PENNYWORTH is rad as hell. Yes it’s on Epix, I know, I know, but it’s worth the entire price of admission, believe me.
It’s created by the guy who did HBO’s ROME (Bruno Heller), and if you remember that, it’s probably because remember the top-shelf manful banter of Vorenus and Pullo of the fookin’ 13th.
Well let me tell you the manful banter on this fucking show matches and/or exceeds that of his previous work.
Filling out the backstory of (presumably, but not definitely!) Batman’s eventual butler is an odd task, but Heller is managing it with aplomb. It’s like Todd Phillips’ JOKER, but with a wicked sense of humor and a truckload of dynamite.
I’m ninety-nine percent sure the pitch for this was “Remember how Michael Caine was Alfred in Nolan’s Batman movies? Well, what if we made a show about YOUNG Alfred, but Young Alfred is basically Michael Caine in Get Carter?” And what they came up with is a fucking delight.
There’s a lot to talk about:
It’s hard to know where to start. I mean this is the Big Bad the season started with:
Look at this fucking guy, he’s got it all:
Then !!!SPOILERS!!! he met up with his friends the psychopathic murder sisters and then turned out to be a good guy (or a least a less bad guy) and his (white dude) assistant took over the plot to gas London, kill the queen, and take over the UK.
Their organization is called The Raven Society, btw. COME ON.
Meanwhile, there’s a bisexual psychotic with impeccable fashion sense who — along with her new lover and her similarly-coiffed sister — has been having a kind of coming-of-age story all season, as she learned to take responsibility for her actions (to a degree) and restrain her more unstable and unhelpful impulses (to a degree).
Also they got James “Hell of an exit” Purefoy (which he said to Polly Walker, also in PENNYWORTH — she’s the bisexual psychotic’s sister) to be a menacing father-figure-slash-former-commanding officer with an absolutely stunning femme fatale wife in Jessica de Gouw.
So of course there’s scandal with the wife and we get to see the full Purefoyonic Malice on display, followed by heroic sacrifice, followed by miraculous resurrection and potential superheroic redemption.
That’s right. Superheroic.
Between Alfie’s father’s third act as a vacuum cleaner and Purefoy’s transformation into a low grade weapon of hilarious destruction, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a prestige show in a while. Talk about making the most of a limited budget.
I cannot overstate how great Season 2 was. Even if they did do Bazza dirty.
Alfie totes makes it with the queen. Twice.↩︎