This week’s chapter of serial thriller Penny Dreadful, Demimonde, offers two divergent paths in its storytelling: the clichéd masked as art and the art masked as entertainment.
The more clichéd sequences tend to revolve around the increasingly tiresome character of Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney). Shirtless and sporting leather pants, he is first seen here in an orgy straight from Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut – the “demimonde” of the episode’s title. The camera swirls through the scene from a God-like perspective with operatic music swelling on the soundtrack. Bodies writhing in passion litter his grand salon while he passively watches, observing them with the same ennui he gives the dozens of paintings hanging on his wall.