the finale like a month ago? Yes my dear it was! Netflix Canada seems to have had it almost as soon as it was done broadcasting. And now that it has been renewed for a third season, why not give it a go? The second season is even better than the first. The twists! The cinematography! The cannibal puns! It’s everything you ever wanted from a television show. And it trumps critical darlings like True Detective in just about every single aspect. It’s better than American Horror Story: Pick a Season. It is possibly one of the best shows ever.

So go on, fork over your 8 dollars and get to streaming! And for my non-Canadian readers, I’m not sure how to get Canadian Netflix? I don’t think it’s a thing per say since most content is American-exclusive. But our Netflix also has such delights as the 90s X-Men cartoon! So maybe it’s worthy trying? I dunno, or go fork over mad money to Amazon. It’s your body money, do what you want with it.

Sarah Paulson Tweets Twin Role [TELEVISION]

Looks like Sarah Paulson will be playing a set of conjoined twins this fall on American Horror Story: Freak Show. Paulson tweeted the image below saying:

So excited to be playing Bette AND Dot this season. Two heads are better than one!

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The fourth installment of American Horror Story is set in 1950s Jupiter, Florida. Jessica Lange will play the German ex-patriot who runs the last freakshow and cares for a gaggle of said ‘freaks’.  The cast includes series mainstays Frances Conroy and Evan Peters along with returning Gaborey Sidbe, Jamie Brewer, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts and Denis O’Hare. American Horror Story: Freakshow debuts October 2014.