Parents' Guide to

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Grisly supernatural crime drama explores Latinx folklore.

TV Showtime Drama 2020
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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This well-crafted series combines the Victorian penny dreadful storytelling tradition with Southern California's political, industrial, and culturally-rich history to create a unique horror-filled experience. The narratives spun here are decidedly American, and the connection to its British past may seem distant. But Magda's presence is a constant reminder of the relationship, and her presence becomes inextricably linked with Mexican-American traditions and folklore involving the spirit world.

As the murder investigation collides with the supernatural, it creates a clever forum that highlights the disturbing political attitudes and racial tensions of the time. But Magda's demonic exploitation of these social ills serves to magnify the weaknesses of a divided society. The fact that some of the dialogue sounds similar to contemporary rhetoric is equally as disturbing. It may not be as gothic as the original, but Penny Dreadful: City of Angels offers an entertaining and well-produced series that's worth tuning into.

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